This article originally appeared in the Beaufort Observer.
And his spin doctors lie about it
You know it's a serious issue when not just one but several of our top military leaders contradict the Commander-in-Chief. Yet another has come forward and said, in effect, that Obama's newly announced Afghanistan policy was not one recommended by the military commanders.
Lieutenant General John Allen told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that the Afghanistan decision President Obama announced last week was not among the range of options the military provided to the commander in chief. Allen's testimony directly contradicts claims from senior Obama administration officials from a background briefing before the president's announcement.
In response to questioning from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Allen testified that Obama's decision on the pace and size of Afghanistan withdrawals was "a more aggressive option than that which was presented."
Graham pressed him. "My question is: Was that a option?"
Allen: "It was not."
President Barack Obama, Lt. General John Allen
Allen's claim, which came under oath, contradicts the line the White House had been providing reporters over the past week--that Obama simply chose one option among several presented by General David Petraeus. In a conference call last Wednesday, June 22, a reporter asked senior Obama administration officials about those options. "Did General Petraeus specifically endorse this plan, or was it one of the options that General Petraeus gave to the president?"
The senior administration official twice claimed that the Obama decision was within the range of options the military presented to Obama. "In terms of General Petraeus, I think that, consistent with our
approach to this, General Petraeus presented the president with a range of options for pursuing this drawdown. There were certainly options that went beyond what the president settled on in terms of the length of time that it would take to recover the surge and the pace that troops would come out - so there were options that would have kept troops in Afghanistan longer at a higher number. That said, the president's decision was fully within the range of options that were presented to him and he has the full support of his national security team."
The official later came back to the question and reiterated his claim. "So to your first question I would certainly - I would certainly characterize it that way. There were a range. Some of those options would not have removed troops as fast as the president chose to do, but the president's decision was fully in the range of options the president considered."
This news is distressing to us. The reason it is so is because of the danger it poses to those of our service people who remain in Afghanistan. We think it unconscionable that Obama would put them more at risk after all that our service have sacrificed for this mission. And mark our words: Obama's strategy will cause us to eventually lose in Afghanistan just as we did in Vietnam. And he should be held accountable for it in 2012.