On November 28 Political Policy posed the question as to which Obama commander-in-chief would emerge following his Dec. 1 address at West Point to outline his Afghanistan troop strategy. Would it be an inspirational, decisive commander-in-chief or an appeaser-in-chief for his far-left constituency? After reviewing the President's speech the answer is a multiple "guess"; both, neither, or some of the above.
"There is, it seems, some agreement that the speech last night was a bit of a mess. Bob Schieffer, noting that exit ramps have been constructed before the deployment, observed: ”I just don’t understand the logic of how that works.” John Dickerson at Slate, not exactly the heart of neo-conservatism, writes that he did order a troop increase: The rest, though, is a bit blurry. According to his speech, Obama is escalating while retreating, adding more troops while also setting a date for their departure. Obama said he was putting pressure on the Afghan government, but he didn’t suggest how."
President Obama said in an interview with ABC News, "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur." (please, I know, but let's for now not question Obama's knowledge of the history of the Japanese surrender). But, then again, how does he square his categorization of Afghanistan as a "war of necessity" without victory. Our President is a challenge to keep up with on his "treadmill of sophistry".
Ms. Rubin agrees with Krauthammer and others,
"I’m sure the Taliban are delighted to hear that, as are our foes around the world, who will be only too happy to have Obama “show strength” by bugging out of hard conflicts. It’s an inanity, the sort of thing a college grad student would say. We show strength in victory. We show strength by standing up to thugs. We show strength by building our military and not penny-pinching on Defense Department budgets. But don’t expect to hear that from this president."