Monday, November 09, 2009

Obama Cedes to McChrystal; Will Send 40,000 Troops to Af/Pak

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Credit where it's due: Obama apparently agreed to trust his general and send the troops needed to win a war that was under control a year ago but has spiraled since:

(CBS) Tonight, after months of conferences with top advisors, President Obama has settled on a new strategy for Afghanistan. CBS News correspondent David Martin reports that the president will send a lot more troops and plans to keep a large force there, long term.

The president still has more meetings scheduled on Afghanistan, but informed sources tell CBS News he intends to give Gen. Stanley McChrystal most, if not all, the additional troops he is asking for.

McChrystal wanted 40,000 and the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands more support troops. A senior officer says "that's close to what [McChrystal] asked for." All the president's military advisers have recommended sending more troops.
Obama had to have thoughts of LBJ going through his brain but he has got to learn that we developed strategies in Iraq that can work well in Afghanistan. If he just gives our boys and girls what they need, they will prevail. Bush authorized The Surge when things were bleak and the country was wary of the war and it worked out better than even I dared hope. Is McChrystal of the same caliber of Petraeus? We shall see but I have faith in our troops and given strength and firepower, they will prevail.

This is a bold move by Obama and one that may end up sinking his hopes for a second term but it was the right one. I suspect the Veterans for Peace-type radicals will hold off...for now. The difference between LBJ and Obama is there was a draft when he committed the troops. Should the death count increase, things could change dramatically. Here's to hoping we can succeed at the cost of very few casualties.

Godspeed to my brothers and sisters there or on their way.

Exit question: Would Rangel still support a draft?

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