Obama is going to surrender in what he himself called the “war of necessity.”
“This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity,” Obama told the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars conference — cautioning that the insurgency would not be defeated overnight. “Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans.”
Tough words from the guy who did all he could to make the war fail. Now, as President, he has the ability to make the war fail, and it appears he’s doing just that. Sixteen months are those tough words, Barack Obama signaled the date of the US departure from Afghanistan to the Taliban.
On December 1, after months of careful deliberation, President Obama announced a surge strategy for Afghanistan. “As Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan,” he told an assembled crowd at West Point, and “after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.”
Then the dismay set in.
First Pakistan was dismayed.
Add the Pakistani government to those dismayed by the Obama administration’s wavering on Afghanistan.
Shortly after that Britain became dismayed.
In an interview with The Times, Bob Ainsworth said that the Government would not follow Washington’s promise to start pulling out in 2011. “You can’t put a time on it. You’ve got to look at conditions,” he said. …
His comments reflect dismay at the highest level in the British Armed Forces about Mr Obama’s suggestion this week that US troop withdrawals would start by mid-2011. Britain expects to have substantial forces on the ground in Afghanistan for at least five or six more years.
Military commanders have warned the Americans that naming a date could be a hostage to fortune and make it harder to beat the Taleban. There are fears that talk of a withdrawal timetable will diminish the impact of the long-awaited “surge”. …
Eventually even Washington became dismayed:
The mood is dismay and grim and growing concern that America’s got its—it’s stuck its head in a hornet’s nest and doesn’t know how to get it out and still save face at the same time.
Announcing the US withdrawal date has been seen widely as a poor policy.
(CBS) Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, speaking from Afghanistan, said this morning that President Barack Obama must clarify his July 2011 withdrawal deadline because it is hurting the war. “If the people in Afghanistan think we’re going to begin to leave in July 2011,” Graham said on on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” “we have no chance of winning a counterinsurgency. “If you send a signal to your enemies you’re going to leave at a certain date, they’ll wait until that date and wait you out.”
The Afghan Ambassador:
“First, if you over emphasize a deadline that is not realistic, you are making the enemy a lot more bold,” Jawad said. “You are prolonging the war. That deadline should be realistic. The line should be based on the reality on the ground and we should give a clear message to the enemy, to the terrorists who are a threat to everyone, that the United States, NATO, Afghans are there to finish this job.”
And a senior US General in Afghanistan:
A senior US general has warned President Barack Obama’s deadline to begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan is encouraging the Taliban. US General James Conway, head of the US Marine Corps, said the deadline was “giving our enemy sustenance”.
Richard Holbrooke announces the peace negotiations:
U.S. Special envoy Richard Holbrooke said Sunday that reconciliation talks between Karzai and Taliban leaders are not full-fledged peace negotiations but informal discussions between the two groups.
Holbrooke than makes clear Afghanistan is going the way of Vietnam:
“It’s certainly not another Vietnam, … and it is certainly not hopeless,” Holbrooke said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”
Retired Major General Paul Vallely agrees:
But retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely disagrees with Holbrook’s assessment and told The Examiner that, ”it looks like the senior leadership is working for a negotiated settlement and then we will withdraw just like Vietnam.”
The Administration and some of our military commanders are “pandering to the enemy and giving a disorganized group of criminal insurgents a power they should never be granted – we’re not going to see this through and believe me we’re making a serious mistake,” said a military official in Afghanistan.
Finally, US troops have become dismayed:
A young soldier who spoke from Afghanistan via telephone questioned why he was fighting. “If we’re not here to win the war with the military, then what are we here for? I think that’s the question that the administration – if we’re not here to succeed then what are we dying for?”
Let us harken back to Obama’s words:
“I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That is the goal that must be achieved.
That is a cause that could not be more just.”
You know what Jim Geraghty would say…..
I think the horses are out of the barn as far as terrorists fighting Americans is concerned.
When Afghanistan was like fly paper it made a lot of sense to fight terrorists there, as they were leaving all of Europe, the Mideast, and Asia to go there to kill us.
But now they are everywhere.
A Virginia man, Farooque Ahmed, has been arrested today for allegedly trying to help Al Qaeda plan multiple bombings around the nation’s capital.
