Obama Decides That He Cannot Decide When It Comes To Deciding What To Decide About Afghanistan

Somebody cue up one of those Brett Favre Sears commercials. But, he did rule out cutting and running from Afghanistan. Which wasn’t actually the current topic of discussion

President Obama told Congressional leaders on Tuesday that he would not substantially reduce American forces in Afghanistan or shift the mission to just hunting terrorists there, but he indicated that he remained undecided about the major troop buildup proposed by his commanding general.

Hey, no big deal, take your time. Will another eight months suffice, after all your campaign rhetoric?

Meeting with leaders from both parties at the White House, Mr. Obama seemed to be searching for some sort of middle ground, saying he wanted to “dispense with the straw man argument that this is about either doubling down or leaving Afghanistan,” as White House officials later described his remarks.

A straw man, huh?

Q: Should more US troops be sent to Afghanistan?

We need more troops. The situation is getting worse. We had the highest fatalities among US troops this past year than at any time since 2002. I would send 2 to 3 additional brigades to Afghanistan. Keep in mind that we have 4 times the number of troops in Iraq, where nobody had anything to do with 9/11 before we went in, where, in fact, there was no al Qaeda before we went in. That is a strategic mistake, because every intelligence agency will acknowledge that al Qaeda is the greatest threat against the US, and that the place where we have to deal with these folks is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s not just more troops. We have to #1, press the Afghan government to make certain that they are actually working for their people; #2, we’ve got to deal with a poppy trade that has exploded; #3, we’ve got to deal with Pakistan, because al Qaeda and the Taliban have safe havens in Pakistan. Until we do, Americans at home are not safe. Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain Sep 26, 2008

Q: The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating as the Taliban continues to reconstitute itself. Would you, as president, be willing to have a military surge in Afghanistan in order to, once and for all, eliminate the Taliban?

A: Yes. I think that’s what we need. I think we need more troops there, I think we need to do a better job of reconstruction there. I think we have to be focused on Afghanistan. It is one of the reasons that I was opposed to the war in Iraq in the first place. We now know that al-Qaeda is stronger than any time since 2001. They are growing in capability. That is something that we’ve got to address. And we’re also going to have to address the situation in Pakistan, where we now have, in the federated areas, al-Qaeda and the Taliban setting up bases there. We now have a new government in Pakistan. We have an opportunity to initiate a new relationship, so that we can get better cooperation to hunt down al-Qaeda and make sure that that does not become a safe haven for them. Source: Meet the Press: 2008 “Meet the Candidates” series May 4, 2008

So, was Obama lying then or now?

One of the things that I think is critical, as the next president, is to make absolutely certain that we not only phase out the Iraq but we also focus on the critical battle that we have in Afghanistan and root out al Qaeda. If we do not do that, then we’re going to potentially see another attack here in the US. Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College Jun 3, 2007

Right now, Obama is focusing on that big screen TV after closing time with the night crew vacuuming.

(PS: Just for clarity, I have written and said that I am not so sure putting 40K troops into Afghanistan will help, for a long list of reasons. But, it is high time that The Barry make a decision.)

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove

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