Dec 02 2009
As I noted below, the President laid out to America a good case for the troop increases needed to try and break the back of the Taliban and al Qaeda. I also noted the idea of a ‘schedule’ in war is not realistic or smart- but all military plans have timelines. They have to in order to have everything where it needs to be, when its needed. We shall see if this is really a big problem or not – only time will tell.
What I cannot get behind is the right wing nitpicking of the speech. It is an egotistical exercise which makes no sense and does a lot of harm to the cause.
Look, these young men and women are going into harms way, that is now a fact. Some are not coming back, some are not coming back whole. This “Surge” is exactly what many who want to win in Afghanistan agree is needed to obtain victory. This Surge is coming against the political winds here at home. Those who support winning in Afghanistan need to stand by this policy, imperfect as it may be (all of then are) or as imperfectly explained as might have been. You go to war with the troops you have, and the leaders you have.
Support for the effort critically Â important to those going to do our work for us. They need our support more than ever. They need a nation rallied behind them. What value is all this marginal moaning?
So what if there was a tone, a word, a suspicion of motive in mind when the President spoke? He made his case and is sending in more troops. Are we so petty that we cannot applaud the act we called for and rally around the troops for their sake? Are we so obsessed with politics we forget the national fabric of this great country – its people?
Apparently so, and it is pathetic. Our brave men and women are going into battle and too many on the right are too busy bickering minutiae and conspiracies to send them off in true American style. Some conservatives deserve to be in political exile.
Don’t just take it from me, follow the lead of General McChrystal who knows what this means better than all the armchair generals out there:
The Afghanistan-Pakistan review led by the President has provided me with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task. The clarity, commitment and resolve outlined in the Presidentâ€™s address
are critical steps toward bringing security to Afghanistan and eliminating terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global security.
â€œThe NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) objective is equally clear: We will work toward improved security for Afghanistan and the transfer of responsibility to Afghan security forces as rapidly as conditions allow. In the meantime, our Afghan partners need the support of Coalition forces while we grow and develop the capacity of the Afghan army and police. That will be the main focus of our campaign in the months ahead.
â€œThe 42 other nations of the Coalition will benefit from a strengthened U.S. commitment, as success in Afghanistan must be an international, integrated civil-military effort â€“ from our security and training capacity to the governance and economic development assistance that sustains long-term stability. The concerted commitment of theÂ international community will prevail in bringing real change to Afghanistan â€” a secure and stable environment that allows for effective governance, improved economic opportunity and the freedom of every Afghan to choose how they live.
â€œWe face many challenges in Afghanistan, but our efforts are sustained by one unassailable reality: neither the Afghan people nor the international community want Afghanistan to remain a sanctuary for terror and violence. The coalition is encouraged by President Obamaâ€™s commitment and we remain resolute to empowering the Afghan people to reject the insurgency and build their own future.â€
Now that is a True American who knows when to put aside petty politics and be for the country. He knows his forces need to believe in this mission, warts and pain and all, to win (let alone survive). There are good reasons the nation is fed up with the all sides of the Political Industrial Complex.