Obama mismanagement of Afghan war
With the deaths of three additional U.S. troops on July 29, the month is officially the bloodiest of the nine-year conflict in Afghanistan. The death toll for July is up to 63 and it captures the record as the deadliest month for Americans so far.
We all need to understand that the increase in deaths is directly the result of Obama's personal mismanagement of the war. The blood of our servicemen is on his hands.
Why? Upon taking management of defense policy, the Obama administration intervened to change the rules of engagement. Ralph Peters explained it this way in the New York Post: "Unless our troops in combat are absolutely certain that no civilians are present, they're denied artillery or air support. If any civilians appear where we meet the Taliban, our troops are to 'break contact' -- to retreat."
Peters concludes, "When our own moral fecklessness murders those in uniform, it's unforgivable. In Afghanistan, our leaders are complicit in the death of each soldier, Marine or Navy corpsman who falls because politically correct rules of engagement shield our enemies."
Obama dithered in adopting a new policy in Afghanistan deep into 2009. This led to criticism from even a left-wing dove like Sen. John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts. Of Obama's indecision, Kerry said in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, "At the very moment when our troops and our allies' troops are sacrificing more and more, our path and our progress seem to be growing less and less clear."
Next came the wrongheaded announcement of our deadline for withdrawal. Obama basically told our enemies the date of our leaving; now they are emboldened by foreknowledge of our defeat.
And who can forget the Stanley McChrystal firing and all the interruption to the chain of command and subsequent uncertainty over policy?
Now we face the Wikileaks scandal, and even this cannot focus the foreign policy team lead by Obama. Obama is downplaying the importance of this leak of thousands of classified secret documents.
But he won't be able to laugh off the latest allegations. We have now learned that with quick action he and his White House staff may have been able to limit the damage, but they were too incompetent to act.
A video interview by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox Business News blows this scandal wide open. When asked by Judge Napolitano why he should not be held responsible for potential deaths caused by the leak, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, answered that he contacted the White House about the leaks before they were released and asked them to review them.
The White House's response? Nada.
They were too busy golfing, partying with Paul McCartney and spending the summer vacationing.
In subsequent e-mail conversations, Assange's people clarified that they sought an administration response through The New York Times, and even The New York Times was ignored.
This is the part of the puzzle which could explain why Obama and his supporters have been trying to downplay this leak as unimportant.
If someone in the Obama administration had advance knowledge of this devastating leak and they did nothing to help limit the potentially fatal consequences to our soldiers and many valiant Afghani informants, Obama has every reason to downplay the leak.
Someone in this administration has blood on their hands, and Congress must demand a full disclosure of who knew what and when. It is imperative that this scandal is investigated and not covered up.
Ironically, on the same day these last three heroic servicemen were dying, millions of American women were busy watching Obama on "The View." No time to manage the war, only time for golf, parties, vacations and PR.
As Americans, we are appalled. Please stay home and do your job, Mr. Obama. Your gross incompetence is leading to needless bloodshed.
Floyd and Mary Beth Brown are bestselling authors and speakers. Together they write a national weekly column distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Floyd is also president of the Western Center for Journalism.