The EFM Feature

A few months ago, I wrote an article for that basically argued that war rhetoric was meaningless. Once the decision was made to fight, the outcome of war was in the hands of the soldiers, not the politicians. Thus, we needn’t fret too much about Obama’s apology tours or his lukewarm public statements. He was not (yet) withdrawing precipitously from Iraq, and he had reinforced Afghanistan — so the war was in the soldiers’ hands, not his.
But what if our Commander-in-Chief chooses not to fight? Or to deprive the soldiers of the resources they need? We may be about to find out. Withdrawal is continuing in Iraq (as I believe it should — so long as conditions hold). And now Afghanistan is at a pivotal point – as an outstanding general who has proven himself in this war is asking for reinforcements. Thus far, it doesn’t look like he’s going to get what he needs, and this could be catastrophic.
I completely understand that our military is under civilian control and that presidents don’t merely rubber-stamp generals’ requests (in fact, several generals were wrong early in the Iraq war, and that cost us dearly), but good presidents also recognize the capabilities of their generals. Lincoln knew enough to know that McClellan was a disaster and that Grant was the answer. If Obama rejects General McChyrstal’s recommendations (which would not be made if General Petraeus didn’t approve), then it could be like Lincoln turning his back on Sherman and Grant in the pivotal months of 1864.
Governor Romney has just gone on the record as supporting General McChrystal’s requests. Given General McChrystal’s track record, I strongly believe this is the best bet.
So, Mr. President, what will it be? Will your actions finally match your weak and naive rhetoric? Or will you back your man on the scene, the man you picked for the job? An untold number of lives ride on your decision.

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