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  • Morning Bell: Obama's Afghanistan Withdrawal

    In the face of an unpopular war and an upcoming re-election campaign, President Barack Obama addressed the American people last night from the East Room of the White House to inform them of his plans to rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The President’s decision, though politically expedient, jeopardizes the successes made in Afghanistan over the last 10 months and will signal to allies and enemies alike that the United States is more committed to extricating itself from the fight than it is to ensuring that stability in the region is achieved.

    The President’s decision to bring home 10,000 troops by the end of this year and a total of 33,000 troops by next summer comes despite requests from the Pentagon and General David Petraeus to limit the initial withdrawal to 3,000 to 4,000, as the L.A. Times reports. And as The Washington Post writes this morning, the President’s decision isn’t based in a “convincing military or strategic rationale.” Rather, it is “at odds with the strategy adopted by NATO, which aims to turn over the war to the Afghan army by the end of 2014.”

    Senator John McCain (R-AZ) also criticized the President’s decision to move for a rapid withdrawal, noting that “as our military commanders have repeatedly said, this progress remains fragile.”

    I am concerned that the withdrawal plan that President Obama announced tonight poses an unnecessary risk to the hard-won gains that our troops have made thus far in Afghanistan and to the decisive progress that must still be made.  This is not the “modest” withdrawal that I and others had hoped for and advocated.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Lisa Curtis writes that apart from denying his military commanders flexibility to determine the pace and scope of withdrawal based on conditions on the ground, the President “also risks upending the major achievement of eliminating Osama bin Laden across the border in Pakistan.”

    Killing bin Laden, though, was one justification the President cited as grounds for pulling out troops, in effect declaring victory before the war is even over. That move comes with significant risks, Curtis writes:

    It is short-sighted to use bin Laden’s death as justification for hastening the U.S. troop draw down in Afghanistan.  Announcing rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces will likely bolster the morale of the Taliban and encourage them to stick with the fight.  Since al-Qaeda has not yet dissolved as an organization and its relationship with the Taliban remains strong, reducing military pressure on the Taliban in Afghanistan could benefit al-Qaeda and provide it a lifeline at a critical juncture in the fight against terrorism.

    The withdrawal plan will signal to both our Afghan allies and enemy forces that the U.S. is more committed to withdrawing its forces than the long-term goal of stabilizing the country. The U.S. made a grave error in turning its back on Afghanistan after the Soviets departed in 1989. President Obama’s speech will stoke fears that the U.S. is getting ready to repeat a similar mistake.

    Instead, though, the President is patting himself on the back for a job well done, even though the job is not finished. But rather than ensure that America finishes the job it started in Afghanistan–a mission intended to protect the American people from the threat of al-Qaeda’s terrorists bent on ripping apart this country’s foundation–President Obama articulated what he sees as the U.S. government’s primary purpose: not to secure the homeland but to create government-backed programs to spur the economy and fund research for green energy:

    Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times.  Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource –- our people.  We must unleash innovation that creates new jobs and industries, while living within our means.  We must rebuild our infrastructure and find new and clean sources of energy.

    Nation-building at home might be the President’s ideal job, but he has a responsibility abroad. As Curtis notes, the President’s decision to rapidly withdraw from Afghanistan will “further discourage Pakistan from cracking down on the Taliban leadership that finds sanctuary on its soil” and “reinforce Islamabad’s calculation that the U.S. is losing resolve in the fight in Afghanistan and thus encourage Pakistani military leaders to continue to hedge on support to the Taliban to protect their own national security interests.”

    The United States is combating terrorism in Afghanistan to keep it from reverting to a safe haven for terrorists like those who struck on September 11, 2001. While U.S. troops have achieved successes in the region, their sacrifices could be squandered under a hasty withdrawal that is calculated for political gain, not for victory on the battlefield. The President ought to act based on the conditions on the ground and the advice of his military commanders — not on an electoral timeline.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    74 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama's Afghanistan Withdrawal

    1. Miguel E Levy says:

      "Nation building at home" means unfettered "building socialism", with all that that implies.Obama and his left-wing supporters have been frustrated because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic slump at home, have prevented an all out effort to grow the size and influence of the federal government through unlimited spending. Now Obama wants to get a real start on building socialism before the next election!

