Did Obama Lie to the American People Regarding His Afghanistan Strategy?

Monday, December 7, 2009

In his primetime address at West Point last Tuesday, President Obama told the American people that even as he planned to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, his administration would “begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011.”

However, senior administration officials were dispatched Sunday in a flurry of coordinated TV appearances to send a forceful message that contradicted Mr. Obama’s West Point timeline for troop withdrawal. By all accounts, it now looks like U.S. military forces will remain in Afghanistan significantly longer than 18 months.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on CBS’s “Face the Nation:”

“There isn’t a deadline. What we have is a specific date on which we will begin transferring responsibility for security district by district, province by province in Afghanistan, to the Afghans.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Gates said:

“Under the plan, 100,000 American troops would be in Afghanistan in July 2011, and some handful, or some small number, or whatever the conditions permit, will begin to withdraw at that time.”

Gen. James L. Jones, Obama’s national security adviser, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union:”

“We’re going to be in the region for a long time.”

President Obama’s West Point speech set off a barrage of criticism from Republican lawmakers that the president was setting an arbitrary withdrawal date that could embolden Taliban insurgents to wait the Americans out.

All of which calls into question the strategy itself. Why is President Obama sending 30,000 additional combat troops to Afghanistan when even Defense Secretary Robert Gates was forced to admit it had been “years” since the U. S. had any reliable intelligence about the location of Osama bin Laden? U.S. intelligence agencies assume he is hiding in the remote North Waziristan region of northwest Pakistan. Is the U.S. about to fight a war in the wrong country again, just as we did with George W. Bush and Iraq?

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9 Responses to Did Obama Lie to the American People Regarding His Afghanistan Strategy?

  1. Allen Crenshaw says:

    The president did not lie about his plan to the American people. The 18 months is the time US forces to start to hand over responsibility to the Afghan army. Just coming from Afghanistan…their army forces have a long road ahead before they are able to stand on their own feet. I do not think they can handle job in 18 months. US forces regardless of the plan will be in Afghanistan for very long time. I think Afghanistan will turn into another Korea tour for American forces.
    The issue the American people need to remember is as long as the Taliban are operating in Afghanistan…there will always be American forces in Afghanistan.

  2. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    Just keep one thought in mind.

    The Russians tried to fight the Afghans for a decade and they had their asses handed to them by savages using bows and arrows and slingshots. These guys are accustomed to being invaded and they don’t fear death.

    American hubris allows the current administration to think they can “get the job done,” but I’m not sure even they know what the mission is anymore.

    Obama’s playing with fire. He’s about to go the way of Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam. Too bad he’s so young that he can’t see it.

  3. feminazi says:

    We could do more to change the way the world sees us if we built schools, and medical clinics, instead of exporting our military, killing machinery. After Iran and the Shah, you might think we would’ve learned a valuable lesson but no, we continue to stomp across the planet, annihilating everything and everyone in our path and then we wonder why the USA is hated?

  4. Scott Dancer says:

    I said it before and I will say it again. There is no compelling, national security reason for the USA to have tens-of-thousands of combat troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

    If America is going to survive, we must change the culture that promotes a war mentality. We’re more than this and I thought Obama would be different.

    Look like I was wrong about him.

  5. Rachel says:

    I’m so sick and tired of war at a time when the U.S. is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and 18 million people are unemployed. This much I know. Whoever pledges to extract this country out of the middle east and central Asia gets my vote in 2012. If no one says they will do it, then I stay home and save my vote.

  6. DMason says:

    Afghanistan is the new South Korea. I bet we have a military presence there in 50 years. You see, this is why the U.S. needs to be very conservative when it comes to launching into one of these involvements because once we’re there, we just can’t say good-bye.

  7. Tiny Dancer says:

    Obama is turning out to be a big disappointment.

  8. Scott Dancer: There’s one reason: war is a great money maker for the military industrial complex. Just saying.

  9. Fran says:

    I feel lied to by Obama…. not just on Afghanistan.
    He said he would shut down the Iraq war as soon as he was elected.
    A year later we have 100,000 + troops there.

    He said he would shut down Gitmo.
    A year later Gitmo is still up & running.

    He said he supported a public option for health care.
    No one was allowed at the table who represented real reform that does not allow for-profit insurance companies to continue to have us as puppets on a string.

    I am waiting on up close & personal reality check about the availability for college funding for my son.

    Will it be a George Bush style offer of a 14.9% variable rate loan??

    Is the best a college student can get is Food Stamps???

    Obama promised a lot to the LGBT community.
    Civil & marriage rights are still being denied and abused.

    As for Afghanistan… he promised a surge- sent 21,000 troops in April 2009.
    That was a failure. Rather than calling it a failure, he is escalating. …. when our economy is extremely vulnerable.
    Mortgage experts say lots more balloon mortgages will come due in 2010 & the next few years, the volume of Mortgage foreclosures will make the last wave look “light”.

    Obama owns these wars, and the blood is on his hands.

    Every time I hear a politician whine about not having money for healthcare, I want to yell CUT THE WAR FUNDING!

    So yes the dissatisfaction rate for me is very high.
    Obama talked the talk, but he’s not walking the walk.

    I’m not at all fired up about increasing jobs through the funeral & casket industry, and the military industrial complex.

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