Obama Delays trip To DC by McChrystal

#1
I am sure our enemies better understand the reasons and importance of this delay. This confirms at least to my pea brain that the deliberations in the White House have much more to do with crass domestic politics than they do with the actual pros and cons of the on-scene commander's cogent assessment and clear request for reinforcement.

General's D.C. Trip Put Off as Strategy Talks Drag On

By Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 9, 2009

The White House has told the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan to delay a planned trip here Friday to brief President Obama and his senior advisers on his recommendation for a major troop increase.

Officials had hoped to have Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and what national security adviser James L. Jones called "all the key players" speak to Obama in person by the end of this week, leading to final deliberations over a forward strategy.

But "we're not finished," Jones said Thursday, and meetings may extend beyond next week. When the White House is ready, he said, McChrystal -- along with the U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan -- will fly to Washington so that the three "can meet with the president before a decision is made."

McChrystal's distance from this month's high-level discussions illustrates both the determination of the new commander in chief to reshape the White House's relationship with the military and the complexity of the decision Obama must make.

Unlike the Bush administration, which repeatedly emphasized that the new direction it took in the unpopular Iraq war in 2007 was blessed and orchestrated by its commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, Obama has solicited a broader range of views. White House officials have emphasized that McChrystal's assessment that tens of thousands additional troops are needed to resist Taliban advances is just one of a number of positions being considered.


The State Department, the intelligence community and other major actors have presented their views during the ongoing White House meetings, and the appearance of Karl W. Eikenberry, the ambassador to Afghanistan, and Anne Patterson, his counterpart in Pakistan, are to be given significant weight. Some at the table have suggested a status quo strategy in which the current troop level of 68,000 would be maintained and more attention would be given to building the Afghan military, seeking reconciliation with some insurgent elements and solidifying ties with Pakistan.

Praise for Obama's Methods

Although the military overwhelmingly supports McChrystal's recommendation for an expanded counterinsurgency, with additional troops in Afghanistan, several senior defense officials said they approve of the way Obama is handling the deliberations.

"This commander in chief uses the chain of command," one official said. "There are a lot of military leaders who very much appreciate that." Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen is especially appreciative of the way Obama has turned to him and to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to represent the views of the armed forces, the official said.

But the balance can be a delicate one. Senior Republican lawmakers who support McChrystal's request for more troops began demanding weeks ago that Obama bring the commander back to testify before Congress -- as Petraeus did in explaining why President George W. Bush's decision to "surge" thousands more troops into Iraq was the right one.

Many in the military, however, disagreed with Petraeus's approach and resented his prominence as its spokesman and guarantor, along with his weekly videoconferences and frequent face-to-face meetings with Bush. Petraeus considered himself "an army of one in defending the strategy publicly and in Washington," according to an officer who served in Iraq during the surge and was familiar with the general's apparent thinking.

Other current and former senior military officers have questioned whether the fact that McChrystal's recommendation has become public before Obama decides whether to accept it may ultimately undercut his effectiveness. "What he has tried to do," said a retired senior general and wartime commander of McChrystal, "is to say, 'I'm not against the president; I'll do what I'm ordered to do.' But if the administration essentially dismisses his whole theory of the case, then I think he's in a weakened position."

Pentagon Chief Weighs In

Gates has resisted calls for McChrystal to testify, saying that the general is needed at his command post. At the same time, he asked for and received Obama's commitment to a personal appearance by McChrystal at some point in the White House deliberations.

"The secretary will work with the president to determine the appropriate time for General McChrystal to come back and meet face-to-face with the president and the rest of his national security team so that he can present his case before any decision is made," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said. "It's going to happen. It's just a question of timing."

As he has in four previous meetings this month, McChrystal will appear at Friday's closed-door session via a video connection from Kabul. It will be the first time he has occupied center stage, presenting to Obama and his top advisers his full assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and his request for tens of thousands more troops. Jones supervised a rehearsal of the presentation at the White House on Thursday.

McChrystal initially planned to arrive in Washington in time for the meeting, "but he was told it would be best if he stayed in Afghanistan" for the time being, a senior military official in Kabul said. The message, which originated with Jones, was conveyed by Gates.

