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  • Morning Bell: How Much Risk Will Obama Expose Our Troops To?

    When President Barack Obama announces his new Afghanistan policy tonight at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, Denise Young of Kokomo, Indiana, who has a 22-year-old son serving in Afghanistan, already knows what she wants to hear: “That he is going to let the generals make the decisions. They have asked for more troops. They should get them. There is safety in numbers.”

    Just what number President Obama decides, however, is still unknown. Some news organizations place the number of new troops he will announce tonight at 30,000 while others are reporting 34,000. What is clear is that all of the numbers reported are far below the levels that General Stanley McChrystal told President Obama were necessary to maximize the chance for victory in Afghanistan.

    As multiple sources reported this October, General McChrystal presented President Obama with three troop level scenarios each graded by risk: 1) an additional 20,000 troops that would run a “high risk of failure“; 2) an additional 80,000 troops that would be a “low risk option” that has “best chance to contain the Taliban-led insurgency and stabilize Afghanistan“; or 3) an additional 40,000 to 45,000 troop “medium risk option.”

    No matter what risk level President Obama chooses, his delay in making the decision has already hurt the mission’s chance for success. President Obama has been in office for over 10 months and was privy to extensive briefings on the Afghan situation before that. In March he announced his intention to dedicate the time, resources, and U.S. leadership necessary to stabilize the region and contain al Qaeda and the Taliban. In August he reaffirmed this commitment, acknowledging the centrality of defeating the Taliban to American security and calling Afghanistan a “war of necessity.” But the actual order to commit the resources to back up these words kept meeting delay; delay that only made victory more difficult. As well-known Pakistan expert Ahmed Rashid commented on October 27th in an article in the National Interest, “Every sign of the United States or NATO dithering over strategy only convinces the Pakistani military about keeping its Taliban option open.”

    Make no mistake: We want President Obama, and whatever strategy he announces tonight, to succeed. This is not an “optional” war in which a retreat would be cost free. Pulling troops out now would be exceedingly dangerous to the nation. Not only would it allow a safe space for al Qaeda to operate, but it could also destabilize Pakistan, whom we should never forget has nuclear weapons. We sincerely hope the President follows Mrs. Young’s advice and gives the generals all the resources they need to protect her son and our nation.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    27 Responses to Morning Bell: How Much Risk Will Obama Expose Our Troops To?

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The debate over whether this war is "wanted or not" is a debate that is too late. Once you put troops in the scenario, it becomes a WAR, whether you like or not – agree or not!

      Once you commit troops, you must be prepared to back them up and support them or they suffer what has happened to our enemies of previous wars – you loose!

      The United States is not in the habit of losing but in the past, we have had competent (or at least semi-competent) people running the Country. Now we have a coward in the White House who seems hell bent on the destruction of America! This coward never served his Country so he is not aware of the danger he is putting the troops in nor does he seem to care. He is more in tune with bowing and telling others how bad America is. This coward had better grow some guts quickly or he is going to cause our troops to loose theirs – and that is NOT an option!

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      HF and GOP Logic

      Start a War – as Bush did

      Abandon it,

      and THEN COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT THE NEW GUY IS DOING.

      BRILLIANT!!!!

    3. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      I do not believe that the dems and obama have what it will take to win this war. I also do not believe that the American people have the will to stand and fight for what is being done. The politicans will get more involved in this war, and then start making the decisions as to what our troops have to do and what equipment they have to accomplish the mission. When the politicans get involved then all goes to hell in a hand basket. We can not afford to pull out of the war, we will end up looking weak and inept to the world, but then that is the way of the dems and obama, I am sure at some point in time obama will go around the world and make apologies to all for this war. I hope all that have paid the ultimate price will not have done so in vain.

    4. Mark Y Durango,Co says:

      I think the question is, who's side is obama on?

    5. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      I will have much to reflect on this time tomorrow after the Commander in Chief tells our Army what the mission will be.

      Whatever it turns out to be, I expect it to be a half-assed plan.

      Nothing has changed in Afghanistan… almost nothing will change in Afghanistan regardless of the plan. History books are quite revealing.

      What will change in Afghanistan will be the body-bag count.

    6. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Didn't the HF complain –

      about bills NOT BEING POSTED on the internet?

