I waited with great anticipation as millions of Americans to hear the President Obama's speech about his Afghanistan policy. Let's be clear about this point, President Obama's policy and not a remnant of the Bush administration.
What I heard was very perplexing to say the least, on the one hand, we will put more troops on the ground, but only for eighteen months until July of 2011. Hmmmm!
Okay, let's get this straight. The president has authorized increasing troop strength in Afghanistan by 30,000 troops to begin in April of 2010, but we will begin the American troop withdrawal in July of 2011. The case could be made, why send troops at all if you have a withdrawal date, without considering the state of the conditions in the country.
Now if I were fighting a war in Afghanistan against coalition troops and I knew that after July 2011 my enemies would be leaving the country, it would be stupid of me not to wait until they left. Especially since my enemies outnumber and outgun me.
The president capitulated the on issue of having the resolve to finish the war, and give the Afghan people back their country without the Taliban or al-Qaida as a viable threat to their sovereign state. The enemy is clear about the Afghanistan timetable and now it is a waiting game.
I thought President Obama's speech was very weak, amateurish, and naïve to say the least. Okay, what do I really think! The whole thing seemed a bit staged, at West Point in front of the Corps of Cadets. The cadet's response to different parts of the speech was non-existent and when they did it was a bit lukewarm, measured and restrained. From the looks on their faces of most of them did not seemed very impressed with the president's speech at all. David Axelrod thought the President would receive rousing applauses to his well-thought-out and untimely plan, because these were young people. After all, didn't the Candidate Obama get young people out to vote in November, well, yes, but not these kind of young people! You see these young people were already voting, and committed to America. They have a mature mind, principles, and convictions unlike the President and his crowd at the same age. They are not trying to find themselves through experimentation with drugs. God Bless our young men and women in the Officer Training Programs around the country. They will guide America back to greatness after their grandparents and parents did their level best to try to sell it away from us for profit.
President Obama has had this Afghanistan proposal of his desk for the last five months, during that time a number of American lives have been lost for the lack of troop support, that should be brought to bear and laid on the conscience of the Obama administration.
The twist that broke the camel's back is the establishment of an exit strategy date. The pronouncement troop withdrawal was a blunder on part of the Obama administration. The message from President Obama should have brief and clear: "We will place an additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, and ask for more troops from our allies. We will remain in country until conditions on the ground improve and dictate our withdrawal and the Afghan government is in control of the country". Those few words, put an entirely different meaning on the commitment of American troops, and coalition forces to the to the Afghanistan war.
The Obama administration has to stop campaigning to get down to governing. All of the campaign-like staged speeches and events are becoming quite transparent to the American people and foreigners alike. If you don't believe me look videotape of the West Point Corps of Cadet, they were respectful but, not engaged or accepting of his message. The question I would ask his team is: What would be more powerful than the president speaking on the Afghan war policy from the Oval Office?
The answer is clear, that might project a man in charge of the most powerful country in world, confident in his armed forces, cabinet, and the American people. You know that might offend our enemies and that is the last thing President Obama wants to do!