Man alive. The more you read, the more it looks the same as the LBJ/McNamara snafu.
Clearly, Obama didn't bother with history lessons while at Oxy, Columbia, or Hahhhhvahd.
President Obama did what he had to do in relieving Gen. Stanley McChrystal of command yesterday. But despite the appointment of Gen. David H. Petraeus to succeed McChrystal, Obama did nothing to clarify the strategy or make victory more likely in Afghanistan.
(A reminder: I think that the War Party persuaded GWB to enter a fool's mission. "Nation-building" is not the business of the Department of Defense. Finding and killing Bin Ladin, in contrast, is a perfectly valid mission.)
Having said that, Babbin's essay is dead on.
Obama himself is entirely vague. In his announcement of McChrystal's relief, he said, "We have a clear goal. We are going to break the Taliban's momentum. We are going to build Afghan capacity. We are going to relentlessly apply pressure on Al Qaeda and its leadership, strengthening the ability of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to do the same."
...The goals Obama set for Afghanistan -- like the jobs "created or saved" by the Obama "stimulus" last year -- are meaningless. They are political, and not susceptible of objective measurement.
Meaningless goals are dangerous to US troops. Let's be clear: McChrystal and Petraeus BOTH acceded to Obama's demands that 'no civilians' will be killed. That engendered Rules of Engagement which are almost suicidal.
While Mike Yon is an optimist about the Petraeus appointment, I'm not, and neither is Babbin, who has lots of cred.
More here, from a Brit war correspondent. It's not happy talk...
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