    2. Glynnda says:

      Good Morning Heritage bloggers

      About this plan, I agree with West Texas above and I agree with Gary above. We need to withdraw but do so in a sensible way and have a more technological plan in place to assist Pakistan and Afghanistan in their free nation efforts. I am not hearing of any plans like that from the President…..he is not a thinking man in my estimation and he is quite foolish for not listening to his generals (the experts) in this matter, but that is his history….so no surprise…

    3. J. Guidry says:

      See it for what it is, an obvious attempt to gather votes in the face of a dismal record with everything. He will be bragging about pulling the troops in almost every campaign speech from now on. Spare me.

    4. fletchrg says:

      I am disappointed that Heritage feels the need to "pull it's punches."

      Your first paragraph reads, in part, "The President’s decision, though politically expedient, jeopardizes the successes made in Afghanistan over the last 10 months and will signal to allies and enemies alike that the United States is more committed to extricating itself from the fight than it is to ensuring that stability in the region is achieved."

      I am disappointed that you didn't have the courage to speak the truth here: …will signal to allies and enemies alike that Obama is more committed to campaigning for re-election than he is to ensuring that stability in the region is achieved.

      If you are planning to lead the conservative movement, don't whitewash the truth.

    5. HCQ says:

      Who cares what McCain thinks? He needs to retire. Why is it our responsibility to make sure that region is stable? Maybe the people who live in that region need to make sure that region is stable.

      • Andrea Scott says:

        I agree with you about McCain, but to telegraph withdrawal is truly placing our young warriors in harms way. He could have just begun the withdrawal silently and before anyone was any wiser…they would have been home without jepordizing the remaining troops.

      • David says:

        I agree! After 10 years it is obvious that "victory" (whatever that is) will not be achieved. Whenever we leave, now or in another 10 years, this country will never be stable. They have been fighting among themselves forever.

    6. Dr. Pete Kleff says:

      It would seem that the U.S. simply refuses to learn from the past. In the unpopular Korean War, Pres. Eisenhower compromised, thus leading to decades of an aggressive, intransigent North Korea. Because the Vietnam War was unpopular, Pres. Nixon and Pres. Ford sold out South Vietnam. This lead to mass slaughter in Southeast Asia, "re-education camps", and "boat people" fleeing the Communist regimes. Yet, after a massive effort in Afghanistan, which shows some hope finally despite the growing unpopularity of the war effort, we are going to flee. What delightful terrors will this bring?

      • RNP says:

        Vietnam was one big mistake. In North Korea the "compromise" avoided all out war with China. We cannot impose stability on Afghanistan. Please do learn from the past.

    7. Miguel E Levy says:

      "Nation building at home" means unfettered "building socialism", with all that that implies.Obama and his left-wing supporters have been frustrated because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economic slump at home, have prevented an all out effort to grow the size and influence of the federal government through unlimited spending. Now Obama wants to get a real start on building socialism before the next election!

    8. Oscar Brown says:

      Since President Obama took office, he's had a deaf ear as to what is best for America. Sadly, he remains consistent. He is, of course, not an ideologue. Right!

    9. Bill says:

      We can't have it both ways. The president's restrained approach to withdrawal is the best approach available. It's time to focus on the major issues at home, jobs, business growth, financial stability thriving cities and states. This country is being ripped apart because our pople are losing their dreams and their fortunes. Our families are under incredible strain. It's time to "nation build" at home. Over the past ten years families have lost practically all their gains in financial security and personal growth. We need to continue the fight to protect ourselves from terroists but no longer at the expense of our financial security. It's time to fix our own country now!!

      • Steve Harden says:

        Nation building at home is a simple 2 step
        Process of repealing Obamacare and removing federal restrictions that are hindering business growth. You certainly can't repair our damaged economy by increasing federal spending on "green" energy. Our problem is that government doesn't know when to STOP spending.

    10. ThomNJ says:

      This will come back to bite us for sure, and very likely it will also bite maobama as well – he may placate the far left, but he is just as likley going to further piss off the rest of us – including a number in his base as things will deteriorate between the withdrawals and the election – he doesn't realize the taliban don't give tow hoots for his political ploys.

    11. MJF in CT says:

      I would love nothing more than to see all of our troops back home but not at the expense of seeing everything they have accomplished be destroyed. Also, Mr. Obama is being very reckless announcing our movements to the enemy. Our troops could be caught in an ambush as they are leaving or the enemy could mass and wait for the first wave of troops to leave and then attack the ones left behind.

