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commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

How the president came to ordering up the ‘surge’…….

This is a process piece, which I love, because you get the feel for how and why people do things…..Something you will never get watch things on TV….

I love process pieces…. which is what this piece is from Peter Baker at the New York Times…

We all remember Barack Obama a little more than a year ago, going into Iowa…. He had to figure out a way to get the liberals to come on board with him…not Hillary Clinton…what could he do?

He turned to the Iraq war…Hillary had voted for the consent given Bush from the congress going into Iraq…

Later on in the campaign. …Bush, finally addressing Rumsfeld’s lack of enough boots on the ground decision, would sent an additional amount of troops in a ‘surge’…. again Obama would complain…”the surge hasn’t worked”…. locking in the democratic left…

Well, now the shoe is on the other foot…Barack Obama is the President…the Commander-in-Chief….

This piece, and others in the Washington Post, and the Politico website detail how Obama dealt with the fact that Afghanistan is now his war. And despite the democratic left…he does not want to be the guy who lost Afghanistan….

The real story to me is about the struggle Obama had in trying to resist the direction his commander on the ground in Afghanistan wanted to take…

From the beginning the piece points out that General Stanley Chrystal looked at the campaign as something he could sink his teeth in and wrestle with( He replaced a commander that was too complacent for Sec of Defense Gates)…. a Special Operations Commander before taking over the Afghanistan campaign …all of the top players forgot that Chrystal is expert at fighting unconventional warfare…and he has proved adaptive at dealing with his Commander-in-Chief…

Chrystal upon taking over his command, went on record that things were worst than everyone thought…. the Taliban and al-Qaeda were taking over more territory…and the administration would see an election in the country, where its leader would steal votes in broad day light, and the CIA would advise the Washington DC principals that the country’s government was corrupt, disorganized and ineffective…

The details are here but it came down to this…once the president understood Mc Chrystal wanted more troops, and that the place was spinning out of control… there was no going back…. liberals be damned, there would have to be a troop increase…McChrystal, and the situation in the country, along with his political common sense left him no choice…again, there would more troops…

Argue as much as he did …Vice President Joe Biden was left alone…. While Defense Secretary Gates, and National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones had warned Chrystal early on that it was politically impossible to have more troops sent to Afghanistan…. Chrystal ignored their counsel

After issuing their warnings …both men would step back when it became obvious that Chrystal was pushing ahead…

Obama understood  that by the middle of the summer that there was going to be more troops…. Everyone else (except Biden, again) then jumped on board.

It became known the Gen. Jones was okay with more troops, as was Gates…Chrystal has flushed out the troops position with the CIC….

The plan for either, A) 80,000, B) 40,000 or 15,000 was presented to Joint Chief Staff Chair Mullen and Chrystal’s immediate boss Gen. Petraeus…who pasted the plan on to Sectary Gates…

The next thing everyone knew the basic’s of the plan was leaked….

Gates had no choice but to publicly chew Gen. Chrystal out, which caused a lot of Army bosses to get very upset…they wanted to get the troops so they would not be in the same situation that had happened in Iraq after the first fight there was done…. not having enough troops to be able to hold ground…

It turned out though that President Obama was going at the problem from a different angle…he was questioning the whole Afghan policy…since the war had been handed to him by Bush…he wanted to know …WHY was the country doing what it was doing?

At this time Obama had to let everyone know (actually, just Biden…. since everyone else had picked up the scent that their was going to be a lot of troops going there)…

On October 9…Obama formally got Chrystal’s request…. everyone knew 80,000 was too many troops and 15,000 was too few…. the call would be 40,000…. Chrystal was a good strategic thinker…everyone got the hint…. Obama would be worried about they cost factor (1 Trillion dollars if those troops stayed for ten years)….

At this point things moved to a different level…the bosses jumped back in Clinton brought the doubts of the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Eikenberry to the table…when would the troops leave?……Gates began to work the system to plan who would deploy….And Gen. Jones of the NSC worked to make the process smooth…there was a lot of people in the process at this time….

Finally, Obama still worried by the numbers and the cost. Asked Gen. Petraeus….’what I’m looking for is surge”….

The stories are priceless…. this is how things get done…not like in movies…. doubts.…different points of view…politics…but common sense when the rubber meats the road…people warning subordinates…but strong willed subordinates (who are warriors) pushing ahead…old politicians standing back until the fight is over when the boss goes with the subordinate’s plan….and a Vice president who argues for less….to be told in the end….that would not be enough…

Everyone played their part…. But in the steel eyed General Stanley Chrystal called the ball and rode it thru….

