Obama’s Military Grows More Worried By Their Chief

Posted on Thu 10/22/2009 by


Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

Worrying news, and that it’s reported even by the New York Times suggests the alarm is now widespread:

Only nine months ago, the Pentagon pronounced itself reassured by the early steps of a new commander in chief. President Obama was moving slowly on an American withdrawal from Iraq, had retained former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary and, in a gesture much noticed, had executed his first military salute with crisp precision.

But now, after nearly a month of deliberations by Mr. Obama over whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan, frustrations and anxiety are on the rise within the military.

A number of active duty and retired senior officers say there is concern that the president is moving too slowly, is revisiting a war strategy he announced in March and is unduly influenced by political advisers in the Situation Room

Last week the national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., gave voice to the concerns of those in the military when he issued a terse statement criticizing Mr. Obama’s review of Afghan war strategy.

“The extremists are sensing weakness and indecision within the U.S. government, which plays into their hands,” said Mr. Tradewell’s statement on behalf of his group, which represents 1.5 million former soldiers…

A retired general who served in Iraq said that the military had listened, “perhaps naïvely,” to Mr. Obama’s campaign promises that the Afghan war was critical. “What’s changed, and are we having the rug pulled out from under us?” he asked.

[picapp src=”2/4/8/3/President_Obama_meets_4adb.JPG?adImageId=6359783&imageId=6509562″ width=”234″ height=”151″ /]
Secretary Of State Clinton, President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates.

When Obama’s Defence Secretary now argues with him and his advisors in public, you know how dysfunctional the President’s war strategy is:

President Barack Obama should not wait for a clear resolution to the post-election complexities in Afghanistan before making his decision on the administration’s war strategy, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday.

“We’re not just going to sit on our hands waiting for the outcome of this election,” Gates said.

Speaking to reporters on his plane shortly after attending a change-of-command ceremony in Hawaii, Gates volunteered his reaction to remarks made over the weekend by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Those officials, as well as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, indicated they wanted to wait until questions of Afghan leadership legitimacy were settled, possibly after Afghan election results were finalized by a runoff vote, before making a strategy decision.

is a journalist and columnist writing for in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

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