Wednesday, October 07, 2009

War-Gaming Word-Gaming by Committee?

Fox News calls this a picture of Obama's "war council." Really? Today is eight years since the start of the Afghanistan war. Is it just me, or does this picture of Obama in serious deliberation about the Afghanistan war not really all that confidence-building? The caption: President Barack Obama listens during a meeting about the current situation in Pakistan Oct. 7, 2009 in the Situation Room of the White House.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Obama wants to get the strategy right first before deciding on the troop request: "One has to get a strategy that works, a strategy that has confidence of everyone involved, then get the resources," he said. "The president is determined not to do this backwards. ... Once and for all after eight years, we're going to get this right." Obama continues to demonstrate that he doesn't understand Decision-Making 101. This is frightening.

The Washington Post is reporting that one response the Obama administration is considering to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is something they are calling "Pakistan First." Quoting from their editorial: "Pakistan First" would excuse President Obama from having to anger his political base by dispatching the additional U.S. troops that his military commanders say are needed to stop the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan. It would seem that this strategy would play perfectly into Obama's history of dealing with difficult decisions by "voting present."

If Obama doesn't have the stomach for the war that he called "the real war" using such passionate rhetoric during the campaign--if he doesn't have the stomach to do what is necessary to win--then he ought to quit playing at war and bring our soldiers home. I'm worried about troop morale. We're not talking about tanks or weapons or armored vehicles--we're talking about people, with real lives and real families waiting at home for them. While Obama massages every detail, "getting it right," as Gibbs so glibly says, our troops are waiting to hear from him. I feel sick to my stomach thinking that the Commander in Chief is not only ill-qualified but also seemingly not willing to take direction from the battlefield commanders. This isn't just hubris; it's looking like criminal stupidity.

Here's Obama on the campaign trail, July 15, 2008. Blah, blah, blah. Big guy. Great bumper sticker slogan he's got there, too--"Judgement to Lead."  Hey, Champ--tough talk is cheap, campaigning is easy, governing is hard. Get busy.

Update: This morning (Oct. 8, 2009) there's an article in the New York Times. I don't trust that rag anymore. This could be nothing more than a trial balloon, sent up by ObamaTeam to see if anyone shoots it down. For what it's worth, here it is: "Afghan War Debate Now Leans to Focus on Al Qaeda." President Obama’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda in Pakistan while arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday.

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