The President bough in…and he is now beholding to a success in that campaign by Chrystal, who holds his own, and what could be the President’s, who is the Commander-in-Chief’ s, political future, and  well-being along with Afghanistan’s…. in his hands…

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How the president came to ordering up the 'surge'…….

This is a process piece, which I love, because you get the feel for how and why people do things…..Something you will never get watch things on TV….

I love process pieces…. which is what this piece is from Peter Baker at the New York Times…

We all remember Barack Obama a little more than a year ago, going into Iowa…. He had to figure out a way to get the liberals to come on board with him…not Hillary Clinton…what could he do?

He turned to the Iraq war…Hillary had voted for the consent given Bush from the congress going into Iraq…

Later on in the campaign. …Bush, finally addressing Rumsfeld’s lack of enough boots on the ground decision, would sent an additional amount of troops in a ‘surge’…. again Obama would complain…”the surge hasn’t worked”…. locking in the democratic left…

Well, now the shoe is on the other foot…Barack Obama is the President…the Commander-in-Chief….

This piece, and others in the Washington Post, and the Politico website detail how Obama dealt with the fact that Afghanistan is now his war. And despite the democratic left…he does not want to be the guy who lost Afghanistan….

The real story to me is about the struggle Obama had in trying to resist the direction his commander on the ground in Afghanistan wanted to take…

From the beginning the piece points out that General Stanley Chrystal looked at the campaign as something he could sink his teeth in and wrestle with( He replaced a commander that was too complacent for Sec of Defense Gates)…. a Special Operations Commander before taking over the Afghanistan campaign …all of the top players forgot that Chrystal is expert at fighting unconventional warfare…and he has proved adaptive at dealing with his Commander-in-Chief…

Chrystal upon taking over his command, went on record that things were worst than everyone thought…. the Taliban and al-Qaeda were taking over more territory…and the administration would see an election in the country, where its leader would steal votes in broad day light, and the CIA would advise the Washington DC principals that the country’s government was corrupt, disorganized and ineffective…

The details are here but it came down to this…once the president understood Mc Chrystal wanted more troops, and that the place was spinning out of control… there was no going back…. liberals be damned, there would have to be a troop increase…McChrystal, and the situation in the country, along with his political common sense left him no choice…again, there would more troops…

Argue as much as he did …Vice President Joe Biden was left alone…. While Defense Secretary Gates, and National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones had warned Chrystal early on that it was politically impossible to have more troops sent to Afghanistan…. Chrystal ignored their counsel

After issuing their warnings …both men would step back when it became obvious that Chrystal was pushing ahead…

Obama understood  that by the middle of the summer that there was going to be more troops…. Everyone else (except Biden, again) then jumped on board.

It became known the Gen. Jones was okay with more troops, as was Gates…Chrystal has flushed out the troops position with the CIC….

The plan for either, A) 80,000, B) 40,000 or 15,000 was presented to Joint Chief Staff Chair Mullen and Chrystal’s immediate boss Gen. Petraeus…who pasted the plan on to Sectary Gates…

The next thing everyone knew the basic’s of the plan was leaked….

Gates had no choice but to publicly chew Gen. Chrystal out, which caused a lot of Army bosses to get very upset…they wanted to get the troops so they would not be in the same situation that had happened in Iraq after the first fight there was done…. not having enough troops to be able to hold ground…

It turned out though that President Obama was going at the problem from a different angle…he was questioning the whole Afghan policy…since the war had been handed to him by Bush…he wanted to know …WHY was the country doing what it was doing?

At this time Obama had to let everyone know (actually, just Biden…. since everyone else had picked up the scent that their was going to be a lot of troops going there)…

On October 9…Obama formally got Chrystal’s request…. everyone knew 80,000 was too many troops and 15,000 was too few…. the call would be 40,000…. Chrystal was a good strategic thinker…everyone got the hint…. Obama would be worried about they cost factor (1 Trillion dollars if those troops stayed for ten years)….

At this point things moved to a different level…the bosses jumped back in Clinton brought the doubts of the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Eikenberry to the table…when would the troops leave?……Gates began to work the system to plan who would deploy….And Gen. Jones of the NSC worked to make the process smooth…there was a lot of people in the process at this time….

Finally, Obama still worried by the numbers and the cost. Asked Gen. Petraeus….’what I’m looking for is surge”….

