Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates claims in his book that President Obama did not really believe in the war in Afghanistan even while agreeing to the troop surge. So although Obama acknowledged the reality everyone knows – that the war in Afghanistan is a complete waste of blood and treasure – he continues the war for cynical political reasons.
At a pivotal meeting in the situation room in March 2011, Mr. Gates said, Mr. Obama opened with a blast of frustration over his Afghan policy — expressing doubts about Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander he had chosen, and questioning whether he could do business with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.
“As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr. Gates writes. “For him, it’s all about getting out.”
So coming up on three years ago our president knew the war was lost – yet the fighting and dying went on anyway. What did the soldiers who died after March 2011 die for exactly? A mission not even the president believed in?
Though according to Gates he witnessed other moments of extreme cynicism during his tenure with the Obama Administration. Gates discusses an exchange he witnessed between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on the Iraq War.
Gates does say that, in defending her support for the Afghan surge, she confided that her opposition to Mr. Bush’s Iraq surge when she was in the Senate and a presidential candidate “had been political,” since she was facing Mr. Obama, then an antiwar senator, in the Iowa primary. In the same conversation, Mr. Obama “conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political,” Mr. Gates recalls. “To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”
Quite a display of integrity. It’s hard to believe the American people don’t trust the government in record numbers.
And how truly sad it is that such cynical politics has caused the needless deaths of thousands of Afghans and Americans in Afghanistan. In a forever fruitless war, where those at the top know it’s all a sham. Hope and change.
Photo by Department of Defense under public domain.