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December 01, 2009

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bgates

none of us get to have our first choice on this matter

(The) One of us does.

matt

commitment #1 - long term engagement - The Afghan people already feel we have one foot out the door.They are terrified of the Taliban/Narcotraficantes(they are one and the same).

commitment #2 - rough justice for drug traffickers - hang them in the central square

commitment #3 - erase corruption within the government - hang them from in the central square

commitment #4 - real justice, not the oligarchical version practiced by the warlords and Narcotraficantes. This is inherent to undermining the legitimacy of the Taliban in the South.

commitment #5 - security

commitment #6 - some form of economic opportunity for the people

These are pretty much right out of the COIN manual. The Taliban are basically like the FARC, but much more violent. 75% of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan through Pakistan now, and this is a large part of their real effort against ISAF. A lot of the assaults are staged in order to draw ISAF away from the heroin trade.


Mustang0302

Constraint #1: BHO's/his fellow travelers' lies during the '08 campaign. Petard, own, hoisted.

I wonder if General Casey will write a letter of recommendation to the FAA for Hasan, y'know, to help him pick up the pieces and get on with his life:

GAO: The FAA needs diversity training to "provide employees an awareness of their differences -- including culture, work style and personal presentation -- and an understanding of how diverse perspectives can improve organizational performance," the GAO said.

Hasan'd add a healthy dose of wheelchair-borne diversity to the FAA, in addition to his own unique interpretations of "culture, work style and personal presentation."(WTF?!) Just imagine the rage-filled, insecurity-driven, delusional PowerPoint products he could crank out for the FAA...and they won't even require him to deploy!

Hmm. Is treason just another form of diversity?

PaulL

Does anyone think if Afghanistan produced ZERO heroin, didn't have a single poppy, that the heroin addicts in the UK would stop using?

Mustang0302

You know what BHO really needs to sell this pig in poke? He needs a theme song! Raise everyone's morale! Like The People of the FAA, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!

Gubm'nt employees: Sing or else! The floggings will continue until morale improves!

hit and run

Finally!

Obama's Decision on the War

Or perhaps more appropriately put, a prime time speech to clarify Obama's War on Making a Decision.

BumperStickerist

In late 2006, Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. James F. Amos released a brilliant book with a thrilling title. It was called the “Army/Marine Corps Field Manual 3-24.”

Sure, it's a boring title, but the sub-titles says it all:

Rubble Doesn't Make Trouble.

safe for work

bgates

a brilliant book with a thrilling title

Since the title is not thrilling, the implication is that the book is not brilliant.

Imagine Brooks' reaction if Sarah Palin wrote a sentence that botched.

On second thought, imagine Brooks being dropped from a great height.

Mustang0302

On second thought, imagine Brooks being dropped from a great height.

TWAP!

(Like 'teabagger,' apparently a term of affection among Anderson, AndiMuscleGlutes, and Shep!)

Jane

Beck says there is an unredacted report which very few have read that gives an entirely different view than the redacted one - whatever that means.

Mustang0302

Say it ain't so, Sar'nt Major!

PD

Went to tvguide.com to check the check for tonight's event. Apparently the local FOX station is showing only the first half, because the schedule shows "So You Think You Can Dance" at half-past. The amusing thing is that this caused the box for the Pres address to have the title truncated:

"Presidential Ad..."

Sounds about right.

Elliott

Happy birthday, Clarice, Topsecretk9, and Mrs. Hit and Run!

PD

If you don't want to watch Obama, Fred MacMurray and Charleton Heston are in The Far Horizons as Lewis and Clark on TCM at the same time.

matt

the field manual was put together by the best and brightest minds in the Army and entire counterinsurgency community, including economists political scientists, historians etc. It is only @ 3 years old and drew many of its conclusions from both Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what Obama is trashing tonight.

The man has just lost the war, as far as I'm concerned. LUN.

