Bob Gates: Obama kept the war in Afghanistan going despite having lost faith in his strategy years ago

posted at 6:01 pm on January 7, 2014 by Allahpundit

Actual quote from Gates’s new book, writing about a meeting with O in March 2011: “As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his… For him, it’s all about getting out.” Nearly three years later, we’re still not out despite O’s alleged disbelief. I’m caught between astonishment that any president would send troops to die for a cause he apparently thought was lost and reminding myself that … we already knew this. Right? The Democratic commitment to Afghanistan was always chiefly a function of their opposition to Iraq. They wanted out of the latter but were afraid that the left’s anti-war brand would frighten centrist voters in 2008 who wanted something more muscular in the post-9/11 age. Ramping up in Afghanistan was the answer. And before lefties object that no righteous liberal would ever dare play politics with war, here’s another Gates tidbit via WaPo:

“All too early in the [Obama] administration,” he writes, “suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president — became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders.”

Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls “remarkable.”

He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

We all knew that too. Hillary’s biggest liability in the 2008 primaries was her vote for the Iraq war. There was no earthly way she was going to support escalation, however strategically justified and however hawkish her reputation generally might be. In fact, she was so eager to make amends to primary voters for that Iraq vote that she gave an interview to the NYT in 2007 detailing her own plan for the war, which would have kept some troops in the country for counterterrorism purposes but would have removed them from all peacekeeping between Sunnis and Shiites — even if ethnic cleansing resulted. I can only assume, per Gates, that that was a political calculation too. Obama, of course, wasn’t about to cede his anti-war advantage over her with lefty voters in the primaries by suddenly embracing the surge either. He didn’t need to: That’s what Afghanistan was for. He’d fight and win “the good war,” for awhile at least. And then, when he concluded that it was pointless, he’d … go on fighting it for awhile more, to spare himself the political embarrassment of having to admit that his strategy had failed. Why Gates finds any of this “surprising” given his first-hand observations about how far O was willing to go to take a position on war publicly that he didn’t hold privately, I don’t know. Could be he’s just being nice in feigning shock, but that’d be an odd show of loyalty in a tell-all that hammers Obama and the White House for all manner of sins. (He’s especially tough on them for incompetently micromanaging the military and accuses Biden in particular of having been wrong on every major foreign-policy decision of the past 40 years. That’s how you can tell that the book’s basically accurate. Click the links up top and read on.)

WaPo’s quick out of the box to frame this as a liability for Hillary in 2016 (“the criticism that has always haunted her is that everything she does is infused with politics”), and while that’s true, it’s also missing the point. We’ve got a former secretary of defense accusing the commander-in-chief of pursuing a deadly, costly war in Afghanistan that he doesn’t really believe in. Let’s hear more from both parties about that, please. While we wait, your exit question via my esteemed colleague:


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Gates: A Bush appointee as SecDef. Now you know why Obama kept him.

“He’s a republican trying to undermine Obama”

You’ll hear that later on MSNBC.

BobMbx on January 7, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Gates sounds like a guy who knows the chickens are flocking home now and doesn’t want to be caught in the coop.

de rigueur on January 7, 2014 at 6:06 PM

The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political

We need all troops pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. If our dickweed president won’t do what is right, then just pull everybody out.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2014 at 6:08 PM

“The Office of the President Elect”

Murphy9 on January 7, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I’m caught between astonishment that any president would send troops to die for a cause he apparently thought was lost and reminding myself that … we already knew this. Right?

Why even bother with comments when you have AllahPundit?

Fenris on January 7, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Obama will do only that which is expedient to further the career of Obama. Obama will do only that which is expedient to further the goal of Marxism. Obama is nothing but a street community agitator dressed in Armani and adorned with a Title on a business card.

To most of the world, he’s a failure. He knows it, we know it, the world knows it, the terrorists know it, our enemies know it, our allies know it, the dems and the rep’s know it as well.

/But.. let’s just keep on keepin’ on. Uh huh.

Key West Reader on January 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM

He needed to time the withdrawal (and associated troop/civilian deaths) for the election.
 

December 2014 is a big date. That’s the date that’s been mandated that we get out of country. So we are on track to meet that date,” said the official…
 
The defense official said withdrawal effort would have three periods of heightened activity: October 2013, the spring of 2014 and October 2014.
 
