The Generals charged with fighting and winning the war in Afghanistan (The Good War) are on “the outs” with the Obama administration. Yesterday the New York Times reported:
No longer does the man who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have one of the biggest voices at National Security Council meetings, as he did when Mr. Bush gave him 20 minutes during hourlong weekly sessions to present his views in live video feeds from Baghdad. No longer is the general, with the Capitol Hill contacts and web of e-mail relationships throughout Washington’s journalism establishment, testifying in media explosions before Congress, as he did in September 2007, when he gave 34 interviews in three days….
“General Petraeus has not hinted to anyone that he is interested in political life, and in fact has said on many occasions that he’s not,” said Peter Mansoor, a retired Army colonel and professor of military history at Ohio State University who was the executive officer to General Petraeus when he was the top American commander in Iraq. “It is other people who are looking at his popularity and saying that he would be a good presidential candidate, and I think rightly that makes the administration a little suspicious of him.”
In this crucial time for the War in Afghanistan, the Administration is relying on petty political worries to distance itself from the man who turned around Iraq, and ultimately in charge of turning around Afghanistan. So Who is the Administration relying on? That great, never been in the military, war hero and administration’s Chief Gaffe Czar, SHMOTUS Joe Biden:
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How much General Petraeus’s muted voice will affect Mr. Obama’s decision on the war is unclear, but people close to him say that stifling himself in public could give him greater credibility to influence the debate from within. Others say that his biggest influence may simply be as part of a team of military advisers, including General McChrystal and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The men are united in what they see as the need to build up the American effort in Afghanistan, although General Petraeus, who works closely with General McChrystal, said last week that he had not yet endorsed General McChrystal’s request for more troops.Together the three are likely to be aligned against Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., as well as other administration officials who want to scale back the effort. In that situation, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has worried about a big American presence in Afghanistan but left the door open to more troops, could be the most influential vote.
Yesterday on the Sunday Shows, General Jim Jones , the President’s National Security adviser gave a public rebuke to the man General in Charge of Afghanistan McChrystal, who penned the recommendation saying 40,000 troops are needed to turn the war around.
Addressing Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s public call for more troops in Afghanistan, White House national security adviser James L. Jones said that advice to the president should come though the military chain of command rather than by open campaigning for a strategic decision. “Ideally, it’s better for military advice to come up through the chain of command and I think that General McChrystal and the others in the chain of command will present the president with not just one option, which does, in fact, tend to have a … enforcing function, but a range of options that the president can consider,” Jones said.
General McChrystal is a soldier, not a politician, it is very doubtful that he “leaked” the results of his report. It is more logical that the report was released by the progressives in the White House trying to build opposition to the plan before it was reviewed by the President.
The longer a report sits on the President’s desk the more likely it is to be leaked. The President sat on his hand-picked General’s recommendation for three weeks until it leaked out. Now one month later he says he still needs to think about what to do.
What has the President been doing since word leaked out? Lets see, he took the opportunity to experience the joy of becoming the first US President to run a UN Security Council Meeting. He took the time to lower the prestige of the Presidency by trashing Glenn Beck on the White House website, and he took a trip to wonderful,wonderful Copenhagen so he could lower the prestige of the office of POTUS further in a losing bid to get the Olympics to his home town.
The President is trying to balance the fact that his progressive supporters are fighting against his generals, they want to cut and run in Afghanistan and make America vulnerable to the terrorist threat. So Obama has been avoiding the problem and goes “small picture” focusing on the Olympics and Glenn Beck while sitting on the recommendation of his Generals. The problem is while Obama is doing everything in his power to avoid making a decision, the war in Afghanistan is going to hell in a hand-basket. Instead of being a leader, Barack Obama is doing what he did in the Illinois legislature..voting present.
UPDATE: According to the UK Telegraph, the President was furious about General McCrystal’s speech in London last week, the purpose of their 25 minute meeting in Copenhagen was not to discuss strategy but to take the General out the Woodshed. Read about it at Hot Air by Clicking Here