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Official: Obama wants his war options changed

liblady

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Really? Because for 8 years all we heard was the Cheney pulled the puppet strings. It's almost odd at this point to hear you say otherwise.

Topic? While I can appreciate a president exploring options, good leadership calls for decisive and sometimes swift action. If Obama was this unsure of the situation, he should have made that a bit clearer on the campaign trail instead of presenting himself as the man with the answers.
the situation in afghanistan is fluid. the climate was very different in 2008 when obama was campaigning.

obama has time. troops couldn't get there until 2010 anyway.
 

kansaswhig

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Bush did the same thing when he decided on the surge and COIN strategy. He took charge as well. Give credit where credit is due.

Credit is not due to Bush for the Surge and COIN implementation. He had to be convinced of it, by many people, but namely Kagan and GEN Keane. Bush's plan for Iraq was to stick with Casey and "stay the course". Kagan and Keane's influence in Cheney's office got this ball rolling. It was AEI's plan that they were finally able to convince Bush to adopt. The JCS were firmly against troop increases, as was Bush, who kept repeating the he "takes advice from Generals on the ground", presumably Casey and Abizaid, who were both opposed to troop increases. Odierno comes in and gets on board as the future MNC-I commander, and then Petraeus.

Read "The Gamble" by Tom Ricks, who lays this all out quite nicely.

Also, watch this Charlie Rose interview with Ricks:

Charlie Rose & Tom Ricks - The Surge
 
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reefedjib

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Credit is not due to Bush for the Surge and COIN implementation. He had to be convinced of it, by many people, but namely Kagan and GEN Keane. Bush's plan for Iraq was to stick with Casey and "stay the course". Kagan and Keane's influence in Cheney's office got this ball rolling. It was AEI's plan that they were finally able to convince Bush to adopt. The JCS were firmly against troop increases, as was Bush, who kept repeating the he "takes advice from Generals on the ground", presumably Casey and Abizaid, who were both opposed to troop increases. Odierno comes in and gets on board as the future MNC-I commander, and then Petraeus.

Read "The Gamble" by Tom Ricks, who lays this all out quite nicely.

Also, watch this Charlie Rose interview with Ricks:

Charlie Rose & Tom Ricks - The Surge

I've read that book. Great book. I credit it with breaking my optimism that Iraqis will reconcile. I also love Charlie Rose, a very deep interviewer. I'll make sure to watch this link. Thanks!

I recall that it was Kagan's and Keane's and AEI that got them in front of Cheney and then to Bush. Bush DID decide to go against the Rumsfeld, JCS and Chain of Command, which he had been listening to for 5 years, but with help from Cheney, Kagan and Keane. Not in a vacuum. That was a pretty big change in direction for him to take, but things were obviously in meltdown. Credit, not all credit, goes to Bush as the CinC that decides. He at least got to listen to an alternative.
 

reefedjib

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The part that is so infuriating to me is the advice that the Generals on the ground were giving Bush. They were the ones that were against COIN and advising him to accelerate the turn over of responsibility to the Iraqis. "As they stand up, we'll stand down". Even in the midst of increasing casualties from the growing civil war. It wasn't working but they weren't questioning their strategy. And so they were giving Bush bad advice.
 

The Prof

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there is really no justification for the president's so public indecision and conflict with his generals

they make him look weak and indecisive, opposite traits from what is required of his position

they undermine confidence in him

if he needs to take his time and deliberate, he needs to have done so a long time ago, instead of talking with mcchrystal only once in his first six months

and he needs to take his time and deliberate privately, not on the front pages of the new york times, day after day, week after week

he needs to decide firmly and confidently, not publicize his "leanings" on a tuesday, only to change them by wednesday

he needs to look like a leader not so desperate to GET OUT

if he's taking all this time to determine which of afghanistan's tribal leaders is reliable...

well...

afghanistan is killing this president---IN PUBLIC

and it's going to get a lot worse

he doesn't know what he's doing, he wants out, and he lacks the guts

as for bush---who cares (but for historians, ie, academics)
 

American

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I distinctly remember Bush taking crap from liberals for not listening to his generals. So why isn't Obama getting it?
 

WillRockwell

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Really? Because for 8 years all we heard was the Cheney pulled the puppet strings. It's almost odd at this point to hear you say otherwise.

Topic? While I can appreciate a president exploring options, good leadership calls for decisive and sometimes swift action. If Obama was this unsure of the situation, he should have made that a bit clearer on the campaign trail instead of presenting himself as the man with the answers.