MarkJ

Obama probably already knows he's going to be a one-term wonder. Therefore, his strategy (such as it is) is a win-win for us:

1. If we WIN using it, then that'll be peachy.

2. If we LOSE using it, then President Sarah Palin won't feel guilty about nuking Af-Pak back into the pre-Stone Age to solve the problem once and for all. "Hey, we tried to be nice, you betcha! But, nosireeee, those funny-lookin' guys didn't want to get with the program."

Works for me! :)

clarice

Thanks, Elliott...XOXOXOX

Mike Huggins

Allahpundit thinks Dick Cheney went too far in criticizing the O-in-Chief today, prior to the speech tonight. I wondered (without having heard Cheney's actual words yet) if DC might have been doing some preemptive commenting considering (I forget who) some were saying that the O-in-chief was going to blame Bush for Afghanistan being broken. Thoughts?

JM Hanes

"It’s not the troop levels that matter. What matters is how this war will be fought."

Sheesh. Did Brooks even crack the cover of the Cliff's Notes Field Manual?

I culled a few ironies from Leslie Gelb's trailer for the New! Improved! Obama strategy over at QBlog in Thanks.....Mr. President?. There are plenty of ways to muck this up, but 30K+ troops is a whole lot better than I was expecting.

On the assumption that this will be the liveblogging thread, I propose drinking on any reference to the past, and on anything that can be remotely construed as a reference to exit planning in future. Drinking on I-me-mine is always a safe bet. As is any form of wrestling with decisions, making tough choices, yada, yada.

I have a monster bet down on Patreaus, here. I think the guy can do politics as well as war, or perhaps the politics which wagging war requires, and hope that the judiciously low profile he's been keeping has given him some elbow room with the Prez. It's certainly my impression that he's been in the room for all these Afghanistan seminars, not twiddling his thumbs in the hallway with McChrystal.

Can't remember where I read it, but apparently Canada was not on the President's call list of folks who merited a personal heads up on his decision -- like Russia and China. Canada got the news from Uncle Joe.

JM Hanes

Fortunately, my actual money is on Petraeus, not the typo challenged guy above.

pagar

Mustang0302, an update has been added. In my opinion it raises more questions than it answers.

If you really want to feel bad about those who lead today's military, look at this.

"It is without hesitation, and with much conviction, that I endorse Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States of America. I am endorsing Senator Obama because I believe he is the best, most qualified and able candidate to serve as my commander-in-chief. He is the type of commander-in-chief that America’s soldiers need and deserve. Barack Obama will bring America the change we need."

LUN

Read the whole statement from CSM Jones and weep for our nation. I've never read as much BS as is in that short statement. My guess is any word of dissent in the Pentagon is in the President's ear within seconds.

PD

Last night Greta was running some footage of Griff going out to the salon where Mrs. Gate Crasher spent 7 hours (!!) getting dolled up for the White House soiree. One of the people he talked to was the manager, who mentioned that Mr. Gate Crasher came in and claimed that he'd talked to a couple of employees who arranged with him that the services rendered would be complimentary! Unbelievable.

Griff asked the manager if Mr. G.C. paid up. She allowed as how he did ... eventually.

I guess Mr. & Mrs. are Democratics: Stick it to business owners if you can.

Pasadena Phil

Isn't David Brooks' analysis a perfect example of what Dick Cheney criticized Obama for yesterday? That Obama is mired in "small 'p' politics"? Basically, Brooks is begging us to sympathize with Obama because of "small 'p' politics" complexities.

It's like watching that annoying video of a staged weepy Hillary Clinton whining "It...it's hard! (sniff, sniff...)"

matt

In reading the one of the books on the Surge in Iraq, the bio of Petraeus said that his classmates at the Academy said he was running for president even then. Having said that, I have had some contact with him and he is as hard a charger as there is. He really does give back better than he gets in every situation. Hell of a leader.

Takes care of his people and his troops, when they are not pissed off at his supercompetitiveness, adore him.

