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Old 12-02-2009, 02:23 PM #1
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CINC Speech at West Point

I so much more like when I am able to post into someone else's thread, as apposed to starting my own. Oh well...


CINC's Speech: What did you think of it?

I think it reminded me of speeches from Kennedy (John), Johnson, and Palin... eccept when Palin said what she did (during VP debates) she was scoffed at... which is interesting.

I was talking to my friend, who is also in the armed services (different branch though), and we both are a little indifferent about the whole thing. Our main hopes are:
a) the plans of the guys with stars on their uniforms work
b) 30k is enough people to leave the place better than we found it

and lastly

c) Our brothers and sisters come home alive

I also found it interesting that Chris Mathews commented on how "not very warm" the crowd was. I can be safely assumed that when the President speaks in front of a military crowd, it is just like any other level Commanding Officer speaking. You sit attentively and listen, and when it is all said and done (you'll know)... you stand and do whatever action is warranted. I'm surprised "Attention on Deck" wasn't called, so the country can see a couple hundred cadets snap to attention until the CINC leaves the room.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:26 PM #2
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I lol'd hard at all the sleeping audience members.


Good speech but really, he's got our balls right now and I hope it works. IMO I'd throw far more than 30k in there but we'd have to pull them from Iraq. We need to be in Pakistan fighting alongside Pakistani fighters against the Taliban there too. The Taliban is the only one that doesn't see border lines in this battle.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:37 PM #3
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I thought the speech was good, and I am surprised Obama is following through on his promises to exit Iraq and to send more forces into Afghanistan. I am impressed by his willingness to stick the issues he outlined in the campaign back in November (at least with this issue).


I don't agree with the right-wing pundits who are saying that he took too long to do this. I find it refreshing that we have a President who takes his time in weighing the decisions, and calculating the cost/benefit analysis. Also, it shows that this administration has thought out a strategy from start to finish. With Bush, I felt it was one bad attempt after another, with little regard to public opinion or thought behind his actions. But that's just how I felt.

I do hope that 30k troops and the timetable we established is enough to get the job done. At this point, it is in the hands of our generals to put forth a strategy that can be successful under such demanding constraints.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:46 PM #4
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Good speech imo. Tough situation.

The important thing will be showing popular will, from the US, Pakistan and NATO. TIME had a good article about spreading Taliban influence and tribal leader sense falling Political will from the US and NATO allies. If we can show the will to stay and at least stabilize, then we have a good chance and turning many of the tribes back to our side which will make the biggest difference.

I was glad to see NATO already pledging more troops. There have been talk of lots of "behind the doors" talks with Clinton and Pakistani leaders, as well as with many other leaders. Hopefully there is a solid plan being worked out.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:48 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyMumkins View Post
I lol'd hard at all the sleeping audience members.
Ever been to a military college?
One way I've heard it was, "best explanation I can muster is this: imagine yourself working eight or nine straight 19 hour days, then being 'invited' to hear someone like Sandra Day O'Conner drone on about how you all were archiac, misogonyst dinosaurs before the Supreme Court set you straight."

In this case, replace "Sandra Day O'Conner" with "Barrack Obama" and "misogonyst" with "uncultured".

Other than that, I have the utmost confidence in Generals Petraeus (whose speach I slept through last year) and McChrystal.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:00 PM #6
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I didn't see the speech, but I watched the highlights on Hannity. Hannity didn't like it at all, but gave Obama praise for not calling our troops baby killers.

Seriously, if murder was legal, Hannity would be at the top of my list. Lucky for him he has "rights" as a human.

The only thing I don't really agree with is saying if conditions are good in 18 months, we'll pull out. Seems like he was trying to appease EVERYONE. Life aint like that. If you are not making enemies, chances are you are doing it all wrong.

I have been pro-surge for Afghanistan ever since Obama said he was going to do it and even well before that when everyone conveniently forgot we were there. So I support the President.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:05 PM #7
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"Begin to come home" = let the surge come back down, like in Iraq.
McChrystal's strategy says that the critical point for them will occur within the next 12 months - as of three or four months ago.
Hell, the troop surge in Iraq had troops coming back after 2 months.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:06 PM #8
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What is CINC?
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:08 PM #9
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commander in chief
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:08 PM #10
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"Begin to come home" = let the surge come back down, like in Iraq.
McChrystal's strategy says that the critical point for them will occur within the next 12 months - as of three or four months ago.
Hell, the troop surge in Iraq had troops coming back after 2 months.
I can see that. But still, why broadcast it? Instead, let your actions work and then surprise everyone with a withdrawal announcement. Again, just seemed like he was trying to please everyone.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:09 PM #11
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buhhh exit strategy. We're still in Germany.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:16 PM #12
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The only thing I don't really agree with is saying if conditions are good in 18 months, we'll pull out. Seems like he was trying to appease EVERYONE. Life aint like that. If you are not making enemies, chances are you are doing it all wrong.
Actually it is.

