Skip to comments.VFW: Afghan war debate endangers U.S. troops: veterans
Posted on 10/15/2009 3:51:21 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (Reuters) U.S. veterans criticized President Barack Obama's lengthy review of Afghan war strategy, saying on Thursday the drawn-out debate in Washington was a direct threat to troops and the nation's defense.
The head of Veterans of Foreign Wars, a group representing 1.5 million former soldiers, issued a tersely worded statement urging Obama to follow the advice of his military commanders, who want more troops for the eight-year war.
"The extremists are sensing weakness and indecision within the U.S. government, which plays into their hands," said Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., a Vietnam veteran and head of VFW.
This was "evidenced by the increased attacks in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan," he said.
"I fear that an emboldened enemy will now intensify their efforts to kill more U.S. soldiers," Tradewell added.
Obama addressed the group in August when he called the conflict in Afghanistan "a war of necessity" and said the United States remained committed to stabilizing the country.
U.S. combat deaths have risen since Obama ordered a troop buildup in March to confront a resurgent Taliban and opinion polls this month have shown softening public support for the campaign.
Many of Obama's fellow Democrats in Congress oppose sending more troops, as recommended by General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan. Officials say he has recommended deploying an additional 40,000 soldiers, beyond the 68,000 due to be in place by the end of this year.
"I urge the president to heed the assessment and advice of his military leaders," Tradewell said, adding Obama needed to be "decisive during this critical juncture."
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The list, ping
It shouldn’t be that complicated. We kicked’em out. Now we’ve got to build a force that can keep’em out. When that force is built, we’re done except for routine maintenance.
The generals have written their plan and told us what they need to carry it out. Now the O just has to vote “present”, get out of the way, and let his soldiers take it from there. They’ll know what to do.
U.S. Marines leave the area where a controlled detonation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) is being carried out by sappers in the southern Helmand province October 9, 2009. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
Thanks for calling, Mr. Obama. We all know how busy you are visiting New Orleans and SanFRancisco for fundraising.
but We're taking casualties here, Mr. Pres__ent! We could use some more troops quick.
Don't turn your backs on us for a photo op.
U.S. President Barack Obama visits Martin Luther King Charter School during his first presidential visit to New Orleans, October 15, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
I hope they change the rules of engagement before we send anymore troops to Afghanistan. The number of casualties will rise under the current rules that leave our soldiers with no air support. We have pilots that are good enough to kill the enemy without destroying a nearby village.
Thats my worry, too.
I have no doubt about our ability to do this job if we make up our minds to it.
I have every doubt if we purposely tie both hands behind our back.
These guys fight in small units in isolated outposts. When they need backup they need it now.
Ping, and thanks for the earlier pings. Am going to read and catch up..