While Obama took his own sweet time to ponder the way ahead in Afghanistan, this country had Troops fighting in that country. His unwillingness to listen to the Generals on the ground; REALLY listen to them, cost the lives of 116 American Troops. That's 116 too many as far as I'm concerned and Obama is responsible. On August 30th General McChrystal told Obama that reinforcements were needed in Afghanistan and asked for additional Troops in a 66 page assessment that was submitted to Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. It wasn’t until December 1st that Obama announced that he would send an additional 30,000 Troops to the country. McChrystal clearly stated in the 66 page document that without additional resources, the mission in Afghanistan was likely to fail.
I find it appalling that Obama chose to ignore McChrystal’s plea for additional Troops for such a long period of time. Instead, he focused on things such as attempting to get the next Olympic Games in Chicago, attempting to figure out ways to further bankrupt our country, finding ways to shove his healthcare initiatives down the throats of the American people and his willingness to ‘bow down’ to the leadership of other countries. His disdain for the US Military was never more apparent to me, than his speech following the horrific and senseless murders at Fort Hood last month, when he choose to only mention that tragedy as an afterthought as he was addressing Native Americans. That disdain is further evidenced by his complete and utter disregard of General McChrsytal’s plea for additional Troops for over 3 months. That disdain and complete disregard of the emergent needs of our Troops serving in Afghanistan cost lives. President Obama should be ashamed of himself, he dropped the ball BIG TIME.
The period since Gen. McChrystal submitted his assessment that additional troops were needed has included the second deadliest thee-month period of the war. In September through November, there were 112 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan (including 37 in September, 58 in October and 17 in November). Together with 4 casualties that occurred on August 31, these account for the 116 total U.S. casualties that have occurred in Afghanistan since the general’s assessment.
The deadliest three-month period of the war was June through August of this year, when there were 119 U.S. casualties. These included 24 in June, 44 in July, and 51 in August.
So far this year, there have been 291 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan, making 2009 the deadliest year of the war. Prior to this year, the deadliest single month of the war in Afghanistan was June 2008, when 28 U.S. troops were killed. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/57832
That's completely unacceptable! I’m not saying that all of the deaths of Troops that have occurred since August 30th would have been prevented had he acted quickly on General McChrystal’s request for additional Troops. That’s not realistic, but I do feel that had those reinforcements been sent in a timely matter, perhaps the number of casualties could have been drastically reduced. General McChrystal is the expert, NOT Obama and it’s critical that he learn to listen, really listen to what the experts on the ground say. They know what is necessary for the Troops, they live, sleep, eat and breathe the war in Afghanistan. It’s time that he learned that the sign of a good leader is one who, when faced with a decision about something they have little or no experience with,that they will defer to the expertise of those who DO have experience. This isn’t a game and Obama would do well to learn that as quickly as possible. It’s time for him to take his job as Commander In Chief of the US Military seriously.