I suggest you read "The War Within" by Bob Woodward, his fourth and final book on the Bush presidency. Writing without bias, and with full access to all the principals, Woodward shows how Bush did not even pay attention in meetings, shut out all discussion that did not match his opinion, and made decisions without regard for the consequences. Obama clearly does not function that way, he is examining all options and encouraging debate.
 

WillRockwell

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there is really no justification for the president's so public indecision and conflict with his generals

they make him look weak and indecisive, opposite traits from what is required of his position

they undermine confidence in him

if he needs to take his time and deliberate, he needs to have done so a long time ago, instead of talking with mcchrystal only once in his first six months

and he needs to take his time and deliberate privately, not on the front pages of the new york times, day after day, week after week

he needs to decide firmly and confidently, not publicize his "leanings" on a tuesday, only to change them by wednesday

he needs to look like a leader not so desperate to GET OUT

if he's taking all this time to determine which of afghanistan's tribal leaders is reliable...

well...

afghanistan is killing this president---IN PUBLIC

and it's going to get a lot worse

he doesn't know what he's doing, he wants out, and he lacks the guts

as for bush---who cares (but for historians, ie, academics)

Generals will only give advice on how to achieve a military victory or, if that is not possible, how to retain command. They will never suggest how to resolve a misguided and unfightable conflict like Afghanistan.
 

kansaswhig

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I distinctly remember Bush taking crap from liberals for not listening to his generals. So why isn't Obama getting it?

Conversely, Bush listened to his Generals too much.

Take Casey and Abizaid, for instance. Both believed that U.S. troops in Iraq were an "anti-body" and should refrain from being to involved in the populations day-to-day activities. This, of course, turned out to be a flawed theory as we found that Odierno and Petraeus' COIN strategy worked, as far as decreasing violence and increasing overall security. There were other factors that played into it; namely SOI, Shia militia cease-fire, SOF C-T targeting, etc.

Bush actually had to be convinced NOT to listen to his Generals in Iraq because they were wrong. It was a retired GEN Jack Keane that convinced VP Cheney to change Bush's mind about "staying the course" in Iraq...which wasn't working.

But I agree that Obama is held to a different standard.

Remember that Generals don't always get it right.
 

apdst

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President Barack Obama does not plan to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

Talk about getting the cart before the horse...:rofl
 

1069

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You didn't even post a portion of the article. Follow the BN rules. :doh

Why? Rules don't apply to me.
They were created for people like you.
Mind your own bee's wax.
 

Strucky

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Exactly. We finally have a president intelligent enough to listen to his advisors and take charge when he doesn't like the options. I am enjoying the change.

:rofl Take charge of what?
 

The Prof

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Generals will only give advice on how to achieve a military victory or, if that is not possible, how to retain command. They will never suggest how to resolve a misguided and unfightable conflict like Afghanistan.

unfortunately, this is now obama's war

i can hardly imagine a man less suited in his psychological make up to wage it
 

Strucky

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Why? Rules don't apply to me.
They were created for people like you.
Mind your own bee's wax.

I'm thinking thats why you earned your a**hat award.
 

Strucky

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Don't confuse indecision with comprehensive detailed analysis, bro.

Delay a decision too long and all the "comprehensive detailed analysis" in the World will be useless.

The Undecider in chief will delay this to the point of being forced to look at new options for the alternative options.
 
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Delay a decision too long and all the "comprehensive detailed analysis" in the World will be useless.
Making a strategic decision too quickly gets us bogged down like a dinosaur in a tar pit.

The Undecider in chief will delay this to the point of being forced to look at new options for the alternative options.
Time will tell, bro. Bush foolishly created a problem that has no good solution. We all need to pray for the President. I would hate to be in his position right now.
 
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The Prof

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Don't confuse indecision with comprehensive detailed analysis, bro.

sure, changing his mind every other day in public

fighting with his own defense secty in public

very prudent

when woodward leaked on sept 21 mcchrystal's secret assessment, which the prez had been sitting on for a month, exposing as lies the president's claims that he was still awaiting his "top to bottom review," that he had not yet been asked for reinforcements, asserted five times the day before, sunday, sept 20, on this week with stephy, mtp with gregroy, state of the union with cnn's john king, ftn with schieffer, and the spanish-speaking unavision, why, it positively made the president glow

absurd
 
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