Saturday, October 31, 2009

Forcing the Issue?

The WaPo is out with a story that can't be comforting to the general who asked for more troops in the Af-Pak theater several months ago:
President Obama has asked the Pentagon's top generals to provide him with more options for troop levels in Afghanistan, two U.S. officials said late Friday, with one adding that some of the alternatives would allow Obama to send fewer new troops than the roughly 40,000 requested by his top commander.
The careful deliberation is not surprising, since many in the left intelligensia either believe he's being set up by the DoD (using his own tough rhetoric against him) or they are trying to scare everyone again like they did in Iraq, just to fill their own selfish coffers or somesuch. Some on the right believe this is all about health care and/or figuring a way to juxtapose any military actions with the Nobel. Speculation is just that, though.

But assuming there are no nefarious neocon plots by the general, the DoD, or the military industrial complex, or the NATO allies who've embraced the request, why would he be satisfied with a half measure when he's already on record of saying we needed a minimum of 40K (and as many as 60K) or face losing the mission? Is this just a Washington CYA posture on everybody's part (including the general) or are we seeing the seeds of a change in "leadership" as the new strategy trickles out? It seems the top commander may be left with either soldiering on or soldiering off.

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