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/13/us-usa-afghanistan-withdrawal-idUSBRE98C05L20130913

 
Simple as that.

rogerb on January 7, 2014 at 6:11 PM

As the Father of a solider who did two tours in Afghanistan this makes me physically sick to my stomach! What an embarrassment that these fools lead our country

lahlon on January 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

I’m not astonished at any disregard Obama has for the lives of our troops. This is Mr. Infanticide we’re talking about. Human life means nothing to him except to further his own purposes. The man is a piece of work with issues, dysfunctions, and hatred and contempt for humanity.

INC on January 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM

When Barky rejected the Afghan Strategic Review that he had requested – claiming that the Pentagon had submitted an obsolete report because it took 6 months to complete the review and “conditions on the ground have changed”, which Barky was aware of but the Pentagon, evidently, was not – and then reordered the same exact review (which took another 4 months and blew a fighting season) only to get the final report and then just make up his own number for the “troop surge” … all while never having spoken to MacChrystal, outside of one ten minute conversation in a bathroom in Germany … no one with a brain had any questions left about Barky’s clear desire to harm our military and military objectives. Of course, Gates was cool with all that and kept chugging along as the dutiful beard for Barky at Defense.

Then there was that whole insane Petraeus scene at the CIA with the sudden revelations of fooling around – just before Petraeus was supposed to testify about Benghazi (which the idiot Vichy GOP turds should have demanded, anyway) …

If Gates expresses surprise about anything that only shows that he’s a moron who likes telling intellectually offensive, transparent lies just like Barky. To hell with all of them. Literally.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM

what a bunch of baster…..

rob verdi on January 7, 2014 at 6:17 PM

“All too early in the [Obama] administration,” he writes, “suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president…

President Queeg.

aquaviva on January 7, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Also of note, troop deaths and casualties EXPLODED under Barky (though the MSM was totally silent on this). Deaths in Afghanistan with Barky playing at CiC far exceeded Bush (and the meat of the war in Afghanistan). Every year under Barky had more deaths than any year under Bush. And our strategic position in Afghanistan suffered at the same time as the death toll rocketed.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 7, 2014 at 6:21 PM

As the Father of a solider who did two tours in Afghanistan this makes me physically sick to my stomach! What an embarrassment that these fools lead our country

lahlon on January 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

We have a local Army Reserve Engineer Unit here in Lexington KY that is supposed to deploy to Afghanistan in April. Can’t wait to hear some of my friends reactions to this news at the VFW this Friday. I pray they won’t be tossed back into this mess for the third time just for political reasons.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Bush, Gates, Obama, Clinton – all elites, all idiots.

I wish George Washington would come back to kick all their sorry asses.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

We have a local Army Reserve Engineer Unit here in Lexington KY that is supposed to deploy to Afghanistan in April. Can’t wait to hear some of my friends reactions to this news at the VFW this Friday. I pray they won’t be tossed back into this mess for the third time just for political reasons.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Better solution – pull our people out and turn Afghanistan into our nuclear testing site.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Given what Gates thought of Obama’s false posturing on the war in Afghanistan, did he not have a duty to reveal this in 2012? Discuss.

— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) January 7, 2014

What, and risk getting “Patraeused”?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

As always, Democrat Comedy Gold in the WaPo comments, which should be subtitled “Rent-Free”:

I’m glad to hear that Obama is “distrustful” of what the Pentagon high command does and says. It makes me think much more highly of him. He should be. They’re screwed things up repeatedly. Gates and the others aren’t used to answering hard questions. They should be. If Bush had asked hard questions we might not have ended up in Iraq.

Bush wasn’t smart enough to know what the hard questions were.

Cheney and the real neocons were running that show, tilting the Shia – Sunni balance with that idiot invasion and leaving the Middle East today on the brink of all out war.

With this paper’s endorsement, I might add.

Gates is trying to deflect blame for the surge. According to Gates, the surge didn’t work because Obama’s staff was rude.

So I guess Mr. Gates fully supported the Bush/Cheney regime with their lies and deception of the American people on their march to war! What a hypocrite.

