Showdown: Petraeus to ask for more time for Afghanistan mission

posted at 8:54 pm on August 12, 2010 by Allahpundit

Not a surprise given what he said at his confirmation hearing a few weeks ago, but nonetheless this is bound to make an awful lot of people — on both sides — very fidgety. And Tom Maguire’s right: Opposition to the war is at a simmer right now because Democrats control Congress and don’t want to kneecap Obama by cutting off war funding. That equation changes if the GOP retakes the House, though — and not just for Democrats. Will Republicans be as gung ho to keep an unpopular war going once they control the pursestrings again? Especially when even grassroots heroes like Ann Coulter are pounding the table about withdrawal?

With the administration unable yet to point to much tangible evidence of progress, Gen. David H. Petraeus, who assumed command in Afghanistan last month from Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, is taking several steps to emphasize hopeful signs on the ground that, he will argue, would make a rapid withdrawal unwise. Meanwhile, a rising generation of young officers, who have become experts over the past nine years in the art of counterinsurgency, have begun quietly telling administration officials that they need time to get their work done.

“Their argument,” said one senior administration official, who would not speak for attribution about the internal policy discussions, “is that while we’ve been in Afghanistan for nine years, only in the past 12 months or so have we started doing this right, and we need to give it some time and think about what our long-term presence in Afghanistan should look like.”…

At the core of the timetables, they say, is what White House officials call the “two-year rule.” During the review of Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, Mr. Gates made the argument, according to one participant in the White House Situation Room discussions, that “in any particular location you should be able to clear, build, hold and transfer” to the Afghan forces within two years. Military officials said two years was roughly how long it took to make headway in difficult places, once troops were in place.

Petraeus will be on the chat shows this weekend to make the case publicly. I’m actually surprised that he’s starting to push this now; it makes more political sense for Obama to have him do it after the midterms, when there are no electoral consequences in asking to extend a war that’s increasingly identified with Democrats. Presumably he nixed that idea because the long-awaited Kandahar campaign is set to begin later this year and the optics of demanding more time in the middle of a tough battle might be awkward. Better to float the idea this summer, before the shooting starts, so that the public doesn’t read it as a desperation move taken in response to a hard fight later.

Speaking of Kandahar and desperation: Where’s Keyser Soze Mullah Omar?


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It is going to be a long road in Afghanistan. Better to recognize the realities now.

novaculus on August 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM

I’m actually surprised that he’s starting to push this now; it makes more political sense for Obama to have him do it after the midterms, when there are no electoral consequences in asking to extend a war that’s increasingly identified with Democrats.

Dude, what, if anything, makes political sense anymore? I think all sense is out the window with these guys but, we’re just reptilian thinkers, yo….

ted c on August 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Hopey/Changey would love to see this go away
before 2012 I would bet!!

canopfor on August 12, 2010 at 9:01 PM

“Their argument,” said one senior administration official, who would not speak for attribution about the internal policy discussions, “is that while we’ve been in Afghanistan for nine years, only in the past 12 months or so have we started doing this right, and we need to give it some time and think about what our long-term presence in Afghanistan should look like.”…

And what were they doing for nine years?

What makes the last 12 months so very special, besides Obama being on scene to take unearned credit?

sharrukin on August 12, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Well if Iraq will need us there until 2020 … !

Tony737 on August 12, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Isn’t Sharia Law solidified enough for the Muslims there to kill one another over minute differences in their interpretation of Koran duties sufficiently, yet?

I guess we have to stay, then.

profitsbeard on August 12, 2010 at 9:08 PM

“is that while we’ve been in Afghanistan for nine years, only in the past 12 months or so have we started doing this right, and we need to give it some time and think about what our long-term presence in Afghanistan should look like.”…

Why do we need a long term presence in Afghanistan ?

macncheez on August 12, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Having absolutely no interest in America’s national security, the entire Democratic Party (save Joe Lieberman) wailed about the war in Iraq for five years, pretending they really wanted to go great-guns in Afghanistan. What the heck: They had already voted for the war in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 when they would have been hanged as traitors had they objected.
-Anne Coulter

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37950
======================================================

Good point,Leftys were chompin at the bit,to get into
Afghanistan,but there in power now,er,smart power,er
power to truth or sumpin like dat,anyhow!!

canopfor on August 12, 2010 at 9:09 PM

Meanwhile, let’s scew with the Military retirement system

BDU-33 on August 12, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Yet again like the victorious British American general comes before the nation…he needs more troops, more time, and more money. This time he’ll be sure to smash those dratted rebels insurgents. Then the rule of king and crown democracy will be firmly established across the land!

