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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

COMMANDER IN CHIEF PLAYS POLITICS

A good Commander in Chief makes decisions about troop deployment based on combat operations and the advise of theatre commanders who have a working grasp of what is necessary to complete a mission and win a war. A good Commander in Chief listens to his commanders and then deploys or removes troops in accordance to the best advise he has been given by those commanders.

Unfortunately we don't have a good Commander in Chief. The one we are stuck with uses politics and polls to determine what course will be taken in a war and as such endangers troops who are duty bound to follow orders sent down by the CIC. This is what we are witnessing as Barack Obama is announcing his withdrawal schedule for Afghanistan.

I am not writing this from the stand point of a war hawk but one who sees a great concern for the safety of our troops in security situations in Afghanistan that are perilous at best according to commanders on the ground. Recent gains in country while successful are also very fragile and making large troop changes based on political reasons and satisfying political supporters is a neglect in the responsibility of the CIC whose first obligation is the protection of our Nation and then the protection of those who serve and are sent in harms way.

When Obama announced the surge into Afghanistan in 2009 he contradicted himself in the very same speech by announcing that he would also begin withdrawing troops in July of 2011. This last statement in his speech was a purely political move to satisfy his base and he has remained hell bent on fulfilling that statement regardless of advise from commanders and the situation in the Afghan theater of operations.

If the Afghans are capable of handling all situations in country then by all means bring our troops home. But if Afghan forces are not, all that will happen is the remaining troops we have in Afghanistan will face situations that are more dangerous since they will have less personnel to fulfill mission requirements and combat operations.

Polls and politics do not protect troops in battle. Additionally announcing in advance a schedule for troop withdrawal as Obama is doing does nothing more than signal to the enemy where they can attack, how long they have to wait and how many soldiers they may face when attacking.

Obama has already set up rules of engagement that have cost lives and placed our troops in greater peril on the battlefield and now with this purely political move to fulfill his statement in the 2009 speech he is sending a clear signal to the enemy which will place troops in even greater danger than they already face.

A good Commander in Chief listens to his field commanders. Obama has ignored those commanders since day one and now continues to ignore them as he makes this dangerous move in withdrawing troops in direct contrast to commanders advise and a move that wreaks of political maneuvering rather than sound military decision.

Ken Taylor

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