But then, we already knew that.
Hat Tip to Real Clear Politics.
On 18 October, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, and made these claims:
And you know, here in Washington, we want to have a debate, and you can’t — we would love the luxury of this debate to be reduced down to just one question, additional troops, 40,000. This is a much more complex decision. Even the general’s own report and General Petraeus’ own analysis says the question, the real partner here is not how much troops you have, but whether in fact there’s an Afghan partner. And when you go through all the analysis, it’s clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that’s adrift. That we’re beginning at scratch, and just from the starting point, after eight years.
……And before you commit troops, which is — not irreversible, but puts you down a certain path — before you make that decision, there’s a set of questions that have to have answers that have never been asked. And it’s clear after eight years of war, that’s basically starting from the beginning, and those questions never got asked.
Fast forward to a 26 October conversation with Robert Gibbs, aboard Air Force One:
Q The Afghan review that the Bush administration — or Cheney says was handed off to your administration, you said last week you would go and look at that. What did you find when you did that, when you went and looked for the report? Did they hand it off, and what did it say?
MR. GIBBS: Well, I — well, it’s top secret, so I appreciate the opportunity to get into what it says. Many members of our administration briefed people on the review’s existence. I don’t think what was — I don’t think what’s —
Q Was your administration briefed?
MR. GIBBS: With people that — it’s been public that we got these reviews. I mean, we can show articles where these things are discussed.
While some of the information was helpful, the President obviously found it instructive to do a review of his own, and that’s what Bruce Riedel did in the spring, which led to the President signing off on additional forces that went to Afghanistan.
I don’t think it’s the existence of the reviews that seems to be an issue here, Jon. I think it’s a focus on one area of the world at the expense of another.
As Stephen Hayes points out:
In fact, the Bush administration did ask those questions. From mid-September to mid-November 2008, a National Security Council team, under the direction of General Doug Lute, conducted an exhaustive review of Afghanistan policy. The interagency group included high-ranking officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the office of the director of national intelligence, the office of the vice president, the Pentagon, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its objective was to assess U.S. -policy on Afghanistan, integrating a simultaneous military review being conducted by CENTCOM, so as to present President Bush with a series of recommendations on how best to turn around the deteriorating situation there. The Lute group met often–sometimes twice daily–in a secure conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. (The group used the room so frequently that other national security working groups that had been meeting there were required to find other space including, occasionally, the White House Situation Room.)http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/017/120ekabc.asp
And speaking of adrift, when it comes to decisiveness, Obama’s on a fucking raft in the middle of the ocean:
Sources tell ABC News that as of now President Obama will likely announce his decision about a new strategy in Afghanistan at some point between the Afghan run-off election, November 7, and the president’s departure for Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, November 11.
There is a chance the announcement may be delayed until the president’s return from the Asia trip on Friday, November 20, but as of now the plan is to have the announcement in that window.
Don’t let your overseas jaunts interfere with wartime foreign policy decisions, B. Hussein; especally when it comes to troop morale:
Army Sgt. 1st Class Teresa R. Coble and other members of her unit at the base’s media-support center hit the floor, lay flat on the dusty cement and protected their heads with their hands. Later, the unit moved to cement-reinforced bunkers until the all-clear sounded.
While the Obama administration debates whether to send tens of thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and Afghans prepare to vote for president for the second time in four months, some of those already braving rockets and bombs worry that their mission has lost the support of the U.S. public and that their sacrifices – and those of their fallen comrades – have been in vain.
“What about the troops who died giving their lives for this mission?” Sgt. Coble asked as she waited for the rocket alert to finish.
Well, SFC Coble, apparently Obama has more pressing issues…like globe-trotting for apology tours and American “image makeovers”.