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Obama's Sunday TV Blitz

President Obama said Sunday he will remain skeptical about the need for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan until he is satisfied that the military has the right strategy for winning the war there.

In taped interviews on five Sunday morning news programs, Obama said his top generals have completed another review of that strategy, and that he will not act on a further troop increase until he is satisfied that the review has produced a winnable approach.

"What I'm not also gonna do, though, is put the resource question before the strategy question," Obama told NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Press." "Until I'm satisfied that we've got the right strategy I'm not gonna be sending some young man or woman over there- beyond what we already have."

He echoed the same line to George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week" program: "We're going to test whatever resources we have against our strategy, which is, if by sending young men and women into harm's way, we are defeating al Qaeda -- and that can be shown to a skeptical audience, namely me, somebody who is always asking hard questions about deploying troops -- then we will do what's required to keep the American people safe."

The president made his comments on the morning shows as surveys showed increased pessimism in the United States and Europe about the mission in Afghanistan.

Reports have suggested that military officials could ask Obama for tens of thousands more American soldiers and Marines for the effort amid a surge in violence from insurgents and the Taliban.

But Obama told the network hosts that he has made no decision about sending more troops. He said the strategy in Afghanistan was "adrift" when he took office and he said the security situation is rapidly changing.

"We're not gonna put the cart before the horse and just think by sending more troops, we're automatically going to make Americans safe," he told Bob Schieffer of CBS's "Face the Nation."

By washingtonpost.com  |  September 20, 2009; 10:32 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Comments

QUIT AFGHANISTAN – But not easily

The beautiful and delicate poppy that now paints the landscapes of Afghanistan with vibrant colors, has long been the symbol for sacrifice. The aesthetic is as soothing to the sense of sight, as it is exasperating to the conscience.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2008/04/poppy-fields-of-mass-destruction.html

Drastic action is required.

Posted by: JamesRaider | September 21, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

This is a perfect example of why his poll numbers are falling. He is on television constantly but dodges all the tough questions and it winds up being boredom on top of boredom.

Obama has a degree in political science which makes him a clever candidate but his lack of experience at governing is a glaring weakness.

Posted by: alstl | September 20, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for Obama - he is doing a great job.

Posted by: mmax | September 20, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama is asking just the right question! This is pragmatic, publically-oriented, in the public interest, just what the public really wants in a leader.

Posted by: TabLUnoLCSWfromUtah | September 20, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Are any of you kind of surprised to find that, all the way up to the end of the Bush administration, no General said a peep about needing more troops in Afghanistan, and now, after Obama commits to increasing their number by 30,000, the general suddenly need more troops? The truth is that the Bushies tried to keep Afghanistan out of the papers and concentrate on Iraq (not that it did a lot of good) and now that the generals in Afghanistan are expected to produce more than holding on to Kabul, they need more troops, ha, Bush just kicked the Afghanistan can down the road and left another mess for the adults to clean up.

Posted by: rkerg | September 20, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Who is driving this train? Obama, or Eric Holder??

Posted by: wheeljc

-------------------------------------------

Unlike Bush this president actually believes the Justice dept should remain Independent and be allowed do something other than political hit jobs and window dressing.

Posted by: case3 | September 20, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Just hope and pray Islamic radicals don't take over another American Embassy. Leadership wise, it's almost as if Obama is in Carter's hip pocket with foreign diplomacy. It's a national disgrace the Democratic party allowed our heroes to be held hostage for 444 days. We pulled out of Iran and look what it has proved over the years. History is filled with American foreign policy failures galore by both parties. Pull out of Afghanistan then let CIA and Special Forces finish what they started post 9/11. Without Eric Holder's intervention, he has no business in National Security, either President Obama will slip into a leadership role or become a puppet to the AG, you can't serve two masters.

Posted by: edball | September 20, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Bush-Cheney had eight years, and we're losing the war in Afghanistan now?

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | September 20, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse


If he is smart, he will get us out of Afghanistan immediately, and keep us out! Same with Iraq.

Obama needs to simply ignore Iran. The only reason there is so much commotion about them is our neo-cons and munitions makers want more fighting so they can make more profits.

Stop creating more veterans now!!! (SCMVN)

Posted by: surfer-joe | September 20, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Our "president" will use his extensive military experience and his intimate knowledge of the muslim mind to produce a stunning victory. .. Right?...

Posted by: carlbatey | September 20, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the President has been reading some history . . .

We all know the right wing doesn't have time for that.

Reading gets in the way of "BOMB THEM".

. . . Afghanistan - The graveyard of empires.

Posted by: palmtree2001 | September 20, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess we can add Afghanistan to the list of things Obama lied about during the campaign.

By refusing to bomb Taliban sanctuaries Obama is guaranteeing record American deaths. This American blood is on the hands of the dems.

Posted by: alstl | September 20, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

How embarrassing, such a feckless reversal.

Posted by: georgejones5 | September 20, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse


Sounds like George Soros has pulled Barry's string, again. What an embarrassment.

