Thursday, September 23, 2010

44's War

Direct Hit!

Has HRC's campaign caveat about the 3 a.m. cell call
came true with paw paw era Watergator guy's hot! new expose' on 44 @ War?


First, the president really hates being commander-in-chief in a time of war. Second, and perhaps related, the fight the White House most wants to win is the battle over who gets blamed for a defeat in Afghanistan."

Kinda all Greek Tragic:

  • A president "misleading" the American public: 44 campaigned on the claim that Afghanistan is a war of necessity that was under-resourced because 43 ignored military advice, but he privately was forcing his nat'l sec team to embrace arbitrary resource and time constraints and to rush to a minimum footprint, and in doing so running roughshod over military advisors.
  • Feuding advisors arguing as much over personality as over policy: More ominously, the turf fights and mistrust seem to crisscross the civil-military divide as well as the official hierarchy, with Cabinet principals dissing deputies (look for the revenge of the deputies in later installments).
  • National security policy dictated more by partisan interests than by the national interest. Thus imposing an artificial timeline on the Afghan surge because 44 is adamant that "...I can't lose the whole Democratic party."
  • The White House political team front and center in national security policy: "The result is a strategy-making process that has ground down even Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, two of the most publicly imperturbable and iron-disciplined figures imaginable. Anyone who has observed Gates in recent years or throughout his career will find it stunning to think, as Woodward apparently relates, that he would be “tempted to walk out of an Oval Office meeting.” Likewise that Petraeus, who did not flinch through the darkest “General-Betray-Us” months of the Iraq surge, might mutter to his staff that “the administration was ‘effing with the wrong guy,’” is equally remarkable.
  • A White House discounting inconvenient intelligence warnings about terrorist attacks planned against the United States. In one of the most damning anecdotes from the previews, "Mr. Blair warned the president that radicals with American and European passports were being trained in Pakistan to attack their homelands. Mr. Emanuel afterward chastised him, saying, "You're just trying to put this on us so it's not your fault." Mr. Blair also skirmished with Mr. Brennan about a report on the failed airliner terrorist attack on Xmas. 44 later forced Mr. Blair out."
  • A White House ignoring a war where U.S. troops are engaged. 44 campaigned against 43's "inattention" to the Afghan War, but Woodward appears to document an even more profound disregard for the ongoing war in Iraq.
  • A fundamental naiveté about military operations. Thus one finds a commander-in-chief willing to authorize a surge of combat troops but unwilling ("I am done doing this") to authorize the requisite enabling troops that make those combat troops effective. Or a commander-in-chief refusing ("Why do we keep having these meetings?") to revisit, review, and revise earlier decisions as the enemy reacts and as the situation on the ground develops.
"At best, administration policy is a coerced consensus. But beyond providing a weak foundation for strategy, the process seems almost inexorably headed toward destroying the trust upon which healthy civil-military relations depend.

Pic - "They can say whatever,
I'ma do whatever, No pain is forever, Yup, you know this" with Rhianna


smitty1e said...

For the full Greek Tragedy treatment. . .

J. said...

Yes, always entertaining to see Peter Feaver trying to demonstrate why the CheneyBush administration really wasn't as bad as it was. But instead of showing that Dems are worse than Repubs in national strategy issues, all he can say is that the Dems are as bad as the Repubs in national strategy issues. Nice.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

IDK J - 44 seems far more feckless CiC than any of his daemoneoconic critics could ever have imagined. Gotta Go with Donnelly and Schmidt's take on it

"...What comes across time and time again is that domestic politics overrides his responsibilities as commander-in-chief—be it, the need to get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible to avoid upsetting his domestic agenda, his silly browbeating of his military advisors with OMB and self-authored memorandums, fears about being criticized by his fellow Democrats over fighting the war, and/or allowing staff politicos, like David Axelrod, to have a say in matters of grave national security importance."

Old Rebel said...

Then there's THAT other question: Should the US commit more dead bodies and fortunes into a no-win war?

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

LOL Old Rebel! Get with it sir. Please.

Old Rebel said...


Yes, if a person with a vested interest in continuous war says we need more war, that settles it.

Tell it to the American people, who are sick of the Neocon Wars. That's why they elected Obama to begin with.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Incorrect (again) Old Rebel. 44 campaigned that AFPAK was a war of necessity - even going so far as talking about invading Pakistan.

And despite your best wishes for historical revisionism, neocons didn't start the war sir. It was aQ, Taleban (and now) ISI

Old Rebel said...


So -- when did Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan invade America, starting these wars? I must've missed that news release.

Yes, people were sick of the Neocon Wars, which was a major reason for O's victory. That's why antiwar groups supported him.

Here's what Americans really think:

"Public support for President Obama's Afghanistan war policy has plummeted amid a rising U.S. death toll and the unauthorized release of classified military documents, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.
Support for Obama's management of the war fell to 36%, down from 48% in a February poll. Now, a record 43% also say it was a mistake to go to war there after the terrorist attacks in 2001.

The decline in support contributed to the lowest approval ratings of Obama's presidency. Amid a lengthy recession, more Americans support his handling of the economy (39%) than the war.

Even Obama's handling of the war in Iraq received record-low approval, despite a drawdown of 90,000 troops and the planned, on-schedule end of U.S. combat operations there this month."

Oh, and we're still waiting for you to volunteer to join that magnificent war to spread freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq. After all, war is just a bunch of fashion models strutting down the runway with machine guns.

When you go, however, watch out for those weird cancers US troops are contracting from the burn pits. They really get in the way of the glamor.

Smitty, you should be ashamed of yourself for encouraging this insanity.

Jpck20 said...

Well gee, let's look up in the handy Rule Book on Warfare and see what it says on when you can and cannot be in a war.

Uh wow, turns out there is no such thing.

C'mon Old Reb, even your Lib crones agree that we were justified in Afghanistan. But then again, arguing with a pacifist over War is like arguing with a fat kid that ice cream is bad for him.

It's a waste of fucking time.

BTW, the recent slide in support of the war doesn't mean people are sick of the war. What it really means is that The People are sick of Obama PERIOD. Shocker I know! It’s just that all your Lib buddies can't come right out and say he's a blithering idiot. So they pick a subject that's in vogue to be against without fear of receiving the 'bigot' and 'racist' labels that all you Libs love to hurl at anyone who dares speak against Teh Messiah.

Good luck in November and 2012, you all are gonna get your asses handed to you.

Anonymous said...

Old Reb a lib?

Why does that amuse me so?

Old Rebel said...


I guffawed at your description of me as a liberal. Read these two posts and you can see how liberal I am, and also understand the conservative and Christian argument against empire:

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