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      11-18-2009, 11:37 PM   #67
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It has been a year since Obama was elected. He announced his strategy 8 months ago. His hand picked commander told him what he needs to execute that strategy two months ago. The soldiers fighting and dying in Afghanistan deserve an answer. The fact that you find this delay acceptable is sad and a reflection of never serving a day in uniform.

They do deserve and answer...and they deserve the RIGHT answer, and if that means taking some time to sort it out, then that's EXACTLY what should be done.

And I HAVE served a few days in uniform, and I'd be more than happy to provide proof of it if you'd like.

The fact that you're constantly ranting about Obama on this forum is more a reflecton of your own ignorance and hatred than any military reality, and it's completely obvious.
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      11-19-2009, 08:53 AM   #68
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They do deserve and answer...and they deserve the RIGHT answer, and if that means taking some time to sort it out, then that's EXACTLY what should be done.

And I HAVE served a few days in uniform, and I'd be more than happy to provide proof of it if you'd like.

The fact that you're constantly ranting about Obama on this forum is more a reflecton of your own ignorance and hatred than any military reality, and it's completely obvious.
I have the utmost sympathy for any soldiers you led if you believe Obama's inaction in this situation is acceptable. Indecision gets people killed. There will NEVER be perfect knowledge for a commander and a commander who insists on waiting for it is a commander in title but not a leader. It has been a year since Obama was elected. If you don't believe that is sufficient time for him to make the 'right' decision then exactly how long is sufficient? How long do the soldiers on the ground right now have to wait? I guess in all your time in uniform you never heard that the 80% solution in time is a helluva lot better than a perfect solution after it is too late.
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      11-19-2009, 09:48 AM   #69
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I have the utmost sympathy for any soldiers you led if you believe Obama's inaction in this situation is acceptable. Indecision gets people killed. There will NEVER be perfect knowledge for a commander and a commander who insists on waiting for it is a commander in title but not a leader. It has been a year since Obama was elected. If you don't believe that is sufficient time for him to make the 'right' decision then exactly how long is sufficient? How long do the soldiers on the ground right now have to wait? I guess in all your time in uniform you never heard that the 80% solution in time is a helluva lot better than a perfect solution after it is too late.

Bad decisions get people killed just as easly as indecision. Both the wars we're fighting right now are PROOF of that. They were both mismanged for years and years, with bad intel and no clear objectives, and a short sighted approach.

Bush had control of this mess for years and couldn't straighten it out, yet you're ready to blame the current administration after less than a year in office? You're a joke. The soldiers on the ground have been dealing with short sightedness for years. What they deserve right now is a plan that's well thought out, and will get the job done and get them out of there. Not some half assed knee-jerk approach as we've seen up until now.

And I didn't lead any soldiers. I led Marines, and the FIRST rule of leadership is that you have to have a plan.
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      11-19-2009, 09:54 AM   #70
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Bad decisions get people killed just as easly as indecision. Both the wars we're fighting right now are PROOF of that. They were both mismanged for years and years, with bad intel and no clear objectives, and a short sighted approach.

And I didn't lead any soldiers. I led Marines, and the FIRST rule of leadership is that you have to have a plan.
Both the wars we're fighting right now are proof of bad political decisions. No need to now start forcing bad military decisions at the small unit level. And after leading Marines, I'm surprised you never ended up in a situation where you had to "adapt and overcome", probably one of the most common leadership mantras while I led Marines anyway.... You can't always have a plan for every contingency; it's a truth of combat leadership. However, the most damaging issue when dealing with a forced improvisation is having to deal with red tape. It slows down the decision making process and even eliminates very valid options. Our servicemembers have already paid dearly by the thousands for shitty political (and keep in mind that includes any decision by a BGen up, as it is all politics at that level anyway) decisions. It has to stop at some point, does it not?
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      11-19-2009, 10:45 AM   #71
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Bad decisions get people killed just as easly as indecision. Both the wars we're fighting right now are PROOF of that. They were both mismanged for years and years, with bad intel and no clear objectives, and a short sighted approach.

Bush had control of this mess for years and couldn't straighten it out, yet you're ready to blame the current administration after less than a year in office? You're a joke. The soldiers on the ground have been dealing with short sightedness for years. What they deserve right now is a plan that's well thought out, and will get the job done and get them out of there. Not some half assed knee-jerk approach as we've seen up until now.

And I didn't lead any soldiers. I led Marines, and the FIRST rule of leadership is that you have to have a plan.
You obviously LED no one. GEN McCrystal has a plan. It is a plan based around the strategy the President told him to implement. All he is waiting for is for the President to approve the resources he needs to successfully execute it.

In case you didn't notice but the war in Iraq is won, it is over. At worst it is a low level insurgency being handled effectively by Iraqi security forces. So much for mismanaged.

