Assault on the Military
In recent days, Team Obama's hostility towards the uniformed services has been increasingly in evidence.
Consider the following, illustrative examples:
Dissing his commanders:
Last spring, President Obama replaced the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan with a man skilled at waging counter-insurgency operations: Gen. Stanley McChrystal. He did so in pointed rebuke to what amounted to a "counterterrorism" campaign waged by the Bush administration – trying to kill or neutralize key Taliban and al Qaeda operatives without having sufficient forces to clear or hold territory and protect the affected population.
At the time, President reinforced his contention that Afghanistan was a "necessary" war. He assigned additional forces to the theater so as to enable his new commander to engage in the sort of operations required to win the "hearts and minds" of the Afghan people and defeat the insurgency.
But that was then, this is now. Gen. McChrystal and his bosses, Central Command's Gen. David Petraeus and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, believe that as many as 60,000 additional troops are needed to avert failure in Afghanistan. But
President Obama and his key advisors, notably White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and campaign strategist David Axelrod, have evidently concluded that the public – or at least the Democrats' base – has no stomach for such a build-up.
So the theater commander who thought Mr. Obama meant what he said five months ago has been left hanging in the wind. His request has become a political football in Washington and the President's partisans have reviled the general for making known his professional assessment of the situation. Morale in Afghanistan has reportedly plummeted, compounded by Washington's growing incoherence about the threat posed by the Taliban – who wants to be the last guy killed fighting an enemy it turns out we are happy to have run the place? – and by restrictive rules of engagement that are getting troops killed unnecessarily.