Tuesday, October 6, 2009

News Talk Online October 6,2009: Seven Days In October: Obama Vs. The Generals

By Rich Swier

Paltalk News Network



The academy award winning movie, "Seven Days in May" premiered in 1964. The premise of the movie was that U.S. military leaders were plotting to overthrow the president because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack.

Fast forward to today. We have General David Petraeus; Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and British Army Chief of the General Staff Gen. Sir David Richards publically supporting U.S. General Stanley A. McChrystal because they fear without a "surge" in Afghanistan the war there will be lost. While no general is plotting an overthrow, it appears they are forcing the issue. But why?

Let's take a look at what has happened since President Obama's inauguration. He said on multiple occasions that Afghanistan, "is a war worth fighting". In May he changed the focus of our military away from Iraq to the "good war" in Afghanistan. He hand picked Karl Eikenberry to be our ambassador to Afghanistan and General Stanley A. McChrystal as the U.S./NATO Commander. The Senate overwhelmingly approved both appointments. President Obama immediately increased the number of troops in Afghanistan by 21,000. The strategy of fighting a counterinsurgency while building up the Afghan Army and police forces was in place in June.

Once on the ground General McChrystal made a first hand appraisal of the situation and issued his assessment through the chain-of-command in August to President Obama. The assessment said without more combat forces (estimated at 40,000) the war would be lost. At this point the president and generals parted paths. Why?

General McChrystal's report was leaked to Bob Woodward. Generals (U.S., British, active duty and retired) began going public on the need for additional troops, much to the chagrin of President Obama, General Jones, President Obama's national security adviser, and Congress. The decision on the part of the commander-in-chief was to accept or not accept General McChrystal's proposal. However, with the leak of the report, that decision turned into a test of President Obama's resolve. President Obama's reputation as commander-in-chief was now on the line.

Does this sound like deja vous all over again? This is similar to what President Bush faced when General Petraeus proposed what is now known as "The Iraq War Troop Surge" in 2007. President Bush faced stiff opposition to the surge after losing both houses of Congress in 2006 due primarily to opposition to the War in Iraq. In 2008 President Obama won election based upon his opposition to the surge and the War in Iraq, saying that Bush took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan. So President Obama now faces his first seminal decision as commander-in-chief, a decision which will decide whether the U.S. and NATO will win or lose to those who plotted and executed 9/11.

But President Obama is wavering. Why?

I believe he is wavering because he does not believe Afghanistan is a war at all but rather a police action involving a few Al Qaeda fighters that need to be captured or killed. He does not view Afghanistan in the way our enemies view it, as one front in a global war against the West. His closest national security advisers, Vice President Biden and General Jones, believe Afghanistan can be fought and won by special operating forces and drones. What is amazing is General McChrystal made his reputation in Iraq by deploying Special Operating forces to kill Al Qaeda operatives including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. However, General McChrystal also knows that killing or capturing Al Qaeda is not enough. General McChrystal knows that to win U.S. and NATO forces must go into the local villages, with a professional and trusted Afghan Army and police force, to provide long term security and stability to the Afghan people. Military force alone will not win. A political solution as happened in Iraq will.

This is the President's dilemma. Listen to his hand picked field commander or his Vice President. I would go with the field commander, hands down.


SwierRich Swier is a 23-year Army veteran who retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1990. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his years of service. Additionally, he was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” for Heroism in ground combat, the Presidential Unit Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry while serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. He is president of the Sarasota County (FL) Veterans Commission, an honorary member of the BRAIVE Fund and has been elected chairman of the Sarasota National Cemetery Advisory Committee. Rich is the publisher of Red County – Florida and editor of Red County – Sarasota, www.redcounty.com, an internationally read website dedicated to center right grassroots commentary, news and politics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The scandal here is that Obama's need for self serving became abundantly clear. I wonder, as do many who support our military, if the Commander In Chief really is as devoted to his troops as he wants them to be to him.

He gave McChrystal a whole 25 minutes. He gave the International Olympic Committee more time (not to mention the cost of sending two planes over).

I also see our media being unwilling to scrutinize this president with the same harsh scrutiny they heaped on Bush. And I don't say this as a Bush supporter. I say it as an Independent.

It's becoming obvious to Americans that Obama has some selfish priorities and that's not a good quality for a President.

It's also very telling that his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize was predicated on his attempts to reach out the the Muslims.

Since when does reaching out to a particular religious group- especially given the fact that the majority of terrorist acts within the past ten years have come from within their ranks- been a reason for a Nobel PEACE Prize?

Then there's the Obama Czar Collection. The latest being the appointment of a "Safe School Czar" whose only concern when a MINOR was having sex with an ADULT MALE was whether or not they practiced safe sex?

This same Czar also claimed to admire HARRY HAY, an early leader in the gay rights movement who eventually garnered the ire of more mainline gays by supporting NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) and even speaking at several of their "conferences"!

Kevin Jennings is no more fit to be in charge of "safe schools" than the Marquis De Sade is to be in charge of the Baptist Women's Association!

Obama is tanking for a reason, and it isn't the health care issue nor a hostile media. It's his megalomania and his unwillingness to show due respect towards others.

McChrystal isn't the first. The PM of England was, followed by the Queen Mother herself.

It's time to stop blaming bush and see what Obama is doing.