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The White House and Woodward (military opinions-Afghanistan)
Foreign Policy ^ | 7-1-09 | Peter Feaver

Posted on 07/02/2009 9:10:56 PM PDT by STARWISE

The Obama administration has just been Woodwarded, as in Bob Woodwarded.

If his Washington Post report is accurate, General Jones, the National Security Advisor committed a serious civil-military relations mistake that could haunt the administration over the coming year.

Up until now the administration has been nearly pitch-perfect on the issue of how to talk to the military about securing military advice in high command decision making and how to talk about the military advice they get.

But this report, which seems authoritative because it reads like a verbatim transcript of the meeting (is Bob Woodward on the trip?), sounds a very discordant note.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; jamesjones; marines; obama


Key in Afghanistan: Economy, Not Military By Bob Woodward


National security adviser James L. Jones told U.S. military commanders here last week that the Obama administration wants to hold troop levels here flat for now, and focus instead on carrying out the previously approved strategy of increased economic development, improved governance and participation by the Afghan military and civilians in the conflict.

The message seems designed to cap expectations that more troops might be coming, though the administration has not ruled out additional deployments in the future. Jones was carrying out directions from President Obama, who said recently, "My strong view is that we are not going to succeed simply by piling on more and more troops."

"This will not be won by the military alone," Jones said in an interview during his trip. "We tried that for six years." He also said: "The piece of the strategy that has to work in the next year is economic development. If that is not done right, there are not enough troops in the world to succeed."

Jones delivered his message after a 30-minute briefing by Marine Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, who commands 9,000 Marines here, nearly half the new deployments Obama has sent to Afghanistan.


Lord, put a hedge of protection and safety around our brave military.

1 posted on 07/02/2009 9:10:56 PM PDT by STARWISE
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 80 Square Miles; acad1228; AirForceMom; AliVeritas; aomagrat; ariamne; ...


2 posted on 07/02/2009 9:21:39 PM PDT by STARWISE (The Art & Science Institute of Chicago Politics NE Div: now open at the White House)
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By December, I see both Jones and Hillary gone. I don’t think either fit with this immature group in the White House. You will see a revolving door at the state department where no one stays more than twelve months.

3 posted on 07/02/2009 9:24:04 PM PDT by pepsionice
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To: pepsionice

I’ve recently entertained that thought about Hillary.

Jones ... he’s a surprise and big and alarming disappointment. I expected he’d demonstrate his years of military service with more of an allegiance and respect for the soundness of the judgments of the officers on the frontlines and the protection of the troops.

If true, his pathetic statements reflect a shocking concern about the temperament and reaction to reality from the 0, fergodssakes.

Sickening if the klieg lights and prestige went to his head so quickly like the Beltway can do, and he’s walking on eggshells to not offend the emperor. Or else he was always just a player and brown noser in uniform.

My ernest prayers are with the troops.

4 posted on 07/02/2009 9:38:41 PM PDT by STARWISE (The Art & Science Institute of Chicago Politics NE Div: now open at the White House)
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To: pepsionice; All
At the briefing for Jones, Nicholson pointed to the mission statement, which said that "killing the enemy is secondary."


I can't believe what I just typed.

5 posted on 07/02/2009 9:44:04 PM PDT by STARWISE (The Art & Science Institute of Chicago Politics NE Div: now open at the White House)
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"If accurate, what is needed is an unambiguous statement from the President himself: "Give me your candid military advice, even or especially if you think the advice runs counter to what you think I will decide. Let me make the decisions. I will not always approve every request you send my way, but I will never approve of you trying to hide bad news from me because you think it will make me mad."

Obozo doesn't have a clue about anything that he's doing! It's laughable to read 'Let ME make the decisions'.

Pray for our troops!! May God watch over them.

6 posted on 07/02/2009 9:51:51 PM PDT by LADY J
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Uh...that's OK. There's a hard-core of taliban that need to be killed, and can be killed. The majority of soldiers are bandits, mercenaries and people not 100% ideologically committed to the taliban. The narcotraffickers allied with the taliban in Helmand, for example, don't need to be killed.

A much better strategy is to use 2001-style tactics to destroy the center of gravity, and to use a mixture of politics, development and intelligence pressure to defang the rest of the Taliban and boost Afghan sovereignty. The challenge is *gulp* nation-building - creating a credible enough Afghan sovereign to keep this up on their own so groups like Taliban and Al-Qaeda don't fill the vacuum of a weak state.

Iraq is much easier to win because there's a credible political entity there (2, really, b/c of the independence of the kurds), and they want peace. Afghanistan is less of a country and more of a region. Pakistan and the ISI like it that because it gives them maximal influence in a strategic region, as well as “depth” in the event of a shooting war with India.

7 posted on 07/02/2009 9:52:55 PM PDT by socalgop
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Deja Vue Viet Nam.The politicians will once again FUBAR a war.
8 posted on 07/02/2009 10:20:53 PM PDT by Apercu ("A man's character is his fate" - Heraclitus)
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9 posted on 07/03/2009 3:00:53 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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This issue is way too complex for the average idiot obamabot to understand or care about.

10 posted on 07/03/2009 3:53:26 AM PDT by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar (The "P" in democrat stands for patriotism)
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