Tag Archives: dithering

The Cost of Patience

29 Oct

President Obama has a reputation as a deliberate thinker. He considers all sides of the issue. He asks a lot of questions, and encourages debate. These all seem like more admirable qualities after a President who had a reputation for rash, and incorrect, judgments.

But lets be clear. There is a cost for deliberation. It is not free.

One hundred dead in Peshawar, Pakistan yesterdayTwenty four Americans dead in Afghanistan in the last two days, and eight dead in an attack on a UN guest house in Kabul. Bombings in Baghdad kill 147 and wound 700, the worst car bombing in over two years. By the time this is posted, there will surely be another example.

As this is going on, President Obama is playing golf. Twenty four rounds in nine months. More than GWB in nearly three years, who fancied himself a golfer but gave it up because he thought it would look bad. Let’s see, does it?

 Perception is Reality

Obama also made a speech in Florida a couple days ago where he said he would not be rushed to judgment in adjusting his war plans.

“I won’t risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary.”

Too late. Already risked because we’re already there. This is not an academic exercise. You may wish we never went into Iraq, or that Afghanistan is not a hard slog, but we did and it is. It has to be dealt with. You fired one general and promoted another, the right one. He reviewed the situation and made a recommendation. If you don’t trust his recommendation, why did you ask for the review? Why do another White House review on top of the field general’s? I don’t think you want a reputation of picking bombing targets in the WH, a la LBJ.

McChrystal, Petraus and Odierno are as good of a leadership team as the US military has ever constructed. They all learned lessons the hard way on the battlefield, changed course, and found success. You’ve gathered information for nine months – it is time to make a decision. Be the CinC, not the ivory tower professor. While you dweedle, you aren’t inconveniencing  students waiting outside your door for office hours.  We’re losing soldiers being shot out of the sky.

You said a President should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Do it.