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"White House is now being driven by political rather than military imperatives"

The Obama administration driven by politics?  Say it ain't so:

Barack Obama is set to reject the advice of the Pentagon by announcing on Wednesday night the withdrawal of up to 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by November next year, in time for the US presidential election.

The move comes despite warnings from his military commanders that recent security gains are fragile. They have been urging him to keep troop numbers high until 2013.

The accelerated drawdown will dismay American and British commanders in Kabul, who have privately expressed concern that the White House is now being driven by political rather than military imperatives.

"This is not something we feel entirely comfortable with," a Whitehall official told the Guardian.

Obama's nationally televised address, the sixth he has given since becoming president, is intended to mark the beginning of the end of American military deployment in Afghanistan, from a present high of almost 100,000 troops.

The White House confirmed that the withdrawal will be "significant".

Frankly, given that there's no evidence to suggest we're fighting these wars to win them, I say bring all our men and women home.


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Comments (25)

Now being driven? Wh... (Below threshold)
Highlander:

Now being driven? Where have they been for the last two and a half years?

"The accelerated drawdow... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"The accelerated drawdown will dismay American and British commanders in Kabul, who have privately expressed concern that the White House is now being driven by political rather than military imperatives."

Great. Welcome to Viet Nam 2. Let's not worry about actually beating the enemy, worry more about the political situation at home, and how much traction you can get from "Hey, we brought the troops home!" as a campaign talking point.

Yeah! Let's get these men a... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Yeah! Let's get these men and women home in time to vote, since know that is the only way their vote will count, seeing as how Democrats always seem to actively block the military vote.

Wait a minute...wasn't W sa... (Below threshold)
RB:

Wait a minute...wasn't W savaged by the Left for not heeding their advice that he "Listen to the Generals!!!"???????

I have said this many times... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I have said this many times on this blog. The liberals have no respect for the military dispite their hollow words. Obama is playing politic's with the wars now and our service men and women are at great risk now. I agree with Rick. Bring them home. I said that when Obama was elected.

GW Bush honored the troops and the generals on the ground. He didn't take a poll which was obviious because he kept doing what is right and what is best for the troops. Now we have the opposite. ww

Bring them all home from al... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Bring them all home from all conflicts. If we don't fight to win we are wasting good men's lives for nothing but the JEF's personal agenda.

"Frankly, given that there'... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Frankly, given that there's no evidence to suggest we're fighting these wars to win them, I say bring all our men and women home."

Exactly.

The Democrat Party: Snatch... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

The Democrat Party: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and provoking mass slaughter overseas for domestic political gain, since 1968.

Welcome to Viet Nam 2.</... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Welcome to Viet Nam 2.

The left gained a lot of power from Viet Nam. For that reason they are bent on recreating it at every opportunity.

You will remember that obama has never talked about victory in any military action. He doesn't believe that America should even try for victory. The purpose of war for America is to provide political cover for him and to demonstrate America's impotence in the world.

obama wants America to lose. That has always been his position.

I'm sure obama has operativ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'm sure obama has operatives in Afghanistan looking for a good roof to evacuate people by helicopter from. First time as tragedy, second as farce...

Lot of good comments above.... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Lot of good comments above.

Yes, this will be a campaign talking point. That's the motivation behind this move.

And jim m is correct in that Obama refuses to use the word victory for our military actions.

As far as "obama wants America to lose"

It pains me to read that. Yet I have to agree.

After all, if that were the publicly acknowledged goal of his presidency, what would he being doing differently?

That his overall view of Af... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

That his overall view of Afghanistan was political was evident when he took months to make a decision on his commander's request for more troops.

When he finally announced his decision, he allowed for additional troops, though not to the level his hand-picked commander requested, and he also included a withdrawl schedule based on the calendar, rather than events.

To have both as part of the same decision made it quite transparent that it was a completely political decision, not one based on what was best for the US, Afghanistan and world peace in general, but what was calculated to have the least negative political impact on one Barack Obama. That is no way to run a war.

Even Obama's socialist forebear FDR knew that victory in matters martial was essential. He has not only foresaken victory in Afghanistan, but essentially involved us in Libya without any meaningful goal or direction. He would probably have prevented victory in Iraq if he hadn't inherited a war already won in spite of his votes against it.

It's not that he wants America to lose so much as he wants Obama to win.

The Pentagon didn't want to... (Below threshold)
Chico:

The Pentagon didn't want to pull out of Vietnam or Iraq, either.

For those who think Vietnam was worth fighting longer, two questions: weren't 58,000+ KIA enough?
and
since Vietnam is a friendly trading partner now, what would we have won?

Get the heck out of Afghanistan - that corrupt kook Karzai openly denounces U.S. forces all the time - let him take his chances with his countrymen alone.