He defines Airborne all the way. If I was a Washington insider, I would be very, very afraid.

pagar

Obama's illegal aunt is requesting sympathy on Drudge right now. Hope it doesn't break any ones' heart to see the sob story. (sarc)

Extraneus

It's like watching that annoying video of a staged weepy Hillary Clinton whining "It...it's hard! (sniff, sniff...)"

Thanks for the reminder of that gem, Phil. I loved it when she did it, and still do. :-)

centralcal

Happy Birthday Tops wherever you are.

I am still at work and will miss Obami's wonderful speech at West Point (he begins during my commute).

I am hoping for some color (or colorful) commentary on it, here!!

Jane

Happy birthday, Clarice, Topsecretk9, and Mrs. Hit and Run!

I swear we celebrated at least one of those on Sunday. Well I'm game - happy HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I say we should drink on "unprecedented" - unless we don't want to get drunk.

I was trying to avoid this speech and failed.

Jane

Matt,

I love hearing that about Petraeus. Love, love love it.

Jane

So how long do we think this monstrosity will go on? My guess is 37 minutes.

PD

"I'd just like to begin with a shout out to ..."

Extraneus

So you'll be live-blogging, Jane?

PD

He's (left) looking (right) very (left) presidential (right) ...

Sounds to me like he's trying to make us think he can talk tough to people other than American business execs.

PaulL

JMH, what exactly does your monster bet entail?

PD

Iraq drew the dominant share of our resources away from Afghanistan.

verner

Oy, the jug eared marxist at West Point. Five minutes in and I simply can't take it any more.

I think I'll get the Grey Goose and take a shot everytime he says TOLLY-BON.

RichatUF

Wow, taking shots at the previous Administration for his own campaign rehortic that "Afghanistan is the central front"?

And for the drinking game-every time he uses that odd inflection when he says Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Jane

He is incomprehensible to me, so I cannot live blog.

That's my excuse. I will try and contribute snark.

Like now, when he says it's all McChrystals fault for underestimating the mission.

PD

"There has been no delay, or denial of resources."

Guess he's heard that there's been some criticism of his dithering.

PD

We're resolutely going to get in there and disrupt Al Qaeda and the Taliban, at least until we hightail it out of there, and the sooner the better. Beers all around!

RichatUF

Obama lieing about not having the review already done once he got into office.

"Let me be clear"...

Wonder how our national security got polarized? Clinton dragged out Iraq for 8 years before the Bush Administration ended it? Never hear about that much...

Afghanistan, the place that 9-11 attacts were planned (except for Spain, Germany, and Florida)...

PD

Lots of cadet eyelids appear to be drooping.

Probably wishing they could get out of there and back to the Xbox.

PD

"quickly"

"fastest possible pace"

Still trying to counter that unsubstantiated rumor that he's been dithering.

matt

Birthday felicitations to one and all. May you grow in happiness, health, and prosperity!

Melinda Romanoff

verner-

O/T- I'm meeting the Lord thingie Saturday, at home.

PD

"accelerate"

Hey, there's no way I've been spending my time golfing and partying instead of seeing to the needs of our troops.

PD

"The people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades."

Heh. Decades, yeah. Like, all the way back to when that book Ghost Wars I read began.

Jane

Now he is curing cancer. Not without those mammograms Bambi.

matt

if he pronounce's it Pok-ee-ston, shouldn't he say off-gone-ee-ston?

Vodkapundit has the best lime yet, 30,000 troops for 30 months..that's not a strategy, it's a car warranty.

verner

Clarice!!! Happy 29th B-Day!!!

RichatUF

1. Persue a military strategy until 2011-secure population centers and training. An international effort, and more troops from allies...

2. Work with the UN and our allies to persue a new civilian strategy. Throwing Karzi under the bus...good call?

3. Success in Afghanistan depends on success in Pakistan...committed to a new partnership with Pakistan...yea! Strong supporter of its prosperity and security

verner

Great Melinda!!! Keep me posted!!!!

PD

Now he's going to address some of the concerns about the course he's plotting.

I sense a few straw men coming up.

