Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Pres BO: No more "healing the planet" speeches and make a decision about Afghanistan!

We woke up yesterday with a big story from Bob Woodward:

"The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict "will likely result in failure," according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post."

Bill Katz wonders: A REVOLT BREWING?

Was the report leaked to force Pres BO to make a decision?

Is the Pentagon up in arms with a president who can't make a decision?

My guess is that Bill is right.

How can you have 40,000-plus guys taking casualties and the commander in chief is giving speeches to school children, doing Letterman and keeps putting off a decision on Afghanistan?

By the way, didn't the Dems used to say that Bush took his eye off the ball by not sending more troops to Afghanistan? (Wasn't campaigning fun?)

This morning, we read this editorial from The Washington Post: Wavering on Afghanistan?

"IT WAS ONLY last March 27 that President Obama outlined in a major speech what he called "a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan" that, he added, "marks the conclusion of a careful policy review."

That strategy unambiguously stated that the United States would prevent the return of a Taliban government and "enhance the military, governance and economic capacity" of the country.

We strongly supported the president's conclusion that those goals were essential to preventing another attack on the United States by al-Qaeda and its extremist allies.

So it was a little startling to hear Mr. Obama suggest in several televised interviews on Sunday that he had second thoughts."

We read this from Ralph Peters:

"President Obama needs to make a decision: Either give the general the resources he believes he needs, or change the mission."

Pres BO's next big decision is Afghanistan and it's time to make a decision.

No more speeches about a policy review.

No more committees reviewing our strategy.

Pres BO has all of the information that an executive needs to make a decision.

So make it!

L. H. Gelb is the author of "Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy" (HarperCollins, 2009) and president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Not quite eight months ago, Mr. Obama pledged to "defeat" al Qaeda in Afghanistan by transforming that country's political and economic infrastructure, training Afghan forces and adding 21,000 U.S. forces for starters.

He proclaimed Afghanistan's strategic centrality to prevent Muslim extremism from taking over Pakistan—an even more vital nation because of its nuclear weapons.

And a mere three weeks ago, he punctuated his commitments by proclaiming that Afghanistan is a "war of necessity," not one of choice.

White House spokesmen reinforced this by promising that the president would "fully resource" the war."

True. He did say all of that!

He also said that he'd close GITMO and end the war in Iraq!

Pres BO is caught once again between those "healing the planet" speeches and the reality of governing.

As we posted before, we will support Pres BO in Afghanistan if he gets serious and starts making decisions.

And we expect Pres BO to tell our allies that the party is over.

It's time for every NATO member to put their sons in combat because no one should expect the US, UK and Canada to fight this war.

So make a decision.

Tell the non-participating NATO members what they don't want to hear about fighting terrorism!

Send the additional troops and give the generals the green light!

And use the word "victory" so that the guys on the ground know that you are serious about this.

Last, not but least, don't send more guys over there unless you are committed to victory, even if it makes you very unpopular in world capitals!

We need a decision: Commit yourself to victory or pack up the guys and bring them home!

P.S. See Charles Krauthammer and his take on Pres BO's missing Afghanistan policy:




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