      Mr. Obama has no clue how to deal with the armed forces (just as he has no clue how to run a Country). Mr. Obama is only concerned with his campaign promise of getting out of Afghanistan during his administration. So if he brings 3 to 4 thousand troops home, he can say that he did his best during the 2012 campaigns. So like Mr. Obama to use our troops as a campaign wedge. I hope his stupidity doesn't cost the lives of our brave soldiers!

      • azwayne says:

        He and many more in Congress might have to shift portfolios, If we stop growing war complex they'll have to find something else to fatten wallets with. ODUMBO needs troops ready to send to Libya. Can't afford to train new ones. Some I don't agree, I don't care how long we stay in Afghanistan there will never be security. You can't change people out of the dark ages.

      • David says:

        What of any lasting value has been accomplished?

    12. C. Popham Smith says:

      My fellow Americans and Heritage, there is just one salient caveat to the president's speech.
      It must be understood that this troop withdrawal is not only political; it also smacks of the ongoing insult
      to the intelligence of the American people. Drawdown of American forces? Not. For every troop that is
      sent home, that troop will be replaced/supplanted by a mercenary 'contractor'; therefor the cost of our imperialistic hegemony will remain in tact…..in the tens of billions of taxpayer dollars.
      Nation building in Afghanistan? How about nation building in the United States of America for a change?
      Why on earth are we subsidizing a God forsaken, corrupt and ungrateful Muslim country thoussands of miles
      away, while America (Washington) fails to address our most critical domestic issues during a recession.
      It all goes beyond the pale.
      Is there one ounce of patriotism or concern for this once great nation in Washington? I think not.
      Good luck, America.

      • Ken Jarvis says:

        Murdochs Empire – WSJ and FOX are the voice of the GOP.
        They are responsible for the Recession going on and on and on.
        Things will get better – they always have.
        WHY does the HF want everything to believe – Things will ONLY get worse?

    13. Eric Nisula says:

      One foot on the dock, the other on the boat—and the boat is moving.

    14. Perfectlyaged says:

      STUCK ON STUPID!!!! And, I am entitled to say that…I have been a registered and voting democrat for almost sixty years and I recognize ignorance!

    15. Ron Sakowski says:

      I have a very cynical view of Obama. If 5000 more American deaths would guarantee his reelection, he would be happy to arrange it. I feel absolute sorrow and grief for those who have died and been wounded as well as their families. Other than our initial incursion after 911, Bush as well as Obama have botched our involvement in Afghanistan. Our strategic objective should have been to ensure that Afghanistan did not harbor terrorists. It was not necessary to eliminate the Taliban in order to do so. An understanding about the existence of Afghanistan as a habitable place would have been sufficient. I hope that Obama goes to Bethesda and tells the amputees that it was all worth it. Another National disgrace!

    16. Ken Jarvis says:

      6 – 23 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Things WILL GET BETTER.
      DON'T Trust anyone that tell you otherwise.

      • Great Scott says:

        Can you send me some magic too, there Ken ? There is nothing in place to get better. Not a single policy and since you are so keen on facts, I am sure you will not believe the media reports about your recovery and the continues unemployment numbers. Even cool aid goes warm without ice.

    17. fletchrg says:

      I am disappointed that Heritage feels the need to "pull it's punches."

      Your first paragraph reads, in part, "The President’s decision, though politically expedient, jeopardizes the successes made in Afghanistan over the last 10 months and will signal to allies and enemies alike that the United States is more committed to extricating itself from the fight than it is to ensuring that stability in the region is achieved."

      If you were concerned about speaking the plain truth, you should have said something like, "…will signal to allies and enemies alike that Obama is more committed to his own re-election than he is to ensuring that stability in the region is achieved."

      I am disappointed that Heritage did not have the courage to tell the REAL truth.

    18. John G says:

      We're 10 years to late in this move. The reason we went to war (as far as I remember), was to eliminate the Taliban as they were aiding Al Qaeda and bin Laden. We wiped out the Taliban within months, and the vast majority of Al Qaeda had left the country. We won. We can't force democracy on people who aren't ready for it, and it seems clear that that country is not ready for it.