There are just a few small problems – the nation is broke and civil order is decidedly shaky.

As wise old Solomon said, there really is nothing new under the sun. Let’s just be thankful we haven’t (yet) had our Yorktown!

Dark-Star on August 12, 2010 at 9:15 PM

Give me just a little more time
And the Afghan’s love for freedom will surely grow
Give me just a little more time
And the Afghan’s love for freedom will surely grow

Ever leaving Afghanistan would be a mistake
Let’s think of how wonderful Islam could be and hesitate
Almost broke and the troops as tired as they may be
There’s no need to act selfishly
If we part Afghanistan, Allah won’t forget it
Years from now he’ll surely make us regret it

You don’t understand how wonderful Islam could be and you’re in a hurry
They’re not eager to reject Sharia but don’t you worry
I’ll win their hearts and minds and then they’ll want the American way of life
But these things don’t come overnight
Don’t give up ‘cos Afghan progress has been slow
Boy, we’re gonna succeed with yet another courageous restrain blow

Cheshire Cat on August 12, 2010 at 9:20 PM

What did America go into Afghanistan for? To kill terrorists, or to play patty-cake with crooks?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Meanwhile, let’s scew with the Military retirement system

BDU-33 on August 12, 2010 at 9:14 PM

I have always felt that when it comes to those who protect us that we need to take care of them. They need to fix the issue and quick.

Also, in regards to their medical care, If it means deciding to cover a questionable illness that may or may not be from some far off land I say cover it . We should cut waste and fraud when possible but I would be much friendlier to our soldiers than to society’s moochers and cheats.

CWforFreedom on August 12, 2010 at 9:21 PM

Quick…dust off the Betrey-Us ad!!!!

BigWyo on August 12, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Any bets how much money Hussain and Hillary will transfer to taliban er…ISI err…Pakistan to “help” Gen Patraeus carry out his mission ?

macncheez on August 12, 2010 at 9:23 PM

What did America go into Afghanistan for? To kill terrorists, or to play patty-cake with crooks?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Yes on the first and close on the second.

We’ve long since killed all the terrorists of note who were stupid enough to stick around and face us head-to-head.

Now we’re trying to install a democracy…which is having about as much success as installing OpenOffice on a broken typewriter.

Dark-Star on August 12, 2010 at 9:23 PM

That schedule slipped, in part because of resistance among Kandahar’s residents.

Hard to defend people who are resisting you.

BL@KBIRD on August 12, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Dark-Star on August 12, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Lol! Great analogy! =)

OldEnglish on August 12, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Well if Iraq will need us there until 2020 … !

Tony737 on August 12, 2010 at 9:05 PM

Tony737:)
=================================================

August 12, 2010

Iraqi General Wants U.S. Troops to Stay Until 2020

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4309717/iraqi-general-wants-us-troops-to-stay-until-2020/?playlist_id=86857

canopfor on August 12, 2010 at 9:28 PM

What did America go into Afghanistan for? To kill terrorists, or to play patty-cake with crooks?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, it’s Mullah’s land, man
Get out of that place as fast as you can
Pat it and prick it and stop our troops misery
Leave it at a temperature higher than an oven for humanity and thee

Patty cake, patty cake, it’s Mullah’s land, man
Get out of that place as fast as you can
Roll it up, roll it up
If you got to come back, come back with a frying pan!

Cheshire Cat on August 12, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Especially when even grassroots heroes like Ann Coulter are pounding the table about withdrawal?

I reread that Coulter piece (for like the 3rd time), and I don’t see her demanding withdrawal, much less using the word “withdrawal.”

MeatHeadinCA on August 12, 2010 at 9:35 PM

What did America go into Afghanistan for? To kill terrorists, or to play patty-cake with crooks?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, it’s Mullah’s land, man
Get out of that place as fast as you can
Pat it and pack it and stop our troops misery
Leave it at a temperature higher than an oven for humanity and thee

Patty cake, patty cake, it’s Mullah’s land, man
Get out of that place as fast as you can
Roll it up, roll it up
If you got to come back, come back with a frying pan!

Cheshire Cat on August 12, 2010 at 9:41 PM

We went in, kicked the Taliban out. The Northern Alliance was given control of the country. They’ve had plenty of time to take over. Given their eternal ‘tribal instincts’, lets not tarry any longer.

