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September 22, 2009

Obama Is Rewriting (Recent) History On Afghanistan

I'm not as sanguine that more troops means victory is possible in Afghanistan as some are but I think it's important we all deal with the same set of facts.

When it comes to the recent dust up over General McChrystal's request for more troops, Obama is being disingenuous. Some, myself included, might even go so far as to say he's lying.

On his tour of the Sunday shows the President says he won't commit to more troops until there's a strategy in place.

"The only thing I've said to my folks is, 'A, I want an unvarnished assessment, but, B, I don't want to put the resource question before the strategy question,'" Obama said. "Because there is a natural inclination to say, 'If I get more, then I can do more.'"
(emphasis mine)

Here's the thing, Obama supposedly answered the strategy question back in March

According to Secretary of Defense Gates, Gen. McChrystal's appointment was the direct result of that new strategy.

“I believe that our mission [in Afghanistan] requires new thinking and new approaches from our military leaders,” Gates told reporters. “Today, we have a new policy set by our new president. We have a new strategy, a new mission and a new ambassador. I believe that new military leadership is needed.”

Now Obama and his minions seem to be saying there's some sort of review of the strategy due after the Afghan elections. Funny but Obama said nothing about that when he introduced his new strategy back in the spring.

Even if he always meant to do that, it's silly.

Look at the time line. He announces his strategy in March, there's a new military commander named to carry out that strategy in May (though he didn't even get on station until mid June). So Obama is saying he did this top down rethink of a seven year old war and he's giving that strategy essentially 3 months to play out before he considers abandoning it? 6 months if you start from the day it was announced, not when the new military commander took over.

That's simply ridiculous on its face.

McChrystal's report (pdf) was about how to implement and resource the new strategy, not whether or not is was working.

For Obama to pretend he's not holding back on resourcing the effort is simply a lie.

(Credit where it's due...I heard some of this mentioned before but I couldn't remember where. This Corner entry reminds me it was Charles Krauthammer on FNC last night who started the ball rolling in my mind).

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posted by DrewM. at 03:58 PM

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