The big decision is in and after about three months of playing kick the can with his military direction concerning the War in Afghanistan, President Obama has made his decision to send in more troops. The decision was not a well-kept secret. The major unknown question seemed just how many troops Obama would send in. The Obama decision was to send in less troops than was requested by his military leadership. There was an interesting story concerning the Obama speech content by journalists – Woodward and Burns. They felt that the Obama speech skimmed over many of the realities that must be faced in Afghanistan. There was also a compelling story on the Quad City Times, which got buried by other stories, where some of the Quad City community -with military family- discussed their displeasure, as they felt cheated with a less than full committal direction by Obama. My personal opinion of the decision is as mixed as the myriad of differing analysis’ of the Obama decision I have read since the speech was finished.
Not long after a Democrat Debate during the 2008 election I got into a discussion with family over the various candidates unzipping their pants to whip out their stiffened phallic rhetoric concerning how they would or would not address the current Wars we are engaged in. During my family discussion I stated that campaign talk was empty words, and that the War and internal politics would mostly dictate whatever direction any eventual POTUS would take. My feelings then, were the same as they are now. How Obama manages this war will be determined by who, what, where, when and how the hostile military combatants clash. Those will be determined by the dueling military strategists and fought with the resources made available by opposing political providers. He can speechify about war all he wants, but what a POTUS may want to do is confined by all those restrictive variables.
Between Obama’s speech and inactions I am worried that he is insecure with the military-versus-political paths he has in front of him. Obama has selected veteran military leaders as his battle advisors. Yet instead of directing his battlefront using his military strategists, Obama seems to be allowing pacifist-pleasing political pressure to manipulate and override his established military advisors battlefield strategy. I get the feeling from this decision on troop amounts– a decision similar to the direction that has been predicted in the news for months- that he is waffling between personal/party political convenience and what his military advisors have suggested. That concern makes me worry similar to the locals in the Quad City Times article, that were apprehensive about the stated Obama Afghanistan solution. It makes me worry that Obama is not attempting to win, but instead, that Obama is just putting on a Big Top Extravaganza in Afghanistan, as he looks for a reason to quit in a manner that will also save his political face/fate.