Simply tell them that if the Taliban returns and invites AQ back to their old training grounds, WE WILL BE BACK. Only our answer then will be in the nose cone of an ICBM.

Pretty hard to train in a glass parking lot.

GarandFan on August 12, 2010 at 9:45 PM

“General Patraeus requested stupidly…”
POTUS

Khun Joe on August 12, 2010 at 9:54 PM

The ghost of Vietnam is settling in Afghanistan. Soon we’ll declare victory, come home and all will soon be lost.

rplat on August 12, 2010 at 9:54 PM

The Koran removes hearts and minds.

What are we trying to win, again?

After we approved of a game-ending Islamic Constitution, I mean.

profitsbeard on August 12, 2010 at 10:03 PM

McChrystal are playin the inexperienced “Cousin Eddie”!

Pinnochio gave Petreaus the power when he accepted McChrystals’ resignation and picked Petreaus.

If he wanted out he should have picked Weasley Clark!

Pinnochio is stuck on stupid and will have to give Petraeus more time and new ROE else let the world know that Obama lost the war that was totally Obamas’ war.
No blamin Bush or evil Repubs on this one!
What has the guy done right?

dhunter on August 12, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Lol! Great analogy! =)

OldEnglish on August 12, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Thanks. It is my favorite for this situation…I’m thinking of making a prop to go along with it.

Dark-Star on August 12, 2010 at 10:17 PM

McChrystal and Petreaus

dhunter on August 12, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Cheshire Cat on August 12, 2010 at 9:41 PM

I wish I could do that. (I should have stayed awake in English Lit).

OldEnglish on August 12, 2010 at 10:58 PM

It makes sense to me. Make it an election issue when the Dems don’t want to look soft on defense and mousetrap them into support after the election even if the slogging gets hard during the Kandahar offensive. Republicans getting squishy on Afghanistan won’t want to lose the hawks in their base by letting their democratic opponent look like a bigger supporter of the troops than they are.

KW64 on August 12, 2010 at 11:02 PM

How long does it take America to win this war?

Coming up on 9 years people……and now he wants more time?

If we’re not going to WIN in Afghanistan why are we there unless it’s to exploit the supposed vast mineral wealth in the country? How many noble American Warriors must die in battle for this cause? What the heck is the cause? To prop up a bunch of lying thugs in the Government there? Have we actually empowered the people to actually run the government?

Have we taught them anything in 9 LONG YEARS?

IF WE REALLY WANTED TO WIN THIS WAR….IT WOULD BE OVER IN 2 MONTHS (if that long).

PappyD61 on August 12, 2010 at 11:03 PM

obama needs a war to stay in office, but not the
older-than-dirt-it’s-Bush’s-fault-after-all Afghan war.

The “president” is working on his show-stopper — getting Israel/Iran to blow the mideast wide open.

“THAT should do the trick”, he chuckles to himself as he strolls the golf course. “2012 will be mine”.

tigerlily on August 12, 2010 at 11:03 PM

PappyD61 on August 12, 2010 at 11:03 PM

THIS.

tigerlily on August 12, 2010 at 11:05 PM

….this is a major disaster with our Soldiers stuck in the middle.

Obama has no intention of doing what it takes to “win” in Afghanistan. Remember….he accepted the middle road plan that McCrystal put before him, rejecting the larger plan that involved more than double the amount of troops that Obama sent.

Nobody that is paying attention believed that 30,000 troops was enough to take care of “winning” in the Afghan/Pakistan theater.
They might have said that was enough to complete the mission that Obama wanted (which does not involve victory there) and that our military has to carry out.

Obama never talks of “victory” in Afghanistan because his plan is simply to weaken the Taliban enough to negotiate with “moderate Taliban”,train police/army,and bring down the violence enough to withdraw and “surrender with style.”

Eradicating the enemy in Afghanistan and eliminating the training and funding of terrorist in Pakistan would take a much larger commitment of troops and resources.Would involve major international ridicule (all out bombing and commitment of forces to drive out the Taliban/al-qaeda camps that the ISI won’t do would be met with international scorn)……and a lot more money.

Since we have few if any political leaders informing the Nation how serious the consequences of leaving Afghanistan without defeating the enemy will be…..it is obvious that any type of commitment like this is not on the horizon.

If we stay on the present course and follow the policies of “smart power” in this war…….we will withdraw Afghanistan next year leaving it a much stronger supporter of terrorism than it was when we went in after 9/11.

