President Obama's hand-picked general to lead the war in Afghanistan made it his first priority under orders from the President to do a thorough review of strategies and resources in his war theater. General Stanley McChrystal, America's leading expert on taking the fight to al-Qaeda and very much the President's man on the ground, finished his analysis for the President in August. Since then he's been cooling his heels, waiting for President Obama's permission to present his recommendations.
The only problem? Mr. Obama no longer wants to hear what his general has to say. Suddenly, Afghanistan, which he only a month ago described as
"…not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9-11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans,"is now an optional war of political convenience. It was "the good war" during his campaign, as Mr. Obama attacked President Bush for paying too much attention to Iraq and too little to the Taliban. During a debate with Senator McCain, candidate Obama laid out his goal, pure and simple,
"We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority."Now, it is Mr. Obama's war but apparently no longer our biggest national security priority.
General McCrystal cannot get the President to pick up the phone or even accept his special delivery priority mail and is threatening to resign.
He should, as a matter of principal.
Even a senior CNN reporter called this morning for the President to "man up" and face the need to fight.
Now, if only David Letterman had made the same suggestion…