More on Obama’s hostile relationship to the military

Jennifer Rubin has two posts this morning, both of which illustrate my point about the dangerous relationship between our CIC and the military he’s supposed to be leading.  In the first, she talks about the insane decision-making process in D.C., which seems to have little to do with either victory or troop safety:

The White House seminars on the Afghanistan war are continuing. The term papers assigned this quarter include a “province-by-province analysis of Afghanistan to determine which regions are being managed effectively by local leaders and which require international help, information that his advisers say will guide his decision on how many additional U.S. troops to send to the battle.” But there is a hint as to where this is headed. The military commanders are being phased out and the political appointees are taking charge:

The review group once included intelligence officials, generals and ambassadors, but it has recently narrowed to a far smaller number of senior civilian advisers, including Biden, Gates, Jones, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, among others.

But the game is obvious here. Extract information, second-guess the military, and lower the troop levels:

“There are a lot of questions about why McChrystal has identified the areas that he has identified as needing more forces,” said a senior military official familiar with the review, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the deliberations candidly. “Some see it as an attempt by the White House to do due diligence on the commander’s troop request. A less charitable view is that it is a 5,000-mile screwdriver tinkering from Washington.”

No wonder the process is taking so long. All this homework and micromanaging takes time. But in the end, will the American people believe that faux Gens. Biden and Emanuel were smarter than Gen. Stanley McChrystal? The voters in repeated polls have already said they trust the military commanders by a wide margin over the president to make the calls on Afghanistan. That isn’t how it should work in our system of civilian control. But the public has smelled a rat — and is right to conclude that the president and his team aren’t making decisions on the merits but rather are massaging the facts to get to a result they desire.

The seminar process has not inspired confidence. Moreover, the president’s failure to reiterate the importance of a successful outcome (he doesn’t like the word victory) has allowed public support for the war to erode further. It’s hard to see whether the president still believes in the effort, given that he’s decided that “the Taliban cannot be eliminated as a military and political force, regardless of how many more troops are deployed.” We are now in the business of half-measures and inconclusive outcomes.

As you can see, the president is involved in political calculations, with little concern for military outcomes.  The war he said was a necessity is now a problem, and Emanuel, Kerry and Biden are trying to turn it into Kerry’s famous “police action.”  This is how troops die — and, worse, die for nothing.

What’s even sadder is that, as Rubin also points out, the money that could have been used to win a war, save lies and create jobs has been piddled (if you count waterfalls of cash as piddling) away on pork:

This report tells us:

An early progress report on President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.

Forget the error rate and the funny double-counting. If we created 25,000 jobs, we’re talking $31.48 million per job created. (That uses the conservative figure of $787B, which does not include interest.) This is how the taxpayers’ money is being spent. And the administration declares this a success, beyond its expectations. We’re heading for double-digit unemployment, but we’re told this was money well spent.

Meanwhile, the Obama team can’t find the money — or is it the will to ask for the money? – to give Gen. McChrystal all the funding for troops he needs. We don’t have enough to continue the F-22 — which would create directly or indirectly 95,000 high-paying jobs. We need to chisel a billion here and there on missile defense. After all, we need to watch how we spend the taxpayers’ money.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    Forget Afghanistan: Afghanistan is lost. It was lost the moment Obama stated publicly that the goal was not “victory”. This gave the Taliban/Al Qaeda/Jihadists all the confirmation they needed that they have won the battle against the world’s largest remaining infidel superpower. The question now is, will Obama lose Iraq and then Pakistan and Turkey to the Jihadis, as newly motivated Jihadis have now taken note of his (lack of) resolve? And, then, after Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey…what then? Will the Jihadis decide that this is enough and concentrate on consolidating their newly gained wins? Hardly.

    The sad fact of the matter is that it isn’t Obama at fault…after all, people elected him. What is at fault is a Western culture that has lost its resolve through endless navel gazing, the moralization of cheap grace, and the slow suicide by death of a thousand Liberal cuts.

    We need a Jan Sobieski or Charles Martel to manage our foreign policy. Instead we got Hilary and Barrack channeling Mr. Rogers.

  • suek
  • Ymarsakar

    Editor’s Note: Save lives, not lies.


    Obama and the military..

    Obama shows up at Dover Air Force base early this morning
    (he says, it’s helpful in making a decision about Afghanistan)

    Touchy feely b.s. – ignore your general’s advice.

    The ‘to do list’ from the WH today:
    Fund the lower case ‘t’ taliban so they will switch rather than fight.

    Just when I thought ‘bailouts’ were taking a long overdue break, the WH thinks you can buy out an insurgency and jihadists. I guess when you have been a community activist in Chicago, buying in/out of problems is a built-in. I guess the next step is to send in ACORN to set up better community housing.

  • Charles Martel

    We need a Jan Sobieski or Charles Martel to manage our foreign policy. Instead we got Hilary and Barrack channeling Mr. Rogers.”

    I’m tanned, rested and ready.


    Would you like to begin your first term in LA Charles?
    Maybe starting with something as simple as translating Chief Moore’s comment.

    LOS ANGELES – A gunman shot and wounded two men in the parking garage of a North Hollywood synagogue early Thursday and Jewish schools and temples alerted in case the attack wasn’t isolated.

    There was no immediate word on a motive, and police said the shooting may have been a random act by a lone assailant.

    “We certainly recognize the location and we’re sensitive to that,” Deputy Police Chief Michel Moore said. “But we do not know that this was a hate crime at all.”

    Two men in their 40s were shot in the legs near the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Orthodox synagogue in the San Fernando Valley, Moore said. The men, both members of the synagogue, had arrived in separate cars for the morning service shortly before 6:30 a.m. when the gunman shot both several times, police said.

  • Charles Martel

    ‘Scuse me while I randomly get up at 6 a.m. so I can drive to a random parking garage that is randomly frequented by Jews who attend morning services at a random synagogue.

  • Ymarsakar

    Touchy feely b.s. – ignore your general’s advice.

    McChrystal isn’t one of Obama’s Communist lackeys. Neither is Gates. Both were slotted in because of the Bush administration’s groundwork, laid and given to Obama upon the transfer of power.

    Obama, now having selected McChrystal, now needs to ignore him.


    Obama, now having selected McChrystal, now needs to ignore him.

    If only, it were the other way around.

  • 11B40


    If I had the opportunity to speak with President Obama about our military operations in Afghanistan, I would tell him this:

    Back in my Army days, my favorite Platoon Sergeant told me the following:

    There’s a statue of an infantryman with his back pack and bayoneted weapon in the infantry training center at Fort Dix, NJ. The name of the statue is “The Ultimate Weapon.” In this business, you don’t have nothin’ till some 20 year old with a long rifle tells you you have it.

  • Ymarsakar

    Or when a SEAL fire team drags Osama’s dead corpse back to a US carrier.