The Inadequate And Time Limited Surge

On August 30th of this year, Gen. Stanley McChrystal sent an assessment on the war in Afghanistan as well as a request for more troops to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. By the third week in September he had received no response to his request.

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict “will likely result in failure,” according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post.

It took 93 days for the Obama Administration to make the decision. Yet, in the President’s speech on Afghanistan last night, President Barack Obama said,

As your Commander-in-Chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of your service. That is why, after the Afghan voting was completed, I insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. Let me be clear: there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war.

There might have been no denial of resources, since Gen. McChrystal did state that he needed more forces within the next year, but there was definitely a delay in the decision regarding the number of troops that would be sent.

In 1991, Operation Desert Storm took just 42 days. In 2001, our response following the attacks on September 11th took 26 days. In 2003, our troops took Baghdad in 21 days.

It took President Obama 93 days to make the decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan. The troops will be sent over the course of the next six months and then they can focus on doing the job they will be sent to do. President Obama doesn’t seem to understand the concept of time, and it appears he thinks he has the luxury of time on his side.

In his request, Gen. McChrystal asked for more than 40,000 additional troops to help him accomplish his goal and warned that failure to provide adequate resources could very well result in mission failure.

Toward the end of his report, McChrystal revisits his central theme: “Failure to provide adequate resources also risks a longer conflict, greater casualties, higher overall costs, and ultimately, a critical loss of political support. Any of these risks, in turn, are likely to result in mission failure.”

President Obama specifically chose Gen. McChrystal for this mission, and you might think that he would allow the man to do his job, and support the decisions he makes in the field. But he doesn’t. Instead he is sending just 30,000 additional troops to fill Gen. McChrystal’s request.

This review is now complete. And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan.

It’s bad enough he is sending far less manpower than was requested, but in the statement above he also announced to the enemy when we would be pulling out. You can’t win a battle without adequate troop levels and you can’t win a war if you tell your enemy when you plan to leave the battlefield.

The President’s speech last night felt fake, was long winded, and it was very disappointing. He whined and lied about the previous administration (again).

It’s time for President Obama to realize that Afghanistan is his war now and we won’t delay when holding him accountable for his actions, or the lack thereof.

On a side note:

While referring to the President’s speech on Afghanistan last night, Chris Matthews said the United States Military Academy at West Point was the “enemy camp”.

The mindset of those on the far left side of the aisle never ceases to amaze me.