Going in and destroying Saddam’s government was the dumbest move the United States has ever made.

(Mikey Moore!)

“IT BURNS!”

Del Dolemonte on January 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Boy is John McCain going to let Gates have it!

bipartisanship at all costs!

portlandon on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Better solution – pull our people out and turn Afghanistan into our nuclear testing site.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Bad move, several world class deposits of copper and other metals await in Afghanistan. China would be very unhappy if we were to irradiate it all.

And they already have our bonds by the b*lls.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Better solution – pull our people out and turn Afghanistan into our nuclear testing site.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM

I am totally on board with that as I was on 9/11. Make the whole $hit hole a glass parking lot. Give innocent people a few days warning and unload. If anyone needs a ride out women and children first.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

The military is being turned into another liberal institution.

My brother in-law, a 20 year Army Lt. Col. – has been to Bosnia, Haiti, Iraq and a few other places –
is under investigation.

What did he do?

A black female civilian secretary came to work with a weird hairdo and he said:

“What did you do to your hair?”

That was it – she filed a complaint.

And then the Army sends in a female investigator and is asking
everyone he ever knew about “past abuses”…..

He is thinking of quitting….the left turns out another white, conservative officer
with 20 years of service.

When the foreign invasion forces hit our beaches – I will be giving them the address of the investigator and the idiot with the stupid hair.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I’m caught between astonishment that any president would send troops to die for a cause he apparently thought was lost

…he kills people!…said so himself!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Bad move, several world class deposits of copper and other metals await in Afghanistan. China would be very unhappy if we were to irradiate it all.

And they already have our bonds by the b*lls.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I was not finished – then blast Bejing and drop IOU’s on their heads.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Given what Gates thought of Obama’s false posturing on the war in Afghanistan, did he not have a duty to reveal this in 2012? Discuss.

— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) January 7, 2014

No Ed.

Gates neglected his duty back in 2011 when he realized that Obama was not committed to doing anything in Afghanistan.

Keep in mind that 75% of the deaths of American military members in Afghanistan occurred during Obama’s administration. Gates should have been looking out after the troops in combat AT LEAST as much as he pushed repeal of DADT. Gates is as much of a traitor to our troops as the filthy rat-eared coward who shucked and jived his way through any real commitment to our troops in Afghanistan.

It makes me sick that Gates did nothing about what he saw even as he readied the military for benefits for queer service members.

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Weasely weasel weasels way into presidency. Who knew?

SouthernGent on January 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

…he kills people!…said so himself!

KOOLAID2 on January 7, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Obama said he was good at killing people – I guess he meant our own troops.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Why Gates finds any of this “surprising” given his first-hand observations about how far O was willing to go to take a position on war publicly that he didn’t hold privately, I don’t know.

Maybe he just couldn’t bring himself to the realization that we have an anti-American president. There were many who just couldn’t acknowledge that in 2009.

rbj on January 7, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Time for a defcon 3 “circle the wagons” around Obama bat signal for the media.
.
You’re going to have a “special” done on you, Gates.
Nice knowing you,dude.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on January 7, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Maybe he just couldn’t bring himself to the realization that we have an anti-American president. There were many who just couldn’t acknowledge that in 2009.

rbj on January 7, 2014 at 6:39 PM

There are still people who do not believe this. Hagel is one and McCain is another.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2014 at 6:42 PM

What BS from Gates, if Obama doesn’t support the mission, he doesn’t support the troops, period, otherwise he wouldn’t have sent/kept them on the mission that he doesn’t support.

RoyalFlush on January 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Here is a solution to shut down much of the BS in the middle east,
you know Obama won’t like this.

Now we need to shut down Obama.

Fracking Threatens ‘Any Oil-Producing Country in World’

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2014/01/07/saudi-billionaire-prince-fracking-competitively-threatens-any-oil-producing-country-in-the-world-n1772995

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Gates confirms what we knew: Obama/Clinton won’t hesitate to sacrifice American lives for political gain. #Iraq #Afghanistan #Benghazi

petefrt on January 7, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Better solution – pull our people out and turn Afghanistan into our nuclear testing site.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Bad move, several world class deposits of copper and other metals await in Afghanistan. China would be very unhappy if we were to irradiate it all.

