I just listened to Obama's announcement for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan. Someone had suggested a drinking game...take a shot whenever Obama mentioned bin Laden. (Six times by my count). You folks please wait an hour before driving.
His pronunciation of Taliban as "Tollyban" was as bit jarring. I wanted to take a shot every time I heard that. (Lost count.)
Obama's choosing a rapid drawdown, as opposed to what his generals recommend, suggests political rather than strategic or security considerations.
General Petraeus, who helped write the Army’s field manual on counterinsurgency policy, did not endorse the decision, said another official, though both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton both accepted it, albeit with reservations. General Petraeus had recommended limiting withdrawals to 5,000 troops this year and another 5,000 over the winter, deferring the drawdown of the rest of the surge force through next year’s fighting season.
He and other military commanders argued that the 18 months since Mr. Obama announced the troop increase did not allow for enough time for the Americans to consolidate the fragile gains that they had made in Helmand and other provinces. Troops have succeeded in clearing many towns and cities of insurgents, and then keeping them safe so that markets reopened and girls were able to go to school, for example.
His goal "America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home" sounds like more of the typical Democrat mantra of domestic spending over defense. Obama was definitely looking to the 2012 elections in this speech.
A full transcript of his remarks can be found here.
More at Memeorandum
Cross posted at Proof Positive