    19. C. Popham Smiith says:

      Never before in the history of this once great nation have we been faced with such enormous and
      critical domestic challenges. America is dissolving before our eyes, yet we continuee to allow the people
      in Washington propagandize and insiult the intelligence of the American people with 2012 troop 'withdrawals'.
      You all know where this comes from and where it will end.
      America is onthe cusp of fiscal and economic failure, yet in Washington they speak of "nation building"
      in a far-off land. We need nation building here in America. The Afghans must learn to defend themselves.
      And we must withdraw more quickly and on a bigger scale than a measely 33,000 troops by 2012.
      Good luck, America.

    20. MNJ says:

      What do you call those gummy figures at car sales rooms – you know, those that bend over, wobble in the wind and blow every which way?

    21. Frankie says:

      We have been hearing the arguments for the never –ending war for ten years. Enough already!

    22. Skane says:

      I fear that this will increase an already dangerous situation for the troops that will be remaining in Afghanistan. Did he put any thought into the people involved in this mess or is he just concerned about the politics of the moment? This is the most thoughtless, politically motivated president that we've had in my lifetime. He needs to go away and let us start putting our country back together.

      • azwayne says:

        It's easy politics of the moment, all he's ever done, continuous campaigner. What more can you say?

    23. West Texan says:

      I could not have said it better than Dennis Miller on last evening's O'Reilly factor. If we draw down before the fight is over, we'll be forced to return later and finish it. I agree with Dennis that what's needed is an "old blood and guts" strategy, referring to General Patton. The commanders on the ground can win the peace if given the chance. Unfortunately, Obama appears to have undermined their hard work for his own political survival.

    24. Gary Barta says:

      I am a long time conservative. I highly respect the Heritage Foundation. However, I disagree on your assessment in Afghanistan. We can fight Al-Queda in a smarter way, with intelligence, drones etc. It is ludicrous to think that we are making gains against Al-Queda when they can train in many places around the world. All the US is doing is temporarily making it harder for the Taliban and Al-Queda. Unless we stay there permanently, the situation will quickly deteriorate once we withdraw all mor most of the troops. US citizens are correctly withdrawing support for this war, as I am. We can fight Al-Queda in much more efficient ways than massive troops on the groud.

      • Glynnda says:

        Hi Gary, agreeing with you, but not hearing a plan from the prez on this…….can we say POLITICAL MOVE????

        Glynnda

      • ThomNJ says:

        A fair point – and how about we destroy the hezbollah camp in Mexico for starters?

    25. Dwana Townsend says:

      This announcement will embolden the Taliban, and Al-Queda and put our troops in jeopardy.

    26. Patriotgreg says:

      Unfortunately we aren't there to win. If we were there to win, we would have gone in with overwhelming force, searched out and destroyed the enemy where ever they were, and defeated them. Then we would have brought our troops home. Instead, we have ridiculous ROE's (rules of engagement) and an enemy that can run and hide in across border sanctuaries. And then we have the constant complaint about civilian casualties. Are these people aware they are in a war zone? If we ran WWII like this, we would all be speaking German pledging our lives to the next Hitler. Just let our military do what they do best and bring them home.

    27. Pete Houston says:

      I don't think that we can ensure stability whether we are in Afghanistan one more year or one hundred more years. Still comes back to the basic thought that we were there to route out the Taliban that was giving cover to Al Queda. We have routed the Taliban and Al Queda. Yes, many of them have moved to Pakistan to hide from the US presence. Will they return when we leave in one year or 100 years, the answer is yes. They have done this for various groups that have taken control over and over again. This thought that we can turn those people into americans is ignorant or just plain stupid. They lived in a dirt hole when we showed up and they just a have a few more holes to live in now.

    28. Robert says:

      Bring them home! We should have been out of there five years ago – with complete victory. The heaviest thing in our brave soldiers' packs are the 2,000 page rules of engagement – more restrictive, cumbersome and more dangerous (to our soldiers) than Vietnam. Brutal, swift, complete combat or bring them home!

    29. West Texan says:

      Obama said " … We must unleash innovation that creates new jobs and industries, while living within our means. We must rebuild our infrastructure and find new and clean sources of energy.".