Although officials in Washington insisted that the decision to delay the trip reflected only the timing of White House deliberations, this military official said that it was equally a reflection of the desire of both Gates and Mullen to take the lead military role in the discussions. Gates, he said, has worked hard to forge a close relationship with Obama and thinks he can effectively represent the Pentagon's positions.

Mullen is determined to fulfill his responsibility to represent the views of all the service chiefs in a way he thinks was circumvented under Bush, a Pentagon official said. "Our perspective," he said, "is that [Obama] prefers to use the chain of command and that he wants to hear what the chiefs think."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/08/AR2009100804299.html
 
#2
Obama is too busy celebrating his Nobel Peace prize win to be bothered with briefs about what is happening in a war his predecessor started.
 
#3
Cabana said:
Obama is too busy celebrating his Nobel Peace prize win to be bothered with briefs about what is happening in a war his predecessor started.
I think you meant "A war started by the murderers of 3,000+ innocent men, women and children."
 
#4
Didn't we start the war hundreds of yeas ago in the "holy war" to reclaim the "holy land" from them Muslim "infadels"?

Maybe i am mistaken and King Richard isn't the cause of the problem, noble as the lion heart was .............................................
 
#5
Combat_Baby said:
Didn't we start the war hundreds of yeas ago in the "holy war" to reclaim the "holy land" from them Muslim "infadels"?

Maybe i am mistaken and King Richard isn't the cause of the problem, noble as the lion heart was .............................................
If you'd like to go that far back, before modern states existed, then no, the war started when the Muslims took the Holy Land from the eastern Roman Empire.

I rather think you knew that, given your use of the word "REclaim"
 
#6
Yank_Lurker said:
Cabana said:
Obama is too busy celebrating his Nobel Peace prize win to be bothered with briefs about what is happening in a war his predecessor started.
I think you meant "A war started by the murderers of 3,000+ innocent men, women and children."
Sorry, I didn't realise the Afghans perpatrated that attack. Oh wait, they didn't. It was agroup called Al Qaeda that happened to have camps in Afghanistan and many other countries.
 
#7
Cabana said:
Yank_Lurker said:
Cabana said:
Obama is too busy celebrating his Nobel Peace prize win to be bothered with briefs about what is happening in a war his predecessor started.
I think you meant "A war started by the murderers of 3,000+ innocent men, women and children."
Sorry, I didn't realise the Afghans perpatrated that attack. Oh wait, they didn't. It was agroup called Al Qaeda that happened to have camps in Afghanistan and many other countries.
And whose nominally ruling group was giving safe harbor to the planners of said attack, and refused to hand them over. Maybe you missed that.
 
#8
Yank_Lurker said:
Combat_Baby said:
Didn't we start the war hundreds of yeas ago in the "holy war" to reclaim the "holy land" from them Muslim "infadels"?

Maybe i am mistaken and King Richard isn't the cause of the problem, noble as the lion heart was .............................................
If you'd like to go that far back, before modern states existed, then no, the war started when the Muslims took the Holy Land from the eastern Roman Empire.
I stand corrected Yank_Lurker, my apologies!

Were the Romans christians at this point or were they still worshipping their own Gods?
 
#9
Combat_Baby said:
Didn't we start the war hundreds of yeas ago in the "holy war" to reclaim the "holy land" from them Muslim "infadels"?
Isn't this a contradiction in terms? Notwithstanding the ongoing dispute as to the "true" reasons for the crusades, if the Muslims originally "took" the "Holy Lands," would it not be the Muslims who actually "started" the crusades?
 
#10
jumpinjarhead said:
Combat_Baby said:
Didn't we start the war hundreds of yeas ago in the "holy war" to reclaim the "holy land" from them Muslim "infadels"?
Isn't this a contradiction in terms? Notwithstanding the ongoing dispute as to the "true" reasons for the crusades, if the Muslims originally "took" the "Holy Lands," would it not be the Muslims who actually "started" the crusades?
No, we are not the Romans, they took the "holy land" from a different empire, it was over a thousand years later that the christians tried to reclaim it.

By "reclaim" I mean: They believed that the "holy land" belonged to Christians in the first place as it was the death place of Jesus. They believed that it should be back in the hands of the "true" religion and so tried to take control of it again from the muslims.
 
