Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The U.S. Marines are leaving Iraq……..

In a acknowledgement that things are finally moving back to some sort of normalacy…..where thew Iraqi’s have assumed  control over their country…….The U.S. Marines have turned over their mission to the U.S. Army in Baghdad and Anwar Province…and are closing their war operation in the country……Marines will still stand guard at the U.S. Embassy and diplomatic sites…but the combat forces will be gone within a few months…..

This comes on the heels of the report that there where no combat deaths of U.S. soldiers in the country in December and total of around 151 combat deaths for the 2009 year period…..

I know that a lot of people will not accept this statemenet…..but….The ‘Surge’ worked…along General Petraeus’ change in tactic’s in sending the troops back into the local neighborhoods to convince the mullahs’ by words and deeds to join in fighting the bad guys….instead of using guns and bullets.…..

The Army will begin cutting down to 50,000 troops shortly……

And has worked to bolster the Iraq Army, and its slowly rejuvenated Air Force…..

While Obama has pledged to have all combat troops out of the country by 2011 ( 6 months before the 2012 elections)…the Dog believes that…. in the end….it doesn’t matter what they call them…the United States will maintain at least  30, 000 troops, advisers or trainers in the country, for a long time after 2011, to insure things don’t slip back out of control………

Note:…..Vice President Biden is currently in Iraq…The Vice President  held talks with Iraqi leaders amid rising tensions over plans to ban election candidates because of suspected links to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

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January 23, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Politics, Polls, Updates | , , | 2 Comments

Another process piece…..McChrystal vs the Civilians in the administration….The General plans to win…. not hold in place……

In a very important piece in the Washington Post (that will no doubt generate more pieces in the Times and Cable Networks)…..Rajiv Chandrasekaran takes up the maneuvering between the military and the administration’s political planners who view Obama’s tasking orders early this month for the military as strictly a ‘surge’ then a phased withdrawal going into the 2012 elections….and the military (Sec Gates included) as a call to engage an enemy and try to ‘win’ the campaign in Afghanistan with a moderate makeover like the military has done in Iraq……

While the sell by the President ( Commmader-in Chief ) was for a “surge’…President Obama, and Secretary Gates, both, have already backed away from their initial pledge to have the troops heading home en mass in 2011……

I know from a strictly logistical point of view the U.S. military will take a much longer period to get 30,000 to 40,000 troops in country then was advertised when President Obama called for the move….

In another sense the media is going to paint this as McChrystal as not following his bosses orders…that would be a mistake…Presidents give orders…General follow them…Sergeants get it done….

The same applies here…and it’s gonna take more time then the political people the White House think….

That’s the way it goes…..

General McChrystal has been a ‘snake eater’ for a long time….

Secretary of Defense Gates has been around for long time also…….

If these two get it right…The President will be assured a second term and another Nobel Peace Prize………

And a place in American history not just by his color…….

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Other Things | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There is a civilian 'surge' going into Afghanistan also…..

Yes, there is, and the United States State Department want s people to know….That unlike in Iraq…they will be in on this one.…The numbers are not comparable to the U.S. military, but they are there, nevertheless…and I for one, am very happy….

When people started backing away from nation building and support of infrastructure I thought, this thing is not gonna work…..Even Gen. McCrystal has asked for that in his war plans….(I remember all the griping during the Iraq second phase about how the Army had to waste staff on things that the State Department was supposed to be doing? ) …..

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certainly wants a piece of the action, and Secretary of Defense Gates, is glad, I’m sure to have the extra help….

This is good news indeed…..

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Government, Military, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

There is a civilian ‘surge’ going into Afghanistan also…..

Yes, there is, and the United States State Department want s people to know….That unlike in Iraq…they will be in on this one.…The numbers are not comparable to the U.S. military, but they are there, nevertheless…and I for one, am very happy….

When people started backing away from nation building and support of infrastructure I thought, this thing is not gonna work…..Even Gen. McCrystal has asked for that in his war plans….(I remember all the griping during the Iraq second phase about how the Army had to waste staff on things that the State Department was supposed to be doing? ) …..

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certainly wants a piece of the action, and Secretary of Defense Gates, is glad, I’m sure to have the extra help….

This is good news indeed…..

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Government, 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

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

President Obama gets support on his speech about Afghanistan…..

In polling after his speech from West Point Tuesday night, the President’s numbers are 51% for vs 41% against, in a USA Today/Gallup Poll…..the White House will love that……

December 3, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Military, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Commander-in-Chief takes his case to the country…..more troops….

President Obama spoke to the American people tonight from West Point…explaining, that his decision to send 30,000 more troops to Aftghanistan for a 18 month surge was to deal with the \’cancer\’ of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan…..and to “…” bring this war to a successful conclusion”…

……it remains to be seen if….. he will be successful…but with the more troops being send ‘in country’ (and in a hurry) this war campaign now becomes his……..

As I said yesterday..the ball is now in General Stanley McChrystal’s court and it’s show-time……

Good luck to us all…….

We’ll have more on this in the coming days…….

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the Afghan Surge…..

I have heard two things this morning on the Presidents up coming surge in Afghanistan…and bothy trouble me…..

One…..The surge is being mentioned as a short-term solution with the pull back date being the selling point…..If Obama sticks with this policy he’s wasting his time…..The bad guys can read….As in Iraq….They will just take a vacation and come back rested when the troops go home…bad policy….

Two…While giving McChrystal the troops he wanted I hear White House Press Secretary Gibbs announcing…’No Nation Building”…huh?

If there is no Nation building…there will be no be no permanent peace…we will be like the old Soviet Union campaign there…Afghanistan as it is today is corrupt, poor undeveloped nation…our concept of the place only exists in a few big cities…..if the country is left to fend for its own a year or two from now it will descend back into a feudal third century country with a few major cities….

I hope I’m wrong..but a quick fix over there is a recipe for failure coming out the gate……

 

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

The President, the Commander-in-Chief, has given his marching orders to the troops…..

President Obama held a classified briefing last night with his National Security team.…under National  Command Authority…he has issued his finding from his months long study of theater commander Gen. Stanley McChrsytal’s request for more assets for the Afghanistan war campaign……

The Commander-in-Chief has approved almost everything McChrystal has asked for and has taken counsel of his ambassador to that Afghanistan and also added and exit policy to the plan….

The president has begun making notifications to the NATO countries heads of state, with requests for more troops and assets from them…..

The President will fly to West Point tomorrow to give an evening speech to the country…..

He will experience headwinds from his fellow democrats….bButhis request will be approved by congress, since no president in modern times, has had such a request turned down……Make no mistake this campaign is now his…and do not doubt that the president’s success or failure is in the hands of one General Stanley McChrystal….

More to come…..

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment