Amateur Hour on Afghanistan
Linkedin

Amateur Hour on Afghanistan

Wellesley : MA : USA | Sep 27, 2009 at 8:39 AM PDT
XX XX
Views: Pending
 
Obama: I am running for President of the United States

A clash is coming on U.S. policy in Afghanistan. President Obama is exploring alternatives to a major troop increase there. One plan, advocated by Vice President Joe Biden, would "scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda there and in Pakistan." Greater reliance would be placed on drone airplanes attacking insurgent leaders and less on nation-building.

However, the 66 page classified report by the commanding general on the ground, Stanley McChrystal, assessed the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan "as a potential threat to the safety of American troops. “ He called for more troops and "other resources" that "would be required for victory." This approach is supported by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Can Obama resist the recommendations of his military leaders?

It is an embarrassment to the Obama administration that the secret report was leaked to newsman Bob Woodward and printed in the Washington Post. It forces the President's hand at a time when he is hard pressed to push health-care reform legislation through the Congress, giving the President another controversial issue to manage. It is hard enough to handle a single controversy. One observer called the chain of events and the leaked report, "amateur hour." Who slipped the secret document to Woodward? In the midst of the battle over health care, Congress must battle over troops again? Republicans are already on board for escalating the war, with more troops and money. The Democrats are divided but most want the administration to develop an exit strategy from Afghanistan.

It will be politically difficult for Obama, the leader of the only superpower on earth, to simply walk away from the war. But we did it in Vietnam, America is more secure and we gained a friendly customer. We have agreed to leave Iraq in 2011 and the political roof hasn't collapsed. If we leave Afghanistan to the people who live there, how would such a haven increase the danger in the United States? That case has not yet been made. We have learned how to protect ourselves: no attacks have been made on the U.S. since September 11.

The President’s sweeping reassessment has been prompted by deteriorating conditions on the ground, the messy and unsettled outcome of the Afghan elections, the widespread corruption, and the guerilla tactics of the Taliban. Nine months into his presidency and six months after announcing a new strategy, Obama is reconsidering his plan again. Does this indicate uncertainty?

The allies of the U.S. want out. At least half of the Americans polled have lost confidence in the war. There is division in the Obama administration. No strategy seems to work. Is it worth more American lives? Is it really necessary for American security?

Politically, the war is a loser. It is no longer the Bush war; it belongs to Barack Obama - to intensify or to end – halfway measures won’t do

Jerome Grossman is based in Dedham, Massachusetts, United States of America, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
Report Credibility
 
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
 
 
 
Advertisement
 

News Stories

 
  • Afghanistan Assessment Sparks Renewed Debate in Washington

      Voice of America
    Afghanistan has sparked a fresh round of debate about what the coalition strategy should be, and how many troops are needed to implement it. President Barack Obama laid out his strategy for Afghanistan in March. He said the main goal must be to...
  • US commander submits Afghan troop request

      Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    But the Pentagon says it is putting the request on hold until US President Barack Obama decides what strategy to pursue in Afghanistan. General McChrystal made it clear in his leaked and stark assessment of the situation in Afghanistan that without...
  • Obama to Reassess Afghan War Effort

      Washington Post
    Jones noted that while the administration has seen some progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it remains uncertain about the outcome of President Hamid Karzai's contentious bid for reelection. Obama has scheduled at least five meetings with his...
  • Obama Stuck between Wars on Iraq, Afghanistan

      Asian Tribune
    It was extraordinarily questionable why U.S. President Barak Obama chose not to credit the War on Afghanistan with a separate paragraph in his speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 23, to “note” the war on Iraq with only a...
  • Obama and general talk Afghanistan

      The Age
    Barack Obama was last night expected to have his first direct conversation with Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal since he submitted his grim assessment of the war there a month ago...White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Mr...
  • US Defense Secretary Defends Review of Afghanistan Strategy

      Voice of America
    Defense Secretary Robert Gates denied Sunday that a rift exists between the Obama administration and America's military commanders on how to proceed in Afghanistan. Afghanistan calling for additional troops was leaked to the news media last week.

Blogs

 >
  • Who Leaked The McChrystal Report To Woodward?

      www.huffingtonpost.com
    Bob Woodward's Monday-morning exclusive on a 66-page report from Gen. Stanley McChrystal to President Barack Obama about Afghanistan policy was a rite of passage for the new administration: the first major national security leak and a sure sign that
  • Biden Afghanistan Plan Gaining Traction In Obama White House

      www.huffingtonpost.com
    Who Leaked The McChrystal Report To Woodward? Bob Woodward's Monday-morning exclusive on a 66-page report from Gen. Stanley McChrystal to President Barack Obama about Afghanistan policy was a rite of passage for. ... America's top commander in
  • Dowd, Friedman and Rich « Marion in Savannah

      mgpaquin.wordpress.com
    On Monday The Washington Post published Bob Woodward's account of a confidential assessment by the top United States and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, warning that there could be “mission failure” if more .... But the
  • Obama Finally Facing Reality in Afghanistan

      www.huffingtonpost.com
    Pretty much the only people left supporting a massive sustained military approach (no matter how cleverly retooled) are the neocons, the reflexive Obama supporters, and the military commanders charged with carrying it out. ..... The facts are These
  • Authors Of Iraq War Push Obama On Afghanistan

      www.huffingtonpost.com
    And yet, for all the foreign policy machismo and rhetorical platitudes offered by Romney, a countervailing truth seemed to temper his and others remarks. On the topic of Afghanistan, Obama and the neocons are far closer to one another than they are
  • RealClearPolitics - Obama's Time Warp: The U.S. Is Still the Bad Guy

      www.realclearpolitics.com
    But some people, including Barack Obama, whose college thesis written in those years has never been made public, seem stuck in a time warp in which the United States is the bad guy. ... On the Sunday talk shows a day before Woodward's story appeared,

Videos

 >
 

More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report



Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.