Last week the Pentagon was shot at.
Also recruiting centers were shot at.
Typical leftist self fulfilling prophecy. They’ve screamed Vietnam every time the armed forces have gone in harms way. Now Iraq is going too well to be a candidate so they intend to make Afghanistan the focus. . . and the failure.
My vote is to just leave now, no pretence, no long drawn out rearguard, just establish a perimeter around the airport and frickin’ leave. Because with this C&C the end result is exactly the same accept for the amount of blood spilled.
It isn’t just the soldiers who loose heart. When my son was in Iraq I at least knew it was in the strategic best interests of the United States, and despite rules of engagement that I thought were overly restrictive, he had a C&C who actually did give a damn about him as a man instead of a photo op in a flag draped coffin.
As he prepares to go to Afghanistan, a country of questionable strategic value, with a C&C who hates him and everything he stands for at a visceral level, I say to hell with Afghanistan and to hell with the son of a bitch that sends only a portion of the troops requested, after months of telegraphing the move and then ties their hands with the most ludicrous set of engagement rules imaginable. We need the troops here to face the domestic enemy.
Our wasted years in Afghanistan, says British Major General
That from a NATO Ally. The original request for Reinforcements submitted by Gen. McCrystal was a conservative one but the actual numbers fell short of the modest request. The decision was not strategic or military but political and not arrived at by any military expertise by the deciders. With Karzai now openly negotiating with the Taliban, it may appear to be a Vietnam Outcome by design of the Current Regime at the cost of billions ($), American Lives and a Political Solution that will have very predictable results. America gets another black eye and the Taliban will waltz into Kabul and Kandahar and open new terrorist training camps with Safe Haven Status.
How this contributes to the stability of the Region or Security needs of the US was aparrently not a consideration. Keeping Campaign promises to the American Left, Far Left and other Democrats was the consideration first and foremost. God help those Afghani Folks that had higher hopes for their future or National Sovereignty. It is they who are now at risk for Taliban retribution and a grim conclusion.
afghanistan is hard enough without an idiot as a so called leader.
I teach the top level of the pilots, they are far better than I was in Viet Nam. We were basicaly draftees making the best of a bad situation. These soldiers are far more self controlled than we were, and when they are allowed to participate in their government, they won’t be fooled.
America needs to win one, and will…
Maybe not now, but soon the full might and power will be focused, and the dogs of war will feed.
World war is horrible, and when you are seen to be weak, you are either eaten; or you eat.
The Pentagon Papers – Revisited
Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska;
former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.;
Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss.;
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.;
former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark.;
former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.;
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.;
Gov. Mitch Daniels, R-Ind.;
Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La.
An internal Army e-mail obtained by ABC News indicates that the DNC has filed Freedom of Information Act requests for “any and all records of communication” between Army departments and agencies and each of the nine Republicans — all of whom are widely mentioned as possible challengers to President Obama.
The request isn’t for details of military service or lack thereof, but appears to be designed to find information on letters and memos sent to and from the potential candidates in official positions they’ve held.
The request for information on Gingrich stretches back to 1979, when he was a freshman member of the House.
The DNC is asking for information related to Palin’s service on the Wasilla, Alaska, City Council in the early 1990s,
while the Pawlenty request includes his service on the Planning Commission in Eagan, Minn., in 1988 and 1989.
The requests for Daniels and Thune specifically reference their time as staff members for U.S. senators.
Democrats are trying to learn more about Jindal’s career going back to 1996, when he was secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services.
According to the memo, the DNC’s request asks for “Any and all records of communication (including but not limited to letters, written requests, reports, telephone records, electronic communication, complaints, investigations, violation and memos) between your department (and all divisions and agencies under your jurisdiction).”
The DNC also asks for copies of other Freedom of Information requests that mention the nine individuals that Democrats want information on.
Gen Vallely has a pretty good take on the situation in Afganistan. Soon vets of the Afgan War and Vietnam War will have much in common. They will know what it’s like to be sold out by the pols in D.C. Obama doesn’t want any more of his muzzie brothers hurt and I guarnatee he could care less what happens to our troops until and during the pullout.
