Diary

A Dangerous Failure of Leadership; Yes Virginia, there is a War on Terror

Much has been said about the President’s speech on Afghanistan and some of it was very surprising. To give one primary example, Karl Rove’s piece in the WSJ last week was curiously vexing even in title.

Labeled “Obama can Win in Afghanistan”, its appellation begged an immediate sub conscious retort- “but does Obama want to win”?

Nonetheless, Mr. Rove perfectly framed the antipathetic Obama argument in his first few paragraphs;

“President Barack Obama’s speech on Tuesday night deserves to be cheered. Over the objections of his vice president and despite opposition from his political base, the president is sending an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan to fight terrorists.

But praise for Mr. Obama’s decision needs to be qualified. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, had said he could use as many as 40,000 troops, a figure he arrived at after carefully evaluating what would be needed to accomplish the mission Mr. Obama assigned him in June.”

Therein those few sentences lies the primary danger and fallacy of Mr. Obama’s approach. Fully knowing for months what was being requested by his commanders Mr. Obama, the same man who has tried to erase the phrase “Global War on Terror“, opted for a political solution over the precise, deliberate plan of his military. By refusing the full troop contingent requested by General McCrystal, and setting a deadline for withdrawal that seems more attuned to political cycles than military objectives, Mr. Obama has shown a poker hand that not only includes Jokers but is clearly an attempt to bluff congressional “conservatives” into thinking he has a flush.

In fairness, Mr. Rove does not provide unqualified support for the President; although his opinion seems to be more aligned with the predicable Pavlovian political patronage for which Mr. Obama was angling. Witness that accepting such terms is not only a dangerous move insomuch that it fails to recognize tactical timelines required to mobilize that number of personnel safely into the Afghanistan Theater. It also relies on a number that is fully one-fourth less than the general requested.

Even the casual observer of military planning realizes that not complying with very carefully calculated requests, such as General McCrystal’s, has its repercussions. All too often this manifests itself through an increased number of casualties- something over the past several months of dithering Mr. Obama appears extraordinarily indifferent to.

This shortfall is of course alleged to be covered by Mr. Obama’s decree that our “allies” will pick up the slack. That action obviously can’t be counted on and is something ISAF (especially the Europeans) have been very reluctant to do thus far as Sally McNamara very precisely documents. In addition, any person familiar with the Afghanistan ISAF situation knows that our troops will be doing most of the heavy lifting and suffering the majority of casualties.

Summarily this leads us to dangerously ask; “whose war is this, anyway?” That such questions even bear recitation tells us the focus and spirit of our efforts is now grossly misconstrued, obfuscated or on the verge of becoming a lost political cause upon which Mr. Obama’s Administration will try to gain their war credentials. So once again grotesque parochial posturing will be paid for by those who dedicate themselves to action, not the political class who build temples to themselves. Have we seen this movie before? Rhetorically, yes- the most recent political manifestation occurring with President Clinton and his congressional legions directly proceeding September 11th, 2001.

In an Afghanistan policy speech filled with half measures designed more as an appeal to politics than common sense, Mr. Obama failed miserably on many levels. But the oratory was far more remarkable in revealing the modus operandi an Alinskyite uses to stoke and redirect the passions of an increasingly belligerent public.

Remembering that there always needs to be someone else to envy or defile, it was eminently clear the Bush presidency will continue to be Mr. Obama’s ubiquitous excuse, and cover for his own continued lack of leadership and sagacious policy. It was also simultaneously and ironically evident the conviction with which our nations business has been addressed is also certainly a distant memory. Gone are the days when our military apparatus and intelligence community will be given tools necessary to defeat an enemy who finds new ways to attack us.

We have been invaded by the second wave containing detestable enemies such as Major Hassan- eager to slip comfortably through the safety net and into the soft liberal woven fabric of political correctness and endless amnesty for what would otherwise be labeled as malevolent, dangerous behavior. The press is afraid to call this as such and remind our public that similar danger was averted for years under their nemesis and Mr. Obama’s predecessor; for it would mortally wound their collective conquering hero.

Nonetheless, this may unfortunately presage the return of terrorist attacks and like suffering, led this time by Mr. Obama and his legion of ideologues. It will also be the commencement of a trying time for our military, their families and supporters as they once again, under another Democrat led rebellion, carry the burden of contra-intellectual, anti libertarian catharsis on their shoulders.

Win? I don’t believe that is part of the plan at all. More like a new war on two fronts.