IMO, That was one of the main problems with Bush, he didn't consider the larger picture and alienating allies and opponents. Germany had extremely restrictive ROE largely due to no political will.
Germany Lifts restrictive ROE - August 2009

Let us not forget we live in a Representative Democracy. If the people don't want us there, then they are going to pressure their representative to bring them home. If Obama wants us there, he has to convince people that it is the right thing to do or at least convince them that it wont' be too bad, that we are being considerate, and give political cover for those receiving pressure.

The problem comes when policies are compromised while trying to please everyone. If 30K really won't be enough and more likely to just get more people killed. IMO. 45K was asked for, after that we sent 13K, now 30K are being sent. AND we seem to have a solid course of action which was also emphasized in the leaked report. It was never about JUST sending more troops, just like the Iraq Surge was never just about sending more troops.

Again i can not emphasize enough the importance of perceived will of the Nation and World.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:29 PM #13
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As McChrystal has said, the number doesn't really matter so much as the overall commitment - the number was a nice number to throw out to the Afghan people. It shows American resolve and is not large enough to be viewed as an occupying force by the Afghan people.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:07 PM #14
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I loved Michael Ware's brutally honest assessment of Afghanistan. Last night on CNN, he blatantly said we need to bribe warlords like we did in Iraq, and we need to commit a few human rights violations to win in Afghanistan. This guy is awesome.



When other pundits are jibber jabbering about policies and what not, if the camera pans to Michael, you can actually see him snickering and smiling confidently, knowing that these "suits" don't know jack **** about what they are talking about.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:15 PM #15
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Yeah, that guy who wore a green beret and now has four stars on his shoulder has no ****ing clue what we should do!

"Reconciliation" = good, HR violations = bad
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:21 PM #16
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Yeah, that guy who wore a green beret and now has four stars on his shoulder has no ****ing clue what we should do!

"Reconciliation" = good, HR violations = bad
I said pundits. Not generals. The HR violations were tongue in cheek. I'm trying to find the CNN clip now. As far as war correspondents go, there is no debate. He's the best.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:21 PM #17
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I loved Michael Ware's brutally honest assessment of Afghanistan. Last night on CNN, he blatantly said we need to bribe warlords like we did in Iraq, and we need to commit a few human rights violations to win in Afghanistan. This guy is awesome.

When other pundits are jibber jabbering about policies and what not, if the camera pans to Michael, you can actually see him snickering and smiling confidently, knowing that these "suits" don't know jack **** about what they are talking about.
Bribe warlords, yes. HR violations, no. Honestly there's just not enough that you could gain out of it in Afghanistan. Its not Iraq, you can't gather intel quickly and pull off a bunch of raids. There are something like 10K Taliban troops and we engage them what, 20 at a time?

The way to make inroads is to convince the people to work with us, same as in Iraq, but different means of course.

(though i do like him)
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:27 PM #18
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All that I could think during that entire speech was 'where's waldo?'
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:29 PM #19
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Well I can't find the clip, but this was right after he said that. I just thought it was funny and I know he was being sarcastic.

This is still a good clip to learn from though. You won't find a deeper analysis like this on Fox news because Hannity is too busy killing babies and then blaming it on Obama and the troops.

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Old 12-02-2009, 07:53 PM #20
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I was also thinking too, everyone knows the "withdrawal" time frame won't be met. It never gets met. It keeps getting pushed up.

Having troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for another 3 years will probably get Obama re-elected. After all, Bush was re-elected in 2004 because many voters didn't want to change captains during a crisis.

I can see the same thing happening to Obama. We'll still be at war in 2012, and nobody will want to try and change leadership amongst such a crisis. The anti-war left will ***** and moan, but ultimately come to the support of the President.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:20 PM #21
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Obama gets elected to end the war in 2008 and he will get elected to end the war in 2012. Awesome. "New intel" will get released and we will have another war to fight after these anyway so I don't think it matters.

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I was also thinking too, everyone knows the "withdrawal" time frame won't be met. It never gets met. It keeps getting pushed up.
Yeah, you can double or triple that date, much like costs of programs that Congress approves.
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