      Now this – Senate Republicans objected on Monday to a proposal from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that all health care reform amendments must first be posted online before being considered in order.

      Example of GOP Logic.

    7. Barbara, Florida says:

      Bush didn't start the war as much as he responded to the 9/11 attack. Would you have preferred that he do nothing? I am so sick of all the Bush bashing.

    8. W. S. Geralad Skey, says:

      This is an opinion based on common sense and some experience from Vietnam where I served in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. I cannot imagine any military decision that announces a schedule. If one is not prepared to win a military operation, there is no point in even trying. In the case of today's speech on Afghanistan, the media has reported that Obama intends to provide his exit strategy. The media also reports that Obama is going to make it clear that we are not going to remain in Afghanistan for a long time (whatever is meant by "a long time".)But what this Administration does not seem to understand is that the minute – the second – we place limitations on our commitment to the conflict, the enemy will prevail. In this case, success for the enemy may well arrive through merely waiting us out. It may arrive through carefully selected areas of conflict. The point is that we will never know. But one thing will remain certain which is that we will leave accoridng to some schedule and that, alone, will make defeat a certainty.

      My point in this is that with Obama's famed lack of experience in anything makes it impossible to believe that he has any understanding of military conflict and, to me, his approach to Afghanistan is proof positive that he does not understand the dangers involved. I would much prefer that he abandon Afghanistan than make what amounts to a half hearted effort to avoid answering questions as to why he supported the Afghan conflict during the political campaign and is now turning his back on it. What he is doing amounts to nothing more than dipping a big toe into the lake to determine the temperature – weak willed and lily livered decision that will result in the continuing deaths of our military men without any possibility of success. This is not leadership – this amounts to covering his own hind quarters from political back lash.

    9. Don, Michigan says:

      Again Ozzy 6900, my hat off to you, You are right on track.

    10. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Obama is all fluff and no stuff.

    11. jim toledo says:

      Just a couple of quick thoughts, first and foremost, if we are going to commit more troops we better be willing to do whatever it takes to win. So far, this administration, hasn't shown that committment. Second, if the Generals feel they need 40-45,000, then don't quibble about it give them the number of men they require, don't pull and LBJ and try to run the war for them and don't try to tie their hands if someone gets a fat lip. Third, can we accept that G. Bush isn't the president anymore and that the Democrats own the White House, Congress, and the media. Whatever happens is theirs to own; so, they better be on the mark and make good decisions, this includes healthcare, cap and trade, etc.

    12. Bruce Haughey, Redwo says:

      Obama declared Afghanistan the right/just war. Once he makes that stand he should act to support it, not take 6 months to make a decision. Great example of liberal logic!

    13. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Ken Jarvis – George Bush did not start the war. The terrorist attacked this country on 9/11 and killed nearly 3,000 people. That started the war. Bush did his job by protecting this country after 9/11 (due to Clinton "a Democrat") for the next 7 1/2 years. Obama (a Democrat) adopted Bush's Afgan policies in March then reaffirmed in August, then didn't have the guts to follow through due to pure POLITICS. Everything this gutless coward does is based on his left-wing political ideology. Even NOT giving our troops the help "his General" asked for.

    14. Steve, Fairbanks AK says:

      Another politician trying to do a General's work. It did not work in Vietnam! Desert Storm taught us that overwhelming force protects our forces. Just look at the low number of casualties during that conflict and proves the point. A Presidents job is to define the overall objective and let the professional military come up with a plan to achieve the objective. To do anything less just shows how naive our politicians really are.

    15. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Whether the troops remain or leave is open to debate. What matters is how we use the troops since they are following orders and risk their lives.

      One could argue that since we will not even enforce the laws pertaining to our open Southern border, what good is it to maintain a force in Afghanistan?

      One could also argue that we do not want resurgence of Al Queda so we must continue the good fight!

      Pakistan has finally declared war on the terrorists when the terrorists became a real threat to the stability of Pakistan and its Nucs.

      The fact is that War is an extension of politics. It is the grand strategy that counts not the tactics.

      If our grand strategy is to kill terrorists and fight for our very way of life over the Islamic Extremists Terrorists, then we MUST continue the war for as long as it takes.

      If our grand strategy is to NOT finish the job – now or in the future, then we should leave and strike from afar.

