Friday, February 20, 2009

El Presidente

This time it is personal.

Normally saved for our Weekend Reading post, this Oliver North article deserves its own posting. Townhall: Stealth Surge.

We are watching a close friend ship out to Afghanistan as one of the 17,000 'surge' this month. Among a tight group of fellow Army officers who served together in the 90's, he is known as El Presidente. What Ollie says today worries us.

Last week, the administration announced a full-blown, 60-day, interagency, multinational, quadraphonic, star-studded, strategic review of "every aspect of our Afghanistan policy." Our European allies were informed that Afghanistan is at the "top of the agenda" for the NATO summit in March. On Sunday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that he, too, would be participating in the strategic review. And then Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., too late for much besides a headline on the evening news, the one-page deployment order, which has troops from Camp Lejeune, N.C., to Fort Lewis, Wash. -- and countless points in between -- packing their kits for the Hindu Kush. So much for having a strategy before committing what's needed to implement it.

So what is our strategy? Is it victory against our enemies, the Taliban and Al Qaeda? Or will it be some diluted, ever-changing initiatives dictated by Obama's advisors in the Main Stream Media? And what about our relations with Afghanistan's government? A rift appeared this week where Karzi didn't get the assurances desired about mandatory joint US-Afghan operations. Not good according to Colonel North:

...Karzai, who is running for re-election in August, said, "If foreign troops do not listen to us, we will call a (grand council), and we will also include the Taliban to decide whether foreign troops should stay in Afghanistan."

The Taliban dictating US strategy in Afghanistan? Not a lot of hope, but plenty of change! Ollie concludes:

Finally, there is the issue of presidential style. In the final paragraph of his one-page order, Mr. Obama notes, "This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan." All true. But then he goes on to whine, "Which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires." That is a gratuitous and unseemly swipe at his predecessor. Perhaps that is why Mr. Obama decided this has to be a stealth surge.

It is not a Stealth Surge for the families and friends of the additional 17,000 American soldiers. Fight this war properly, Mr. President. If not for America, then for the public relations problems that will plague you and distract from your grand domestic ambitions.

God Speed, El Presidente!

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