And they already have our bonds by the b*lls.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Not just our bonds-the collateral for the US National Debt is…our National Parks.

Del Dolemonte on January 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Given what Gates thought of Obama’s false posturing on the war in Afghanistan, did he not have a duty to reveal this in 2012? Discuss.

— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) January 7, 2014

You would think so.

the_nile on January 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

What BS from Gates, if Obama doesn’t support the mission, he doesn’t support the troops, period, otherwise he wouldn’t have sent/kept them on the mission that he doesn’t support.

RoyalFlush on January 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

I always knew that Obama’s stance on the wars was political.
I was always about how it would affect him.
Obama could give a rats *ss about the military and our soldiers.
Obama only had to stiffen his leftist base and grab the moderates
to get re-elected.
The military is his punching bag and Gates wants to sell books.
What a scummy bunch of weasels.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Gates confirms what we knew: Obama/Clinton won’t hesitate to sacrifice American lives for political gain. #Iraq #Afghanistan #Benghazi

petefrt on January 7, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Evil monsters.

the_nile on January 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Not just our bonds-the collateral for the US National Debt is…our National Parks.

Del Dolemonte on January 7, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Heh, the Chinese will be met with BarryCades.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:48 PM

If Obama had a son, that son wouldn’t look like an American soldier who served or is serving in Afghanistan.

BuckeyeSam on January 7, 2014 at 6:50 PM

What BS from Gates, if Obama doesn’t support the mission, he doesn’t support the troops, period, otherwise he wouldn’t have sent/kept them on the mission that he doesn’t support.

RoyalFlush on January 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Yup.

the_nile on January 7, 2014 at 6:52 PM

There are tapes of LBJ saying the same things about Vietnam in 65. We could not win but he’d never admit it. So he sent 535K troops to fight a war he didn’t believe in. As for Gates’ are there any honorable people left in govt or was Cry Vance the last honorable cabinet member who resigned rather than accept policy he did not believe in.

xkaydet65 on January 7, 2014 at 6:55 PM

There are still people who do not believe this. Hagel is one and McCain is another.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Yup, but because they have “Rs” next to their names we’re supposed to be nice to them and not point out that they are part of the problem.

rbj on January 7, 2014 at 6:55 PM

That’ Cy Vance not cry.

xkaydet65 on January 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Bush, Gates, Obama, Clinton – all elites, all idiots.

I wish George Washington would come back to kick all their sorry asses.

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:22 PM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/09/Jeb-Bush-To-Award-Hillary-Clinton-Liberty-Medal

Jeb Bush to Award Hillary ‘Liberty Medal’ on Eve of Benghazi Anniversary

Soulless monsters.

the_nile on January 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM

redguy on January 7, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Completely agree, *if* development of unconventional oil and gas is allowed to occur on public lands, and *if* the US Government gets out of the way of exporting that oil and gas: oil is the most fungible commodity on the planet other than currency, and the demand for LNG in Asia would drive sales from a ~$4/GJ price advantage out of GOM vs Australasia.

There are further strategic benefits to allowing fracking, in regards to not only breaking Tsar Vlad’s hold on Europe, but also driving down the price of oil enough to where the Russians cannot afford to pay for their military buildup ambitions.

Oh, and if all this happens? Other than protecting Israel, we could easily let the ME do its own thing and not give a single damn about the Sunnis and Shias killing each other, even with nukes.

But *IF* is a very big word – the Left would rather watch the entire world kill itself off than allow a stable, increasingly wealthy middle class to push it off it’s self-important perch. So, yeah, ain’t gonna happen, sadly.

Wanderlust on January 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM

The most powerful military in the world has lost three of the last four wars because of politics and ROE.I served in three of them and saw it first hand as I’m sure many here did.And they want another loser like Hillary in charge.My only advice is dig your tunnel deeper.

docflash on January 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Chicago machine thug.

kcewa on January 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I didn’t realize vacationing in Hawaii counted as a strategy.

viking01 on January 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

As the Father of a solider who did two tours in Afghanistan this makes me physically sick to my stomach! What an embarrassment that these fools lead our country

lahlon on January 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

My son, A Marine, also did two tours. Sent by this President, twice.
To read Sec Gates comments about the willingness of these scumb%gs to send US troops to there deaths for their political gain confirms what I already knew.
We are foolish to be hemmed in by any rules when it comes to these people.
Sending American sons and daughters out to slaughter should inform you of who we are dealing with.

