Last night President Obama gave us his decision on Afghanistan and a troop surge. It was what is becoming the standard Obama speech. His tone was not of a morale boost and charge to victory but rather a lecture and how hard he works. How hard his decisions are. It’s continues to be about him. On the actual content it wasn’t surprising and not very encouraging.
The President continues to talk with great fondness of Islam. I don’t hate Islam myself but to call in one o the world’s great religions sounded so much like pandering that it was hard to listen to the rest of the speech.
The decision to send 30k troops is important although I don’t think it’s enough. But to say in the same sentence that the transfer to Afghanistan will begin 18 months later is just piss poor. Even if that’s your goal you don’t announce it to the Taliban. If I were a Taliban commander and I was paying attention (as we know they do) I would be celebrating. I have won. I just need to hang on for another year and a half and the country is mine.
This isn’t just a little bad form in speech making it’s a tactical nightmare. You don’t telegraph you punches, you don’t give yourself away.
Does anyone seriously think we can train enough Afghanis to take over in 18 months? Can we fix the corruption in 18 months?
I hope this all works out but if we continue to give our plans away we better be prepared for a lot worse in the future right here at home.
Look, I know the President has his base to work with and knows that complete failure in Afghanistan would not be good politically, but he tried too hard to please everyone with this and I doubt he pleased anyone.
General McChrystal will have one hell of a job ahead of him with this minimum amount of troops and a time line this short.
This morning I watched General Patraeus and give a stellar performance of diplomacy as he answered questions on the President’s Speech. But didn’t I didn’t feel the love…..