JM Hanes

RichatUF! So glad to see you!


PaulL:

"JMH, what exactly does your monster bet entail?"

That Petraeus will persuade Obama to actually win this war.

JM Hanes

We're into the I/Me's now, but I liked him taking on the VietNam redux folks.

matt

Afghanistan is not another Vietnam, but Mr. Obama's policies combine with worst of Johnson and Nixon.

Jane

He's gonna partner with al Qaeda?

Boy are they going to take us to the cleaners.

verner

PETRAEUS 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PD

He's talking arms control, diplomacy, prohibition of torture, closing Gitmo, etc. now. He's gotten confused and thinks he's at the UN.

Jane

If I were a west pointer, I'd be scared.

RichatUF

Is he proposing a war tax?

New approach in Afghanistan to cost $30 billion..."the nation I am most concered of building is our own"? Wha?

In how we prevent war...can't depend on military power alone (think that has been established for many years)...diplomacy...

A dull speech so far.

Prohibited torture and close Gitmo-living our value (?)...moral source of America's authority...appeal to FDR...

PD

What the ...? He's giving his inaugural address or something. I feel like I'm watching A Tale of Two Speeches.

He's even pausing for applause. (Crowd finally realizes that's what he's waiting for and obliges.) Nose goes in the air.

verner

PETRAEUS 2012!!!!!

Note to Obama..."It's a Small World After All" Is neither a foreign policy, nor a defense strategy.

JM Hanes

From the guy who just defunded the folks doing the primary tracking of human rights abuses in Iran, and who has washed his hands of more dissidents than any president in memory, his shout out to folks suffering under tyrants is hard to take.

PD

HOLY COW. He just did the Clinton stick-out-the-lower-lip.

Sue

Now that I'm president, we can't be divisive. Now that I'm president, we can unite!

Terry Gain

Ed Morrissey says Canada was not among the allies which were consulted by Obama.

Here are the fatalities suffered by the major contributors to the mission in Afghanistan in absolute terms and per million population:

Canada 132/3.91
UK 235/3.85
USA 857/2.7
France 36/0.55
Germany 40/0.49

Denmark and Estonia have suffered the highest causalities per capita. Denmark, with 5 million people, has suffered 30 deaths and Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million, has suffered 6 deaths.

In the minds of liberals, the Obama administration is the very definition of smart. In truth, never has there been a bigger gap between an administration’s competence and its self- regard.

PD

"Right makes might."

glenda

OMG...all my favorites are having a B-day!!

Happy, joy and blessings to clarice, tops and mrs. h/r

and....Obama has got to be programmed--no one with any self-respect could be this arrogant, self-serving, stupid in public!!!

Jane

He never said the word "victory".

PD

Hm, it hasn't shown up, so I'll mention it again:

Clemmons has been shot dead.

Ann

Blame Bush and America

I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,

LIE, LIE, LIE

(oops slipped on the truth):

Afghanistan cannot be open-ended, because the nation that I am most interested in building is our own." Ha!

I Bless You. The End

PD

He never said the word "victory".

Didn't want to lie about his goals.

narciso

I'm watching Die Harder because it's more plausible than this pathetic effort, he clearly didn't understand Ghost Wars even the cliff note version,

BTW,Happybirthday,Clarice ,bumperstickerist,And Mr. and Mrs. Hit.

PaulL

PD:

Well, then, it must be time for Ibama to say that the police acted stupidly.

centralcal

I got home for the end (except he kept going and going and going). Camera pans of audience showed quite a few closed eyes. Praying? Nodding off?

The grand flourish at the end - looking straight into the camera! A first? (or another teleprompter?)

verner

Prediction: his approval index goes down another few points after this abomination.

WHAT A MESS!!!

Porchlight

He never said the word "victory".

And he probably never will unless Obamacare is passed, maybe, or if he is (heaven forbid) re-elected.

Old Lurker

Rich! Where the heck've you been?

Missed you.

