CBS, ABC on Obama Af-Pak decision: Never mind

posted at 8:48 am on November 10, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, CBS reported that Barack Obama had decided to send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan, adopting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s Plan B.  Earlier, McClatchy reported that Obama had decided on sending 34,000 troops, splitting the difference between Plans B and C.  Now CBS and Bloomberg both report that Obama hasn’t made any decision yet, while ABC says that Obama has expanded his options to Plans A, B, C, D, and E:

Senior administration officials tell ABC News that President Obama at his war council meeting tomorrow will assess five different specific strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the recommendations put forward by Gen. Stanley McChrystal being one of those five strategies.

At his meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday, October 30, President Obama asked Pentagon officials to assess in detail the four other strategy options — missions, troop requirements, cost. All five options increase the levels of US troops in Afghanistan. The president has not yet been presented with those four new assessments.

All five options will be discussed in detail when the Joint Chiefs and other senior officials meet with the President tomorrow.

As for those reports on Obama having already decided …

President Barack Obama’s national security adviser dismissed reports that the administration has reached a decision to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan.

Obama hasn’t received final options that he has requested, neither has he reviewed those alternatives with his national security team, said National Security Adviser James Jones, responding to reports by the Associated Press and CBS News. The AP reported Obama would add “tens of thousands more forces,” while CBS said he plans to send four combat brigades plus thousands more support troops.

“Reports that President Obama has made a decision about Afghanistan are absolutely false,” Jones said in a e-mailed statement today. “Any reports to the contrary are completely untrue and come from uninformed sources.”

The earlier reports came from White House sources.  Either the Obama administration wanted to float some trial balloons that could later be disavowed, or someone in the West Wing is unhappy about the options Obama is considering.  I’d lean heavily towards the first option, which could easily be tested: CBS and McClatchy can make their sources public.  After all, this administration is calling them and their sources liars, essentially, so what do they owe their sources anyway?

Why is the Obama administration floating these trial balloons three months after McChrystal reported back on the necessary resourcing for the Af-Pak theater and the counterinsurgency strategy Obama himself championed for the last three years?  He’s the Commander in Chief, and this is not a political campaign.  Before now, Obama used the elections in Afghanistan as an excuse for his dithering, which this has very obviously become.  That excuse expired two weeks ago, and now we’re getting a flurry of trial balloons rather than leadership and a decision.

It’s time to make a decision, Mr. President, one which you’ve had three months to make.  If Obama is just now getting around to hearing back on five options, then he either needs to fire his staff for their lack of preparation or admit that this has been a low priority for him while Americans fight and die on the front lines.  One does not win wars by waiting three months to decide on whether to properly resource the only real option for victory.

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He has to stick his finger in the air and see about the winds to determine if he can fight the war he declared to be important and crucial.


Jimmy Carter showed some fight at least on ocassion

Defector01 on November 10, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Probably he’s waiting for instructions from the SEIU.

petefrt on November 10, 2009 at 9:02 AM

I wonder if they, like the press, use purple ink instead of red so as not to weaken his self-esteem.

singer on November 10, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Sounds more like plan “F” to me.

LCT688 on November 10, 2009 at 11:59 AM

One does not win wars by waiting three months to decide on whether to properly resource the only real option for victory.

One does not. THE One, may.

Mr Michael on November 10, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Obama’s method to conduct the war:

Balloon floating.

petunia on November 10, 2009 at 12:06 PM

In an interview with ABC News today, Obama said his extensive and expansive strategy-review meetings have given him greater confidence in whatever his final decision will be.
“I have gained confidence that there’s not an important question out there that has not been asked, and that we haven’t asked — that we haven’t answered to the best of our abilities,” Obama said.


This is what we’ve come to in this country? The President takes off for a trip, while troops are dying, but announces, weeks and perhaps months after he’s trumpeted his new “strategy” for Afghanistan, and announces……

He’s confident he’ll come up with something really snappy once he gets around to deciding something, whatever it is… whenever that is.

That’s what I call… LEADERSHIP.

Actually, that’s not what I call it, but there are children bloggers out there. You get the idea.

This man is an unutterable fool.

And we are fools for having elected him.

We will pay the price, in the Greatest National Hangover in History.

IndieDogg on November 10, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Wasn’t the plan announced is March? When exactly did that expire?

exception on November 10, 2009 at 8:52 AM

The TOTUS’s plans expire immediately after being spoken.

Dasher on November 10, 2009 at 12:55 PM

One does not win wars by waiting three months to decide on whether to properly resource the only real option for victory.

If one were in this to win the war, than you are correct. However, I don’t believe Obama is in this to win. When as a senator, he accused these men, and women of air raiding villages, and killing innocent men, women, and children…it showed his utter contempt for the military. That they are fighting, and dying, and over burdened now, makes him feel any empathy….is wrong. He could care less. Anyone else would have made a decision by now. There is a method to this mans madness.

I’m starting to believe that he had a heads up on Hasan, before Hasan went all terrorist on Fort Hood, and with the FBI in his pocket…..well….draw your own conclusions. But my conclusion is pandering to islamic extremists, and contempt for OUR military.

capejasmine on November 10, 2009 at 12:59 PM

VP Cheney calls this dithering. It is dithering.

Now he dithers on calling the Ft Hood events as terror.

seven on November 10, 2009 at 1:11 PM

President Emily Litella.

More like President Eddie Izzard. On how Engelbert’s doing his thing in L.A.:

RD on November 10, 2009 at 1:33 PM

This man is an unutterable fool.

No, he knows exactly what he is doing. This dithering is by design, it is what his Puppet Masters have told him to do.

And we are fools for having elected him.

What do you mean by “we”? I didn’t vote for him, did you? But yes, I see your point, the idiots that did elect him are fools.

We will pay the price, in the Greatest National Hangover in History.

The price for electing Obama will be paid in blood, the body count remains to be tallied.

IndieDogg on November 10, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Boehner’s Floor Speech, an interesting 22 minutes. He lays it all out. I reccommend anyone that hasn’t seen it, watch it.

mrpeabody on November 10, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Maybe the reports were accurate, and like a fickle young debutant, he just keeps changing his mind.

Little Miss Fickle

I call it the : “Yes. No. Maybe. I Dunno. Whatever” Gambit

juanito on November 10, 2009 at 1:48 PM

“Reports that President Obama has made a decision about Afghanistan are absolutely false,

So the quote “f**k those army bastards” is false? Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

Squiggy on November 10, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Ed, Bozo has one and only one choice. Fight all out to win because anything short of complete victory for us is a win for them.

dogsoldier on November 10, 2009 at 2:34 PM

The one is conducting a pychological experiment on diversity, reaching out to all of the options ala Hasan.

AnotherOpinion on November 10, 2009 at 2:35 PM


ronsfi on November 10, 2009 at 5:01 PM

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