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Obama's hesitancy on war buildup sends messages

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Hmmmm, it was General McKrystal who allowed the lies out about the death of Pat Tillman. Then we're just supposed to buy off on his decisions carte blanche.

Obama has been through 8 meetings with generals, war advisers, ambassadors and experts. I can't believe the republicans who just fell on the dick cheney and george bush daggers who wouldn't want a lot more thoughtful decisions then they saw the last administration. The time taken to make these decisions will save many lives in the end. < :-)

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President Barack Obama’s drawn-out decision-making on Afghanistan is sending messages. To the Afghan government: Clean up your act. To the Pentagon: I’m no rubber stamp. To the American public: More troops cannot be the sole answer.

Three darts; three bulls-eyes.

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And the clearest message is "I'm the Ditherer in Chief."

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Is this a real news story or a Whitehouse press release? Hard to tell the difference on this one.

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Obama for United Nations Secretary General!! He's got all the quals.

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it was General McKrystal who allowed the lies out about the death of Pat Tillman." Oh wow, I didn't know. YOu can feel good that you taught me something.. really.

we're just supposed to buy off on his decisions carte blanche." that is an issue. but we wouldn't want him to go the Bush route and just keep replacing them either. No? Maybe just stepping up out and start fight the Islamic radicals where they really are - in the US!

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I think it sends a pretty good message too...

That after three months and 8 (yes 8) 'war council' meetings... Our president can't make a decision....

tick tock tick tock

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Testifying before a Senate hearing earlier this year, Gen McChrystal admitted "I would do this differently if I had the chance again", and said he had not read the paperwork on the silver star citation thoroughly.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6488664/Gen-Stanley-McChrystal-faces-Pat-Tillman-book-allegations.html < :-)

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Obama's "hesitancy" is nothing more than indecisiveness. It is an indication of his systemic inability for leadership. By saying that he has not made a decision is, in effect, saying that the status quo is his decision. If this is the case, then he is deliberately misleading the American public. So we either have a totally insipid president, or a very deceitful president...

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"President Barack Obama’s drawn-out decision-making on Afghanistan is sending messages. To the Afghan government: Clean up your act. To the Pentagon: I’m no rubber stamp. To the American public: More troops cannot be the sole answer."

Bang on... bang on. I'm pleased that people like sarge are building their vocabulary with the recent spate of Republican sound-bites (ie. He NEVER used dither once before a few weeks ago!), but the tired of Republican days of carte blanche for war are over, thankfully. It's a GOOD thing that Obama is thinking carefully about the situation instead of simply rushing to war (or further war) like his predecessors, thus landing the US in the mess it is now.

sharky: "So we either have a totally insipid president, or a very deceitful president..."

Or just a poster with a way of trying to spin things that's so sad he probably honestly believes the stuff he's spewing. Rushing into the wrong decision is not 'decisiveness', it's plain stupidity. You can't spin that fact one bit.

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Actually, it's the tellyprompter thing that is sending the messages, isn't it. No one thought of that, did they. No,only me.

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And you wonder why people won't do the right thing...

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Whew!....at least we now have a president who thinks. I can now go to bed and have agood night sleep with a smile on my face and no worries.

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I Wonder what message he is sending to the Taliban right now myself. Article didn't include their as to speculation on that one.

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"I wonder what message he is sending to the Taliban"

"I may or may not beef up our troop presence in Afghanistan - depends on poll numbers - you know how it is."

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Sometimes the best decision is no decision at all.

Reality: In two years most (90%+) of these Afghan warlords will be dead. They paid them once don't expect them to be paid again. Decisions in life are sometimes harsh.

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smithinjapan - "Rushing into the wrong decision is not 'decisiveness', it's plain stupidity. You can't spin that fact one bit."

Bang on.

There's a clear divide here.

Conservatives - generally the "war-friendly" type - want the president to make a decision by 5pm yesterday. It appears their general disapproval of President Obama leads them to rather want him to make the wrong decision - irrespective of how many American lives are unnecessarily wasted - so they can bash him for it, than to make a well-judged decision and see success.