The stories are priceless…. this is how things get done…not like in movies…. doubts.…different points of view…politics…but common sense when the rubber meats the road…people warning subordinates…but strong willed subordinates (who are warriors) pushing ahead…old politicians standing back until the fight is over when the boss goes with the subordinate’s plan….and a Vice president who argues for less….to be told in the end….that would not be enough…

Everyone played their part…. But in the steel eyed General Stanley Chrystal called the ball and rode it thru….

The President bough in…and he is now beholding to a success in that campaign by Chrystal, who holds his own, and what could be the President’s, who is the Commander-in-Chief’ s, political future, and  well-being along with Afghanistan’s…. in his hands…

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Could the Commander-in Chief be sending 40,000 troops to Afghanistan?

Back on Saturday, I did a post on Obama giving his authorization for more troops to General McChrystal for Afghanistan?……Well, I said lets wait for the leaks…he, he, he….It hasn’t taken long……here’s the first…..40,000 troops?………Everyone is gonna have to wait the week……Obama’s getting out of D.C and going to Asia!

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The battle at Wanat, Aftghanistan…and the need for more troops……..

The Washington Post has a good piece on the battle for the small village of Wanat, in Afghanistan……it is graphic and pointed in its nature…..while you might get one conclusion from it…I think I get THE conclusion from it……

We need more troops…. And we need to be better…The story points to a strategy initiated by General Patreaus and followed on General McChrystal to embed troops out in the boonies with the population……..But without adequate reinforcements, intel, or manpower  the strategy is getting people killed……..

I also read a piece about how the armored vehicles developed for Iraq, and delivered to Afghanistan that are useless…..Again…more troops and being better…….

Now I’m sure those two Generals are aware of the troubles, and issues the young soldiers have ‘in country’….which is why I think General McCrystal isn’t gonna let up on his request for more troops, equipment and nation building in Afghanistan……

Again…..do it right Mr President, or send the troops home…..the soldiers, who put their lives on the line, deserve your support, and the best this country has……

Update:….another overrunning of an outpost with heavy causalities……and the beginnings of a rollback of General Patreaus’s counterinsurgency doctrine of embedding the troops in with the population…..due to too few forces…

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The troops are getting their ducks in a row about Afghanistan……..

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Aftganistan, Admiral Mike Mullen,  Chair of the Joint Chiefs and the other senior military commanders prosecuting the war campaign, held a last minute meeting in Germany to get on the same page about the upcoming sell on increased troops for Afghanistan…….

Make no mistake, there is a request going back with Mullen to Washington for more troops…….McChrystal isn’t gonna blink…and Obama will have the buck stopping on his desk…with Congress looking over his shoulder…..

I’m betting on more troops………

Note:….The President has asked Mullen to stay on for another 2 year term as Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , and  Congress has approved……

September 25, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As expected….Gen. McChrystal asks for more troops….but that’s not the important part………

The Washington Post in a piece  today, has posted a copy of a 66 page assessment done by General Stanley  McChrystal today……the General is scheduled to go up to the Hill on September 24 ,to give a report on things in Afghanistan……. While he has been told by National Security Chief , Gen. James Jones, and others, to find another way…..McChrystal has pushed ahead with a request for more troops…..

Now politically, the President, the nations CIC, is getting pushed into a corner by his own party, just like in the Healthcare issue……but just like in the Healthcare issue Obama will have to push back, and take his own council…..

I posted earlier that Aftghlnisan has a major problem that will make the present push there fail ultimately, and General McChrystal knows this ……His military staff must be experiencing a sense of deja’ vue…in that they are at the same spot that Patreaus was in with Bush II,  a year and a half ago……..Knowing that the troop level was too low to sustain any improvement on the ground , Patreaus endeavored to get Bush to rectify Sec. of Defense Rummsfeld’s mistake, in not using enough troops in the first place in Iraq….McChrystal finds himself in the same situation….he MUST have more troops to hold, and take more ground..it’s that simple….but the important part comes next…..

McChrystal clearly states that there must be NATION BUILDING to win in that country…..anything short of that goal will render any military gains useless… he’s smart,  and he’s right…..without improving the nations infrastructure, without improving the nations reliance on opium, without dealing with the rampant corruption, and without rising the countries standard of living… things will not work……

…It is not just a military campaign that McChrystal wants,  but Nation Building again, to hold on to, and expand gains in order that country become ultimately self reliant…..

McChrystal has it right……And civilian deserves the additional troops, civilian support and one chance  up at bat….Obama can ill afford to be the guy who ‘lost’ Afghanistan…..

Update:…...a lot if people are miffed at the fact that the 66 pager got outed to the Washington Post……Theories abound…was it McChrystal’s staff?…Are they trying to pressure the Commander-in-Chief into a decision?……Are they try to do a Patreaus?…….

