Friday, June 24, 2011

Obama's Afghan Troop Withdrawl is Pure Politics

On Wednesday night, President Obama announced that troop withdrawl from Afghanistan would begin shortly with 10,000 coming home by years end and about 33,000 troops would be withdrawn by next summer.  This move, while not the least bit shocking from Obama, has nothing to do with military strategy.  This is about Obama trying to shore up his base, pure and simple.  Even Obama's usual ally, the Washington Post, has smacked this decision in the face.

PRESIDENT OBAMA failed to offer a convincing military or strategic rationale for the troop withdrawals from Afghanistan that he announced Wednesday night. In several ways, they are at odds with the strategy adopted by NATO, which aims to turn over the war to the Afghan army by the end of 2014. (1)

When the WaPo is slamming a move by a Liberal Democrat, you know the President is in trouble.  Obama is ignoring the recommendations of the military commanders, you know, the ones who have actually SERVED in the military, and are on the ground in Afghanistan?  Once again, Obama's belief that stuff he and his academic colleagues came up with in teachers lounges at colleges would work in reality is rearing it's ugly head.  This is a failing proposition according to every military person who I have seen quoted on the subject.  But hey, Obama has to kinda sorta fulfill a campaign promise to the detriment of what's best.

To call Wednesday night's speech a campaign speech would be a misnomer, however.  It sounded far more like an inauguration speech.  Go back and listen to it:  Obama is talking about how much the war cost, about how he's going to start focusing on jobs in America (third year in a row), then went into more baloney about new industries and green jobs.  Obama is trying to fool us into believing he is just now arriving on the scene, doing his best to create, in our minds, the idea that everything that has been done in the last two and a half years was done by Republicans and Bush, not by Obama.

Obama is talking about $1 Trillion spent on the war in 10 years, but hasn't mentioned $1 Trillion spent in two and a half years on stimulus?  How about the over $1 Trillion in spending on Obamacare?  What was that, exactly, Monopoly money?  Does it not count as spending?  The answer, of course, is it most certainly DOES count as spending.  While we're at it, spending on defense is specifically named in the Constitution.  Healthcare and stimulus most certainly are not.

I know at least one of you out there is thinking, "We should pull out of Afghanistan anyway, because it's a waste of money and there isn't a national security concern there anymore." (Actually, I'd bet a considerable amount of money who that guaranteed one person is, too.)  Even if you could demonstrate that point is the case, it doesn't validate the President making a military decision that puts our remaining troops in harms way for the sake of his own political gain (or lack of loss). 

That is what Obama is doing, considering that even with 33,000 leaving by years end, that would leave a total of about 67,000 American soldiers still in Afghanistan during the most difficult part of the year for fighting with more than a 1/3 less of their previous strength, but basically at the same strength as when Obama took office.  Can you say "symbolic at best"?

I for one am tired of these games from Obama.  Mr. President, if we are strategically ready to bring home troops, no problem, but for crying out loud don't put the soldiers who are remaining in greater danger because your poll numbers are in a free fall!  Your ego is writing checks with the lives of American soldiers, and that is flat out unacceptable.


(1) The President may be Sabotaging his own Afghanistan Strategy

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