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  • Secretary of Defense Gates Backpedaling on Afghanistan

    President Obama yesterday met with his top advisers to discuss Afghanistan policy and afterwards word leaked out that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates appears to be wavering on going forward with the Obama Administration’s new strategy for Afghanistan. Yochi Dreazen reported in the Wall Street Journal today that Gates, who has supported the counterinsurgency approach in the past, “now worries that counterinsurgency might no longer be a viable approach for countering the Taliban violence roiling once-stable parts of north and west Afghanistan.” This is yet another sign that the Obama Administration may be backpedaling away from the counterinsurgency-based Afghanistan strategy which it unveiled last March.

    If Gates now is turning against the recommendations of the administration’s hand-picked commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, then it appears that advocates of a minimalist “small footprint” strategy may win the internal debate within the administration. This would be a potentially disastrous outcome that would demoralize America’s Afghan allies, prompt Afghans sitting on the fence to come down on the side of the insurgents, and further energize the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other anti-American forces in the region. Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Lisa Curtis has warned that such an outcome would raise the future risks of a terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland. Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow James Phillips has noted that the minimalist counterterrorism strategy already has been tried and failed miserably in Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq. It would therefore be a costly mistake if General McChrystal’s new Afghanistan strategy is defeated in Washington before it can be implemented in Afghanistan.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    23 Responses to Secretary of Defense Gates Backpedaling on Afghanistan

    1. Susan, Missouri says:

      Gates needs to support General McChrystal and do what he knows is the right thing. McChrystal was put in place to do a job, and he deserves to have Gates, Obama, and Congress backing him.

      Send him the troops he needs to do the job successfully. If we back off now we can expect more trouble. We need to finish the job we started.

    2. Bruce, Bryan/College says:

      Mr. Gates

      Are you caught in a trap? Are you being given "talking points" by the left? Do you still have the "will" to do the right thing, even if you face rebuke from the POTUS? We thought you were one of the few voices of reason in this radical socialist regime. Have you lost your voice? your courage? Surely the men who have died and others who face death daily (American and Afgan) deserve the support of their leaders! If the US pulls back, its allies will be gone, and proponents of terror will win. Grow some cahones and stand with the General. History will boldly show weakness and strength and the consequences of each. Which side to you want to be on, for posterity?

    3. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Does anyone expect Gates to say anything that

      contradicts whatever Obama's policies may be, regardless of whether or not they are disastrous

      for American interest. Anyone that has signed on as an Obama lacky, has sold his/her soul.

    4. Stephen Ohio says:

      This Marxist piece of debris should be impeached and tried for treason.

    5. Jerry from Chicago says:

      This is what happens when the President goes through the "chain of command" during a war, instead of speaking with his commanding general in the field. That's why they call the President the Commander In Chief. If Mr. Obama had any experience with the military, he might have known that.

      I seem to remember that Mr. Obama had plenty to say about Mr. Bush not having an exit strategy in Iraq, none of it very flattering. Mr. Obama was very critical of the war in Iraq and said that the place we really needed to fight the enemy was in Afghanistan. Now may be a good time for Mr. Obama to show us his exit strategy for Afghanistan, so we old Bush supporters can see how it's done. But maybe we have seen Mr. Obama's exit strategy, that being to ignore it and leave it to the "chain of command".

    6. Clay Sikes says:

      Gates penchant for 'lacky of the year award' has just reached a new level…how can you prosecute a war for years (as Gates has done) on two fronts, first hand see what works and what does not, and then capitulate to non-military civilian strategist who know nothing of war, war strategy or soldiering…its called 'self preservation!'

    7. Tim Az says:

      Mao-Bama will not make a decision on Afghanistan until he knows the outcome of his health control bill. Our sons and daughters in the military may carry the brunt of Mao-Bama's dis-pleasure if he does not get health control. In the mean time they hang in the balance.

    8. Louis L Cesar F Levy says:

      Anything less that General McChristal(an even stronger approach might be considered) will be deadly for this Global War is only in its tactical strategie's and strategem's positionning. The next years will reveal how wise and victory minded were those who understood this fact. Either puting in key places key elements so as not to be surprised or leaving strategic positions unoccupied and be weaker almost everywhere with the inevitable consequences. Don't forget that Iran and Afghanistan have a large frontier…

    9. Marisa, Pennsylvania says:

      How long before General McChrystal is replaced with someone who agrees with the Big O? That's how he rolls in DC.

    10. R.M. Allen, AL says:

      Democrats have gone beyond giving us daily examples that they are weak on defense. They are now giving us daily examples of their hostility to the national security of the United States. The cumulative effect of Leftist policies will be to once again create the conditions for and enable a very successful terrorist attack (or is that "man-made catastrophe"?) inside the United States. The Democratic Party's "magical thinking" is going to get the U.S. killed. Unfortunately, the Republican's will be an equal accomplice through its incompetence and inability to stop the Left.

    11. Clark Yanda says:

      Up until today I have had a profound respect for

      Mr Gates,but I am not sure after his back pedaling

      today. I believe that if you would sell your soul to keep a job you should question your motives for it in the first place. Stand up and be heard

      Mr Gates

    12. Asperegus Alvin Tex says:

      I believe it's time for General McChystal to set up camp Around the captial and the white house!

      Send Gates home to Texas A and M –

    13. D,Draco; Groton, CT says:

      Depending on whether the general gets his people, McChrystal will resign as will Petraeus, Gates and Obama will be the ones with blood on their hands.