#11
Yank_Lurker said:
Cabana said:
Yank_Lurker said:
Cabana said:
Obama is too busy celebrating his Nobel Peace prize win to be bothered with briefs about what is happening in a war his predecessor started.
I think you meant "A war started by the murderers of 3,000+ innocent men, women and children."
Sorry, I didn't realise the Afghans perpatrated that attack. Oh wait, they didn't. It was agroup called Al Qaeda that happened to have camps in Afghanistan and many other countries.
And whose nominally ruling group was giving safe harbor to the planners of said attack, and refused to hand them over. Maybe you missed that.
I think you have missed the fact that at the time Al Qaeda was given safe harbour by a number of countries which the so called "planners" would flee to as soon as an invasion occured. This terrible event was not just planned in Afghanistan.
 
#12
Whichever country harboured Al Qaeda, we should never have invaded it in the first place. This is America's war, not ours.
 
#14
What’s done is done; the question is which road we take now.

1) Pull out of Afghan, meaning our boys have sacrificed their lives for nothing, the amount of pain, bloodshed and work our soldiers have put in is meaningless.

2) Keep there, take more casualties, loss more young men, break up more families and generally cause pain to thousands of troops and their families. To achieve what? It's said we are going to be there for 40 years. Even then it will still be a war torn country, they don't want to change, i don't think they ever will

We are in a fix, whatever route is taken people are going to get hurt x
 
#15
What ever path we take the result will ultimatly be the same. British lives have been lost needlesly. Unfortunatly, we just cannot pull out. The Yanks were clever in getting NATO involved in their war of revenge and as a member of NATO we are obliged to have people there. What we need to do (or our government) is to state Britains objectives in Afghanistan, complete that objective and go. The thing we must not do is let our operation be run by the yanks as that will hinder and lengthen operations.
 
#16
Then why don't we do that? Has nobody suggested that to Gorden Brown? The quicker we get out the better for everyone, with Bush and Blair gone we are no longer America's servants and don't have to do their bidding at a click of their fingers.
 
#17
Combat_Baby said:
Whichever country harboured Al Qaeda, we should never have invaded it in the first place. This is America's war, not ours.
Actually it is the UN's war as it was sanctioned by the UN, the US just has the larger presence.

Now it is Obama's war seeing he spent the better part of his campaign running round saying we need to leave Iraq and concentrate on Affers as it is the "true and just" fight.
 
#18
ctauch said:
Combat_Baby said:
Whichever country harboured Al Qaeda, we should never have invaded it in the first place. This is America's war, not ours.
Actually it is the UN's war as it was sanctioned by the UN, the US just has the larger presence.

Now it is Obama's war seeing he spent the better part of his campaign running round saying we need to leave Iraq and concentrate on Affers as it is the "true and just" fight.
America wanted the war, they wanted revenge after 9/11 and decided to get the UN to help them. I don't think 7/7 would ever have happened if it wern't for our military in Afghan. Britain has no need to spill the blood of our soldiers for a war that does not need to be fought by us.
 
#19
Combat_Baby said:
Then why don't we do that? Has nobody suggested that to Gorden Brown? The quicker we get out the better for everyone, with Bush and Blair gone we are no longer America's servants and don't have to do their bidding at a click of their fingers.
I have actually sent the shit Brown many emails/faxes regarding these two wars asking why we are actually there etc and also asking him to do things like that, but the twat never replies. He has got his own agenda and I think it also involves a green card and US popularity as he seems more concerned with what the US think about him then about running the country. Hence us getting Apache when there was a better European alternative which would have secured a lot of British jobs.
 
#20
Cabana said:
Combat_Baby said:
Then why don't we do that? Has nobody suggested that to Gorden Brown? The quicker we get out the better for everyone, with Bush and Blair gone we are no longer America's servants and don't have to do their bidding at a click of their fingers.
I have actually sent the s*** Brown many emails/faxes regarding these two wars asking why we are actually there etc and also asking him to do things like that, but the twat never replies. He has got his own agenda and I think it also involves a green card and US popularity as he seems more concerned with what the US think about him then about running the country. Hence us getting Apache when there was a better European alternative which would have secured a lot of British jobs.
In that case he needs to step down, he is not fit to run this country if he is acting like that.
 

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