43 U.S. Troops Have Died in Afghanistan Since Gen. McChrystal Called for Reinforcemen

Discussion in 'Politics' started by drjekyllus, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/54807

    (CNSNews.com) – Another American died in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the final day of September--and exactly one month after the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan sent a confidential war assessment to the Obama administration, warning that more forces are needed--soon.

    The as-yet-unnamed American serviceman who died on Wednesday was caught in a suicide attack in Khost Province, in eastern Afghanistan, press reports said.

    On August 30, Gen. Stanley McChrystal sent Defense Secretary Robert Gates a war assessment in which he said more U.S. troops--and a new U.S. strategy--are needed if the U.S. is to defeat the insurgents in Afghanistan.

    Since that Aug. 30 date, a total of 43 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have died in a war that is now the subject of much discussion--and apparently some confusion--in Washington.
    Forty-two of those casualties have been identified by name in U.S. Defense Department press releases (see below), while the 43rd casualty, which occurred today, has been confirmed in press reports, but not by name.

    In his confidential report, which was leaked to the Washington Post on Sept. 21, Gen. McChrystal warned that defeating the insurgents will not be possible if the United States fails to "gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum" over the next 12 months.

    McChrystal reportedly has prepared a separate request for tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to be sent to the 68,000 already in Afghanistan.

    Since Sept. 21, when the Washington Post leaked information from McChrystal’s confidential report, the White House has been on the defensive over its Afghanistan strategy.

    As CNSNews.com reported on Tuesday, Barack Obama campaigned on a promise to reinforce U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which he described as war we “have to win.”

    As president – in March 2009 – Obama announced a “comprehensive new strategy” for Afghanistan: “I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan and to prevent their return to either country in the future,” he said. (See story)

    But last week, Obama said he was not willing to send troops “beyond what we already have” until he was sure the United States is employing the right strategy in the region.

    Then on Sunday, Gen. McChrystal told “60 Minutes” that he has talked to Obama only once in the past 70 days. At a briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs noted that President Obama “receives a memo every week from General McChrystal.”

    And on Wednesday, President Obama was “meeting” with McChrystal and other military officials in a video conference to discuss future plans for Afghanistan. The White House said President Obama’s national security team will also attend the video conference.

    “But first, Obama welcomes golfing great Arnold Palmer to the Oval Office,” the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Palmer is in town to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

    On Thursday, Obama plans to fly to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago as the venue for the 2016 Olympics. (See related story)

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says it would be a mistake for President Obama to reject McChrystal’s call for an additional 40,000-or-so troops for Afghanistan.

    "Time is not on our side, so we need a decision pretty quickly,” McCain told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.

    McCain said failure to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan would “put the United States in much greater danger,” because insurgents would turn Afghanistan into a base for attack on the U.S. and its allies.

    On the other side of the coin, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) is urging President Obama to take weeks or even months to review the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, the Boston Globe reported on Wednesday.
    “I am arguing that the president has the time and we have the time,’’ Kerry told the newspaper. Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, indicated that he is not sure more troops are needed in Afghanistan.

    Stay focused Obama. Lets make sure the important issues such as getting the Olympics in Chicago are taken care of before we worry about petty things like our troops being killed in a war. I think the best way to win the war is if Obama leads the military in a chant where they all yell "Yes we can".
  2. Mission Accomplished!


    And yet 97% of the deaths of American soldiers
    ( 5,130 ) occurred AFTER Bush announced the end of "major combat" in Iraq on May 1st, 2003.

    I guess that's why Dumbya spent so much time on the Crawford Ranch on vacation, or at Camp David, or up in Kennebunkport, Maine . . . for Bush, the war in IRAQ was over.
  3. Your such a total hypocrite.

    You didn't seem to have ANY problem whatsoever with Bush spending 4 full days in Beijing for the Olympics... yet you have an issue with Obama spending 5 hours in Copenhagen lobbying for the 2016 Olympics that will generate BILLIONS in economic stimulus to the Chicago and Great Lakes area, not too mention several hundred thousands of jobs.

    Once again, you show everyone here that you are without a doubt, the biggest FOOL on ET.

  4. Hey Landis, the problem is that Obama stated last spring that he had a great new strategy for Afganistan and he was shooting off his mouth saying how dedicated he was to the conflict. Now his top general in theater says they need 40,000 more troops in order to achieve success, and OBAMA HAS DONE NOTHING. Obama has only bothered to talk to guy once in the last 70 days. At least Obama was on Letterman though.

    Hey Obama, here's the deal. If you are dedicated to fighting in Afganistan, then grow a pair of balls and send the required troops to complete the mission. If you are not dedicated to Afganistan, then pull the plug on it, get the troops back home ASAP, and stop getting people killed in a war that you don't want to win. Its that simple. Obama, this is not like a Senate vote where you are allowed to vote "present".

