On matters such as whether to spend $800 billion on “stimulus” projects, $1 trillion on health care “reform,” or billions of dollars to build stadiums in the “city” of Chicago, President Obama is all about the now. When it comes to approving a months-old request from his beleaguered general in Afghanistan to increase troops in an eight-years-and-running war to support the dying soldiers already there, Obama engages in leisurely stargazing.
Never mind that only a wee percentage of funds are seeping out eight months after the stimulus bill was passed, health care legislation wouldn’t start until 2013, and the 2016 Summer Olympics don’t take place for seven years. Those items were all at the top of Obama’s to-do list.
The war in Afghanistan just entered its ninth year. Obama formulated his grand strategy for Afghanistan in March, and replaced his former commander there with General Stanley McChrystal in June. McChrystal, as requested, made his assessment of what was necessary to implement Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy, including adequate troop levels, and has been waiting since August for Obama to give him what he needs.
Now Obama tells us that before troops can be approved, we need to make sure we have a strategy. As George Will recently asked, didn’t Obama formulate his strategy in March? Has it changed since then? If not, then why the delay in sending troops to carry it out? read more »