      First of all, such domestic concern is states' business. All Obama's unconstitutional overreach has accomplished is a worsened economy. And he desires more of the same. This guy, and his gang of national social progressives, are 180 degrees out from our country's dual sovereign principles. 2012 isn't arriving soon enough.

      Signed,
      a Texan-American and Independent voter

    30. DeaninVirginia says:

      We should withdraw faster. I agree with the comment about McCain. He is out of touch, and he seems to never miss a chance to take military action. We can't afford to pretend that we are in a financial position to prosecute numerous wars. I am conservative and I am pro-military, but I am not pro-war. Why must conservatives always be pro-war?

    31. Glynnda says:

      Good Morning Heritage bloggers

      About this plan, I agree with West Texas above and I agree with Gary above. We need to withdraw but do so in a sensible way and have a more technological plan in place to assist Pakistan and Afghanistan in their free nation efforts. I am not hearing of any plans like that from the President…..he is not a thinking man in my estimation and he is quite foolish for not listening to his generals (the experts) in this matter, but that is his history….so no surprise…

    32. KC - NM says:

      It is a shame that the safety of our military is dependent on the 2012 election and political actions by Obama. The military strategic direction has changed from a war on terror to a media and political exercise. America cannot change a centuries old culture made up of tribes and 3rd world thinking. We came in to hunt down the terrorists and to break up much of their organization. We have done that but since we are restricted by the media and by Pakistan, we should just pull out. But pulling out means no contractual work is allowed to pursue re-building. This should be the same for Iraq. We should bill Iraq for payment in oil for the time, expense, and lives given to clean up their country. Bottom line – we have bigger issues here at home that must be addressed – the rest of the world can just wait!

    33. RogCol says:

      Pure politics, as is the release of the SPRs, to take us away from the dismal economic news while the budget talks are going nowhere. First, I am a proponent of getting out of Iraq and Afgaiistan and I did support both actions when they were undertaken. But, this withdrawal at this time, when Petraeous stated that the gains and successes were fragile, indicates he has no regard for the troops.

    34. Mike the Bike says:

      "turn over the war to the Afghan Army in 2014". The war would be over if we just up and left the country like the Russians did when they finally got wise and understood that "they were banging their heads against the wall" with their war in that country.

    35. Jim Snedeker says:

      What a waste of money and lives. But that's Obama for you, doesn't know what to do, so run the other way.

    36. Ben C., Ann Arbor, M says:

      The core problem with the region is that their culture is tribal and not ready to embrace Western style civilization. Even if we "win the war" using an all out military campaign I doubt the country will be any better off after the "victory" than before. I don't see our goals as attainable by this administration and I would rather have us leave than waste anymore lives and time in the thankless area.

      We seem to enter into conflicts half hearted and are afraid to win – thus the protracted war.

      For our friend Ken Jarvis: yes it always gets better when conservatives take over. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    37. Dr. H.D. Sinopoli says:

      Unfortunately being a neighborhood agitator is no preparation for being President. Obama relishes life in subsidized housing, free food & vacations, but is ignorant to leadership. The world sees Obama as an apologist and a fop…we are stuck with a community joke for President. He & the lifer Democrats & Republicans love to suck us dry and live off the cream of America. Perhaps, Bohner & Barro O. need another round of golf to plan a strategy to bring our brave American troops home – now. Take McCain along, he can studder along looking for ways to agree with this socialist group, instead of being honest and getting rid of them.

      Afghanistan is irrelevant…If Al Queda cause problems, bomb them from the air, no Americans on the ground ever in this area with a group of tribes that have never been a real nation and will never be a real nation. They grow and sell dope…that's what they do…

    38. Palrak says:

      This move by Obama is the first "transparent" thing he's done since he took office.

    39. Tricia Arizona says:

      He doesn't mean nation building at home…he just wants to get back to the destruction in progress. I guess he thinks he can fool "We the People" into another stimulus package.

    40. Bobbie says:

      if ALL troops were pulled there would be genuine efforts of the Afghans who's consequences will reflect their actions. Why a certain number? How about getting ALL troops out of LIBYA, where they have no reason?

    41. mikestjames says:

      Get out of Afghanistan and Iraq (and Libya, AND Yemen) NOW.