    Landis, this has nothing to do with Bush, so your bogus argument about Bush only shows your BDS. Since you brought it up, in Iraq, Bush took a big risk that paid off in the surge. Bush's strong will put us in position to win the war. Loser left-wingers went on television and told the American people that the war was over. Bush showed them otherwise. Well done. Thats true courage and leadership. I am not sure that Obama is capable of showing courage or leadership, but could he at least make up his freakin' mind.

    Either fight the war to win it, or don't fight it at all. Obama has had a month now to think it over. Nobody has any idea of where Obama stands on it. In the meantime, 43 service members got killed. Grow a pair of balls and make a decision, Obama.
  5. Obama Can't Outsource Afghanistan
    George Bush succeeded in Iraq by talking to his generals regularly.

    So our top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has told CBS's "60 Minutes" that he has spoken with President Barack Obama only once since June.

    This is a troubling revelation. Right now, our commander in chief is preparing to make one of the most important decisions of his presidency—whether to commit additional troops to win the war in Afghanistan. Being detached or incurious about what our commanders are experiencing makes it hard to craft a winning strategy.

    Mr. Obama's predecessor faced a similar situation: a war that was grinding on, pressure to withdraw troops, and conflicting advice—including from some who saw the war as unwinnable. But George W. Bush talked to generals on the ground every week or two, which gave him a window into what was happening and insights into how his commanders thought. That helped him judge their recommendations on strategy.

    Mr. Obama's hands-off approach to the war seems to fit his governing style. Over the past year, he outsourced writing the stimulus package to House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, washed his hands of Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to reinvestigate CIA interrogators, and hasn't offered a detailed health-care plan.

    Mr. Obama's aloofness on the war will be a problem if the recent airing of Joe Biden's views on Afghanistan is a tipoff that Mr. Obama will rely on his vice president's guidance. According to reports in the New York Times and other publications, Mr. Biden supports reducing troop levels in favor of surgical attacks—mostly launched from offshore—and missile strikes against al Qaeda, especially in Pakistan.

    Such an approach would almost certainly lose the war. Actionable intelligence—key to defeating an insurgency—would dry up. Tribal chieftains would cut deals with the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Afghan government would probably collapse, and the Afghan people would have little choice but to swing their support to the Taliban. Pakistan would likely come to see us as a fair-weather friend and increasingly resist U.S. attacks against al Qaeda on its soil. American credibility would be shattered. And militant Islamists would gain a victory.

    Mr. Biden has a record rare in its consistency and duration of being wrong about big national security questions.

    In his first U.S. Senate campaign in 1972, he called for cutting and running from Vietnam. He later voted to cut off funding for South Vietnam and spoke out against the war. After we did withdraw, communist forces conquered South Vietnam as well as Cambodia, where Pol Pot carried out a campaign of genocide.

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    Associated Press
    .In the 1980s, Mr. Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan's national security approach on almost every front, including funding for the Contras in Nicaragua, building missile defenses, and increasing military spending. In the 1990s, apparently willing to cede Kuwait to Saddam Hussein, he voted against the first Gulf War. Over the past decade, Mr. Biden opposed the surge that put us on the path to victory in Iraq. Instead called for a "soft partition" that would have divided Iraq into three countries.

    Mr. Biden has been right about Afghanistan at least once. In 2002, he said, "Security is the basic issue in Afghanistan. Whatever it takes, we should do it. History will judge us harshly if we allow the hope of a liberated Afghanistan to evaporate because we failed to stay the course."

    The responsibility for the outcome of the war in Afghanistan rests squarely with Mr. Obama. Until now, he seems to have treated the conflict as a distraction from his efforts to nationalize our health-care system. But the war is now front and center. He has been told by Gen. McChrystal that America needs more boots on the ground to win.

    In the past, when Mr. Obama has moved left, he moved fast and far to the left—witness his willingness to push health-care legislation even if it only has Democratic support. But when he has played to the center—as on Afghanistan, when he decided in last year's campaign that he needed to be tough on at least one of the wars America was engaged in—he has looked for appealing half-measures that ultimately prove unworkable.

    It was easy in 2008 to criticize Mr. Bush's war leadership. But winning a shooting war requires a commander in chief's constant, direct and deep involvement. Mr. Obama could show he understands this if he uses his trip to Denmark this week (where he will serve as pitchman for Chicago to get the 2016 Olympics) to make a surprise visit to Afghanistan.

    Refusing to provide all the troops and strategic support that his commanders are requesting will be to concede defeat. We'll soon know whether Mr. Obama has the judgment and the courage to win this war.