The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


44 The Obama Presidency

Lawmakers Hear Obama Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy

Updated 5:35 p.m.
By Karen DeYoung and Michael D. Shear
President Obama briefed congressional leaders -- minus Senate Republicans Mitch McConnell (Ky) and Jon Kyl -- this afternoon on the new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy he will announce tomorrow. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said the invitation to the 1 p.m. White House session came too late yesterday afternoon to rearrange a scheduled meeting with several dozen Republican Senators.

Reports that McConnell "blew off President Obama" were ridiculous, Stewart said. The Minority Leader has "attended pretty much every other White House bipartisan" meeting and caught a separate Af-Pak briefing for non-leadership members on the Hill yesterday.

The President also telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to brief them on the plan, which will include sending hundreds of new civilian officials to Afghanistan to implement an expanded development program, and 4,000 new military trainers from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in addition to the 17,000 troops Obama authorized last month.

Obama will formally present the plan to NATO at an April 3-4 alliance summit in Europe.

Posted at 5:35 PM ET on Mar 26, 2009  | Category:  44 The Obama Presidency
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JakeD: "P.S. I thought that McCain won all three debates as well as the Saddleback Forum."

Yeah, you prolly think he won the election, too. Seriously, I think McCain is a good man and I have a great deal of respect for him. But Bush fkuced up so royally, McCain would have had to publicly repudiate Bush to remove the stink.

McCain should play a solid role in this strayegy if he keeps partisan politics out of it.

Posted by: Alan4 | March 31, 2009 8:08 PM

scriv: thanks, but not a black hat. well done with the whole "let's all try to add to the conspiracy theory" jabs. i'm not a government employee, should be obvious: i know how to spell and can even articulate compound sentences. you Govies out there - don't start with me, you know that to which i refer is truth! however, the only targets of MY rogue operations are those Americans who want something for nothing, and those non-Americans doing the same thing at the expense of Americans. to make sure no one gets the wrong idea, MY operations are currently limited to comment-sniping and blog-warfare. if it's just too much for you, go back to ham-radio with Art Bell.
jrm2- of course the President reads from the prompter. anyone faulting him for that is simply missing some common sense. i have to disagree about John McCain though, his personality is what cost him the election, and the perception that he is a beltway insider. which he is. also, the name of your alma mater proves absolutely nothing. anyone can go to harvard, and anyone can go to harvard law, provided arrangements can be made. harvard, yale, princeton, dartmouth... they are all the same. megyn kelley made it through law school, and i wouldn't hire her to read news to red-staters, much less read a brief or pleading to a judge.
johnquimby- the short answer is: they should not. i have known non-nco's with more vision, leadership, drive and dependability than the substandard, poor excuses for humanity currently riding pine (or probably oak or maple) in Downtown, America. let's fire them AND congress.

Posted by: thepearl0369 | March 27, 2009 4:35 PM

As one of the new owners of AIG and GM, I'd like to know why the executives we're rescuing from failed businesses are entitled to make more than the line officers we send into a combat zone.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | March 27, 2009 3:23 PM

Well... Must say the strategy is well planned but will it really be effective? And will US lawmakers will support it? It surely requires bigger reserved money as well.. Do them have a stock of all.. Used Car Dealers

Posted by: aartig | March 27, 2009 7:56 AM

TO: thepearl0369:

What will all you black hats do when top editors of The Washington Post realize that paid government agents may be using their media properties to conduct slander campaigns against "targets" of your rogue operations?

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 27, 2009 2:49 AM

"The title of the article should be changed to :
Teleprompter in Chief invites guests to read the teleprompter at the White House

Posted by: nobama9 | March 26, 2009 3:32 PM"
Hey ding-dong, EVERY President reads prepared remarks from a piece of paper or a teleprompter. EVERY press conference begins with a prepared remark.

Did you watch the press conference after the prepared remark?, or how about his teleprompter there.

Of course we could all sit and watch Bush butcher the english language without one and Sarah Ps only shining moment came with one, her worst disastrous performances that may have cost McCain the Presidency came when she had to think on her feet.

If you think a graduate from harvard and the head of the harvard law review is a moron then republicans should LOVE him.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 26, 2009 7:24 PM

"Meanwhile, where are the loony-left liberal protests over hussein's TROOP SURGE in Afghanistan?

I can't hear you, you bunch of bottom-feeding hypocrites!