No one in my unit in Afghanistan felt we were short-changed or suffering from a lack of a clear mission. We knew what we were over there to do. It has only been since this President announced he was going to implement a new strategy (which was handed to him by the previous administration btw) and then failed to properly implement or resource it that morale has declined.

Your head is so far up Obama's a** you can't see that HE said HE conducted a thorough review in March, that HE decided on a new strategy, that HE chose a commander to implement it, the only thing HE won't do is make the decision to resource it. Don't hand me this crap that the soldiers deserve a plan. Their commander in chief told them he had one EIGHT MONTHS ago. Their commander on the ground decided what he needed to successfully implement it TWO MONTHS ago. All they are waiting for now is the resources to go out and execute. That is what they are being denied. Being denied for the most craven of political reasons. Anyone who calls himself a Marine should be able to see that.
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      11-19-2009, 12:06 PM   #72
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Both the wars we're fighting right now are proof of bad political decisions. No need to now start forcing bad military decisions at the small unit level. And after leading Marines, I'm surprised you never ended up in a situation where you had to "adapt and overcome", probably one of the most common leadership mantras while I led Marines anyway.... You can't always have a plan for every contingency; it's a truth of combat leadership. However, the most damaging issue when dealing with a forced improvisation is having to deal with red tape. It slows down the decision making process and even eliminates very valid options. Our servicemembers have already paid dearly by the thousands for shitty political (and keep in mind that includes any decision by a BGen up, as it is all politics at that level anyway) decisions. It has to stop at some point, does it not?

What I'm talking about is a plan on the national level, not down at the troop level.

The first thing that has to be determined is what the end goal is. You can't effectively work towards an end when it's not even defined.

Is the goal a democracy in Afghanistan that's stable?

Or is it to root out terrorists?

Or is it to help stabilize Pakistan?

At this point, I, along with a lot of other people are starting to doubt that the people there are capable of a democracy, and that it might be a neverending commitment to try and maintain peace in a country that doesn't really even want to be united under a single government. It's been said by lower level commanders time and time again that the place is governed "valley to valley", and the people there don't really want that to change.

The end goal of the mission is certainly a political question, but it's one that has to be answered before you can determine what kind of troops you need, at what levels you need them, and where you should send them. Deploying the wrong kind of troops or sending them to the wrong areas is a waste of time, lives, and manpower, and that's why I say we need a clear plan before any change in current strategy is made.

The failures that have been made over there are largely political, but it's completely unreasonable to expect someone to come into office under the current circumstances and in nine months turn around and economy and two wars that have been mismanaged for years.

We don't need a quick response that's wrong, and sending more manpower isn't always the answer, especially when you're dealing with forces that are spread thin and battle worn already.
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      11-19-2009, 12:10 PM   #73
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You obviously LED no one. GEN McCrystal has a plan. It is a plan based around the strategy the President told him to implement. All he is waiting for is for the President to approve the resources he needs to successfully execute it.
.

He has a plan for Afghanistan, and it may be a damn good one, but he's not in charge of the big picture, and that's why the President still has the final say.

For all you know we may be withholding troops because they're afraid of an eminate strike by N Korea or Iran on one of their neighbors.

The bottom line is, the President doesn't have unlimited resrouces at his disposal, he's already under pressure from all angles to reign in spending, and sending more troops may or may not solve the problem. The simple fact of the matter is, you just don't like the man, and are LOOKING for excuses to bash him.

If more troops are the answer, why didn't Bush send them in 3 years ago when the commanders asked for them?!
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      11-19-2009, 12:46 PM   #74
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He has a plan for Afghanistan, and it may be a damn good one, but he's not in charge of the big picture, and that's why the President still has the final say.

For all you know we may be withholding troops because they're afraid of an eminate strike by N Korea or Iran on one of their neighbors.

The bottom line is, the President doesn't have unlimited resrouces at his disposal, he's already under pressure from all angles to reign in spending, and sending more troops may or may not solve the problem. The simple fact of the matter is, you just don't like the man, and are LOOKING for excuses to bash him.

If more troops are the answer, why didn't Bush send them in 3 years ago when the commanders asked for them?!
Are you aware of a troop request three years ago? I'm not.

The increase in troop levels is in response to the strategy Obama said he decided on in March. Do you understand that? You speak like Obama never made the announcement he made in March.

Don't hand me this crap about Iran or north Korea. Anything that would be done immediately there would be done with air and naval forces initially and any ground troops could follow just as easily from CONUS or Afghanistan.

You are looking to excuse his actions regardless of what he does. When he does something right, I support him. I supported him when he announced he was going to maintain or policy of indefinite detention of illegal combatants and rendition. When he screws up, I am going to call him on that too. This is a major league screw up that may cost lives.
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      11-19-2009, 01:34 PM   #75
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Are you aware of a troop request three years ago? I'm not.
.

