Obama’s Speech on Afghanistan

by Ryan on December 1, 2009

in Economy,International Relations,Politics,The Iraq Front,War on Terror

Here’s what I took from the President’s speech tonight on the future of the War in Afghanistan:

“The common security of the world is at stake” says the President, but we’re getting out in 18 months because it’s a rather pricey endeavor.  OK, Taliban and al Qaeda types, just wait until July 2011 and start your offensive as you wave the American transport planes good-bye!

I like that we’re sending 30,000 more troops, but General McChrystal asked for a minimum of 40,000 (the request was for 60,000 with no less than 40,000).  LBJ had his own ideas that sometimes conflicted with his generals too (I’m just sayin’).  I didn’t like the way the President politically criticized Bush to position himself in a better light, or used the troops at West Point Academy so blatantly as a photo-op.  Also, enough with the Tal-EE-ban and Pak-EE-stan pinky-extended Ivy League snobbery.

He’s no Winston Churchill or Ronald Reagan (we knew this), but Obama’s wartime leadership is thus far not even close to George W. Bush either.  Say what you will about the Iraq War, when President Bush announced the Surge strategy in January 2007 he was direct, victory-oriented, spoke of completing the mission not about how soon we can leave, and noted with a serious tone that more soldiers will die in the short-term in order to complete the long-term goal.  A wartime President giving a wartime speech:  it was short, to-the-point and honest.  Obama voted against the Surge in one of the few days he actually showed up to his Senate job, now condones his own.

Obama was wrong then and is kind of right now.  I guess a stopped clock is right twice a day.  The Teleprompter gave a speech that at times was rousing and hearkened back to what makes America great, but fell short in many areas.  Being Commander-in-Chief during wartime isn’t something you can vote “present” on.  I wish him and the troops luck, but Obama’s not been the kind of President who’s as of yet evoked confidence in his leadership abilities.

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