Liberals on the other hand appear to be pretty happy to see that the automatic rubber-stamping of all military bills and strategy proposals of the previous administration is over, and that we now have president who takes time to think through difficult decisions and weigh up the issues.

So refreshing.

As I mentioned yesterday, better to make a good decision later than a bad decision early.

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Well, it's refreshing to read an article that is so refreshingly bang-on about President Obama's absolutely brilliant handling of Afghanistan. Clearly, said handling is clearly far better than it EVER could have been when bush, who was the worst president of all time from the get-go, was having it occupied so he could get the petroleum there to his oil buddies. The days of carte blanching, blasting down peoples' doors and using the Holy Koran for target practice are over.Deal with it, wingers!

Obama's books and speeches continue to fly off the shelf and when the Taliban, which is just a handful of bad apples, come around to Obama's way of thinking, it will be material for another bestseller.Yes, sargie and friends, I just made a prediction.And if you don't like it well, that 's just the way in which I roll, dammit!

Anyways my many friends, tis truly sad that the Obama haters and the last of the few remaining bush supporters just can't handle this astounding diplomatic success by Obama.But hey, being reality-based never was their strong suite.

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Gombei424Canada - do you get paid to write overt sarcasm?

You're pretty good. :-)

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Obama "good war" is going splendidly indeed. During the election, he claimed he had all the answers, and now suddenly he needs time to study. How times change...

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"I Wonder what message he is sending to the Taliban right now myself."

Good point. Since they're getting their asses handed to them in Pakistan right now I guess they're really hoping Obama will cut and run.

There's no point in sending more troops if the end result is the same as the current, which is a hideously corrupt sort-of-a-cracy that controls small parts of the country whilst the rest is in chaos. 100,000 troops holding hands at the border wouldn't chnage this and will simply put more Americans in harms way.

But it's kinda hilarious to see the ex-bush supporting trolls chiming in at every oppertune moment to critisize Obama. Over the last eight years I can't remember one shrill voice from that particular extremity voicing concern neither for the situation in Afghanistan, nor at Bush Co's incompetence in dealing with the situation as they themselves struggled in the other quagmire of their own making......

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"During the election, he claimed he had all the answers, and now suddenly he needs time to study. How times change..."

That's perhaps because candidates are not privy to information that sitting presidents are. As far as I'm aware when the truth came out to Obama's team about the standing Bush Co's strategy for Afghanistan, amid gasps of "wow", the lot was tossed into the round file and they were forced to start again from scratch due to the sheer lack of planning.

Neither do I remember Obama saying he "had all the answers", but then again, what am I doing getting in the way of yet another good rant about Obama? ;)

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Madverts:

" Since they're getting their asses handed to them in Pakistan right now I "

In an alternative universe maybe, not in this one. Good grief, what delusion.

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WillB - "Obama "good war" is going splendidly indeed."

Do you just make stuff up to fill in time???

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Yes willi, the Taliban aren't really getting the sore end of the Pakistani army offensive right now, just as I am really living under sharia law here in Europe as the Jihad ants battle the islamists outdoors. It's all a MSN thing controlled by Obama's handlers!

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"It's all a MSN thing controlled by Obama's handlers!"

Are they the same ones spreading liberal lies on MSN?

Say it isn't so! :-)

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I think Obama is leaning on the side to send more troops but just wants a light at the end of the tunnel, so the majority of Americans who are against sending more troops would go along with it. You can't just throw more troops to the wolves against the wishes of the majority of Americans.

During the Vietnam War, the Americans did not have a light at the end of the tunnel. If Americans could see a light, their anxiety would be lessened. But it doesn't help that, unlike Iraq, Afghanistan has a dysfunctional government that could not take of "home base" while the American troops fight outside. Without a solid base, any structure is bound to fall apart.

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Madverts:

" That's perhaps because candidates are not privy to information that sitting presidents are. As far as I'm aware when the truth came out to Obama's team about the standing Bush Co's strategy for Afghanistan, amid gasps of "wow", "

LOL, so now you are accusing him of lying during the campaign by pretending to be informed when he wasn´t? Thats a new one, I must say.

