Afghanistan: Decision By Omission or Commission

From The Political Commentator

The McCrystal Plan, The Biden Plan Or No Plan


(JournalStar.com) “…The president “wants to be thoughtful, not rash,” Axelrod told an audience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“Decisions will be (based) on facts, not instincts,” he said, and will come after Obama has considered both civilian and military advice.

“We all ought to be grateful the president is taking the time to be thoughtful,” Axelrod suggested…”

The country appreciates the fact that President Obama, newly minted Nobel Peace Prize recipient wants to be careful when making this crititcal decision. The problem, however, is twofold, one domestic and one international. The first is that a commander in chief needs to at least project the impression of being able to pull the trigger on policy. For the troops that he commands as well the country he leads, he needs to be considered a decision maker and not a consensus builder. For the international community, he needs to project an image of stregth, not weakness, or our enemies will take full advantage by pushing the envelope with little fear of any response.

The President, apparently in office long enough to win a Nobel Prize by accomplishing very little, has not been in office long enough to be prepared on a situation that did not just appear yesterday. It was a problem when he got into office, and through an administration policy of benign neglect due to the focus on an aggressive domestic agenda, Afghanistan and foreign policy have to a large extent been ignored.

To the citizens of the United States this appearance of decision by ommission, and then by consensus, is bad enough. Worse is the perception of Obama by our enemies around the world. As described in the previous sentence, his indecision could have tragic results if those with a violent and destructive agenda believe they can act with little fear of retribution.

Remember Mr. President, perception becomes reality.