I don’t know. I simply don’t get it. I voted for someone who was a progressive. I voted for someone who wanted us out of these wars. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say cause right now I don’t see it. 30,000 more troops. Why?
By June 1, there will be about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan with a mission of weakening the Taliban, rooting out Al Qaeda and helping the Afghan government bolster its own forces.
President Obama’s wartime decision comes after weeks of private Situation Room meetings between key Cabinet members, generals and his national security team. After nine of those meetings, Obama also has spoken with world leaders and allies who are backing him by sending more troops of their own.
Republicans after weeks of blasting Obama for taking too long already are hailing the decision as the right one. Meanwhile, left-leaning groups question the cost in both blood and treasure, and Code Pink is out with a tough new flier mocking Obama’s “hope” slogan and marching in front of the White House today.
Obama at 8 p.m. in a speech at West Point will set a timetable for withdrawing those troops and benchmarks, the White House says, for evaluating success there.
Mindful of the political repercussions, the DNC tells the 2.7 million on the Obama Twitter feed that he will “lay out the path forward” in Afghanistan.
White House aides say Obama is not making the decision lightly – especially given the letters he signs to grieving military families and his recent trip to Dover to honor fallen troops returned home for burial – and the administration knows with more boots on the ground that will inevitably lead to increased casualties.
No one should be surprised Obama has upped the troops in the region – it’s an issue he campaigned on from the beginning of his presidential run in 2007.
But it’s also important to remember that Obama already sent more troops to Afghanistan – nearly 40,000 more. This new surge of troops comes following a highly publicized report by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who warned without an increase of at least 40,000 the U.S. would face “mission failure.”
TPMDC interviewed military families and those currently serving, and a common theme has emerged – they are worried the policies Obama put in place to allow for longer “dwell” time between deployments might have to go out the window to maintain such a high number of forces in Afghanistan.
When Obama nearly doubled the number of troops in Afghanistan earlier this year, pundits declared it was now “his” war. Now, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is calling for the troops to come home and some Democratic leaders are suggesting a “war tax” to pay for it. (more…)