Tags: obama | romney | afghan

Romney: Obama Mismanaging Afghan War

Thursday, 19 Nov 2009 10:40 PM

By Dan Weil

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President Obama has mismanaged the war in Afghanistan due to inexperience, says former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who ran for president in 2008 and likely will again in 2012.

“During the presidential campaign, many Americans thought that Barack Obama’s lack of leadership experience would not prevent him from being an effective president,” Romney writes in an opinion piece on Politico news service.

“His eloquence, his insistence that, yes, he could solve any problem . . . convinced many that hope could trump demonstrated ability. It has not.”

With his attention diverted by healthcare reform and the cap-and-trade proposal, Obama has taken his eye off the ball in Afghanistan, Romney argues.

“So it was that in the first 100 days after his appointment in June of Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Obama met with the general only once,” Romney writes.

“In the annals of American history, it is certain that no wartime president has ever spent less time with his generals than Obama has.”

Obama still hasn’t decided on his military strategy in Afghanistan, Romney explains.

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“His apologists explain that rather than rush a decision, it is better to get it right. But at some point, deliberation, if it goes on too long, becomes indecision.”

Instead of focusing on Afghanistan, Obama traveled the country on campaign trips for fellow Democrats, Romney says.

“While he was busy campaigning in the U.S., the president ignored the election in Afghanistan and took wholly inadequate measures to ensure a valid outcome, even as he must have known that a legitimate government was essential to our success.”

As a result, the United States is left supporting a corrupt Afghan government, Romney writes. “The prospects for our success have been greatly diminished.”

Obama is learning on the job, which the country can’t afford, he says.

The president’s predicament with Afghanistan mirrors President James Polk’s with the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, Robert Merry, who authored a new book about Polk, told NewsmaxTV.com

Merry, former publisher of Congressional Quarterly, notes that Polk met with his top general Winfield Scott, just as Obama has done with McChrystal.

“They agreed on what they were going to try to accomplish in the war, and then Scott told Polk what he needed in terms of troops and material and resources," Merry said.

Polk totally disagreed with Scott’s request, but kept quiet about it. “(That’s) because he understood that, if you are going to ask a general to undertake a mission and the general says, 'I need this to accomplish the mission,’ you can't really argue about that."

McChrystal's request for 40,000 more troops, which Obama continues to mull, "implies a certain mission, and if he’s not going to get the 40,000, then the president is going to have to revise the mission, and the discussion within the White House seems to reflect that," Merry said.

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