Newsweek Magazine notes that Gen. David Petraeus initially sought a much longer time-frame to implement the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan, but Obama would have none of that:
'The president wanted to know why the Pentagon needed 21 months to send 40,000 troops to Afghanistan when it had taken only six months to send a similar number to Iraq in 2007. When Petraeus began to explain - saying that the Afghanistan escalation wasn’t modeled on his surge in Iraq -' Obama rejected this explanation. 'Petraeus was expected to work his magic' in Afghanistan in roughly the same amount of time that he had accomplished this feat in Iraq.Why was Obama so insistent that the troop surge be implemented in such a short and unrealistic time-frame?
“The only way we’ll consider this [continuing the war with more troops] is if we get the troops in and out in a shorter time frame,” Obama told Petraeus and other advisers in the room that day.
He was looking ahead to 2012:
Obama is hardly oblivious to the electoral implications. Let’s say that Petraeus insists that the July 2011 time-line be pushed back a year, which is quite possible considering the current problems on the ground. That means the de-escalation—and the political windfall—will begin around the summer of 2012, just in time for the Democratic National Convention. In other words, Americans should get used to it: we ain’t staying long.In other words, despite General Petraeus's pleas, the President will stick to his [politically calculated] 2011 timetable.
And now, as a result of Obama's self-serving political aspirations, the enemy has been emboldened. Consequently, more American troops are dying on the battlefield and the war in Afghanistan..., well, it's not going too well.
The question that arises, however, is as follows:
Even if the President manages to retain his core base of constituents by implementing an initial draw-down of U.S. troops by next summer, can he win re-election in 2012, if he appears to be losing the war in Afghanistan?
Only time will tell.
But an even bigger question that arises is the following:
Is Barack Obama - whose decisions on life and death-related matters are based solely on his own political and selfish aspirations - fit to be Commander-in-Chief of the U.S Armed Forces?