As the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged Obama to show some courage:
David Miliband urged President Obama to embrace a renewed “hearts and minds” strategy in Afghanistan as ministers indicated that they would not send more British troops unless the US adopted such an approach.
The Foreign Secretary did not mention America by name but called on every government in the coalition to back troops, aid workers and diplomats in support of a clear plan. “We came into this together. We see it through — together,” he told the Labour conference in Brighton.
His words reflect a growing concern in the Government over Mr Obama’s apparent reluctance to garner political consent for a troop “surge”, which commanders say is needed to build up the Afghan Army and defeat the Taleban insurgency. General Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, wants a revamped counter-insurgency — more forces on the ground engaging civilians and persuading the Taleban to switch sides — as opposed to a counter-terrorism strategy focused on al-Qaeda — reducing troop numbers and attacking militants mostly with drone missile strikes.
Word comes down that Obama was a bit upset with his General actually having an opinion on how to win this war. Imagine….a military professional coming up with plans on winning instead of a politician. The gall of the General:
The relationship between President Barack Obama and the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has been put under severe strain by Gen Stanley McChrystal’s comments on strategy for the war.
According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.
The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago’s unsuccessful Olympic bid.~~~
In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda.
He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to “Chaos-istan”.
When asked whether he would support it, he said: “The short answer is: No.”
He went on to say: “Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support.”
But we know how excruciating this kind of decision can be!
Sigh….Obama is simply pathetic.
Here is Kristol echoing the same sentiments: (h/t Weazel Zippers)
And as Obama hems and haws there are a few who understand how important this fight is:
The head of the British Army, General Sir David Richards, has issued a wake-up call to the public by warning of the “terrifying prospect” of a defeat in Afghanistan.
In an unprecedented intervention, the chief of the general staff described the conflict as “this generation’s war” and added that failure by Nato would have an “intoxicating effect” on militant Islam.
In his first interview as the head of the Army, Sir David told The Sunday Telegraph that if Britain and Nato failed in Afghanistan the risks to the western world would be “enormous” and “unimaginable”.
But hey, what does that matter to Obama. Only thing he cares about is that the world likes him.