In an alternative universe maybe, not in this one. Good grief, what delusion.

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Obama is not just hesitant he has no idea about how the real world workd.

Under Bush Iraq and Afghanistan were becoming more stable and the war was winnable, now with Obama in Power, Afghanistan is in total chaos and Iraq is near to all out civil war.

These countries respect a strong leader. Obama`s bungling and dithering make us look like fools and embolden the bad guys. We need a strong leader to win wars.

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But he won't be bounced and his concern seems to be genuinely to do the right and the most sustainablesustainable thing. Which is a kind of strength we haven't seen in a president since Reagan.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/11/a-step-in-the-right-direction.html#more

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Since he has never held a traditional position of leadership like governor or mayor and was never a military leader we have no way of knowing if Obama is either willfully or unintentionally sabotaging war efforts. But it is looking like a failure in-the-making. Obama places responsibility on his generals but doesn't give them the real authority or the resources and manpower they need to fight and win. He casually blames his predecessor whenever he can. Does he really expect the American public, when looking at his grandiose and premature presidential ambitions, to subtract Afghanistan and give him a pass? Does he (or his handlers) actually believe we miss how careful he is to go through all the motions, to wear the flag pin, to make the midnight flight to Dover with the state media in tow so the record will show that he was "deeply, deeply concerned" throughout the whole ordeal?? Deeds have to match words. It's time for Obama to lead.

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From the attitudes of the posters in here, it's pretty obvious that Americans love war, so I just want to assure ya'll that even if Obama pulls troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, ya'll needn't worry -- it will just be a matter of time until you have a new conflict somewhere else. North Korea? Iran? Um, how about Switzerland -- the "Band of Brothers" can drop from the skies shouting "Curahee!" and loot all their creamy milk chocolate!

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DickMorris - "Obama`s bungling and dithering make us look like fools and embolden the bad guys."

You've looked like fools ever since you fell for the Iraq has WMD spin 8 long years ago.

"We need a strong leader to win wars."

You need a leader who thinks.

For the first time since 2000, you've got one.

Congratulations. :-)

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From the attitudes of the posters in here, it's pretty obvious that Americans love war, so I just want to assure ya'll that even if Obama pulls troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, ya'll needn't worry -- it will just be a matter of time until you have a new conflict somewhere else. North Korea? Iran? Um, how about Switzerland -- the "Band of Brothers" can drop from the skies shouting "Curahee!" and loot all their creamy milk chocolate!

Nah.. Americans pretty much hate war, just when war happens the ones that are tasked with it, just want get the job done and get the back home. If they can and will shout "Curahee" in a short term conflict to make that happen.

In a long conflict, such as this, they are shouting "Decision" .

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Victimcrat - "Obama places responsibility on his generals but doesn't give them the real authority or the resources and manpower they need to fight and win."

There's nothing wrong with that. Unlike the guy he replaced, President Obama is well aware that you don't just throw soldiers into the meat grinder without a half decent strategy. I think you would far rather have the military given everything they cry for, even if the strategy is a total failure.

That's not wise - that's lunacy, and harks back to WW1 when the British Generals insisted that their soldiers walk across the mud-soaked terrain in the face of a hail of machine gun fire.

Then someone got a clue - call it a better strategy - and suggested they run.

The current U.S. generals are only focused on the war. President Obama is focused on the war and the economy, and knows full well how the former affects the latter.

"Deeds have to match words. It's time for Obama to lead."

He is. Better to make a good decision later than a bad one earlier.

"He casually blames his predecessor whenever he can."

His predecessor started 2 wars and a bungled them both so badly, he had to hand them off to the next guy to finish.

Heck, I actually started reading your post thinking you had a flake of an idea what you were talking about.

I'm sorry I misunderestimated you. :-)

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Sushi

Booooshhhhhh

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Sushi: "You've looked like fools ever since you fell for the Iraq has WMD spin"

I notice Sushi didn't/couldn't refute "Obama's bungling and dithering make us look like fools and embolden the bad guys."

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Sailwind - "In a long conflict, such as this, they are shouting "Decision."