I've got one first cousin a... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

I've got one first cousin and one soon-to-be relative (by marriage) in Afghanistan now. Both Army. I'd certainly love for them to come home intact in both body and mind.

"If we aren't in to win, then we should leave" seems all well and good, but starting withdrawal from A. is highly dangerous because of Iran on one side and Pakistan on the other. P. is a highly unstable country, and the more the Taliban and AQ types take over, the more likely we could see a nuclear war between Pakistan and India.

If the Afghanistan war existed in isolation from Pakistan and Iran, then sure, let's leave. Because this war is so intertwined with the rest of the mess with radical Islam that departing A. in large numbers could set us up for even bigger woes with Pakistan and Iran.

But, I'll wait to see what Obama says tonight.

I'll probably regret this, ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

I'll probably regret this, but to address the Vietnam tangent by Chico....

Were the 58,000 KIA enough?
And what would we have won?

Chico, see http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Vietnam_War, scroll down to the aftermath.

Brief excerpt: "The Communist forces controlling Vietnam were also credited with the killing of an estimated 1.8 million people (not counting war casualties) in domestic and foreign democide as they warred to take power

Those lives mattered also. I suspect that's what our military commanders are trying to avoid today.

Hank,Chica and Art... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hank,

Chica and Art and the other lefties don't see the murder of a few million people as being a big deal. So a few unimportant people lost their lives in the creation of a worker's paradise? So what? Besides, these were all minorities anyway. The left doesn't consider their lives to be that important unless they can hang the deaths on their political opponents.

like obama, Chica and his fellow travelers believe that the individual is not important. They believe that the greater good of society is what counts. Remember, only right wing governments murder, the left just purges the undesirable elements from society.

The left gained a lot of... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The left gained a lot of power from Viet Nam. For that reason they are bent on recreating it at every opportunity.

The left also had a lock on the media during that time, and the media had a LOT more credibility then than now. Not so much any more, and people are getting very skeptical of the talking heads telling them that everything's fine, unicorns are coming, and all we've got to do is retreat to a standard of living that'd be acceptable in 1850. (Locavore, anyone? Minimal carbon impact through eschewing electricity and gas-powered vehicles?)

Besides - the left had it all in 2008. House, Senate, Presidency... and people aren't exactly satisfied with the outcome. I don't see that a loss in Afghanistan's going to exactly enchant people with the 'wisdom' of the folks who engineered it.

Chico if the left hadnt ham... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico if the left hadnt hamstrung the military in Vietnam maybe our KIAs would have been a lot less.

Hank,To the Chico's ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Hank,
To the Chico's of the world, a communist regime killing millions of it's own people is just the cost of making an omelet.

Wars are supposed to happen... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Wars are supposed to happen when diplomacy fails. Once at war you should act as if you are at war. Unfortunately anymore wars are use as another diplomatic tool and are conducted in such a way.

The Communist forces con... (Below threshold)
Chico:

The Communist forces controlling Vietnam were also credited with the killing of an estimated 1.8 million people

Yeah, it's not like the USA killed any innocent civilians in "Rolling Thunder," "Arc Light," napalm bombings, My Lai or any other "free-fire zone." Those reports who said that 2 million civilians were killed in the war aren't true.

So if the USA had kept fighting, there would have been no civilian casualties.

And the corrupt government would have been transformed into a model of free market democracy, just like Iraq and Afghanistan will be.


WHY did we do the whole "su... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

WHY did we do the whole "surge" strategy in Afghanistan, then? Was it to cut and run the minute the military situation turned in our favor?

The political situation isn't good there, and maybe never will be, but we finally have Taliban forces on their heels and being squeezed. That's what the extra troops have accomplished. Let them finish the job, and then it won't much matter that the central government isn't a dependable ally: we can then leave and know that the Taliban won't just rise again, at least for many, many years if ever.

Bugging out now leaves the Taliban wounded but still alive, and empowered by the public announcements of our intention to cut and run. It is stupid and unnecessary. WHY does Obama need to make a big deal of this anyway, other than for his own domestic political benefit? It's bad strategy executed in the worst possible way - IF you want American victory, that is.

~~~~~~~

Once again, Chico exposes itself as an America-hating traitor. We took all those casualties because the politicians handcuffed the military. Unencumbered by the likes of McNamara, a couple weeks of saturation bombing would have brought Hanoi to sue for peace.

Chico, I tried to answer yo... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Chico, I tried to answer your questions but now you're introducing strawmen in an effort to derail the topic.

I figured it was a waste of time replying to you.

Now I know for sure.

Chico"Those... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

"
Those reports who said that 2 million civilians were killed in the war aren't true.

"

Care to site a source other than pulling the statement out of your ass.

"I figured it was a waste o... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"I figured it was a waste of time replying to you.

Now I know for sure."


Its always a waste of time with chico unless you can understand clowns under the influence of coca kool aid.




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