New Afghanistan Strategy – Chicago Olympics First!

September 29, 2009

President Obama is leaving for Denmark Thursday evening with an entourage to sway the IOC to award Chicago the 2016 Olympics.  He is the first American President to do so; however, he is not the first world leader to appeal for an Olympic venue.  I would not be troubled by his trip if it were not for just a few minor details.

He has met once – over secure video – with Gen. McChrystal, his ground commander for Afghanistan in the 70+ days since the President appointed him.  Gen. McChrystal has been waiting for the President to review and discuss his request for additional troop deployment to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban.  The General warns of disastrous consequences if his request is not approved soon as new troops are needed to fight the al Qaeda/Taliban spring offensive.  The Administration states he prefers to use the Chain-of-Command and speaks to his generals through Sec. Gates.  All well and good except the President is the Commander-In-Chief and is the top of the Chain-of-Command.  He is right to use Sec. Gates for most communication, but in this particular case he needs to hear from Gen. McChrystal directly.  How else can he hear and see what his commander needs?  When reports are filtered through multiple layers before reaching the decision maker they are often changed to reflect what reviewers believe is important and not the author’s intent.  The Administration states the request is under review as is the Afghan strategy.  So, the General waits.  So, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines wait.  They wait while the President takes care of more strategically important issues like the Olympics.

Our Troops and Generals now know where they stand with our President.

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