……Listen…the fact remains everyone knew he was going to ask for more troops…..the field commanders that are executing the war campaign I’m sure ARE anxious to get the White House off the dime , and starting to supply more troops, if the objective is to take ground, and have enough troops to hold it………I see Biden advocated the counterrorist strategy proposed before, that uses kill teams roaming the whole AFPAK region, which has a smaller footprint,t but doe snot address NATION BUILDING and still needs Afghan and Pakistani ground troops to hold ground…..which is something that does not exist right now……

Update #2…….The Cable/Foreign Policy blog reports that Obama may have asked McChrystal to ‘scrub’ any requests for more troops……something I doubt Gen. McChrystal or Patreaus would due after all the introspection the army hierarchy went thru with Rumsfelds bullying them into going into Iraq ‘light’ the second time……..

Update#3……..Gen. McChrystal flew from London, with his wife to have a meeting aboard Air Force One with the the Presdient. in the Danish capital….while his wife got the 25 minute tour  of the plane, the CIC and General McChrystal had a face to face in the confrence room on board the plane…I would assume that the NSC advisor Jones would be the only WH heavy weight in the room…..it’s about time the CIC, and McChrystal had a serious talk, face to face, without the WH staff  present……

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

As expected….Gen. McChrystal asks for more troops….but that's not the important part………

The Washington Post in a piece  today, has posted a copy of a 66 page assessment done by General Stanley  McChrystal today……the General is scheduled to go up to the Hill on September 24 ,to give a report on things in Afghanistan……. While he has been told by National Security Chief , Gen. James Jones, and others, to find another way…..McChrystal has pushed ahead with a request for more troops…..

Now politically, the President, the nations CIC, is getting pushed into a corner by his own party, just like in the Healthcare issue……but just like in the Healthcare issue Obama will have to push back, and take his own council…..

I posted earlier that Aftghlnisan has a major problem that will make the present push there fail ultimately, and General McChrystal knows this ……His military staff must be experiencing a sense of deja’ vue…in that they are at the same spot that Patreaus was in with Bush II,  a year and a half ago……..Knowing that the troop level was too low to sustain any improvement on the ground , Patreaus endeavored to get Bush to rectify Sec. of Defense Rummsfeld’s mistake, in not using enough troops in the first place in Iraq….McChrystal finds himself in the same situation….he MUST have more troops to hold, and take more ground..it’s that simple….but the important part comes next…..

McChrystal clearly states that there must be NATION BUILDING to win in that country…..anything short of that goal will render any military gains useless… he’s smart,  and he’s right…..without improving the nations infrastructure, without improving the nations reliance on opium, without dealing with the rampant corruption, and without rising the countries standard of living… things will not work……

…It is not just a military campaign that McChrystal wants,  but Nation Building again, to hold on to, and expand gains in order that country become ultimately self reliant…..

McChrystal has it right……And civilian deserves the additional troops, civilian support and one chance  up at bat….Obama can ill afford to be the guy who ‘lost’ Afghanistan…..

Update:…...a lot if people are miffed at the fact that the 66 pager got outed to the Washington Post……Theories abound…was it McChrystal’s staff?…Are they trying to pressure the Commander-in-Chief into a decision?……Are they try to do a Patreaus?…….

……Listen…the fact remains everyone knew he was going to ask for more troops…..the field commanders that are executing the war campaign I’m sure ARE anxious to get the White House off the dime , and starting to supply more troops, if the objective is to take ground, and have enough troops to hold it………I see Biden advocated the counterrorist strategy proposed before, that uses kill teams roaming the whole AFPAK region, which has a smaller footprint,t but doe snot address NATION BUILDING and still needs Afghan and Pakistani ground troops to hold ground…..which is something that does not exist right now……

Update #2…….The Cable/Foreign Policy blog reports that Obama may have asked McChrystal to ‘scrub’ any requests for more troops……something I doubt Gen. McChrystal or Patreaus would due after all the introspection the army hierarchy went thru with Rumsfelds bullying them into going into Iraq ‘light’ the second time……..

Update#3……..Gen. McChrystal flew from London, with his wife to have a meeting aboard Air Force One with the the Presdient. in the Danish capital….while his wife got the 25 minute tour  of the plane, the CIC and General McChrystal had a face to face in the confrence room on board the plane…I would assume that the NSC advisor Jones would be the only WH heavy weight in the room…..it’s about time the CIC, and McChrystal had a serious talk, face to face, without the WH staff  present……

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments