Posted by: Tony Carson | 24 November, 2009

Truly Depressing: Obama War President

NPR is reporting that in all probability Obama will announce on Dec 1 that he will increase troops in Afghanistan by about 34,000, most of the 40,000 General McCrystal requested the military industrial complex demanded.

That will push US troop levels over the 100,000 mark not counting the Blackwater-esque mercenaries that often match the formal military troops about 1 to 1.

The undeclared war is in its 8th year, although the announced enemy has shifted from the 9/11 planning Al Qaeda to the tribal Taliban who are no threat to the US.

As yet, there is no reason given for the war, other than to root out Al Qaeda.

In fact, there are only about 60,000 troops available in the US for commission to the war-torn country. It is estimated that it will take many months for the troops to be deployed.

Obama, who ran against Bush’s wars during the election campaign, now owns both wars. He is expected to give a justifying speech on the evening of December 1.

The ‘change to believe in’ has been no change at all: increased killing, mountainous debt and a US foreign policy predicated on constant war. The same as Bush.

The NPR report is truly depressing news.



  1. Obama is facing three dangers in the AfPak war – the rebels (they’ve long since gone beyond insurgents), Karzai, and his own generals.

    McChrystal/Petraeus did try to blackmail him by leaking the McChrystal report just as the White House review began. In the US that’s code for the military brass looking to shift blame for a losing war. They tried to set up Obama.

    The American people may want their forces out of Afghanistan but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to blame the loss on the guy who does that. They’re going to want someone to blame for the fiasco and the Pentagon brass are hoping to focus that on Obama, not them.

    Obama wants out but that decision isn’t entirely his to make. He has all those NATO countries involved at America’s insistence.

    About the only thing he can do is to lay the groundwork for leaving and a huge part of that is to establish metrics for performance that will fix responsibility on the generals, not the White House.

    Put the spotlight on McChrystal and Karzai and keep it there. Make the failure their failure. Then and only then can Obama pull the pin without handing the Republicans a ginormous victory.

    I think he’s worked this out fairly well, about as wel as can be expected. McChrystal is being summoned to give evidence before Congress and that’s the moment he’ll be put on the stick of his own making.

  2. I think you are probably right but that makes it no less depressing.

    Afghanistan, as Iraq, was a senseless war to begin with and both are un-winnable; the only real choice is to get out and cut your loses.

    As for the Republicans, they gave away their hand on the healthcare debate — they’re out to screw Obama any way they can. He knows that.

    Obama is losing his base, if it hasn’t already been lost. Who is going to stand out in the cold and hold a sign for him now? Who can believe in him?

  3. Actually, a bunch of people in my nutbar right wing family over thanksgiving expressed support and approval of Obama on a lot of points. They think Obama is a triangulating Clinton type – I begrudgingly had to admit they had a point, after he continues using military tribunals, weakens healthcare reform, increases troops in Afghanistan. So he might pick up some moderate votes… his 2012 campaign just needs to flout his “moderate” credentials and he’ll totally alienate his base while securing the swing voters, but he’s got a chest of campaign cash so that’s fine (all he needs is the votes of his base, and lets face it, we will still vote for him come 2012 simply because the alternative is far far worse.) Obama is a 21st century black bill Clinton, he’s embraced right wing idea after right wing idea.

    PS. Progressives talk a big game now about standing up for principal, but there’s no way you or I will do it at the ballot box.

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