Blogs » Politcs Plus » A decision on Afganistan?


According to McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau, President Barack Obama will dispatch some 34,000 additional troops to Afghanistan but there will be some strings attached but the exact details will be announced by the president in his December 1, 2009 speech to the nation. As it stands now the plans call for deployment over nine months with an off ramp approach ,starting next June , at this time the president will decide to continue sending troops or halt the deployment and adopt a more limited strategy. The military is glad because the president did not include a time line for withdrawal. Of course the president will have his critics on both sides but as one U.S. military official said Monday's meeting with Joe Biden, Robert Gates Hillary Clinton, Jim Jones, Ambassador Eikenberry, and senior military commanders was “decisional.”

It was just yesterday that former vice President Cheney told a talk radio host that the delays in making a decision by the president were due to his inexperience. This is coming from a man that sent us into a war of choice that had no WMD. MSNBC's military analysts said that the president was finalizing some deals with our European Allies. It is rumored that he will announce that the European Allies will be sending about 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Our Allies wanted to be sure of our commitment and strategy in dealing with the corrupt Karzai government. Part of that dithering had to with the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's willingness to give Karzai another chance in cleaning up his corrupt government and his ties with the drug war lords. The administration has been working quietly behind the scenes to come up with a policy; they call “Afghanistan Compact” which is just a series of political reforms and anti corruption measures. The British government has offered to host a conference early next year to win international support for the "compact."The administration convinced our allies that we will work around the Karzai government for now and work directly with the provincial and district leaders. We understand that Great Britain is bringing up Tony Blair to question him about the information he left out leading that country into the Iraq war, so we should understand if Gordon Brown, decides to take a pass for now. The Allies will meet in Belgium on December 7th and to discuss if some other nations might contribute additional troops.

I may be wrong but I think this will be the first time that a president brought his economic adviser to sit in on a war strategy meeting. Obama said that the cost of the wars will be put in the budget but Admiral Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff said the war could cost from $700 billion up to $1 trillion dollars over 10 years- and might require a supplemental funding bill next year. That is just another campaign pledge that might not be kept or congress will have some say in the matter.

General McCrystal will be called in from Afghanistan to testify before Congress sometime late next week along with the Defense Secretary, Robert Gate, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, and Joint chief of Staff, Mike Mullen. The plan will be laid out and questions will be answered, so we can proceed to carry out this mission, right or wrong.