Thursday, November 12, 2009

Obama Wants New Options for Afghanistan

In a surprise development, President Barack Obama appears to have rejected all the options offered him by his national security team and wants more options before he decides.

afghanistan A senior White House official says U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on his national security team to revise the options for the U.S. war strategy in Afghanistan. 

Mr. Obama asked for the revisions Wednesday during the latest review of his Afghanistan policy.  The official says the president wants his advisors to determine how and when U.S. troops can hand over security responsibility to the government in Kabul.  Administration officials say Mr. Obama wants to make clear to Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan is not "open-ended."

The president's call for revisions comes as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, has expressed serious reservations about sending additional troops to the country.

Officials say Eikenberry sent two classified cables to Washington last week expressing doubts about Mr. Karzai's leadership.  The Afghan president has been blamed for allowing rampant corruption under his watch.

Eikenberry served as the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007.  He became ambassador to Afghanistan earlier this year after retiring from the military.

His position puts him in stark opposition to General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, who has requested 40,000 more troops.

The United States already has about 63,000 troops in Afghanistan… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Voice of America>

This is the first good news that Obama might be bucking the the flawed escalation policy of Stanley McChrystal, infamous for his role in the Pat Tillman cover-up.  Let’s hope that he actually wants a viable exit strategy.


Holte Ender said...

I am happy that Obama is giving Afghanistan lots of thought and he is looking at every option. He could send a 100,000 extra troops, defeat the Taliban, find Bin Laden, crush Al Aqaeda, then what, hand the keys of the house over to an opium producing corrupt government for it all to start all over again.

RealityZone said...

Obama had better watch his back when he is around Shillary. She is in the Patreus, Mc Chrystal camp of the pentagon. imo; she has her own covert state dept. within the govt.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Obama may be brave and strong enough to stand up to the Warmongers amongst us.

Getting and Letting (Getting In, Getting Bin Laden, Getting Out, Letting the "Afghans" figure out the rest) would seem to have been a better choice in the beginning but the Bush/Cheney Regime had no intention of starting a win and finishing it because Perpetual War is the prime way the REMFpublicans make money! For instance Condi Rice and Stephen Hadley are starting a consulting firm, a cover to receive their payoffs for pushing War onto America

TomCat said...

Holte that's an excellent point. We could not have won the war in Vietnam, because we kept supporting corrupt totalitarians like Diem and Ky. Until we change that practice in Afghanistan, we are guaranteed to lose.

RZ, in her defense, it was Obama, not Clinton, that appointed McChrystal, a grave mistake in my opinion.

Gene, that would be a refreshing change of pace, would it not? They also wanted to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan to Karachi. Don't forget, immediately after 9/11 the Taliban offered to hand over bin Laden and the Bush Reich refused.

RealityZone said...

Mc Chrystal belongs to Patreus. I believe it was mostly his call. Obama kept Gates, and got Hillary, along with Holbrooke. All are retread "neolib realists" I saw today where Holbrooke is being sent to Russia. Major mistake. Karzai=Diem. I think a lot of this rethinking had to do with Abdullah not calling for another election. He might be our next guy in Kabul. Start listening for Zalmay Khalilzad. He is an uber neocon, and a mentor for Karzai. They go way back to the Chevron Oil days. And PNAC.

Randal Graves said...

Never get involved in a land war in Asia remains the best advice anyone could possibly follow.

TomCat said...

RZ, I think dumping McChrystal should be Obama's next step.

Randal, so right you are!

RealityZone said...

It is the mind-set that needs to be dumped. Obama has said that Afghanistan is a [war of necessity] with that statement he wanted to disallow the [war of choice] thought. 100 AL/Q in Afghanistan. 300 AL/Q in Pakistan. Drones are now the weapon of choice. Killing innocent civilians, and recruiting more fighters. We are seen as occupiers not freedom fighters in the region. As you know i am from Arizona. Mc Chrystal should spend the rest of eternity with Pat Tillman's family. Explaining to them why, how, and for what their son died. Sometimes the cover up after the crime is worst than the crime. MC, RUMMY and the Pentagon used Pat's body for a recruiting tool. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.

TomCat said...

RZ, I agree. I think that we could have achieved a favorable result in 2002, but now we're eight years too little too late.