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How Obama Came To Plan For "Surge" In Afghanistan

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posted on Dec, 6 2009 @ 10:18 PM

WASHINGTON — On the afternoon he held the eighth meeting of his Afghanistan review, President Obama arrived in the White House Situation Room ruminating about war. He had come from Arlington National Cemetery, where he had wandered among the chalky white tombstones of those who had fallen in the rugged mountains of Central Asia.

How much their sacrifice weighed on him that Veterans Day last month, he did not say. But his advisers say he was haunted by the human toll as he wrestled with what to do about the eight-year-old war. Just a month earlier, he had mentioned to them his visits to wounded soldiers at the Army hospital in Washington. “I don’t want to be going to Walter Reed for another eight years,” he said then.

The economic cost was troubling him as well after he received a private budget memo estimating that an expanded presence would cost $1 trillion over 10 years, roughly the same as his health care plan.

Now as his top military adviser ran through a slide show of options, Mr. Obama expressed frustration. He held up a chart showing how reinforcements would flow into Afghanistan over 18 months and eventually begin to pull out, a bell curve that meant American forces would be there for years to come.

“I want this pushed to the left,” he told advisers, pointing to the bell curve. In other words, the troops should be in sooner, then out sooner.

When the history of the Obama presidency is written, that day with the chart may prove to be a turning point, the moment a young commander in chief set in motion a high-stakes gamble to turn around a losing war. By moving the bell curve to the left, Mr. Obama decided to send 30,000 troops mostly in the next six months and then begin pulling them out a year after that, betting that a quick jolt of extra forces could knock the enemy back on its heels enough for the Afghans to take over the fight.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is long, but an interesting read. It's somewhat slanted in favor of the president, though it does give interesting insight into his thinking process and how he arrived at the strategy outlined in his speech at West Point.

[edit on 6-12-2009 by Sestias]

posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 12:13 AM
I don't think sheer numbers will make much difference in Afganistan. So many other powers have tried to change the country with military might and failed. Could be different this time but I think the original plan put forward by the CIA shortly after 9/11 was the best one. Terrorism is best fought with the security forces, not standing armies.

posted on Dec, 7 2009 @ 10:28 AM
reply to post by Jacob08

It is my understanding that the C.I.A. is already actively operating over there, using drones among other things, but of course it's the C.I.A. so the public will not be informed as to what they are actually doing or what progress has been made. There is a lot of skepticism about the C.I.A. here in the U.S., especially among liberals, but I think you have a good point.

Standing armies have been used over there for long periods of time and they have all been defeated.

The C.I.A. isn't always wrong. They do serve our interests. Sometimes.

[edit on 7-12-2009 by Sestias]

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