Posted by: FraudObama | September 20, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Get out if you're not going to do it right!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | September 20, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

So true..having worked SE Afghanistan in 2003, I witnessed vital and critical resources re-deployment to Iraq.

Afghanistan sat as a "bastard child" of sorts while Bush et al search for weapons of mass destruction.

We are paying a heavy price now. But, that said, Pakistan is finally coming to the realization, the Taliban will expand their influence in Pakistan if the US/ISAF forces leave Afghanistan.

A Pastun "homeland" would fracture Pakistan.

A strategy of "buying the hearts and minds" of the Afghan people will never work.

I believe 24 months or less will deliver either a road to "success" or eventual total withdrawal of most US forces.

Remember, under the Bush era, UBL remains alive as does Mullah Omar and as such these two represent the resiliency of the Taliban (religious students) ideology.

If we could just kill them all...I am for that..but, unfortunately, this is impossible.

A clear and convincing strategy must be undertaken and unless the commanders can almost guarantee "success", thoughts to waiting for more troops incountry seems reasonable.

Posted by: LTC-11A | September 20, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

What you do not see in the news is any sense of how our corrent offensive is progressing and what we have gained or lost. Reporters could ask about that if they had any interest. But it is all body count. Nothing else.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | September 20, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

So it was mad President Bush that sent our troops to war and anyone else would not?

Posted by: GaryEMasters | September 20, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

We don't need thousands of foot soldiers in order to prevent the resurrgence of Al-Qaida's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Note what we did recently in Somalia with a quick surgical strike that took out an Al-Qaida terrorist. We aren't occupying Somalia, yet we're able to keep eyes on it enough to know where and when to strike. We're doing the same in Pakistan.

And we can do that in Afgahnistan with our drones, satellites, special forces, air patrols, etc. We can keep a lid on Afghanistan without risking our ground troops and spending billions trying to remake that backwards feudal society into a modern state.

We need to rethink our definition of success there. Keeping Al-Qaida from reconstituting their expeditionary terrorist training camps, which led to 9/11, should be our primary goal; one we can do without 70,000+ ground troops.

Posted by: adhughes | September 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Simplistic and jingoistic slogans such as "these colors don't run" have no place in American foreign policy. Coffee cup slogans cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties in Vietnam. It also resulted in between one and two million Vietnamese deaths. Nixon had to resign before Ford pulled us out of this stupid war.

How many have to die in Afghanistan?

Posted by: alance | September 20, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

President ACORN is such a wimp he won't even go on FOX NEWS. How can obozo possibly be Commander in Chief? He hasn't run anything but his mouth his whole life. The democrat socialist party has dumbed down so much of the population that they don't even realize what they have done to the USA. He has lied and thrown everyone else under the bus so I guess it's time to quit his promise to win in Afghanistan too. You can't make this stuff up and in obozo's case: you can't POLISH a t-u-r-d.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | September 20, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

he will be a one-termer.

Posted by: DaMan2 | September 20, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

On September 11, 2001, an attack on the US occurred killing thousands of people. This attack was planned in Afghanistan by al Qaeda, protected and supported by a supportive Afghan national government operated by the Taliban. If we now withdraw, the circumstances allowing 9/11 will be restored. There are no options to continuing this war as long as it takes. "These colors don't run". A famous mantra of the radical right. Where are these "hawks" now? Very short attention spans.

Posted by: joesolo | September 20, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

President Obama may be an appeaser when it comes to defending Europe's east flank from Russian or Iranian missiles - but he is no appeaser when it comes to reexamining our occupation of Afghanistan.

It would be a big mistake to send more troops to Afghanistan. If we don't have enough troops in Afghanistan, it would be far better to bring all the troops home from Central Asia. The war is unwinnable.

Posted by: alance | September 20, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

One termer.

Posted by: DaMan2 | September 20, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

O'Bama: "present!"

''O'Bama the Apologizer, the Unwise, the Divider''...

...once again the cameleon, the community organizer-volunteer...

..this is no leader. this is not a president of any country...O'Bama the Disgrace.

Americans are rapidly growing weary, impatient and tired of daily Wrightist rhetoric you spew you stuttering lack of leadership and direction expoused by your presidency, your crony political appointments, and inept Clintonite/Carter administration...

It is a shame.

Posted by: Accuracy | September 20, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

...And just think, he (and Eric Holder) is now responsible for national security!

Posted by: wheeljc | September 20, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Who is driving this train? Obama, or Eric Holder??

Posted by: wheeljc | September 20, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama said Sunday he will remain skeptical about the need for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan until he is satisfied that the military has the right strategy for winning the war there."

The only winning strategies available are the liberal use of terror to quiet the Taliban or committing to an extremely long period of fighting and losses. Neither is acceptable. Get out now.

"Until I'm satisfied that we've got the right strategy I'm not gonna be sending some young man or woman over there- beyond what we already have."

So, for now, he is willing to send people to die without a winning strategy. Go figure.

