He gave 80% of troop request.
Why and 18 month timeline? Doesn't that perfectly match his relection campaign timeline. His politcis is more important than national security.
He is basically doing a surge in Afghstan, eventhough he did not support the surge in Iraq and said it didn't work.
Plus he adds a time table for withdrawl giving a "Yes we can't" sign. Playing poker with his cards facing up.
Sounded isolationist and put a dollar budget to our national security.
I sensed no urgency or motivation. It was more aspirational than inspirational. More political than strategic.
How do our troops receive this message to the troops? I heard no mention of victory or success. The West Point cadets were falling asleep. The deployed soliders will be disheartened.
How is the speech received to our enemies? What would Bin Laden want? We may have all the watches but they have all the time.
Who is more motivated to fight now? Our brave warriors or those savage terrorists?
Only part of his speech I did agree with were in the first 5 minutes:
To address these issues, it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.
As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda -- a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world's great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al Qaeda's base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban -- a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.
Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them -- an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to 0. The vote in the House was 420 to 1. For the first time in its history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked Article 5 -- the commitment that says an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. And the United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda's terrorist network, and to protect our common security.
To read the whole transcript go to: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/01/obama.afghanistan.speech.transcript/index.html
What about the Nobel Peace Prize? Is this want a recipient would do?