Are you fucking serious? Every commander for the last three years has asked for more troops.

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The increase in troop levels is in response to the strategy Obama said he decided on in March. Do you understand that? You speak like Obama never made the announcement he made in March.

Don't hand me this crap about Iran or north Korea. Anything that would be done immediately there would be done with air and naval forces initially and any ground troops could follow just as easily from CONUS or Afghanistan.

You are looking to excuse his actions regardless of what he does. When he does something right, I support him. I supported him when he announced he was going to maintain or policy of indefinite detention of illegal combatants and rendition. When he screws up, I am going to call him on that too. This is a major league screw up that may cost lives.
Where have I excused anything? I don't think he's done anything at this point that needs excusing. All you've done is bitch, and you don't have any better ideas, you just want to do exactly the opposite of what's being done.

Fact of the matter is, you can't stand it that he's in office, and you're going to whine and cry about every little thing as long as he is. You're not worth arguing with, because you're not going to change. It's Ok though, because the reality is there isn't a damn thing you can do about it for the next three years, so it doesn't really matter.
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      11-19-2009, 01:45 PM   #76
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Are you fucking serious? Every commander for the last three years has asked for more troops.
Can you substantiate that? Cite for me when either the ISAF or CENTCOM commander asked for additional forces in Afghanistan.



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Where have I excused anything? I don't think he's done anything at this point that needs excusing. All you've done is bitch, and you don't have any better ideas, you just want to do exactly the opposite of what's being done.

Fact of the matter is, you can't stand it that he's in office, and you're going to whine and cry about every little thing as long as he is. You're not worth arguing with, because you're not going to change. It's Ok though, because the reality is there isn't a damn thing you can do about it for the next three years, so it doesn't really matter.
I have a better idea. Make a damned decision! That is what he is paid to do. His commander in the field asked for reinforcements, the minimum he should do is give him an answer. God I feel for any Marine put under your charge. How long did you make them wait for support when they asked for it?
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      11-19-2009, 02:21 PM   #77
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Can you substantiate that? Cite for me when either the ISAF or CENTCOM commander asked for additional forces in Afghanistan.

Here's one for you where they outright ignored estimates:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...-iraq-us_x.htm

Here's more on it if that's not good enough for you:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/12/wa...seki.html?_r=1

Quote:
Jan. 11 — After President Bush told the nation on Wednesday night that he was ordering a rapid increase of American forces in Iraq, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki was not among the retired officers to offer instant analysis on television.
Skip to next paragraph Enlarge This Image
Doug Mills/The New York Times
Chiefs of staff about to testify in 2003, from left: Adm. Vernon Clark, Navy; Gen. Michael Hagee, Marines; and Gen. Eric Shinseki, Army.

The Reach of War

Go to Complete Coverage »


But the president’s new strategy, with its explicit acknowledgment that not enough troops had been sent to Iraq to establish control, was a vindication for General Shinseki, who as Army chief of staff publicly told Congress as much just before the war began in 2003.
First vilified, then marginalized by the Bush administration after those comments, General Shinseki retired and faded away, even as lawmakers, pundits and politicians increasingly cited his prescience.

After what they did to him, most of the Generals were too afraid to make their requests known publically.


And since you don't like my opinion, lets get one from someone with a proven track record, who also happened to be ignored by Bush early on in this war:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpu...your-time.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Powell
In an interview with Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show this morning, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell revealed that he recently advised President Obama to take his time in devising his strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

You can listen to the audio of this interview HERE.

"This is a very difficult one for him," Powell said. "And it isn't just a one-time decision. This is the decision that will have consequences for the better part of his administration. So Mr. President, don't get pushed by the left to do nothing; don't get pushed by the right to do everything. You take your time and you figure it out. You're the commander-in-chief and this is what you were elected for."

Powell said he had "advised him is to not be rushed into a decision because this one is the decision that will have consequences for years to come."

"If you decide to send more troops or that's what you feel it is necessary, make sure you have a good understanding of what those troops are going to be doing and some assurance that the additional troops will be successful," Powell says he told the president. "You can't guarantee success in a very complex theater like Afghanistan and increasingly with the Pakistan problem next door, but you have to have some sense of what these additional troops will be able to do.

"And secondly, take your time," Powell said, "and third, you've got to ensure that you're putting this commitment on a solid base, and the base is a little soft right now. We've got a president in Afghanistan that had a rough election; a lot of corruption associated with the election; a lot of corruption in the government. And he has been told -- Mr. Karzai has been told, and I know him very well -- he's been told he's got to do something about this; he's got to do something about the drug problem, and he's got to start pulling the Afghan people together. And so the president has to measure that; what kind of base is he putting this new strategy on because it isn't just what we do; what do the Afghans do. And as I said a moment ago, it's made particularly difficult because of the unstable situation along the Pakistan border and in Pakistan."
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      11-19-2009, 02:51 PM   #78
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Here's one for you where they outright ignored estimates:



After what they did to him, most of the Generals were too afraid to make their requests known publically.