Posted by: edbyronadams | September 20, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

If Bush/Cheney had done what most experts suggested, we would not be talking about Afghanistan now. He took America on his mindless adventure in Iraq. He told us the war would be over in three months and cost the US nothing. It's been a little longer than three months and still no "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED." On another note, I still think Bush is the son of Alfred E. Nueman.

Posted by: edanddot | September 20, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

A few weeks ago George Will encouraged the President to pull out of Afghanistan. That to me, who neither consider myself a hawk/dove-- a bad idea.

Surely, I am in full agreement with the president on this. Do the reviews-- follwup on what is needed. Candidate Obama is now President Obama and must bring some security back to that area as the Taliban increasingly, re-groups. He must do what has to be done effectively-- and strategy must be considered before resources.

There are no doubts criticism will come from both the right/left. But in the end common sense rules! http://www.vernasmith.com

Posted by: Victoria5 | September 20, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm in complete agreement with Loryjones. Send an overwehlming force in then get out or get the Heck out now. We've had enough "Nation Building" overseas for awhile; time to re-build our Nation.

Posted by: Dave41inChicago | September 20, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Commander in Chief is getting cold feet and preparing to let our troops and the Afghanistans swing in the wind!
When the going gets tough tough tough get going.
Apparently obama is not one of the tough ones :-)
Yet another campaign promise broken!
NK is getting close to nuclear LR missiles
Ditto Iran.
Obama caves on missile shield.
Midde east is falling apart.
South America is a powder keg.
Brittain is making nice to Libya.
Obama is dismantling the CIA.
So - the Great One pushes a loopy healthcare/insurance plan to a bunch of syncophant labor unions!!
Boy - I really feel safe now!

Posted by: thornegp1 | September 20, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Commander in Chief is getting cold feet and preparing to let our troops and the Afghanistans swing in the wind!
When the going gets tough tough tough get going.
Apparently obama is not one of the tough ones :-)
Yet another campaign promise broken!
NK is getting lose to nuclear LR missiles
Ditto Iran.
Obama caves on missile shield.
Midde east is falling apart.
South America is a powder keg.
Brittain is making nice to Libya.
Obama is dismantling the CIA.
So - the Great One pushes a loopy healthcare/insurance plan to a bunch of syncophant labor unions!!
Boy - I really feel safe now!

Posted by: thornegp1 | September 20, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The reality is the right wing will criticize Obama if he stays, and they will criticize him if he keeps troops level, and they wil criticize him if he pulls out and changes tactics. The right just wants to criticize and hate.

This should no longer be a military war, it must be the most unconventional economic war we have ever fought.

Posted by: thecontributist | September 20, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

LarryG62,

"What an incompetent leftist appeaser we're stuck with in the White Hosue".

Is this a recording?

Posted by: FebM | September 20, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Remarkable and true, from the LT (www.lipmantimes.com):

Dr. Alan J. Lipman: Carter’s Favor, Bleeding the Wound, and the Unbearable Lightness of Boehner

September 20, 2009

In the intolerable, inhumane–though inherently human–and ineffably hypocritical theatrics of recent Republican rage, three events and trends stand out over the past week: Carter’s favor, the cool and intelligent patience of bleeding the wound, and the desperate attempts of Boehner and similarly minded Republicans to attempt to maintain a context in which to justify the attempt to disrupt all with a scorched-earth scream.

Jimmy Carter prides himself on using his platform as ex-President to say what often cannot be said. This at times appears to have scatter shot results. Here, in naming a powerful underlying motive in the Republican attacks–racism–which, hiding behind various imaginary, illusory and nonsensical agendas, allows for the expression of the hatred yet always hidden behind the bare scrim of a factless fact–and crystallized in former Strom Thurmond aide Joe Wilson’s bare outburst–he allowed what the Administration could not name to be named, to be introduced into the dialogue, without being introduced by any of the participants, and therefore playing the role of a meme of conscience, rather than the next inflammatory tactic.

We can already see the results–a slight cooling off, as at least a recognition of a barrier to an impulsively, gleeful fury without restraint has now become part of what has occurred–just through naming–without being introduced by Obama, where he can thereby be further attacked.

Obama is, with remarkable patience perhaps not seen before in a modern President–has been waiting this out, not allowing himself to become engaged in the provocations–and now, he is beginning to bleed the wound, as the largely content-free rage runs its course, and the mood of the media, and nation, begins to seek something new.

On “Meet the Press”, in response to David Gregory’s question about the tone of the debate, John Boehner ludicrously stated that he did not think that the tone of the debate had gotten out of control. This is an attempt by Boehner to preserve the enraged dyscontrol that has characterized the actions of his party. This is often a sign that it is running its course.

Conflict has endless permutations and attractions. We may yet see them ahead. If we can contain the interests in continuing the distortion of rage–the cooling off perhaps has begun.

Posted by: eliblue80 | September 20, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

What an incompetent leftist appeaser we're stuck with in the White Hosue.

A real disgraceful failure.

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 20, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

This is stupid. Either send more troops if we're really serious about nabbing bin-Laden, or pull out our guys completely. They're already exhausted beyond the limit.

Posted by: Loryjones | September 20, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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