Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pres. Obama and Breaking out the Big Stick.

I just finished watching President Obama's address to the nation on the war in Afghanistan. During his speech he used little by ways of specifics except to say that he will order 30,000 additional soldiers to the front lines and that these troops will begin to pull out of Afghanistan in 18 months. President Obama invoked the words and times of President Franklin Roosevelt twice, a president that Obama tends to admire.

Some of what President Obama said I agree with. Obama stated that the United States has sacrificed its young blood on countless fronts across the world, never as an occupying force and rarely ever appreciated for its efforts. He supported the principle that America will continue to be a nation that shines its beacon of freedom and posterity for all in the face of oppression. He recognized the U.S. Soldiers and their sacrifice in defense and support of this principle, and President Obama came across genuine in his desire to end the violence.

I did not agree with President Obama's entire history line of what brought us to our present state of affairs in Afghanistan. One aspect of history that Obama failed to touch on was the success of the surge in Iraq and how that same strategy is now being used in Afghanistan. President Obama failed to express the limited support that the rest of the international community has in our efforts in Afghanistan. Obama only said that the ally nations support us, however the extent to that support is sometimes only a courtesy to the United States and not an expression of support for the cause. President Obama also said that our continued security as a nation doesn't rest with our military, well I disagree, our nations security is based very much on our ability to defend ourselves. Let me quote another President Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a Big Stick."

The last point to touch on is President Obama taking so long to come to this decision. General McChrystal, the military leader in charge of Afghanistan who was hand picked by President Obama, has been requesting this support for quite some time, and even Obama said in his speech that the conflict in Afghanistan has been crying out for more support sense 2003, so when President Obama said that he hadn't seen a troop request with a deployment date before 2010, I was skeptical. The reality is that the White House has been sending up test balloons and allowing leaks of the information that was going to be in this speech for a week. What the White House was doing was testing the American people's reaction to the numbers. I find this to be a mistake, the judgment of troop levels and resources should be based on the conditions on the battlefield and in successfully attaining the objectives and goals that we as a nation set for ourselves when we entered this conflict, the continued security of the American people. President Obama said it well in his speech, he said we may not always agree as a nation, but we stand resolved in our principle of freedom and prosperity for all.

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