Monday, December 7, 2009

Did The Washington Post Just Reveal The Administration's Incompetence?

Yes, so say the guys at Powerlineblog:

"The Washington Post presents a detailed version of the lengthy process that finally resulted in President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. The early paragraphs track the White House's self-congratulatory line that Obama's close attention to detail resulted in the speeding up of troop deployment, thus creating a true "surge."

This is consistent with Obama's attempt, in his speech at West Point, to excuse the three months it took him to make a decision. He claimed that the process didn't really delay anything because the plan Gen. McChrystal presented to him would not have deployed troops rapidly enough. In other words, any delay in decision-making was offset by the quality of the decision. The problem with this argument is that, if the McChrystal plan truly was defective on this count, that defect could have been cured without a three month review process. Thus, the president's dithering cannot be excused on this ground.

Deeper into the Post's article, we learn the real reason for the dithering: It turns out that, Gen. McChrystal's proposal was based on instructions from the White House that Obama probably never believed and certainly did not believe in when McChrystal presented his plan. If true, this reflects gross incompetence on the part of the administration. [Emphasis added].

According to the Post, Obama and his team conceded at an October 9 meeting that McChrystal's plan reflected what he had been told was his mission. He concluded, though, that the mission should be redefined. Naturally, this meant significant adjustment to McChrystal's plan."

So is this the real reason why Obama waited three months to announce his "surge."  Obama gave McChrystal one mission, and like the good soldier he is, McChrystal was following orders - only to have the entire mission abruptly change all around him for political reasons?  If true, that is more than incompetence.  It is borderline malfeasance.

Michael Goodwin has more along the same lines concerning the administration's (read: Obama's) overall incompetence:

"Perhaps it was inevitable. A man who voted "present" 130 times in the Illinois Legislature couldn't possibly morph into a savvy and decisive leader of the free world in such a short time.

Yet even the pessimists among us are alarmed by the cloud of uncertainty and confusion hanging over the White House. Less than a year on the job, President Obama seems to have run out of both charm and ideas.
The biggest issues facing a president are the economy and national security. They are the whole ballgame. Everything else is detail.

It is now frighteningly obvious Obama doesn't have a clear, understandable strategy on either."

Indeed.  We are certainly in for a tough three more years.

More here.

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