Extraneus

From Instapundint, the text, already searched for the word "victory," which doesn't appear.

glasater

Now that I'm president, we can't be divisive. Now that I'm president, we can unite!

That really stood out to me also, Sue.

What Terry Gain said @ 8:35....

WHAT A MESS!!!
Amen Verner.

JM Hanes

Well, I didn't learn anything I didn't know an hour ago, but I'm willing to cut him some slack tonight, because the folks he's got to neutralize on this are camped out on the left.

RichatUF

JM Hanes-

Thanks. Been pretty busy.

Good grief, to the reporter that is "describing the scene", they are mostly cadets, and all professional, they aren't going to either delirious applaud or boo the President.

Looking for a rush transcript on Obama's speech and wanted to compare it to Bush's address to West Point in 2002?

His speech was pretty flat, took quite a few shots at the previous administration (seems that Kerry was laying the groundwork for that by bringing up OBL maybe, maybe-not in Tora Bora), threw the Karzi government under the bus (wonder if the Pakistani's and Taliban might exploit that gap?), set an artificial deadline of 2011, and defined success in such a way that not only do we have to get Afghanistan right but we are committed it straightening out Pakistan.

And now someone is saying it "was a beautiful speech"...hell I needed a cup of coffee to stay awake.

narciso

So is it to much to infer that theyactually prefer the Taliban to be the government in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as long as they don't kill 3,000 Americans all at once. Or is it only us bitter clingers that come to this conclusion

RichatUF

Old Lurker-

Had some duties regarding family that were taking up my time. Thanks for thinking of me.

RichatUF

Are my comments disappearing?

Extraneus thanks for the transcript link.

Extraneus

I'd rather he played them than us.

pagar

PD, Did Obama give him a shout-out?

"Black Muslim Group Celebrates “Brother & Martyr” Maurice Clemmons"

matt

he's supposed to be the president of the country, JM....he is a simple panderer and charlatan who is losing more faith with the entire country every day...

centralcal

The Slick Willy lower lip puffed out made me gag.

I realized watching the very end of this that the one most enthralled and enraptured with his speech was Barack Obama. It is rather embarrassing.

RichatUF

verner-

..."It's a Small World After All" Is neither a foreign policy, nor a defense strategy.

In the Obama White House, Winnie the Pooh calls the shots on foreign policy and national defense.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I'm on my way out for a few hours, but I have to ask: Did I just hear the President say that he is sending 30,000 troops for about 18 months and then cutting off the funding? Because that is what I took away from this snoozefest.

I have never seen such a sea of sour faces as I saw in the audience tonight.

Jane

tWITTER is all atwitter that CHris matthews just called West Point "the enemy camp".

JM Hanes

RichatUF:

I thought the sudden resurgence of the whole Tora Bora routine was bizarre enough to be deliberate too. Wish I could remember the whole list reasons I thought so though! It's of a piece with the NotBush/inherited mess/W-dropped-the-ball meme: Obama is not escalating the war, he's doing the job Bush should have done, etc. Pushing Tora Bora back on stage struck me as a kind of battlefield prep.

narciso

So this is not my birthday, but forty years ago, I came into this country, from the land of the other articulate if not clean
and former attorney, when the former chose they chose hope over experience,

Also in the hell hath frozen over section, Fagan, actually says that Sarah's resignation was good for the future of the country, in a positive way

Sara (Pal2Pal)

I just saw a Tweet that says that Chris Matthews called West Point the "enemy camp."

Ann

I didn't hear it but everyone is tweeting that Chris Matthews said ""He went to the enemy camp tonight, to make the case."

If that is true, it is incredible.

Rick Ballard

My thanks to Rich and PD. Good to see you commenting again, Rich.

Sue

Ace:

I will give him one point:

Telling the troops you'e sending to war you're going to nickle-and-dime them in order to reduce the outsized deficits you're creating back home?

That truly is, as Robert Gibbs promised us, unprecedented.


MilitantBanana

I question the timing of this announcement.

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Wilson/Plame