October 08, 2009

WONDERFUL: Obama Administration Too Stupid/Lazy to Understand COIN; Now Waffles

It seems that the most brilliant President evah and the rest of his Administration are now claiming that they bought into counter-insurgency (COIN) doctrine for Afghanistan without, uh, bothering to understand what it meant:

To some civilians who participated in the strategic review, that conclusion was much less clear. Some took it as inevitable that more troops would be needed, but others thought the thrust of the new approach was to send over scores more diplomats and reconstruction experts. They figured a counterinsurgency mission could be accomplished with the forces already in the country, plus the 17,000 new troops Obama had authorized in February.

"It was easy to say, 'Hey, I support COIN,' because nobody had done the assessment of what it would really take, and nobody had thought through whether we want to do what it takes," said one senior civilian administration official who participated in the review, using the shorthand for counterinsurgency.

The failure to reach a shared understanding of the resources required to execute the strategy has complicated the White House's response to the grim assessment of the war by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, forcing the president to decide, in effect, what his administration really meant when it endorsed a counterinsurgency plan. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's follow-up request for more forces, which presents a range of options but makes clear that the best chance of achieving the administration's goals requires an additional 40,000 U.S. troops on top of the 68,000 who are already there, has given senior members of Obama's national security team "a case of sticker shock," the administration official said.

Government officials could be forgiven for not understanding what COIN entails... in 2003. But a model of COIN doctrine similar that proposed for Afghanistan has been tested and proven in Iraq over the past several years. There will be some specific tweaks to the doctrine proposed for Afghanistan based upon differing human factors and tactical and strategic goals, but the basic components, theories, manpower levels and logistics are not dissimilar.

Now claiming that they didn't understand the cost of COIN reveals that the Obama Administration simply failed to do their due diligence:

This is a damning indictment of the President and his lack of preparation for the job, but it goes farther than that. Obama has essentially been "on the job" since the transition, which started eleven months ago. Considering the priority of any policy that puts American men and women in battle, Obama should have worked to understand the implications of his COIN solution from Day 1 in the transition, if not Day 1 of his term in office. He appointed McChrystal for this specific purpose in the spring without bothering to understand the concepts and the resources required for COIN.

In other words, Obama has half-assed it, and has gotten caught.

Laziness and a "can do... nothing" attitude is steadily becoming the hallmark of an Administration that seems far more interested in appearing on talk shows or making campaign speeches that exerting actual leadership decisions.

The Peter Principle Presidency continues to underperform.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 8, 2009 11:27 AM

When did Obama worry about the cost of anything? He can either print even more money or use the accounting that they did on socialized medicine in which they said we would save money!!

Posted by: David at October 8, 2009 02:51 PM

Can we even wait another year to get more Republicans in office? That is assuming they would vote against Obama related issues.

Posted by: David at October 8, 2009 02:52 PM

Sorry this is the "Dilbert Principle" squared.

Posted by: Picric at October 8, 2009 06:21 PM

The hallmark of a good manager is recognizing you can't know it all and surrounding yourself with proven experts who can carry out the mission. Ignoring those experts is a recipe for failure.

Mr. Obama suffers from a lack of experience -- as pointed out (and ignored) during the campaign -- so why should anyone be surprised that he is unable to arrive at a decision on war strategy? This is the Big Leagues; to say "we didn't know what we were getting into" is unacceptable. It is the administration's job to get up to speed on each issue. It took Bush long enough to change direction in Iraq, and he was rightly criticized for the delay. The clock is running, and Obama must decide what is to be done. There is no longer an option to vote "present".

Posted by: Just Sayin' at October 8, 2009 08:30 PM

Obama has doubled the size of our troops, something that BUSH refused to do. In May the old commander in A-stan was replaced. Things not going fast enough for you ? well why don't YOU head on over there and show our military how you think it should be done.

Posted by: John ryan at October 9, 2009 01:53 PM

the Qall Street Journal says 60000 are being asked for.

Posted by: John ryan at October 9, 2009 01:59 PM

if Barry could spend as much time on Afghanistan as on the fricken Olympics then maybe he and his collection of kooks, communists, pedophiles and crooks would be able to respond in a timely manner to the requests of Obama's own general.

those trying to defend this narcissistic cowards temporizing deserve to speak through broken teeth for the rest of their short and miserable life.

Posted by: iconoclast at October 11, 2009 06:59 AM