Obama delays again
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama does not plan to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
The president is considering options that include adding 30,000 or more U.S. forces to take on the Taliban in key areas of Afghanistan, and to buy time for the Afghan government’s small and ill-equipped fighting forces to take over. The other three options on the table are ranges of troop increases, from a relatively small addition of forces to the roughly 40,000 that the top U.S. general in Afghanistan prefers, according to military and other officials.
The key sticking points appear to be timelines and mounting questions about the credibility of the Afghan government.
Maybe if he would give some clear guidance on what he considers acceptable this process would go faster. (“Lose while making it look like we are trying to win” – that kind of thing.) Reading between the lines of this NY Times article it appears this latest delay may be driven by the US Ambassador to Afghanistan Lt. Gen (Ret) Karl Eikenberry. Eikenberry apparently has had some conflicts with Gen. McChrystal in the past. To be fair to Eikenberry though he may have a couple of good points –
Eikenberry also has expressed frustration with the relative paucity of funds set aside for spending on development and reconstruction this year in Afghanistan, a country wrecked by three decades of war. Earlier this summer, he asked for $2.5 billion in nonmilitary spending for 2010, a 60 percent increase over what Obama had requested from Congress, but the request has languished even as the administration has debated spending billions of dollars on new troops.
The ambassador also has worried that sending tens of thousands of additional American troops would increase the Afghan government’s dependence on U.S. support at a time when its own security forces should be taking on more responsibility for fighting. Before serving as the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Eikenberry was in charge of the Afghan army training program.
Those probably are concerns that need to be addressed.
Hmmm, according to the Russians Colombia is now one giant US military base. Watch out Hugo??
Bill Quick thinks that if these predictions are true it will destroy the Democrats for a generation. I’m not so sure – If I am reading the article correctly there won’t be much the GOP or conservatives can do to turn the situation around and so it will bite us too.
Federal Budget Deficit as Percent of GDP by Fiscal Year (via Legal Insurrection)