Thicklugdonkey on January 7, 2014 at 7:14 PM

but I would have liked to have seen him address the hypocrisy of leftist groups such as Code Pink

Code Pink kept protesting the War even after Obama got elected. the Media chose to ignore them. They actually got evicted from the House once for their topless war protest after Obama was elected.

Say what you will, they were/are not hypocrites when it comes to War Protesting.

Johnnyreb on January 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

I’m caught between astonishment that any president would send troops to die for a cause he apparently thought was lost and reminding myself that … we already knew this. Right?

Duh. A disgusting fellow called LBJ comes to mind.

TXUS on January 7, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Whatever Gates did or did not do (and a man to whom the words “duty, honor, country” meant anything might well have resigned in a public protest), he was still only the Secretary of Defense.

But Obama, he is the successor to men like Washington, and Lincoln. If these revelations do not arouse this country to a fury, then we are lost.

tngmv on January 7, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2014 at 6:34 PM

This. There doesn’t appear to be a shred of integrity, respect left and people are dying because of it.

ORconservative on January 7, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Despicable. Again. NOW can people realize that Hillary has absolutely no place running the country? Probably not. NOW will the people demand the president’s resignation? Most assuredly not. Where does he go from here?

scalleywag on January 7, 2014 at 7:38 PM

We are foolish to be hemmed in by any rules when it comes to these people.
Sending American sons and daughters out to slaughter should inform you of who we are dealing with.

Thicklugdonkey on January 7, 2014 at 7:14 PM

That’s why continuing to obsess with taking the high road, sadly, has become obsolescent. These are guerrilla warriors. They fight Alinsky style. The only way to beat Alinsky fighters is to out-Alinsky them. (Sad but true). It takes all kind of troops to win this war. War it is. We must have the Alinsky troops, as well as the high road troops, to win it..

petefrt on January 7, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Bob Gates: Obama kept the war in Afghanistan going despite having lost faith in his strategy years ago

This is not surprising news to anyone who was paying attention in the fall of 2009. It was obvious by about October of 2009.

Among those not surprised by this “news” — the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and most of the brass in the US military. Probably least surprised of all — former Afghan Commander-In-Chief, General Stanley Allen McChrystal.

farsighted on January 7, 2014 at 7:47 PM

As the Father of a solider who did two tours in Afghanistan this makes me physically sick to my stomach! What an embarrassment that these fools lead our country

lahlon on January 7, 2014 at 6:12 PM

My son, A Marine, also did two tours. Sent by this President, twice.
To read Sec Gates comments about the willingness of these scumb%gs to send US troops to there deaths for their political gain confirms what I already knew.
We are foolish to be hemmed in by any rules when it comes to these people.
Sending American sons and daughters out to slaughter should inform you of who we are dealing with.

Thicklugdonkey on January 7, 2014 at 7:14 PM

Thanks to both of your brave children for their service. I can only imagine how the families who lost a child there will be feeling tonight. I know what I’d be doing, and it wouldn’t involve tears.

I cannot fathom ordering some 30,000 troops into a military operation that I did not believe in with all my mind and heart. Anyone that does so deserves not just impeachment but the lowest level of Hell.

TXUS on January 7, 2014 at 7:54 PM

What, and risk getting “Patraeused”?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Yes, Gates should have risked that, and far more. He owed our troops, and our country, no less.

That he kept quiet about this despicable conduct until now tells you everything you need to know about him. He, like Obama, is a man without honor.

AZCoyote on January 7, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Thicklugdonkey on January 7, 2014 at 8:29 PM

That’s why continuing to obsess with taking the high road, sadly, has become obsolescent. These are guerrilla warriors. They fight Alinsky style. The only way to beat Alinsky fighters is to out-Alinsky them. (Sad but true). It takes all kind of troops to win this war. War it is. We must have the Alinsky troops, as well as the high road troops, to win it..

petefrt on January 7, 2014 at 7:43 PM
I concur. And the media must be confronted and made fear the common man.