      It makes no sense to set a "time-line" for "completion". Terrorists are patient. They will just wait until we leave. If we approach it in the manner, the treasure and lives will be wasted.

    16. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama's willing to do ANYTHING to appease the loony left and the Code Pink crowd. Why do you think he's proposing "an exit strategy?"

    17. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Our Father who art in heaven,Hallowed by Thy Name. Thy kingdom come,Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into Temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, now and forever. So be it.

    18. Pingback: Billions Wasted On Climate Studies?

    19. Randy, New Orleans says:

      I am one of those 71% who are disgusted with the Obama Administration's policies. I knew what this guy was about long before he decided or was "chosen" to run for president of the United States. He and his henchmen have done more to destroy our Country in just 11 months than any other president has in our history. And need I remind all, we have 3 more years of this Communist's quest to reshape our country into somenthing our Founding Father's fought so hard for to defeat. All we can do is to oppose them in every way and vote them OUT in 2010 and 2012.

    20. TIM K COUNCIL BLUFFS says:

      ImpeachObamaCampaign.com is a project of the Policy Issues Institute.

    21. Carol, AZ says:

      WE DO UNDERSTAND THE REALITY OF TERRORISM, LIKE IT OR NOT.

      WE ALSO KNOW THAT THESE ACTS OF EXTREME VIOLENCE HAS INFULTRATED OTHER COUNTRY'S THROUGH-OUT THE WORLD.

      POINT UNDERSTOOD.

      WHERE IS THE REST OF THE WORLD IN SUPPORT OF THIS ACTION?

      A FEW U.N. TROOPS SPRINKLED AROUND DIF. AREAS DOESN'T CUT IT AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.

      I WANT TO SEE THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT HAS BEEN SO EFFECTED BY THESE ACTS OF VIOLENCE ALSO STAND WITH US.

      I THINK THAT IS OUR GREAT MISTAKE.

    22. Bobbie Jay says:

      That is absolutely right! The world should also share in the expense.

      As government turns a blind eye to the immigration crisis, how many terrorists have infiltrated this country? They could be employed EVERYWHERE ESSENTIAL TO HUMAN LIFE… just waiting for the signal. This is a great concern as a pedophile can get a job from government, working with school children.

      Government doesn't enforce or create laws necessary to protect America! The government ignores proper background checks and necessary discrimination that would protect us from civil violators and TERRORISTS!

      SUSPECTS are even allowed to sue when, because of THEIR FRIGHTENING, FAMILIAR BEHAVIOR, cause alarm to others…AND THE FRIGHTENING FAMILIAR BEHAVIOR WINS!

      Only the weak would sue and hold no accountability, denying the strength to just let it go.

      This government has done nothing to be worthy of trust.

      God Bless Our Troops!

    23. ron terry australia says:

      you guys still don't understand how/why you lost in vietnam.

      the tragedy is being repeated — and that is a tragedy.

      ron terry

    24. Micki-Tamarac, FL says:

      You can say what you want about Bush but he was not a coward as our current President definately is!

      When our troups asked for help he was right there and it didn't take maonths for a decision.

      This president doesn't want to win this war buecuse then he would have to appoligize for that too.

      We have sons and daughters over there waiting and dying while he has meetings and party's and can't help them out.

      President's need courage, unfortunately this president has neither.

      My grandsons are there already and need help, please get them the help they need or send them home. They believe in what they are doing and they want to finish the job but they need help.

      I FOR ONE MISS BUSH!!!!!

    25. jim smith says:

      Bill Moyers just gifted Nobama his complete set of Viet Nam push pins with extra sets going to Axelrod, Emanuel, Little Timmy and Rev. Wright. Nobama has already moved on to other topics like

      "cap and vomit" and "straight" marriage. Remember, boys & girls, anything he declares is suspect because he will tell the truth and not really know it.

    26. Richard Fuller says:

      My opinion of the Afghan and Iraq war is this: They don't fight the wars according to the Geneva Convention, so why should we. I think it stinks when our soldiers capture a taliban or insurgent leader, give him a fat lip, or whatever, and have our soldiers face a court martial. What is wrong with this picture? I say pull all our troops out, drop bombs where we know the Taliban is, that's victory! What we are doing is pussy-footing around, and having our troops murdered.

    27. Ella Quinn N.C. says:

      I miss George Bush also.

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