      Where in history is justification for the belief that squandering our treasury and the lives of our warriors will lead to western-style democratic government in the region? Where in history has the civilized world enjoyed lasting triumph over the death-loving 7th century cult of Islam? We should make war in this part of the world ONLY when there is a compelling national security interest (Libya? PUH-leez!) and only by inflicting devastating punishment on adversaries from above and from seaborne platforms augmented by covert Special Ops on the ground for targeted assassinations.

      And while we're having momentary dreams of sanity, why not bring home our troops from South Korea, Germany, et al? Time to get real, people. We're broke.

    42. Ron W. Smith says:

      When President Obama announced a while back that cost would not be a reason for the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, I wondered why not. Between Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya, we have been bleeding money, just as we have been all along since WWII as the World's SuperPower on call. The projection of our might worldwide (700+ military installations large and small, on land and at sea) has assured a steady drain of capital and the loss of countless lives, ours and others'. We have been in intervention after intervention, war after war, and there's no end at all in sight with Iran, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and who knows what other places yet to be identified all future possibilities.
      Will it never dawn on us that we have squandered more money and lives and that we'll squander more of both playing whack-a-mole with no guaranteed outcomes? Once we leave Iraq and Afghanistan, what will really happen? Peace and happiness for all?
      Talk would be a lot cheaper and, for all we know not having chosen that option since that would require concessions on all sides, could be a windfall in money and lives saved. Just look at how Pakistanis feel about us now that we've not hesitated to violate their sovereignty or how Afghanis regard our having set up shop on their turf. Even in Iraq, where we shot first and asked questions later, skeptics abound over our continued presence and, from the size of the new diplomatic compound, long-term intentions.
      Ending terrorism isn't in the cards as long as we are on the soil of Middle Eastern nations and as long as we make no bones about our support of Israel, militarily, financially, and at the U.N. Those two top the list of why we're feared and hated there, and there will be no end of hostility toward us until we're gone. Terrorism is too effective a weapon for any country or organization which can't go toe-to-toe with us B2-to-B2. It's cheap for them as long as there are volunteers, expensive for us as our $14+ trillion national debt shows.
      As I said, talk is cheap. An open airing of grievances on all sides for all the world to see and hear would potentially be the budget-saving step, maybe even the face-saving one given that all the world knows how far in debt we've gone in our Quixotic quest. Never talking to terrorists or their sponsors is a policy that needs recalibration. In fact, all of the foreign policy decisions made that have turned us into Superpower on call need open airing and rethinking before we bankrupt America or, alternatively, put balancing the books on the backs of everyday Americans while we continue to squander on National Security. (Our spending on it is just about more than is spent on it by the rest of the world combined.)

    43. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      Using Teh Won's logic, FDR should have declared victory in the Pacific, and withdrawn our forces from that theater after the killing of Yamamoto.

    44. Laurie says:

      Our country is on fire and this inexperienced "Campaigner-in-Chief" is doing his usual teen-ager behavior……. winning the election at the expense of the destruction of the U.S. What about reducing troops in Germany and the 900 other bases where there is no fire, what about drilling in Alaska, so we don't need to be at the mercy of our enemies who want to kill us, what about STOP paying your corporation farmers NOT to farm. What about letting us have the water in central California…..to give us back our farming, our food, jobs……so we can afford to feed our childlren again!!! You want us to be your slaves, Mr. President, for the mission to "save the smelt" fish or the lizard in Texas. Go ahead, Mr. Campaigner-in-Chief….you and George Soros and all your money to win your goal will go down in history for the fall of America. Let's all STOP these crooks. Call our Congressman, Senators today and say "repeal Obama-care" , close down the EPA, Start drilling in Alaska. Open the gates of freedom and growth for the last free country on this earth.

    45. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      And, why are we withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, but will still have forces remaining in Korea, Germany, and Japan?
      Or, hasn't Obama figured out yet how to screw over those governments/peoples too?
      Plus, he might need those Brigades here to put down the civil-unrest as his Socialization of America kicks into high-gear.

    46. @oliverrl says:

      Can you say "re-election"?

    47. toledofan says:

      The old cut and run technique; lets face it Obama isn't committed to fighting terrorism and for sure he doesn't have the stomach to do what needs to be done. The fear is that we try to do too much too fast and put our troops in harms way. I mean he's given them a timeline so even a dumb terrorist will know what to do and when. Our entire foriegn policy strategy is narrow and in many cases non existant, so, I'd rather have our soldiers safe and sound to fight another day if necessary. The travesty in all of this is the precious blood that was shed without a victory.