Afghanistan war was the just war of the last decade. However the focus was taken away from Afghanistan and Al Qaeda by the folly of the Iraq war. The mission brief seems vague in Afghanistan.
At what point is success achieved – when Afghanistan has a viable, stable and democratic country? Is that possible?
How can the west get Pakistan to become more willing and successful in flushing out Al Qaeda in it’s own country?
Should the West be having talks with the Taliban?
I think having a deadline when troops should/will pull out is ridiculous and counterproductive.
Personally with the Taliban (who should be seperated from Al Qaeda) – the West should have negotiations – because unfortunately it is likely the Taliban will feature in any future that Afghanistan has. Whenever the West goes (as it can’t stay forever) – the Taliban will likely fill that vacuum. But whatever power sharing occurs (if it occurs) – the Taliban must never be able to run the country in it’s own right – as it did. Not only because of the way it treated it’s own citizens (particularly women) but also because they could allow such ‘guests’ as Bin Laden and Al Qaeda back into the country.
In total agreement with you on a pullout being ridiculous and counterproductive. As for Iraq being a folly, we’ll have to disagree on that one. Remember all the “foreign fighters” aka terrorists our troops were killing over there? They came from all over: Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Iran etc. Had they have not gone to Iraq there is a very good possibility they would have ended up fighting our troops in Afghanistan. As a commander where would you rather fight a lightly armed force that doesn’t require very much in the way of supplies- the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan where there are lots of places to hide and where you are landlocked in a country that doesn’t have the infrastructure to support your large number of troops or in the relatively flat terrain of Iraq where you have ports, roads, airfields, and an economy that can support your troops? Luring the foreign fighters into one spot as opposed to fighting them in several different countries was pretty smart if that was part of the plan. It’s called shaping the battlefield. In martial combat, be it a war, an MMA match, a boxing match, a wrestling match etc., the one who shapes the battlefield or fight usually wins.
Another vet is right, By fighting in Iraq, the battlefield was shaped and a major player (saddam) was eliminated. If you recall, by the US agressive action Kadafi quickly made peace with the US. Look how quickly he drifted back to the old kadafi when the Dems won the House in 2006.
Iraq also gave the US a strategic place to project power within the middle east until the current administration gives that up too! Look at the advantages he has given away in Eastern Europe. The powers of the world respect strength. They equate negiotations with weekness. When they see weakness, they attack.
JustAl, I feel your pain in my own way. I will keep your son in my thoughts; wish him well from us at FA. I think he serves with the best and is led by the best. May G-d comfort you and bring him home safe!
I must disagree. Ideology and national pride may be the excuses offered for wars, but the only acceptable reason for war is national, strategic interest. Clearly Iraq was the the right war. Once Saddam went off the reservation the west needed a new counter balance on Iran, the UN should have done it, was given the chance to do it, was begged to do it, but we all know who actually did it.
Iraq also made a much more effective example to the mulim world of our outrage after 9/11, remember the “strong horse” sentiment and how quiet Tehran was when they could feel the earth move beneath their feet from the B52 strikes across the border? When we shifted to the leftist inspired “nation building,” we lost all credibility there. The inhabitants of the regions, correctly in my view, see the rebuilding of a vanquished foe as not only stupid, but also cowardly.
Leaving a megalomaniac with an erection for the US in charge of a country with that much oil wealth, with a WMD program that would have been restarted the instant the sanctions stopped (and that instant was coming into sight) would have been a folly fit for Bill Clinton.
What Afghanistan represents is a pile of rocks and caves for demented ideologues to plot in, pretty much indistinguishable from the piles of rocks and caves in numerous other muslim shitty little countries around the globe. If Afghanistan is as important to the national strategic interests of the US as Iraq I would dearly like to have it explained to me. And if it is that important I’d like to have the half ass-ed policies of our current regime explained to me.
So after 7 years of war, 900 billion dollars, 5000 US, UK and other allied dead along with 100,000 dead Iraqi soldiers and civillians – is Iran weaker or stronger in the middle east than it was in 2003?
Now that it has Shia in control in Baghdad and it is closer to having nuclear weapons – I would say Iran is a lot stronger! I’m sure they are very happy that the US removed Saddam for them and are just waiting for the last 50,000 US troops to leave. I’m not sure if Iran would be so bold as to invade but certainly Maliki’s government is no counter to Iran in the region.
