November 12, 2009

The Convictions of a Coward: Obama Fails to Choose and Chooses to Fail on Afghanistan

Barack Obama knows nothing of military strategy or tactics, doesn't understand counterinsurgency, and holds a barely-disguised contempt for the military. I guess it shouldn't be surprising, then, that the President has rejected all options for winning the war in Afghanistan presented to him:

After months of deliberating, President Obama opted not to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

That stance comes in the midst of forceful reservations about a possible troop buildup from the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, according to a second top administration official.

In strongly worded classified cables to Washington, Eikenberry said he had misgivings about sending in new troops while there are still so many questions about the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The Obama Administration sat silently by and enabled what most believe to be a fraudulent reelection of Karzai, and now wants to use his reelection as an excuse? That's like watching an arsonist douse a house in gasoline, only to complain later about the smoldering rubble being a blight on the neighborhood.

Karzai is a starwman, and a pathetic one at that. On two separate occasions in recent we've noted a remarkable counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan that bypasses Karzai's corrupt central government altogether, and works with the real arbiters of power in Afghani society, the tribes. One Tribe at a Time (PDF) is a blueprint for winning the Afghan war, and with a smaller footprint to boot.

The Administration could easily adopt this plan, but refuses to consider it an an option. Considering it removes their self-inflicted strawman of an ineffectual and corrupt central government that largely doesn't exist outside of Kabul.

Jim Hanson, retired SF operator and Director of the Warrior Legacy Institute, notes:

He has already had the advice of his entire military chain of command with a near unanimous call for for reinforcements to move to the strategy that won in Iraq. We have watched as he has heard from the deep wisdom of Joe Biden and Rahm Emanuel. We have seen him dither and quibble and show a completely ineffectual and uncommitted face to our enemies and the rest of the world. Now months after his hand-picked commander has told him the situation is bad and getting worse, our troops in the field fight and die without the support of their Commander in Chief. He sent 21,000 more brave men and women there and now they are flappin' in the breeze. How can a squad leader look his men in the eyes and tell them to saddle up and head out on a patrol, perhaps to be the last to die for a cause their President no longer believes in?

Quite clearly, Barack Obama has decided against winning the war in Afghanistan, showing his long history of claiming that the Afghan war is the right war, and the war we must win, to be a bald-faced lie he repeated to get into office.

He is steeling himself for surrender, hunting for excuses to fail. And the rubes that believed he was anything other than a self-loathing defeatist have nobody but themselves to blame for electing him.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 12, 2009 11:08 AM

Damn Bob, how do you really feel? Ever thought of running for public office? You've got my vote!
I couldn't agree with you more and after that pussy Colin Powell told Obama to take as much time as he needs to make the right decision, we can tell who he is listening to.

Posted by: inspectorudy at November 12, 2009 11:41 AM

I guess the mantra "The president needs to listen to the commanders in the field" ended on January 20, 2009.

Tarheel Repub Out!

Posted by: Tarheel Repub at November 12, 2009 12:08 PM

You can tell that Obama has never played sports at a competitive level...because he doesn't know how much losing sucks. I grieve for the brave men and women who have been lost in Afghanistan and those who are still there fighting the good fight.

Posted by: favill at November 12, 2009 02:21 PM

As his approval ratings sink, especially among independents, he becomes more dependent on the left wing to fund his campaign in 2012. The left hates the war in Afghanistan because it eats up their cash for social "progress" and because they failed to get their way in Iraq. Besides, most Muslims vote for the left everywhere in the world and their votes might count in 2012. Perhaps Obama thinks he can hold off defeat in Afgahnistan long enough to keep the left with him on health care and get him reelected. He has always gotten farther in his life by avoiding concrete decisions for which he alone has to be responsible . This war is only another example of this general theme. Also Afghanistan is not like Iraq which has oil wealth to support compromise among its factions and build a social infrastructure with some liberalizing elements in it. It has no uniformed enemy to quickly defeat, as the Russians found out. A very long term commitment is in the offing. Yet he would be better off to commit the troops the generals want and let them fight it how they want. If they fail he will be blamed but not as much as for a loss by doing too little.But the left has always distrusted the military, and Obama is a child of the left. Probably the Bay of Pigs and Tet are ringing in his ears.

