October 4, 2009

US Military to Obama: Put Up Or Shut Up

Now they've gone and done it - the U.S. military has called Obama's bluff on Afghanistan.  They need more troopos to effectively complete their mission.  They've in effect told the President 'put up or shut up.'

Obama, who opposed the effective surge in Iraq but had campained on beefing up the effort in Afghanistan, has been waffling lately.  Polls show the war there as unpopular at home.  The President's camapaign depended on Afghanistan being the smaller, managable war.  The surge in Iraq changed all that.  The battlefront has moved.  Now he's caught in a quandry of his own words.  Ironically.

AFP has the story;

WASHINGTON (AFP) – By openly declaring their views on the Afghan war, US military leaders have placed President Barack Obama in a bind as he faces a fraught decision over the troubled US-led mission.

Obama has refused to quickly approve a request from his commanders for a major troop build-up in Afghanistan, insisting first on a full vetting of the current strategy.
He may be waiting for winter - when activity in the country subsides.  But it doesn't do much other than buy him a few months.  If he's thinking politically, it may be a double edged sword.  If it becomes a campaign issue for 2010 as hostilities flare up - it might fire up his base of supporters if he can turn into into an electoral issue.  But it could just as well disillusion them about failed promises.  Not to mention the fuel it might add to the fire for independents, who are likely going to be wondering if he was the anti-war candidate or was it just more of a poorly considered (by the listener) message of hope and change.

Meanwhile, the military has to wait while the Presdient plays politics.

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