I think you missed out the word 'wise.' :-)

Any dope can make a decision. The true measure of a leader is to make good ones.

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Sarge - "I notice Sushi didn't/couldn't refute "Obama's bungling and dithering make us look like fools and embolden the bad guys."

Check 4 posts up. :-)

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Sushi has never been able to reconcile the fact that the day when U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraqis were dancing in the streets shouting, "Thank you, Mr. Booooshhhhh!"

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Sarge - "Sushi has never been able to reconcile the fact that the day when U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraqis were dancing in the streets shouting, "Thank you, Mr. Booooshhhhh!"

Sorry Sarge, I honestly confused you for someone who had a point for a second there.

Ditto for Sailwind 10.49pm

Sorry! :-)

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We need a strong leader to win wars.

We need wise leaders to extricate ourselves from the wars that stupid leaders start.

Pre-emptive war = Extremism

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"Victimcrat: "Obama places responsibility on his generals but doesn't give them the real authority or the resources and manpower they need to fight and win"

Sushi: "There's nothing wrong with that"

Oh, my...

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We need wise leaders to extricate ourselves from wars that stupid leaders start"

We need wise leaders who will make the decisions that will enable us to win wars that, if we lose, will cause us to die or be enslaved.

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"Sorry Sarge, I honestly confused you for someone who had a point for a second there"

Spoken by someone who cannot refute what I said.

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We need wise leaders who will make the decisions that will enable us to win wars that, if we lose, will cause us to die or be enslaved.

Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Sorry, I just had an image of a Taliban battleship dictating terms of surrender on the Potomac.

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Sorry, I just had an image of a Taliban battleship dictating terms of surrender on the Potomac.

ROTFLMAO ZING!

We need wise leaders who will make the decisions that will enable us to win wars that, if we lose, will cause us to die or be enslaved.

We need leaders that have the attention span to focus on serious conflicts until said conflicts are completed and not get side-tracked on others.

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Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Sorry, I just had an image of a Taliban battleship dictating terms of surrender on the Potomac.

I just had an image of us leaving Afghanistan with the Taliban going hahahahahahaha myself. Of course that would meet your approval Yabits, would it not?

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"I just had an image of a Taliban battleship"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

"We need leaders that ( who ) have the attention span to focus on serious conflicts until said conflicts are completed and not get side-tracked on others"

We need leaders who don't dither.

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"Obama's hesitancy on war buildup sends messages"

And the main one is that our media elites miss Jimmy Carter something awful.

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SAilwind - "I just had an image of us leaving Afghanistan with the Taliban going hahahahahahaha myself."

It's all ego to some guys.

Are you thinking the Taliban will stage a lightning raid on New York or something?

How?

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We need leaders who don't dither.

Conservative columnist George Will went after former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday, saying the Bush administration could have used some "dithering" before they invaded Iraq.

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Most of these posters who are baying for President Obama to pump more troops into Afghanistan would be a lot more credible if they went themselves.

Armchair Warriors just don't make the grade.

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Sarge - "We need wise leaders who will make the decisions that will enable us to win wars that, if we lose, will cause us to die or be enslaved."

Are you serious??? lol! :-)

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"A bit of dithering might have been in order before we went into Iraq in pursuit of non-existent weapons of mass destruction," Will said on ABC's "This Week. "For a representative of the Bush administration to accuse someone of taking too much time is missing the point. We have much more to fear in this town from hasty than from slow government action."

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I just had an image of us leaving Afghanistan with the Taliban going hahahahahahaha myself. Of course that would meet your approval Yabits, would it not?

What the Taliban laughs at warrants the sacrifice of additional lives as much as their arguments over how much olive oil to add to their hummous. (With a nod to Al Franken.)

"They're all going to laugh at you" is never a good excuse for going berserk. Yet on such flimsy, egotistical grounds are men and women often committed to fight wars for others.

You are making "dithering" look very wise indeed.

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Victimcrat: "Obama places responsibility on his generals but doesn't give them the real authority or the resources and manpower they need to fight and win"

Lets recall that bush gave them two wars that they didnt want to fight. And that troop deployment in Afganistan were never at a level in order to win anything for the last 8 years.

Cry all you want republicans, but the US is much better off with a President that cares about the troops that get killed in wars than the previous president who let then die for no reason or rot away at Walter Reed after cutting budgets for vets.

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"Lets recall that bush gave them two wars that they didnt want to fight"

Let's recall that leftist progressives, American and foreign - like yourself Zurcronium - all hailed Obama as The One. There was nothing he could not do...

So - - what happened????

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victimcrat,

nice retort, if it had any facts in it that is.

you keep twittering about where I am from. When I vote for Obama again in my swing state I will laugh at you. You are such a child. And a birther lite loser.

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You guys have been there for eight years and now you start worrying about dithering. Looks like the dithering started long ago. You've had eight years to figure out what you are doing in Afghanistan and still have no clue.

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Sushi: "Armchair Warriors"

Derogatory term used to describe people who support our troops but aren't currently in the military or don't become mercenaries. At least I served in my country's military, Sushi.

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Are you thinking the Taliban will stage a lightning raid on New York or something?

How?

Nah, they farm out that type of work to Al Qaeda there favorite invited guests to their country.

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sushisake3:"Conservatives - generally the "war-friendly" type - want the president to make a decision by 5pm yesterday."

Bangingly spot on as usual, mate. It was conservatives who made Kennedy and Johnson go into Vietnam and it was the stupid conservatives who made Truman get involved with Korea only to discover there was no oil there for them to plunder.And let's not forget it was conservatives who forced Wilson and Roosevelt into not one but TWO world wars. Disgusting!

Well, anyways, President Obama just continues to amaze, and evreything is coming up roses, and the Taliban will stop giving Islam a bad name soon enough.It might take another speech from Obama, or it might take another book, but it WILL come. THAT is how wars are won!

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Let's recall that leftist progressives, American and foreign - like yourself Zurcronium - all hailed Obama as The One. There was nothing he could not do...

I know. Thats part of what I find so amusing. All the loonies are having a hard time defending Obama over this. He is dithering, unable to make a decision. It sends a message much different then what the article suggests. His insistence on micromanaging the military is like a bad memory from the Johnson administration. He is beginning to make Carter look good. Dithering, is never a good thing. A proper leader takes a look at the situation, and makes a call, good or bad. This being wishy-washy unable to make up his mind is a bad thing, and serves only to embolden those who America is fighting.

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Molenir,

the shock and awe post-war planning was incredible. Stuff happens, right? You rightists cannot understand planning, only destruction and failure.

As long as Obama does not turn into Bush he will be fine. Being like Carter is lightyears better than Bush. Besides both Carter and Obama are now Nobel winners. Bush got a trophy from Exxon when he left office for his sacraficing US soldiers for oil.

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As long as Obama does not turn into Bush he will be fine. Being like Carter is lightyears better than Bush. Besides both Carter and Obama are now Nobel winners. Bush got a trophy from Exxon when he left office for his sacraficing US soldiers for oil.

Carter is generally acknowledged as the worst President in US history, so this would be tough. And being the winner of the peace prize is not an award to boast about it. Particularly considering the company you're in. 100 years ago, sure, maybe, for the past 20 years though, its been a joke.

Think we need a bit more shock and awe, and a whole lot less "planning". To be fair though, I wouldn't care if the US pulled out of Afghanistan. Whatever the decision though, the President needs to stop wasting time and make the call. One way or another. Waiting like this, just makes him seem indecisive and weak. Like I said, his dithering is beginning to make Carter look good.

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To be fair though, I wouldn't care if the US pulled out of Afghanistan.

That's exactly what the troops sacrificing themselves over there need to hear from more Americans.

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That's exactly what the troops sacrificing themselves over there need to hear from more Americans.

Yeah, and you're obviously deliberately misunderstanding my point. Obama despite what his stated intentions, has never come out and said what our goal in Afghanistan is. What the mission is. Is it to defeat the Taliban? If we don't have a clearly defined mission, what purpose is served by us being in there? Making the world safer for a few Muslim women? Despite that noble goal, I don't see why we should spend our blood and treasure for that. So, unless we have a goal, and unless we're in the fight to win it, why are we there? Do you think that the soldiers there don't think the same way? I guarantee you, they do.

So once again, if Obama wants to support the war in Afghanistan, then he needs to fight it in such a way that its winnable, if he doesn't then we need to get out. Its as simple as that. But regardless, he needs to make a decision, or else he simply looks weak and incompetent. Though based on his recent bowing, maybe he is simply weak and incompetent.

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Obama despite what his stated intentions, has never come out and said what our goal in Afghanistan is. What the mission is. Is it to defeat the Taliban? If we don't have a clearly defined mission, what purpose is served by us being in there?

You appear to be agreeing with the contention that the troops in Afghanistan haven't a clear mission for a very, very long time. Back in 2002 when troops were first sent in, it was to defeat the Taliban and go after Al Qaeda -- especially its leadership. Things got muddled before very long. Oh, I fully agree that most of the troops see it as a muddled situation too.

A big factor for the situation has been how the Afghan people have slowly changed their views about their own government, headed by Karzai. There is not much the United States can do to influence the feelings of the Afghans on that score. There was nothing at all wrong until waiting for the outcome of the recent election to see if the Afghans could come up with a leader that everyone can work with. Since that did not happen, it is time to form a clear Plan B and start putting it into place.

This is a policy decision, and must trump military strategy. Unfortunately, we have too many people in the leadership of the military who want to believe that more troops will nullify the reality of a corrupt Afghan regime that is despised by a large percentage of its own people. So in addition to fighting the resurging Taliban, the US threatens to get caught up taking sides in the very same civil war among the Pashtuns that drew the Soviets in.

The right decision on this is well worth waiting for, although that does not provide immediate relief to the troops. I don't believe they will have to wait much longer.

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At a step above the policy level, Afghanistan is also muddled because the philosophical geo-political and economic view that has driven much of American policy since the end of WWII: the drive for imperial hegemony which masquerades as security.

This has become more nakedly true since the end of the Cold War. Back then, every assassination, coup, and/or invasion that the U.S. was behind was done behind a veneer of fighting the advance of communism. Since that pretense won't fly any longer, we had to concoct a new one at the behest of all those who must ensure their profits by supplying weapons and the necessities for war.

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Unfortunately, we have too many people in the leadership of the military who want to believe that more troops will nullify the reality of a corrupt Afghan regime that is despised by a large percentage of its own people.

Well I doubt the generals are asking for more troops to combat corruption. My guess is that their requests deal more with what's needed on the ground to fight battles with the Taliban, and assumes the other arms of the US government are doing their part to battle corruption.

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Well I doubt the generals are asking for more troops to combat corruption. My guess is that their requests deal more with what's needed on the ground to fight battles with the Taliban...

When we read about attacks on troops in Afghanistan today, we may see the word "Taliban," but we are more likely to see the words "militants" or "insurgents" which means that the people conducting the attacks have nothing to do with the Taliban or Al Qaeda. Most of those are against the corrupt Kabul regime and the Western military occupiers who are propping it up with protection.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has too many people in leadership positions in the military who want to believe that adding more troops will nullify the effects of how the corrupt regime inspires the widespread resentment against it. The regime has created many more enemies than just the Taliban and Al Qaeda -- and so the "mission" of the foreign troops there w/regards to them has necessarily become more blurred and confused.

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Must see videos which show the wisdom of carefully thinking our mission in Afghanistan.

http://rethinkafghanistan.com/troop_full.php

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Spending 4 or 6 months to consider a troop request isn't careful consideration its ducking a decision.

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Spending 4 or 6 months to consider a troop request isn't careful consideration its ducking a decision.

If the 4-6 months involved nothing significant changing within the country -- something like, say, a national election -- then it could be considered ducking a decision.

Better a good decision in 6 months than a bad decision now.

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Yeah. Obama's policy of strategic indecision. It fools the state media's most brilliant minds at CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post etc., so why shouldn't it have the Taliban and Al Qaidah second-guessing themselves?

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