My first question is whether this 34,000 is the same as this 34,000. Is this just another leak that won’t pan out? Why do we have to wait until December 1 to get the announcement? I think this 34,000 is the same as the support troops increase he announced in October, but perhaps with an added component of combat troops.
The word “combat” shows up only once in the article:
As it now stands, the plan calls for the deployment over a nine-month period beginning in March of three Army brigades from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., and a Marine brigade from Camp Lejeune, N.C., for as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops.
“For as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops”? This isn’t anywhere near what the Generals have asked for and, depending on the breakdown of that smaller 23,000 number, isn’t by any account I’ve heard even a reasonable number ofcombat troops necessary for making a difference:
The plan adopted by Obama would fall well short of the 80,000 troops McChrystal suggested in August as a “low-risk option” that would offer the best chance to contain the Taliban-led insurgency and stabilize Afghanistan.
It splits the difference between two other McChrystal options: a “high-risk” approach that called for 20,000 additional troops and a “medium-risk” option that would add 40,000 to 45,000 troops.
There are 68,000 U.S. troops and 42,000 from other countries in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army’s recently revised counterinsurgency manual estimates that an all-out counterinsurgency campaign in a country with Afghanistan’s population would require about 600,000 troops.
So the “plan” splits the difference between the ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ plans. This guy is just some kind of leader isn’t he?
Maybe instead of hacking away coming nowhere near 100 on the Golf course this clown should have been studying with his Generals and coming up with an actual exit strategy, instead of this new “off-ramp” nonsense.
And what is an “off-ramp”? I’m glad you asked:
The administration’s plan contains “off-ramps,” points starting next June at which Obama could decide to continue the flow of troops, halt the deployments and adopt a more limited strategy or “begin looking very quickly at exiting” the country, depending on political and military progress, one defense official said.
Ed hit the nail on the head on this:
A Commander in Chief doesn’t need “off-ramps.” Any President can call an end to a deployment based on his own judgment. Putting these conditions into the American strategy signals weakness — a desire to pull out without getting blamed for the decision. Obama wants to be off the hook for an eventual withdrawal by claiming that he’s forced to do it because of these benchmark failures. And if Obama’s that keen to retreat, he should just do it now.
I gotta get up earlier in the morning.
That’s the money point right there. Doesn’t it just seem like Obama’s doing all of this to placate some political opponents instead of, you know, doing everything possible to win the war? There is no reason whatsoever for these “off-ramps” because he’s the boss anyway.
Couple this with yesterday’s rumors about possible surrender negotiations and it becomes unavoidably clear that because our President is not committed to the lives of our soldiers, it’s time to bring them all home and let the chips fall where they may.