Military Planning Major Fight with White House on Afghan Withdrawal?

By: Monday September 6, 2010 9:23 am

Speaking of Afghanistan, CNN reports another mini-escalation in the works: As many as 2,000 additional troops — including a number of U.S. forces — may be headed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks under a plan being proposed by Gen. David Petraeus, CNN has learned [...] According to the NATO source, it calls for an [...]

Sideways Talk On Afghanistan Straining Democratic Support For The President

By: Tuesday December 8, 2009 11:56 am

US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and commander of US forces Stanley McChrystal are testifying to multiple Congressional committees today, and fellow FDLer Spencer Ackerman has all the details of that at the Windy. I want to highlight this comment from Rep. Rob Andrews as an example of the difficulty President Obama and the Administration [...]

Is There An Anti-Escalation Movement?

By: Thursday December 3, 2009 10:24 am

The AP painted a stark picture last night of skeptical anti-war Dems resigning themselves to the escalation in troops laid out by President Obama on Tuesday. A deeply skeptical Congress on Wednesday resigned itself to President Barack Obama’s escalation of the Afghanistan war, even as the president’s chief military and diplomatic advisers sought to cool [...]

Obama Withdrawal Begin Date Causing Headaches

By: Thursday December 3, 2009 9:30 am

The President in his Afghanistan speech set what appeared to be a soft, conditions-based, non-binding, open-ended agreement to begin a “transition” of forces from Afghanistan starting in July 2011. Many have interpreted this date in different ways, with some liberals clinging to it as a timetable and Republicans denouncing it for the same reason. But [...]

The Tactical Disconnect

By: Wednesday December 2, 2009 8:00 am

Robert Gates answered Carl Levin’s first question in hearings today by saying that the start date for transitioning away from Afghanistan, July 2011, is not conditions-based. John McCain jumped all over this. He called July 2011 an “arbitrary date” and asked Gates incredulously whether that date would be based on conditions on the ground. Gates [...]

The Speech, And Its Shaky Foundation

By: Wednesday December 2, 2009 5:45 am

I’ve re-read Obama’s Afghanistan speech, and I think it was perhaps designed to displease everyone – hawks, doves, Democrats, Republicans. Afghanistan and Pakistan is really a least-worst scenario after eight years of war, and so we got an unsatisfying “get in to get out” strategy without any tactical information and based on an extremely shaky [...]

Obama Speech Open Thread

By: Tuesday December 1, 2009 5:01 pm

Here’s a repository for comments on Obama’s Afghanistan speech. Just a couple notes before it starts: • Vice President Biden will fan out to all three morning shows to defend the policy. • Presidents who escalate unpopular wars typically lose ground among the American people rapidly. The data track the average annual approval ratings of [...]

First Excerpts of Obama Afghanistan Speech

By: Tuesday December 1, 2009 3:45 pm

Submitted without comment, for now: “The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 – the fastest pace possible – so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with [...]

Obama Officials Discuss “Quick In-Quick Out” Strategy

By: Tuesday December 1, 2009 3:02 pm

On a conference call earlier today, senior Administration officials offered a preview of what will be announced by the President at West Point later this evening. The key takeaways: • The increase in troops is 30,000, total, not counting contractors or any other shadow military forces, of course. They would be in place by the [...]

Left/Right Afghanistan Reaction A Study In Contrasts, Strange Bedfellows

By: Tuesday December 1, 2009 12:09 pm

I’ve been trying to monitor some reactions from members of Congress and partisans on both sides of the aisle to gauge how President Obama’s “escalate so we can leave” strategy will go over. The responses are kind of interesting: • Jack Murtha spoke for many Democrats in expressing “nervousness” about the escalation and the strategy [...]

More Details On Afghanistan Escalation

By: Tuesday December 1, 2009 6:53 am

We’re starting to learn about the operational details of the deployment of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Instead of a year-long phase-in, the President would have them all in country within six months – somebody ask Spencer Ackerman if that’s even possible. There’s also now a focus on protecting the corrupt central government from the [...]

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