• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama's Afghanistan Numbers Not Adding Up

    The Washington Post’s David Ignatius reports from Afghanistan:

    I asked Lt Gen. David Rodriquez, the No. 2 US commander here, in a briefing tonight how long the deployment of the extra 30,000 would take. He answered that “it will happen between nine and eleven months,” starting in January 2010. Which means that some troops might not arrive until November 2010.

    The next month after that, December 2010, is when Obama plans to assess how well the troops are doing — so he can decide how many to pull out when the withdrawal begins in July 2011. That doesn’t give him much time to make good decisions.

    Am I the only person who worries that “fuzzy math” is being used here?

    No he’s not. Heritage scholars Lisa Curtis and James Phillips wrote after President Obama’s Afghanistan speech:

    President Obama’s West Point speech announcing his long-awaited decision on Afghanistan sent mixed messages that raise more questions about his Administration’s commitment to success than they answered. On the one hand, the President announced that he will dispatch 30,000 more U.S. troops within the next six months to reinforce the 68,000 already there and ask American allies, who currently have about 37,000 troops in theater, to bolster their commitment. On the other hand, this surge falls at least 10,000 troops short of General Stanley McChrystal’s “medium risk” option, and 30,000 troops short of his “low risk” option.

    Moreover, Obama indicated that U.S. troops will begin to withdraw in 18 months–an unrealistically brief timeframe in which to accomplish their mission. The announcement of a withdrawal date also provides a psychological advantage to the Taliban who will convince their recruits that America has lost its will and thus they can just “wait us out.” Instead of acting as a decisive commander-in-chief firmly committed to success, President Obama came across as an uncertain political leader eager to split the differences within his divided Administration to implement an exit strategy, despite the likely disastrous consequences of such a plan.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Obama's Afghanistan Numbers Not Adding Up

    1. Clark Gay. Coral Spr says:

      The deployment of 30,000 U.S. troops and an additional 7,000 NATO troops is simply designed to have enough security forces in theater to conduct a full withdrawal of combat assets and forces. This is just a political maneuver by the Obama Administration to buy time and end the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan before the 2012 Presidential Election. It is just pure politics Obama style.

    2. Tim, Fitzgerald, GA says:

      They loved Bush for his backbone and his convictions when the terrorists attacked. Then, they hated Bush for his stubborn refusal to pull our of Iraq (read backbone and conviction).

      They loved Obama before he was elected. Now they are falling away because of his unwillingness or inability to get anything done for either side (spineless lack of conviction).

      America is the Roman mob remade and all we are getting is the proverbial "bread and circuses." Presidential approval rating, however, is meaningless. It is best put by a line from the movie "Gladiator," 'The mob is fickle, brother. He'll be forgotten in a month.'

    3. dennis.... florida says:

      It's makes you wonder which side Obama is on.

    4. Roger S., Ma. says:

      "Fuzzy math"? What's fuzzy about it? Doesn't the degree of "fuzziness" depend on what is actually being calculated, what "fudged"? Remember: BHO didn't say "win" in his speech; instead he used the word "success". Success can mean quite different outcomes to many people. Once again the great WH magician was being "Clintonian"! It's a key habit of his. Needs to be watched when and wherever practiced. Good job, HF!

    5. Bobbie Jay says:

      Obama made it clear during his campaign, his dislike for America. He is not trusted to keep this country and the people safe. LOOK WHAT HE'S DOING TO IT DAILY! NO DISCIPLINE, NO ACCOUNTABILITY, NO REASON, NO GOOD WILL TO ALL MANKIND.

      How can he be trusted to, even have the intent, to keep the troops safe? He is setting up the troops. whenever Obama keeps a "promise," it is imperative to see ALL ANGLES, cracks and crevices as the results of his "promises" never goes without a slap in the face to America.


    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.