Post war Germany and Japan – were successful because they had ‘nation building’ whereas Vietnam was and no doubt Afghanistan will be abandoned. Iraq is incredible weak and vulnerable once US troops leave so that may also be toppled internally or externally.
So what strategic interest in mid to long term will the Iraq war be beyond short term oil supply and feeding the military industrial complex?
Iran would not be stronger if we had not handed over the initiative via aforementioned “nation building” Leaving Iran with the sure and certain assurance of complete annihilation is what should have been done. But thanks to a weakling RINO bowing down to international leftists we have a half ass-ed policy in a nation that yes, is very much of strategic interest to the US.
Please let me know what your crystal ball says the situation in Iran would be today if Saddam had been left in power. I’m sure they would either a) be ruling Iraq or b) have been obliterated by bio/chemical attack. Is that your opinion of a better situation?
Of course Germany and Japan are better off, but we are not better off because of it. What we should have done is create Israel in the Ruhr valley and used Japanese troops as our surrogates in Korea and Vietnam. What we did was create economic competitors who don’t even have to defend themselves, who can sit in beer halls and go to 1930’s style rallies complete with Greko-Roman columns and charismatic socialists (this time from America) cheering on their hatred of the hand that literally kept them from starving to death (sort of like certain hand wringers from nations who received far, far more US dollars to rebuild than either Germany or Japan).
The strategic interest is that the money from that oil supply is not going into the pocket of aforementioned despot. By the way, the oil isn’t coming to the US, neither are the contract dollars to rebuild the oil infrastructure in Iraq. Hell, if we wanted to steal oil we’d invade Mexico, it’s closer and there isn’t anybody home.
Not even a very sophisticated try comrade. Your drivel isn’t even fit to feed the marxist/selfabsorbed navel gazer complex.
The Iraq war is like any good strategy. When you changes horses in themiddle of the stream, you most of the time get wet! Just because the plan was not followed through due to political pressures and change of personnel does not mean it was a bad plan.
@ Randy, as you know the Plan is usually the first casualty in any War. The influence of Iran, Al Q in Iraq, Rumsfeld wanting to do War on the Cheap, opposition from the politically savvy Leftist America hating crowd, the same as during the Vietnam era, created a no win situation.
COIN evolved from the ‘doing more with less’ philosophy and in Iraq it garnered a fair degree of success. Afghanistan is a whole different situation. The proximity of both Iran and Pakistan as well as their direct intervention, a failure of Foreign Policy in dealing with the Pak Government created a morass. The idiotic time line for withdrawal has pretty much determined the outcome.
Speculation here at FA on this subject on the outcome, any ‘folly” notions on Iraq and the rest, done by amateur “strategists” with no Military training, background or experience at any significant level would be amusing if I did not have close friends in Afghanistan that are at risk due to the present course taken by the Worst Cic ever and his inability to take advice from those that are competent.
As in any War, the Plan is modified as the Enemy makes adjustments. Anyone who has actually had involvement in armed conflict knows that. Those that have not…Speculate.
Old Trooper 2
16Reply to this comment
@ Randy, as you know the Plan is usually the first casualty in any War. The influence of Iran, Al Q in Iraq, Rumsfeld wanting to do War on the Cheap, opposition from the politically savvy Leftist America hating crowd, the same as during the Vietnam era, created a no win situation……
As in any War, the Plan is modified as the Enemy makes adjustments. Anyone who has actually had involvement in armed conflict knows that. Those that have not…Speculate.
I remember a HUGE change in plan at the start of the Iraq conflict.
We (the USA and our allies) were promised land passage through Turkey into northern Iraq so as to create a pincher-type attack that would have hemmed in Saddam’s forces.
But, at literally the last moment, Turkey withdrew its permission from all invading forces.
Our Navy instituted the largest-ever sea movement of an army ever done.
Our troops sailed to the south and landed in time to follow our invading forces.
The damage was done.
1/3rd of our military was out of position.
Saddam’s forces had the time they needed.
They melted northward and into the civilian populations.