And since you don't like my opinion, lets get one from someone with a proven track record, who also happened to be ignored by Bush early on in this war:
How long have you been out of uniform? GEN Shinseki was NOT the ISAF or CENTCOM commander. He wasn't talking about Afghanistan and he wasn't even in the chain of command. Do you remember the chain of command? GEN Franks was the CENTCOM Commander and he got every soldier he asked for. He and GEN Shinseki disagreed, big deal. Franks was a proponent of speed and a light footprint. Shinseki and Powell were large force, big footprint proponents. Frank's strategy worked great for the initial invasion but became less effective as the insurgency grew. When that happened, the leadership reacted and adjusted. New leadership, Petraeus was brought in and a new strategy executed. That is what leaders do, they react and adjust.

What Obama is doing is sure as hell not leadership. He is refusing to allow his commander to act.

Are you going to actually answer my question now?
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      11-19-2009, 04:09 PM   #79
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How long have you been out of uniform? GEN Shinseki was NOT the ISAF or CENTCOM commander. He wasn't talking about Afghanistan and he wasn't even in the chain of command. Do you remember the chain of command? GEN Franks was the CENTCOM Commander and he got every soldier he asked for. He and GEN Shinseki disagreed, big deal. Franks was a proponent of speed and a light footprint. Shinseki and Powell were large force, big footprint proponents. Frank's strategy worked great for the initial invasion but became less effective as the insurgency grew. When that happened, the leadership reacted and adjusted. New leadership, Petraeus was brought in and a new strategy executed. That is what leaders do, they react and adjust.

What Obama is doing is sure as hell not leadership. He is refusing to allow his commander to act.

Are you going to actually answer my question now?
Gen. Eric Shinseki was the Army Chief of Staff at the time. If you don't think his estimations were voiced in private well before he made them public, you're out of your mind.

Here's another blatant example for you, but I'm betting you'll just deny it happened as well.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...res-back-chen/

Quote:
In his daily press briefing the next day, Gibbs said Cheney's comments were "curious" given that "the vice president was for seven years not focused on Afghanistan."
And, Gibbs said, the comments were "even more curious given the fact that (a request for) an increase in troops sat on desks in this White House, including the vice president's, for more than eight months, a resource request filled by President Obama in March."
Gibbs is referring here to a request for additional troops made by the previous top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, during President George W. Bush's final year in office.
McKiernan made his requests public in a press conference in September 2008 in Afghanistan, saying he needed at least three more combat brigades, in addition to the one Bush had promised in January. He said more soldiers and resources were needed to stabilize insurgencies in Afghanistan.
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      11-19-2009, 04:21 PM   #80
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Gen. Eric Shinseki was the Army Chief of Staff at the time. If you don't think his estimations were voiced in private well before he made them public, you're out of your mind.
It doesn't matter if Shinseki voiced his opinion in private. I am sure he did. But that is what it was, an opinion. He was not a commander. He was not responsible for planning or executing an operation. He advised the commander in chief and the SecDef and they disagreed with him. They approved the plan given to them by their commander on the ground.

Quote:
Here's another blatant example for you, but I'm betting you'll just deny it happened as well.
If Bush left his commander hanging without a response, he was just as wrong as Obama is.

EDIT: It seems it is not as cut and dry as you and Gibbs claim:

Quote:
From the Fact Check Desk: Did McKiernan’s Troop Requests Just Sit on Bush White House Desks?

... Throughout most of 2008, the Bush administration tried to get NATO countries to fill that gap, though they had to have known that would be a challenge. By the late summer, 2008 Bush administration officials realized NATO wasn’t going to come through.

In September 2008 that led the Pentagon to order 2,000 Marines to replace Marines sent to Afghanistan in January as a one-time deployment. At the same time, it also ordered in the first of the additional four combat brigades that McKiernan had requested. This unit of 3,700 soldiers would arrive in January, 2009 and had been originally scheduled to deploy to Iraq.

In December 2008, President Bush sent 2,800 troops to Afghanistan from an aviation brigade that McKiernan had also requested.

So as McKiernan’s outstanding requests for more forces accumulated throughout 2008 to roughly 30,000 soldiers, President Bush sent at least 6,800 troops – months and months after the requests had come in.

By March, President Obama had ordered 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan – which can be seen as roughly the outstanding balance of McKiernan’s original request.

So Gibbs’s claim that for “eight months” McKiernan’s request for troops “sat on desks” isn’t accurate...
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