Posted by: LoonyLeft | March 26, 2009 6:31 PM"
In case you've forgotten Afghanistan was the country that harbored the terrorists that committed the 911 attacks. I haven't heard any domestic or world-wide condemnation for us going over there. The "looney-left" as you put it which I guess would include most of the world by your standards were against the Iraq war from the get-go because it was based on lies. Even the most top counterterrorism experts admit that the Iraq war was a distraction from fighting the real war on terror...that would be in Afghanistan.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 26, 2009 7:17 PM

scrivener50- i can only guess that 50 refers to date of birth or actual age, though neither of which have any apparent relevance. it is irrelevant because you were not paying attention during the late nineteen-nineties. the conflict in Bosnia did not turn out well at all, and still has not (we are still there)
in addition, the President already has a former Supreme Allied Commander on his staff: his National Security Advisor is General James L. Jones, USMC(ret).
another point i would like to make is that General Wesley Clark is not only NOT widely respected within military circles (mostly because of several tactical blunders with which he was involved during the Bosnia period, but also for his repetitive and pervasive delusions of grandeur), but he is also NOT widely respected in diplomatic circles, for much the same reasons in fact.
i am not anti- Wes Clark, nor am i anti- President Obama. i am against poor foreign policy that has no basis in fact or reality. why bring in another former General to try his amateur hand at diplomacy when the Officers on the ground are now starting to make decent headway with the Afghani and Pakistani governments and populations?
your comments regarding "saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves" is off the mark and lends to my personal belief that you should stick to exploring your domestic conspiracy theories and wearing aluminum foil hats.

tropicalfolk- as President of the United States of America, President Obama (as i am sure you are aware) has the authority to move several thousand troops and requisite support equipment (planes, tanks, ships and trucks) wherever he thinks necessary, for even an extended period. i have been deliberately non-specific because i don't have access to the specifics of the War Powers Act from this terminal, but i do remember my first Company Gunny telling us all to "stand-by" because President Clinton could put us wherever he wanted to for as long as he wanted. at least with this deployment, the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines involved will have body armour and vehicles with more than sand-bags on the sides, and President Bush(43) didn't exactly wait for the big "Good to go!" from Congress either...


Posted by: thepearl0369 | March 26, 2009 7:00 PM

P.S. I thought that McCain won all three debates as well as the Saddleback Forum.

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2009 6:57 PM

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2009 6:36 PM

Meanwhile, where are the loony-left liberal protests over hussein's TROOP SURGE in Afghanistan?

I can't hear you, you bunch of bottom-feeding hypocrites!

Posted by: LoonyLeft | March 26, 2009 6:31 PM

Sheesh, will you wingnuts stop it with the teleprompter meme??

Reagan used one. Bush used one. Get over it. Did you not see the three Obama/McCain debates?

Obama eviscerated McCain in each one, according to every poll. He was President of the Harvard Law Review. He was a constitutional law professor at the U of Chicago.

NO ONE but you 25%-ers is even listening to you anymore. Stop being the Party of No, put your ideas on paper and present them-- and then you can join the national conversation again like big boys, mkay?

Posted by: HankNYNY | March 26, 2009 6:30 PM

Hey, looks like Comrade Obama might be sending Aunt Mubutu, or whatever the he-l her name is, back to the 3rd World. No stimulus for that slob.

Posted by: birvin9999 | March 26, 2009 6:29 PM

I smell Vietnamization, or Afghanization, to declare victory and depart, hopefully sans the helicopters from the embassy rooftop.

Posted by: edbyronadams | March 26, 2009 6:28 PM

Posted by: JakeD | March 26, 2009 6:17 PM

The title of the article should be changed to :
Teleprompter in Chief invites guests to read the teleprompter at the White House

Posted by: nobama9 | March 26, 2009 3:32 PM



Afghanistan/Pakistan could turn into Barack Obama's Bay of Pigs...

...his Vietnam...

...with the same disastrous results for America (save for the war profiteers).

Mr. Obama:

It is time to call on the services of the former supreme commander of NATO, Wes Clark...

...the man who turned Bill Clinton's potential Vietnam, Bosnia, into a humanitarian example of how intelligent military strategy and careful diplomacy can yield victory for the forces of freedom and democracy.

You must show the door to the saboteurs and Dr. Strangeloves who will bring down your administration if left unchallenged.


Why Team Obama must move immediately to dismantle the Bush-Cheney “extrajudicial punishment network”…

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 26, 2009 3:06 PM

Obama first sent 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Then, in his budget he asked for money for that campaign. Finally, today, he will tell lawmakers what is this all about.

Even Bush had the decency to ask Congress BEFORE the Iraq surge.

Posted by: tropicalfolk | March 26, 2009 12:56 PM

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