President Obama today reveled in his reception in front of 1,500 U.S. troops in South Korea Thursday.
Obama greeted the soldiers at Osan Air Base, shortly before returning to Washington aboard Air Force One after an eight-day trip to Asia.
"You guys make a pretty good photo op," the president said, perhaps as a joking slap at some critics who have dismissed his visit to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last month as a photo op.
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After announcing to the troops that he’s going to increase military pay, Obama received a loud cheer. "That's what you call an applause line," he said.
While Obama was greeting the troops, senior aides told reporters that the president won’t announce his decision on how many more troops will be sent to Afghanistan until Thanksgiving.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has asked for 40,000 additional troops. But many White House aides favor a smaller deployment, and that’s likely what Obama will approve.
The president has come under fire from critics for taking so long to make up his mind on what to do in Afghanistan.
Obama has mismanaged the war because of inexperience, says former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who ran for president in 2008 and probably 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.”
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