The jihadist will celebrate their victory over the “Great Satan” motivating hundreds of thousands of muslims around the world to their quest for the Caliphate.
They will have more money (from the West)….more training….more weapons…..and more intelligence to pursue their goals than ever before.
This in conjunction with Iraq becoming unraveled and the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon could set in motion slaughter on a scale that we have never seen.

I hope Petreaus puts this administration on the spot with a “go in to win or get the he!! out” position.
The success in Iraq created at least a framework to institute in Afghanistan in the pursuit of defeating the jihadist. Two totally different theaters but Petreaus certainly can make the adjustments necessary to put forth a successful mission.
Obama was called a “genius” for putting petreaus in charge……
……once again the buck stops at the White House…..

……..Obama will be neutered if he refuses to give the General what he needs for victory.

Baxter Greene on August 12, 2010 at 11:20 PM

O/T, but had to post this from the “Michelle Obama’s Mirror”, or “MOTUS” blog.

Please go to the link and scroll down for the whole story, which says obama celebrated his August 4 birthday last February 16, IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE ISLAMIC CALENDAR.

At the link you will also see a photo of what I understand to be a pendant that berri gave Moochelle during the week long (again, Islamic tradition) February birthday celebration. The pendant is the Islamic crescent and moon.

What do you fellow HotAirians think?

http://www.michellesmirror.com/

“As Reliapundit accurately reported way last February, Big Guy and Lady M have already celebrated his 49th birthday on February 16.

It was Reliapundit who started this whole disturbing story line back on February 16 by wishing Big Guy (Obama) a “Happy Birthday.” People thought he was nuts at the time, even though he explained in clear English that February 16 was the Islamic calendar day of Big Guy’s alleged Georgian calendar birthday of August 4.

And for the record, we actually celebrated the awesome event all week long, as is the Islamic tradition, and Lady M got a present in honor of Big Guy’s Islamic birthday, as is Lady M’s tradition. On Valentine’s Day Big Guy gave Lady M this “ moon and stars and the sun” pendant, that she mentioned to Larry King when she was on his show last February.”

tigerlily on August 12, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Gosh, how appropriate. When Obama threw McChrystal under the bus for Patreus, I said Patreus was going to ask for (and get) more troops and more time.

Good for you, Rolling Stone.

John the Libertarian on August 12, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Remember how long the Russians spent in Afganistan? And For WHAT?Remember how we…America, supplied “Stingers” to the Afaganis to help defete the Russians?

What the hell we doin in Afganistan? Lookin for Bin Laden?

We need to just withdraw from Afganistan. Let em sort it out themselves. We don’t need to loose any more American Soldiers…fighting for WHAT???

There’s nothing we can’t do in Afganistan…that can’t be done with predators or carpet bombing.

We don’t need American “troops on the Ground” there.
Let em “Sort it out” themselves.
Besides,
IF we ever find Obama…..sorry….OSama and kill him.
So WHAT? Somebody else…will just take his place.

Afganistan…is another Vietnam. A war of no benifit, and no reason. At least the Iraq war…had a reason…

Foxfire on August 12, 2010 at 11:56 PM

Posters are right, Bammie can’t fire another general so soon, so Petraeus gets to say whatever he wants. Just keep the SOBs from Rolling Stone out of Afghanistan or Iraq.

slickwillie2001 on August 12, 2010 at 11:58 PM

We need to make Pakistan an offer it can’t refuse. Give us Omar and bin Laden and any other top al Qaeda guys, and they can have the lion’s share of Afghanistan, allowing the northern tribes to align their territory with whichever of the Central Asian republics they feel closest to.

If they refuse (and how the heck do you refuse an offer you can’t refuse anyway?), implement the plan to take out their nuclear arsenal by seizing or destroying it, and leave them to the tender mercies of New Delhi and Beijing.

Adjoran on August 13, 2010 at 2:47 AM

Better to float the idea this summer, before the shooting starts, so that the public doesn’t read it as a desperation move taken in response to a hard fight later.

Doubtless he had this appeal in the pipe for some time but I’ll max out the eeyore quotient with a follow-up to this.

It’s likely Petraeus reads the current catastrophe afflicting whole swathes of Pakistan right now as a boon to long-term Taliban recruitment in that country; for all that is written about ISI assistance to sundry regional scamps, a weakened Pakistani state is even less attractive for Pakistan’s neighbours. Which in turn translates to increased activity along the border with Afghanistan.

Grunchy Cranola on August 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM