Patterico's Pontifications

8/8/2009

Obama’s Objectives for Afghanistan

Filed under: International,Obama,War — DRJ @ 9:04 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember the Bush Administration’s much ridiculed color-coded system for Homeland Security threats? Six years later, the Obama Administration is introducing another color-coded system to help Congress keep track of progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan:

“Along with an array of dozens of numerical indicators, a system of red, yellow and green indicators will help White House and congressional policymakers spot which objectives are in trouble, which are unchanged since the last report, and which are showing significant progress.”

The Administration’s plan reportedly has 9-10 objectives and is described as ambitious:

“The matrix is referred to in the West Wing as “the SIP” — Strategic Implementation Plan. Officials says it’s ambitious enough that they joke it should have been named the GULP.”

It’s good to have goals and objectives but it sounds like the main goal is to give Obama cover if he decides not to send in more troops:

“One aide said: “If the only thing you could change is add more troops and everything else stays the same as today, I think that would be a tough sell because the President would say, ‘Well, wait a second. Do you mean we’re going to throw more troops at this problem? Where’s the civilian effort? Where’s the economic development effort? What’s going on in Pakistan that influences what’s going on in Afghanistan? And how about our international partners? What exactly have they ponied up?’

“So, if I were to take to the President of the United States
a solution that said, ‘Look, let’s dial up the troops,’ he’s going to say, ‘Wait a second. This is like one tenth of the problem here. What about the rest of the story?'”

— DRJ

16 Responses to “Obama’s Objectives for Afghanistan”

  1. Crikey, DRJ, pace yourself…

    Gazzer (409de8)

  2. DRJ has been awesome lately.

    I honestly don’t know how Patterico managed to get such consistent cobloggers. It’s kinda ridiculous.

    This post reminds me of Vietnam. Obama wants to prove he’s a great leader by micromanaging. Afghanistan is a tough place to have a war even without that kind of thing.

    Iraq was a very tough war too, but Bush proved he was an excellent leader in that case. Right even when the naysayers swore there was no way to win. Including Obama, who still doesn’t grant the Surge worked.

    I think it’s a good idea to pray for our troops in this especially challenging time to be in the military.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  3. “On the military side, there have been 21,000 additional troops requested,” the official said. “The president has approved the movement of those troops, and we’re going to track and make sure they arrived.”

    This is very very heartening. It’s good to see this kind of follow-through.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  4. I agree it’s good Obama authorized additional troops. The former Afghanistan commander asked Obama to send 30,000 troops and Obama partially met that request in February when he ordered 17,000 additional troops. However, in May, Obama replaced his Afghanistan commander with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and I don’t know what troop recommendations McChrystal has made.

    DRJ (8d138b)

  5. I was wondering if you gung ho interventionists were going to back the Obama war in Afghanistan, or do like Rush L. did during the Clinton era and oppose — actually ridicule — or involvement in places like Haiti. Happyfeet has given me the answer. Nice to see consistency–even if it is wrongheaded.

    hortense (aka horace) (56e183)

  6. hortense, Obama made no secret that he was going to fight Pakistan and Afghanistan, and I’m glad that he appears to be sincere.

    I’m also glad he apparently has increased the troops, which a lot of people who know better than me say are desperately needed.

    I think it’s worth discussing, though, whether we should be in Afghanistan. Just as it was at least worth discussing whether we should have been in Iraq.

    There’s no doubt that Afghanistan is not worse off for us being there, but I have to wonder if we can sustain anything great there. I honestly just don’t know. Instead of just saying it’s wrongheaded to support this war, why not discuss why? I’m interested.

    Clinton has a poor track record as a war leader. I didn’t like the bloody way he handled Kosovo (not bloody for us, though), and I don’t think anyone liked how he handled Somalia. But neither Bushes or Reagan was perfect either. Rush ridiculed Clinton because every president in war needs to be criticized and held to the fire (there probably was some substance too). Bush got his share of ridicule, you know.

    Anyway, why don’t you want us in Afghanistan?

    Juan (bd4b30)

  7. I guess it’s a sad state of affairs when congress has to be spoon-fed the state of a war with colors rather than with detailed reports.

    Newtons.Bit (f4099e)

  8. I’m ridiculing Mike Allen’s bad writing.

    Me I am very very pro what we’re about in Afghanistan. I suspect Barack Obama loves it too cause it provides a good excuse for him to say we are too tied down to help, for example, these other people over here what are not free to become people that are free. Barack does not believe you can help spread democracy if there’s a working handgun within three hundred kilometers. He’s sort of dumb.

    I would in fact contrast what we are doing in Afghanistan with Barack Obama’s meaningful and heartfelt yet ultimately not very fulfilling tactic of performing fellatio on behalf of Honduran socialists and their patron Hugo Chavez.

    I think Barack Obama needs to switch to a policy of understanding that the Latino dirty socialists, they’re just not that into you.

    A lot of people think Jimmy Carter is the biggest pansy ever to be commander in chief but I disagree with that.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  9. I honestly don’t know how Patterico managed to get such consistent cobloggers. It’s kinda ridiculous.

    Simple! Patterico devotes an extreme amount of thought and effort into this blog. He’s very dedicated, and that quality attracts devoted co-bloggers and readers.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  10. These comments are very generous and I appreciate them, and I especially agree with Bradley that the credit goes to Patterico.

    DRJ (8d138b)

  11. i’m still waiting: the First Moron said he was going to invade Pakistan, and solve the problem once and for all……

    /white smoke

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  12. It would be nice of hortense to let us know what, in his opinion, WJC accomplished with our intervention in Haiti other than the continued corruption of the Aristide regime, and the sweetheart deal with stateside telecoms by that government that resulted in payoffs to some Dem politicians (or did it all go to the WJC Library in Little Rock?). We certainly did not, unlike in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, make the lives of the residents there any less cruel and harsh.

    AD - RtR/OS! (5231f1)

  13. Wow…A red, green, yellow color coded system. I’m shocked this isn’t already used to inform congress (i.e. executives) of the status of a project.

    We’ve been using it for about 30 years now in all of the companies I’ve been associated with.

    dude (bade9c)

  14. Is losing a war on purpose considered a Strategy by the most-nuanced, brilliant, elegant POTUS in the history of the US.

    Where are the NYT, WashPO, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS on this issue?

    Anyone noticed Bush won in Iraq??

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  15. If anyone actually thinks that Hussein actually gives a flying f*** at a rolling donut about Afghanistan and the people, I’ve got some ocean front property in Kansas City for sale. All he is concerned with is getting out of there as quickly as possible with political cover.

    His problem is that he has painted himself into a corner and now must tear out a wall to get to the door or wait for the paint to dry. His “tough guy” rhetoric during the campaign about getting Osama and going into Pakistan is his paint brush.

    Bush listened to the commanders in the field…he left the tactics to the tacticians and provided them with the tools to get the job done. He held them responsible and accountable and gave them authority commensurate with that responsibility.

    I don’t think it looks too good for the Afghanistan people in my crystal ball.

    rls (e58293)

  16. hortense, if you did not know it is because you pay no attention to the real position of conservatives and just listen to the voices in your head.

    SPQR X (26be8b)


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