Friday, June 24, 2011

General Petraeus on Obama Troop Withdrawal

POTUS went on national television the other night, for yet another of his 'address to the nation' prime time pronouncements. This one was a forum for his decision on what to do about Afghanistan.

Since then, pundits and politicians alike have taken to the airwaves to react and analyse. As always, I tend to listen most closely to our military, whose sense of what was really said (or not said) rings of truth to me. Our military, including our veterans, watch such dog and pony shows as BHO's latest 'reality show,' through the lens of hard fought experience, so when they talk, I pay attention.

War on Terror News did not disappoint as he responds to General Petraeus' public endorsement of BHO's US military plans for the future in Afghanistan. Read on:

General Petraeus on Obama Troop Withdrawal - 23 June 2011

Full transcript of Petraeus’s answer on Obama’s decision [June 23, 2011]:

I’ll walk through the process since it was quite a substantial one although in a brief period of time included three meetings. After the first meeting I was given a homework assignment which I answered by the second meeting. And then the third meeting was the one in which the president ultimately reached a decision.

The responsibility of a combat commander in that kind of situation is to present options to the president to implement his state policy and that’s what I did. The risk being assessed in this case, from my perspective, the risk having to do with the ability to achieve objectives of the military campaign plan, acknowledging that at every level of the chain of command above me there are additional considerations, and each person above me, all the way up to and including the president has a broader purview and broader considerations that are brought to bear. The president alone [is] in the position of evaluating all those different considerations, including certainly those of the commander on the ground but also many others as well in reaching his decision.

I provided such options. I provided assessments of risk. I provided recommendations. We discussed all of this again at considerable length. The president then made a decision. The commander in chief has decided. And it is then the responsibility, needless to say, of those in uniform to salute smartly and to do everything humanly possible to execute it.

Now as Chairman Mullen, Admiral Mullen, stated today before the House Armed Services Committee, the ultimate decision was a more aggressive formulation, if you will, in terms of the timeline, than what we had recommended. Again, that is understandable in the sense that there are broader considerations beyond just those of a military commander.

The fact is that there has never been a military commander in history who has had all the forces he would like to have. Or all the time. Or all the money. Or all the authorities. Or, nowadays, all the bandwidth....

Yes, he has more, and yes, it IS a must read here.

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