Posted by: mytralman at November 12, 2009 02:35 PM

As I wrote at least a year ago, the man is setting up a total pullout of Afghanistan, to be coupled with the draw-down of troops in Iraq and then there will be "no reason" to have such a costly defense department budget. You can rest assured the far left influence on him will prevail on this one. He's lost them on just about everything else and can't afford the political fallout in 2010. He HAS to take the gamble that pulling out of Afghanistan will save his bacon (along with Dems far and wide) in the mid-terms. However, I strongly suspect that "it's the economy, stupid" will override any such terrible decision. The man is a total fraud.

Posted by: Dell at November 12, 2009 04:48 PM

What constantly amazes me is that these fools think that they can lie and lie and then lie about their lies, and we are too stupid to catch on. Just listening to these congressfools you can catch one lie built on top of another, and so forth. When will this house of cards fall? Man I sure hope soon, but unfortunately, the people out there are stupid enough to believe the lies. Who would have thought.

Posted by: TimothyJ at November 12, 2009 05:13 PM
showing his long history of claiming that the Afghan war is the right war, and the war we must win, to be a bald-faced lie he repeated to get into office.

Along with all the other lies Obama spouted in order to get into office. This sort of lying is as acceptable in Marxism as it is in Islam (Hudaibiya).

It only matters if people remember. And it is hard to remember when the media constantly rewrites history (with the willing help of the left).

Posted by: iconoclast at November 12, 2009 05:42 PM

If he were only "self-loathing" we could live with it.

He loathes the USA in general. That's a whole 'nother thing altogether.

Posted by: dad29 at November 12, 2009 08:27 PM

Ugh! Speak NOT the name Powell! Is this auto-erotic reacharound not explicitly a repudiation of the alleged Powell Doctrine? What happened to going in fastest with the mostest, achieving a clear goal and going on home? Can anyone dispute at this point that Powell's persistent support of Obama in public divergence from his own long spouted views is anything more, anything other than racial solidarity? Powell always was an opportunist politically. He jumped on the O-wagon for no reason he is willing to burp up, he latched onto Desert Storm as its alleged architect and claimed the mantle of genius. It did not harm him that the Reps, quite wrongly, were seeking a Great Black Hope. Now, fifteen years later, we engage in the nation building Powell counseled was counter-productive... and maybe that was so, but he holds no brief against it now that it is being conducted by his Presidential preference; coincidentally a brutha. The man is without identifiable principle even in his field of "expertise". That is warfare, in case you were wondering. As far as I know, Powell has been portrayed only once in film, as the media driven bufoon of a general in Mars Attacks. Most gratifyingly, he is deathrayed at the first alien encounter and looks mighty shocked by that turn of events. I have to think he wears that expression frequently in his private moments, given the political deathrays buzzing past our ears these days.

Posted by: megapotamus at November 13, 2009 08:52 AM

McChrystal asked for 2 divisions, 40,000 men. We do not have them available. 1 week ago the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Obama this that they would not recommend any soldiers being sent to Afghanistan that had not had 1 full year back in the USA from a combat deployment. You freakin armchair generals always think you know better. Go back to playing Risk.
The Joint Chiefs says we have no troops available until next summer, but you think that they should go now.

Posted by: John ryan at November 13, 2009 12:20 PM

John, I don't speak for anyone else here I suspect but I am not reflexively for the McChrystal plan but McChrystal is Barack's handpicked man and as I recall his appointment, he was saying the same thing then. It could well be that Afghanistan is a fool's errand but that is not what Obama ran on, he ran on a more vigorous prosecution of the Afghan campaign than that doofus Bush. This was his claim to seriousness on foreign policy matters. Has anything changed? Sure. And maybe it is time to bug out. Maybe it is time to ramp up. Maybe it is time to dig in. What it is NOT time to do is to PUBLICLY fiddle-fart around. Bush made good decisions and he made bad decisions but he was, truly, The Decider. We have replaced him with The Denier. What the decision may be, yes I can defer to Obama which is more than the Democrats were ever willing to allow W. Whether a decision is warranted; that I declare as a citizen is a closed question.

Posted by: megapotamus at November 13, 2009 01:53 PM

Obama is proving that the Bush strategy for Afghanistan was “spot on.”

Posted by: Neo at November 14, 2009 02:05 AM

Neo, time does seem to be endorsing that view. I think we are not far from the day when Barack publicly embraces not just Bushism on foreign policy as he quietly has done on domestic surveillance for example. He will publicly embrace Bush the man. Sadly, what potential Surge II has for success is largely time dependent. Each day of dither the jihadis maneuver freely, gain ground and resources. Whether you like it or not, Barry. YOU are The Decider now. If you don't do it, it don't get done. This and other wisdoms Bush may gently communicate.

Posted by: megapotamus at November 14, 2009 07:19 AM