Thicklugdonkey on January 7, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Hey kids,

Think about what we have learned in just three days.

Obama’s abandoning of Iraq has pretty much allowed American sacrifice in that nation to be for naught. Now we have confirmation he really didn’t give a rat’s behind about Afghanistan even though 75% of the deaths there were under his watch.

Happy Nomad on January 7, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Bob Gates: Obama kept the war in Afghanistan going despite having lost faith in his strategy years ago

Just like with LBJ and Vietnam. For a President to send troops to die and lose limbs for something he doesn’t believe in himself is tantamount to murder.

VorDaj on January 7, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Just like with LBJ and Vietnam. For a President to send troops to die and lose limbs for something he doesn’t believe in himself is tantamount to murder.

VorDaj on January 7, 2014 at 8:48 PM

There is nothing about honor, duty, country or the troops themselves that Obama has ever given a snail’s shit about. Nor, for that matter, LBJ. That said, I’d even trade the despicable LBJ for Obama at this point. No president in the history of this country has actually hated it, which Obama has and does.

TXUS on January 7, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Gates is like a male prostitute working both sides of the street.

VorDaj on January 7, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Despicable. And Gates can go to hell for not bringing this up sooner.

Jack_Burton on January 7, 2014 at 9:39 PM

The “mission” was totally stupid all along, but Bush believed in it so what he did was tantamount to involuntary manslaughter, but what Obama did was tantamount to fist degree premeditated murder.

VorDaj on January 7, 2014 at 10:29 PM

As and Military and Afghanistan War Vet I am Sheathing with anger right now. I can not express to everyone how pissed I am right now. I always suspected this was the case but to hear it out load first hand puts it clearly into focus. Obama clearly has no honor whatsoever,
You don’t BELIEVE IN THE WAR YOU ARE SENDING PEOPLE TO DIE IN !!!!!!
THEN WHY THE HELL DID YOU SEND ALL THOSE TROOPS
WHY DID YOU SEND ME SO I COULD DODGE ROCKETS AND IEDS FOR MONTHS
WHY DID GOOD MEN AND WOMEN DIE AT YOUR ORDERS
I WOULD HAVE GLADLY GIVEN MY LIFE FOR THAT MISSION YOU APPARENTLY DIDN’T GIVE A DAM ABOUT
WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS WHO DON’T HAVE FATHERS OR MOTHERS ANYMORE SO YOU COULD MAKE A DAM POLITICAL STATEMENT

ARE YOU $%^&ING KIDDING ME!!!*#@#!!!

I am not this kind of person but I have been crewing on all of this all night long and i needed to get it off my chest.
This man is without ANY honor or dignity he needs to be impeached striped of his position and thrown out on the street. I am smart enough to know this will never happen but what he did I can not comprehend. There is no higher duty that a commander and chief holds than to make sure he send His/her troops into harms way wisely, Obama has failed his duty. The greatest shame is that there will be absolutely no consequences for him.

falcaner on January 8, 2014 at 12:42 AM

The fact that politics is one forethought in war is not shocking or new. That is as old as our republic and is rooted in consideration of our citizens and their representatives opinion on the matter.

But what is unconscionable and unprecedented is Mr. Obama made individual party politics a primary consideration and then lied to the country about both his motives and intent.

That’s not only fallacious and dishonest, but it despicably put our military in mortal danger to support a political meme.

Take this context and retrofit the perspective into all our major military decisions since the beginning of Mr. Obama’s presidency. How did it affect our support for the mission? Troop level agreements? ROE’s? How many men were ultimately killed as a sacrifice to Mr. Obama’s alter of politics?

Absolutely disgusting and Hillary following the same strategy makes it that much worse. I would posit, we should also be looking at her decisions in places such as Benghazi through this lens, because it brings those decisions into a better focus.

Marcus Traianus on January 8, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Not actually understanding why Gates would be shocked a Democrat would consider to send troops to die in a cause they didn’t believe in – Johnson did it for nearly a decade.

PJ Emeritus on January 8, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Gates is spot on. If one follows all the other missteps of our dear leader in the ME or anywhere else, you would know it’s true. Mary Matalin and the Snakehead were on Fox last night and she brought up the Bush theory of spreading democracy as the most valid reason for staying in Iraq. This is just like dear leader spreading socialism here, unfortunately for us, he’s a little more successful at spreading than Bush was.