@ GaffaUK, ever been to Iraq or Afghanistan? Just curious. Some of us here at FA have. We rely on that personal experience at personal level, at various levels of participation as Our frame of reference. Reliance on the media or history from decades back is like trying to follow a trail of bread crumbs. The situation unfolds daily with new wrinkles in abundance.
Having elections does not mean a whole lot when political/religious factions separate the Nation as they always have and Iraq has not of yet formed a Government. Like the 13 Colonies, it took decades for the roles of State and Federal assemblies/government to evolve. There was opposition initially to the Bill of Rights and the powers to be given to the Individuals, the States and the Federal Government. The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution did not happen overnight.
Iraq is not without outside interference as Iran is meddling in the process to a significant degree.
Neither the Iraqi or Afghan populace have a lot of trust in a strong central government at this point.
Afghanistan is both Tribal and Provincial to a huge degree. Iran is a source of interference. Pakistan is still a Safe Haven for the Taliban and Al Q, is not an honest broker in the process and is politically unstable. Iran is a huge threat to their Neighbors and a sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere. The current Afghan Government is subject to long term influence of Iran and Pakistan more than the short term influence of NATO or the US. As the Time Line has been announced for Troop Withdrawal, there can be no hope for Afghan Security or Sovereignty.
On that there can be no speculation. I spent two deployments there at Command level, BCT and ISAF Staff level both and it is that experience that I base my conclusion upon, not opinions formed from a safe distance with my duff in an arm chair.
@ Nan G, at the point in time that we had assumed that Turkey, as a NATO Ally would allow entry to their ports, passage through their land and underestimated their resentment for our support of the Kurds. There was also a significant change in the Turk Government months prior to then that resented an invasion of Iraq but then and since have allowed NATO and US use of Incerlik Air Base and the 4th Infantry Division, Heavy, was rerouted at a great cost of time and reduction of ground forces available to throw into Operation Iraqi Freedom.
You are correct and the modified Plan was executed with fewer ground Forces in the initial assault.
Heavy Forces require ports of entry in close proximity to their objectives. The 4th ID was delayed and other ground Forces took up the slack. Otherwise Saddam’s Republican Guard and Baathist Staff would have routes of escape cut off from the North.
As you can see, even when Allies make adjustments, the Plan changes for better or worse.
That initiative was done by Bush who had I believe between 2003 and 2007 had control of the Senate and between 2001 and 2007 had control of the House of Representatives.
In 2003 NATO assumed control of the War in Afghanistan – a mistake something Bush should never have allowed. Although before 9/11 he was against the US getting involved in nation building and plainly there was few plans to do so in the initial stages duirng the two wars which hampered security and recovery – Bush has been very keen to implement democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq – which is basic nation building. During his 2 terms the buck stops with Bush. Now it’s Obama and he’s also making a mess of things.
Where was the immimient threat that Iraq threatened Iran during the 1990s?? The countries bled themselves dry in the wars during the 1980s and Saddam was critically weakened by the Gulf War and subsequent sanctions. You didn’t need a crystal ball or dodgy intel to know that then as know.
Nation building cannot be done until the Peace is won. Examples from WWII have proven that in spades.
The outcomes for either Iraq or Afghanistan are now Obama’s Legacy. As He has assumed the Duty of CiC they are His Wars. Passing blame or pointing fingers at this point is patently absurd as He sought that Role. It is His Foreign Policy now. He owns it. His CIA is led by His Appointee.
His Sec Def is his man. His Sec of State is his choice. His National Security Advisor is his boy.
A treat for you FA Folks. The most idiotic piece of crap that I have read this week.
Why Conservatives Love War
By Corey Robin
So the ultimate legacy and responsibility for 9/11 in defending the US is solely Bush as he was the President at the time? Come on – you guys like to point the finger at Clinton in what he did and didn’t do in his time in office which may have contributed to 9/11.
You can’t have it both ways.
I certainly agree with that – Rumsfeld’s plan was deeply flawed – he should of listened to the generals.
You really believe that??? lol
Clearly you don’t know what a Marxist is – I suppose in your mind anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a Marxist and stubborn facts = drivel. lol:)
Obama trip to India:
275 hotel rooms
3 marine Helos
4 Barack Mobiles
Isn’t that more equipment than we have in Iraq?
It’s much more than that:
@Randy & Missy
Except that’s not unusual…