Obama and Afghanistan: No Decision IS a Decision

Posted on November 21, 2009


In leaping over his own time lines, President Obama has become a veritable “Frog of War.” *

What we citizens of the United States have to realize about the President’s indecision relative to troop levels and a US strategy for Afghanistan is that, for whatever reason,  his delay IS in fact a decision.

It seems that just before the President boards Air Force One for a major, longish trip out of the country and just after he returns, the time line of his decision about troop levels and strategies in Afghanistan is “amended.”

Before he left for China, we were told that he would not reach a decision until he returned. [Newsbusters.org] Did he need to talk it over with all of Asia with whom he apparently met?

Throughout this period of the agony and the exit strategy, the President has been described by any number of terms from “dithering” to “agonized” to “careful.”  Calculating is a better one.  Except in those rare occasions when he has been very angry (as in the Gates matter), he is very sensitive to timing. Have we forgot the Obama of 2008 so quickly?

During the campaign, the one quality of his that was consistently noted was his careful planning.  He may be thinking more strategically than we know: Why muddy the health care waters with Afghanistan?  Why ruin a high visibility trip to Asia where he could play the Afghanistan card?

Yesterday we were told that the President will not make his decision until after Thanksgiving.  Surely that will give him ample opportunity to work the Senate regarding health care legislation.

But the President does not see the connectivity between his poll numbers and his “dithering.”  At the end of October, a CNN poll found that “49% say the president’s decision on troop increase in Afghanistan is taking too long, 50% disagree.”  There was a 3 point margin of error here. [Time]  Add to that the anger growing over the economy and health care and it is clear he needs to make a few decisions and to move on or all of the balls he has in the air will deflate and fall.

About all Obama has been able to do has been to clarify his position on why he is taking so long to reach a decision (October 27th):

The U.S. troops “deserve the strategy, the clear mission, the defined goals and all of the equipment and support you need to get the job done,” said the president, adding that “we are not going to have a situation in which you are not fully supported back here at home.”

“That is a promise that I will always make to you,” said Obama. [The Gov Monitor]

And about that argument that we needed a credible, committed government in Afghanistan with which to partner – Obama has had since last February to note the behavior of Karzai,  to assess that situation and to realize that Karzai would “fix” it so that he would be reelected.[floppingaces.com] Obama has certainly been referencing Afghanistan and the need to shore up the situation since February.

And indeed there was a questionable outcome to the election, a curious bowing out of Karzai’s opponent and the quickly arranged swearing in of Karzi November 19th. [mobile.france24.com]

Obama knows enough “weathermen” too know “which way the wind blows.”  Did he forget he had kept experienced heads on board like Gates at Defense?

So, according to the President, we have been fighting a “War of Necessity” but he has not seen the necessity to make any firm decisions about it in over 11 months in office.  What a FROG [Frequent Republican Objectof Gags].

* Frog of War photo by Teatitetos at Worth1000.com

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