Kissmygrits on January 8, 2014 at 9:40 AM

On one level this is shocking, infuriating, and downright sickening. On another…speaking as a vet and one that spent a lot of time in Anbar Province, Iraq, I already knew this. All of us do. I still work with Marines and their deployments are getting more brutal, more bloody, while every death and injury simultaneously means less and less. And you know what? Obama is no more culpable for that than anyone else in this country. Gates can point at the political gamesmanship involved in these military decisions, and make the argument that such gamesmanship is unprecedented when our military’s lives are on the line, and maybe that’s true. But the only reason Obama is getting away with it is because the American people ALLOW IT. That “support the troops” bumper sticker doesn’t absolve you civilians from your responsibility for my life and the lives of every other man and woman in uniform. If I gave up my freedom of speech when I put on the uniform, then it is YOUR duty to speak for me. To turn to the freaking news once in a while so you can make an educated decision about whether or not you’re risking my life in a worthwhile cause.

So Gates finally came out and said starkly that we’re not making any difference in Afghanistan. That our goals aren’t being accomplished, if we have goals at all. That Obama is disengaged and doesn’t want to be bothered. Well, what the hell are you civilians going to do about it? Sit there and whine on the internet? Shake your head and go watch TV? American military members are DYING, for you, while you sit there passively going about your daily routine. Why aren’t you calling your Congressmen? Why aren’t you urging your friends and family to do the same? Why aren’t you raising an unholy uproar about this? Why aren’t you trying to defend us when we’ve defended you all these years? The two or three Americans that die tomorrow, next week, next month in a war that means absolutely NOTHING are on YOUR heads. Our lives are in YOUR hands. You’re going to let us die?

Do you have the foggiest idea what the repercussions will be as this war drags on? The military is rightly bound by civilian leadership to prevent military coups and ensure that the martial might of this country is loyal to the country rather than to a party or individual. What happens if that military starts thinking that civilian authority is shamelessly, carelessly, ignorantly killing them? What if we have to start weighing our oath and loyalties against what amounts to a passive, violent, painful execution? If I deployed tomorrow with Gates’s charges in my head, knowing that my unit isn’t being withdrawn until December and that I was about to spend eleven months in a war zone because my countrymen can’t be bothered to pay attention and pick up their freaking phones to object to the senseless risking of my life…well, I don’t know what I’d do. I’m out of the military now. But I do know what current members of the military are saying, and this is not the sort of thing they or I will ever forget. And aside from the morally inexcusable CRIME being committed by every voter in this country, if you fail to protect us, next time we might just fail to protect you.

Zoomie on January 8, 2014 at 12:33 PM

@blink, I said immediate withdrawal. Now. No withdrawal could be more expensive in blood and treasure than staying almost another year. Unless someone can make the case that something vital will be accomplished in that time, that it is worth American lives to keep them there, then bring them home as fast as we can get the transportation arrangements made.

Zoomie on January 8, 2014 at 2:02 PM

So you’re telling me too bad, we’ve got Obama, we’re doomed? I told my Congressman what I said here. I say the say to my family; I say the same to my friends. I urge them to call their representatives. That’s all any of us can do until Fox News decides to track me down and let me say all this on the air, but if enough of us do it, then our representatives will have to take it up, and if enough of us are loud enough, then Obama will take the path of least political damage. If nothing else, he’s consistent.

But it relies on people getting off their asses and saying something. If everyone sits there and throws up their hands and writes this off as another stupid misadventure in the annals of American war, how many dozens or hundreds more people will die as this idiot machine grinds on until the appointed time? That’s the most maddening part of this, it functions on autopilot. They will die not in a greater cause or in service to a noble principle, but because we set up a politically convenient timetable and no one could be particularly bothered to change it. How does that not infuriate you? How can anyone just sit by and let that pass?

Zoomie on January 8, 2014 at 2:37 PM

“Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

Seriously Bob, just what did you expect from a couple of Godless, anti-American, F#@&ing Leftist?

Pole-Cat on January 8, 2014 at 10:15 PM