    48. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama has an "I" problem. He loves to talk about himself.

    49. eggsbenedict says:

      It is almost impossible for me to believe that a person that has never served in the military and knows nothing about military strategy can make such a stupid decision! When you look at General Patreaus's chest full of medals and awards, why would a sitting President go against the advice and counsel of such a man. Mr. Obama is a full blown narcissist whose ego knows no bounds. No one is going to tell him how things should or should not be done! He is destroying our country and if he is re-elected, he will finish the job. The Congress has no back bone at all because if they did, he would have already been impeached. He cares nothing for our Constitution which is our governing document for our freedoms, he cares nothing about and will not listen to the voice of the people. Sons and Daughters of Liberty and Freedom Arise and let's throw this imposter out now!!

    50. David Bess says:

      Once again it seems that our president dosen't understand the nature of what he is doing. The nature of war means that you're commited to victory and anything less is unthinkable. Disn't he just give General Peatres 30,000 troop to help win this thing. Now he wants them back, along with more. Guess he's taking his football and going home.
      It is a great stragety on his part. If his goal is to demoralize our allies, create distrust in America's commitment , and inspire the taliban. Could this be retaliation aginst the inspiring speech and stand by Israel's Prime Minister?
      We wre definitely in a situation that Washington and the media are loosing this war, as planned. Our military, with proper support are capable of winning any war. I salute the troops and their efforts.

    51. Bill Casey says:

      Obama is committed to getting re-elected than to anything else.

    52. mike says:

      he is fighting the war… like he is helping the economy….with no concept of victory or an eqitable outcome for the combatants and workers….

    53. Bill says:

      I got Bin Laden – mission accomplished. (sound familiar?)

    54. Jackson says:

      The only way things will get better is with a change of guard in the Senate and White House in 2012.

    55. LibertyAtStake says:

      "The President’s decision, though politically expedient …"

      Is there any other kind of decision this President makes?

      d(^_^)b http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
      "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

    56. Shirley says:

      All those people want are our tax payer dollars. They DO NOT want us there and everything will go back to how it was before we came to "save them". If they really wanted to be saved they would fight for themselves.

    57. Shirley says:

      J. Guidry has it right. The only thing Obama wants is the votes, makes no difference who does the voting. Far left wingers, plain old left winger, illegals, etc. He knows his ratings are falling bad and will use our troops as a come-on to get votes. Just look at when the majority will be coming home! That's right, just before elections.

    58. The Farmer says:

      The only thing stable in the Middle East is instability!
      Genuine stability amongst a people can only come through peace in the heart of a people.
      The Son of God is the only source of peace on earth.
      Those who reject the Son will always live in turmoil, ranting and raving at others, rather they be a neighbor or a faraway people.
      We have proven ourselves to be very foolish indeed by putting our young men and women in harms way in the Middle East.
      When they attacked us, we could have located the area they were operating out of, and carpet bombed it into oblivion!
      We should have put their leaders and those harboring them on notice that we had plenty of bombs left as they should choose to doubt our resolve!

    59. Scott Stevens says:

      This President knows one thing well: Chicago style politics. Unfortunately he seems to engage in it for everything, all the time, no matter the cost.

    60. Wayne, La. says:

      It seems that we have accomplished our goals. I am sure that the decision for withdrawel will consider the stability element. Democracy is a learne process and should be left to the citizens of the region. It is time to release the reigns of oppressive rule and allow the people to determine their future destiny.

    61. randydutton says:

      Australia now is considering pulling out earlier because of Obama's declaration.

    62. cynthia Jones says:

      Dear guys,
      Unfortunately this president listens only to his generals when it is politically expedient. I wish ther was some way our legislature could stop him. We have invested so much blood and treasure to ignore them and possibly lose both Iraq and Afghanistan. The region will go to the influence of Iran, and we will look weak. The extremists are really just licking their chops. What is more disturbing is the Isolation of Isreal and the fact that Iran probably has a nuclear weapon which they will use. A better American loving President would not let these things happen. Even if we have made mistakes ,and we have,what will the world look like with a very weak United States? The consequences are to awful to contemplate. Yet– in some way this is what this president seems to be aiming for. One does hate to think these things because they seem so alien.

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