Finally Sense in the White House

The White House has been grappling with what its strategy should be going forward in Afghanistan. General Stanley McCrystal has submitted a request for more military personnel and is awaiting a response. The collective White House is weighing its response and for good reasons.

According to Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, getting the strategy right is the most important step that needs to be taken. Gates said that up to now there has not been any thought through strategy for Afghanistan. What a surprise.

Gates also said recently that there was need for robust consultations with other allies. He said that Afghanistan was not the sole responsibility of the US. The pieces may be fitting together as one thinks about all the consultation that has been quietly underway with allies and other interested parties (like China and Russia). The press has presented the White House considerations as only a two dimensional think project, centered on what is the politically correct number of troops to deploy. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Militarily, Afghanistan is already a quagmire and the Afghan Government is a cesspool. Both are not likely to change quickly and so there would appear no quick and clean path to peace and withdrawal. What the Obama team seem to recognize, however, is the dysfunctional Taliban leadership that would replace the current Afghan Government should US troops withdraw, would pose a menace for the entire world and not just the US.

Hence the need to get commitment from other Countries, and back home within his Administration, a common and coordinated approach among all the Cabinet Departments. Having an aligned and coordinated approach to Afghanistan is the best chance of achieving a positive outcome, a stable, peaceful Afghan Government.

So it is with some amusement that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s comments are received. Cheney speaking to a like group of chicken hawks said President Obama was “dithering” and should just give his commander the troops he needed to win. Oh, this is so Bush and Cheney, it is hard to not fall down laughing.

The Bush/Cheney team allowed the US Afghan war effort sit on the back burner while it foolishly pursued an unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq. In both military efforts there were no robust plans, no exit strategies, and no identified set of goals that would define success. And, even more telling, there was little or no involvement of allies or interested parties. It is refreshing and even more, a sign of real change to see the manner in which President Obama is conducting his foreign policy.

Finally, there is sense in the White House.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Iraq War, Politics, Republican Party

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