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Obama Provides Timetable For Winding Down Afghan War, But Criticism Abounds

December 9, 2009 by  

Obama provides timetable for winding down Afghan war, but criticism abounds President Obama has announced he is sending an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and has promised to start withdrawing the American units in July 2011.

In a speech delivered at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Obama explained that "we must deny al-Qaida a safe haven… reverse the Taliban’s momentum… and strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan’s security forces and government."

However, he has faced criticism from both Democrats, who disapprove of the troop buildup, as well as Republicans who claim a withdrawal in 18 months is unrealistically short.

Even before the speech, former vice president Dick Cheney told Politico that Obama’s plan risks projecting "weakness." He added that the way the president is framing the debate, the average Afghan citizen "sees talk about exit strategies and how soon we can get out, instead of talk about how we win," quoted by The Washington Post.

Obama’s advisors, including chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, are meanwhile arguing that the buildup is necessary since the insurgency has already gained "dominant influence" in 11 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

The new deployment will increase the number of U.S. troops in the country to nearly 100,000. According to The Wall Street Journal, the escalation will cost about $30 billion.

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  • Robin from Indiana

    Doesn’t telling our enemies when we will be leaving seem like a blunder on Barry’s part? I wouldn’t think that disclosing any of our war plans would be a good idea….

  • Warrior

    I believe the 18 month timetable is probably correct. By then, the 100,000 troops should be outside of Tehran!


    We have in office a inexperienced “know nothing” that is a un credentialed shill for whomever is pulling his strings. He speaks out both sides of his mouth like a medicine show huckster, sells snake oil and is determined to use unsubstantiated fact to make you believe his fantasy.

    If you heard his last speech at West point and saw the faces of those cadets, then broke down his timelines, you saw the burden of blame being shifted to all those he put this weight on and his asking for unenforceable, task that will never be kept in that timeline. He will blame the miltary and anyone else for his inept and unqulified expertise….why this malicious piece of deciet is allowed to remain in office is a real affront to our men and women.

  • Warrior

    I’ll say this much, he sure didn’t look comfortable being there. Do you think there’s a message in that?

  • Robert

    You are so right. it has reached a point that I cannot hear him speak without get seasick. Your analysis is on target.Thanks for your analysis.

  • James

    Ontime, I wouldn’t call President Obama a ‘know nothing’, he’s very intelligent. He, and Democrats in general, oppose our wars in the Middle-East but he’s trapped by the pro-Israel powers that started them. His agenda at home is simply an extension of the communist rule of FDR, but that isn’t a ‘know nothing’ plan, he knows precisely how to do it – and is doing it.

  • Merl Elton

    The advantage in any war is to win; and in order to win, the enemy needs to get kept at a disadvantage. Why then should the enemy know just what the plans are? To win, we need a winning strategy. Some advice: Don’t spill war room details to the world. Young lives are at stake; therefore, everything possible should be done to give our troops the advantage and upper hand for their safety and the pride and honor or our nation.

  • Merl Elton

    In any card game, you never show your winning hand; no matter what; you don’t show your cards. Seems like this strategy is showing the cards. This is a war with precious lives at stake; not a dress rehearsal. Enabling troops to fight a winning war is good for morale.

  • Joe H.

    merl elton,
    you show them if someone calls you!!!

  • jim

    All the Taliban has to do now, is hide in the mountains and rebuild and regroup for 18 months. When the troops are pulled out, coincidently just before the 2012 campaignes begin, they will be back, with a vengance. We won’t return to help after we leave. 1975 Saigon?

  • James

    Merl E., again this is not a ‘war.’ What will end it is lack of funds to prosecute it. You can only borrow and spend so much before the buyers of that debt simply say, no more. If Congress then simply prints the dollars needed, that will inflate prices of everything in the United States beyond what Americans can afford. Historically, no currency that isn’t backed by gold, eventually self-destructs. Most Americans wont believe that until it happens.

  • James

    Robin, who’s Barry? Telling the world what the United States intends to do to them, is now common practice. Tune into C-Span for the latest details. In his last year in office, President Bush publicly stated: “An attack on Israel is an attack on the United States.” This may have been intended as a scare tactic to avoid future wars there, but doesn’t it state which side we are on, whatever the reason for the attack? Didn’t that alienate a billion Arabs? What if a Palestinian attack on Israel was simply a response to an attack on them?

  • James

    Warrior, Tehran is in Iran, are you saying the announced purpose for our buildup of troops in Afghanistan is actually a ruse to prepare an attack on Iran? If so, I think you’re right, Israel gets what it wants.

  • James

    Merl E., Congress didn’t declare war on Iraq or Afghanistan. A Joint Resolution authorized President Bush to invade Iraq and protect the United States from the WMDs, he had convinced Congress were there. If Iraq had no WMDs, they could not be a threat to the United States (a primary requirement for use of our military forces), and no authority to invade would have been authorized. When it was finally admitted that no WMDs were in Iraq the authority, for our forces to be there, ended. President Bush should have then apologized to Iraq for the mistake, and brought our troops home. The fact that he didn’t clearly exposes his real reason for being there.

  • jim

    Hi James, I don’t know what tour definition of a war is, but when our soldiers are fighting The enemies of our country I would have to say that’s what it is. A war is ended in two ways, you win or you surrender.It seems to me you’re for surrender.

  • Thurman Marcum


    You are absolutely correct.The only reason our government supports Isreal,it is because of unfounded religious myths and the silly belief that Jews are God’s chosen people..We need to stay out of other people’s business.We can’t be the world’s policemen.

  • James

    Thurman M., Thank you, here’s something to ponder. In 2 Samuel 7:10, we read: “Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more.” That promise was stated when all twelve tribes of Israel were in Palestine, under King David. Thus, this ‘place of their own’ from which they would ‘move no more’ cannot possibly be Palestine. All of which says, whoever is now in Palestine cannot possibly be the biblical Israelites.

  • James

    Jim, I was speaking in terms of constitutional law. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 states: “Congress shall have the power To declare War.” Congress didn’t declare war on Iraq or Afghanistan. It passed a Joint Resolution which authorized President Bush to protect the United States from Iraq’s WMDs, and to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In a war, there’s a front line where everyone in front of you is the enemy and everyone behind is either subdued or friendly. In Iraq, our troops don’t know who or where their enemy is, until they show themselves. Our purpose there is thus a police action, not to wage a full-fledged war.

  • James

    President Obama’s promise to remove our troops from Afghanistan by 2011 is a smokescreen. The Taliban is now in Pakistan, just to the South of there, and only about 100 al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan. The only reason for adding 30,000 troops in Afghanistan would be to sandwich Iran between them and our troops in Iraq. We will be at war with Iran long before 2011.


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