Sunday, September 27, 2009

President Obama at War With His Generals

JFK overruled his generals on the Cuban Missile Crisis, not to mention the Bay of Pigs.

Now President Obama is overruling his generals in Afghanistan, including the general he placed there because he didn't like the commander he had there before. There are differences: JFK made his decision and accepted the consequences. President Obama is trying to get the generals to take responsibility for his decision, and to provide cover for him. JFK encouraged his generals to communicate freely with him; he just reserved the final decision for himself. The U.S. general in Afghanistan is finding his advice unwelcome in the White House.

The Sipsey Street Irregulars blog actually described it as "Obama at War With His Generals."

According to The Tension: Veritas Vincit blog, Gen. Stanley McChrystal wants 30,000-40,000 more troops (net) in the Afghanistan theater, and has warned that without additional boots on the ground by next year, the mission could fail. Yet Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he will not present the troop request to Obama until the White House completes a review of strategy over the next "few weeks."

Prairie Pundit blog reports that McChrystal said he has only spoken once with the President in 70 days.

Bob Woodward reports in the Washington Post that President Obama's military advisor, retired Gen. James Jones, says McChrystal's troop request is premature. "The bumper sticker here is strategy before resources," Jones told Woodward.

Jones says the president has five policy sessions scheduled over the next few weeks to determine Afghanistan strategy. The outcome of those meetings might moot Gen. McChrystal's troop request, according to Jones.

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