      This will rival Nixon's Saturday night massacre (when the special prosecutor was supposed to be fired).

    14. Stan Krasnoff, Austr says:

      There’s an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by committee and there’s a real danger that as a result of this ‘group-think’ regarding strategy in Afghanistan, the situation will be muddied and wrong steps will be taken. The mission in Afghanistan must be to eradicate al Qaeda. Although al Qaeda and its ideology of global jihad may be in a decline, it is regrouping unmolested in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. While in the north defensive/garrison type operations may continue to be conducted in the short term, the south and south-east is Taliban country and the Taliban protect al Qaeda. In the present circumstances, Kharzai’s notion of parleying with the Taliban is ludicrous—why would they parley when they are winning? the US should deploy at least 150,000 combat troops into Afghanistan to secure all borders—that includes the Swat Valley (with Pakistan’s involvement) and the provinces of Khost, Paktia and Paktika —and conduct counter insurgency operations over a period of 180 days to achieve Enduring Freedom’s mission, after which all troops should be pulled out—in, win, and get out quick. With PSYOPS propaganda and construction engineers in the cleared villages following up the search and destroy missions, just watch the Taliban give up on el Qaeda—the real enemy.

    15. Brenda, Arizona says:

      Gates is a complete moron. Look at his track record. He does not even know what to do he just does whatever the supreme Obama says, it makes me sick that this guy is in the position he is in. He does not have a clue how to do his job. The only thing he knows what to do is be a flunky for Obama.

    16. philip says:

      obamas stand for defence of our nation and our allies is surender. he will not even support our men and women of the boarder patrol let alone our miltary . his bottm line is to surender rather than defend our allies ,or the united states

    17. Susan Zarowny, Detro says:

      Do not engage in a war unless you plan on seeing it through and win it, other wise do not even start it. The Dems love to start situations but never have the guts to see it through and win. The Dems are great at talking and lousy at doing. Talk is cheap. Lets see results.

    18. Robert, Indiana says:

      The mission in Afghanistan is long term as in Iraq. They are our allies and friends. Our investment there is large and somewhat painful but also rewarding for all who serve this noble purpose. The United States and our allies around the world hold the key to the success of our mission of global peace and prosperity. Let us not be detered in this day of global cooperation.

    19. THE CAPTAIN, Nesw Or says:

      I think we need to fight this war to win it. That means following General McChrystal's recommendations. But if we are not going to do that and settle for a small footprint (which we know will not work), then bring the boys and girls home. There lives are not something to play with; either go win this war or get out.

      Americans have no more guts. They do not have the fortitude to hang in during the types of wars we are now fighting. They want to go in and have it end in a week. We can still do that with countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. But the hard part is not regime change, but rather stabalizing the new government. Nation building is difficult when so many of the people in a country do not want to help us. It is the same fear that grips the poor in America's inner cities. You cannot even tell the good guys from the bad guys. If we are not going to have a strategy of win and only win, no matter how long it takes, then let's get out.

    20. Sue Ann, Houston says:

      Gates and Obama are willing to let our children die in Afghanistan. Playing politics with real lives. They have no soul.

    21. Drexel, Fort Myers, says:

      President Reagan's Cold War strategy was simple, "We Win, They Loose!" President Obama's strategy seems to be, "We give up, You win."

      Iran is getting closer to having a nuclear warhead for the Shahab3 missile, North Korea has already launched medium range missiles and had test nuclear detonations. A Taliban/Al Quid a victory in Afghanistan will probably lead to their taking over control of Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal.

      President Obama wants Russia and China to apply pressure to Iran. Why would they? All they have to do is look the other way while North Korea and/or Iran launch 2 or 3 nuclear EMP strikes on the U. S. Russia invades and takes over Alaska with all its oil and natural gas reserves, including ANWR. China invades and takes over Taiwan, then The Philippines, then Hawaii, then the West Coast with the oil and natural gas reserves on the Continental Shelf. And, oh by the way, Mexico reclaims Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and has unlimited access to the oil and natural gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico.

      How is that for "Hope and Change"?

    22. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Gates can no more speak his mind than anyone else connected with Obama. They are all mere puppets to the Fascist leader. The truth of both Afganistan and Iran, is to withfraw all our troops, and nuke them until they glow! God know his own. They are to much of athreat and to great a cost and risk to the rest of the World's Freedom at this time. We have no choice but to take the lead and the responsibility to end this now.

    23. Ellen Tulsa, Ok says:

      My heart is so heavy when I see our young boys in Afghanistan carrying their heavy backpacks and guns and other equipment they need to fight for our freedom. I looked up the temperature in the region they are fighting and it is from 35 degrees to sometimes 120 degrees!!! Also, I heard some of our men are serving their 6th or 7th term and are really tired.

      I have no respect for Obama or Gates or any of the others who are delaying sending more troops to help those who are already in the thick of fighting. Obama has never been on enemy ground and carried a rifle and all of the heavy equipment…he has only sat upon his IVORY THRONE and stated "I was elected and I am president", while letting our troops fight for his freedom to play golf, fly in Air Force One to NY for dinner with his wife, his Wednesday night WH dinners where he serves $100 Japanese steaks, etc. I have no respect for him…I think he lacks backbone, incapable of making a decision, no leadership ability…and he is TOO full of himself!!!!!!!!

      I have signed a petition to impeach Obama…I hope all of the rest of you will sign too. We are speedily becoming a Socialist nation and if Obama has his way, through the G20 we will no longer be a sovereign nation…we will be under global government!

      Tulsa, Ok

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