Michael Steele and Obama’s War in Afghanistan


Michael Steele is the Committee Chairman of the Republican Party and likely will remain in the position until after the November elections because it would be detrimental to his Party’s chances in November if he were to be pushed out… [Note: this post is not an attempt at being an apologist for Mr. Steele]… 

A gaffe attributed to him was supposedly that the war in Afghanistan was Obama’s War and that it could not be won, or something to that effect…  (Ann Coulter wrote a column about the issue, and others, including nicedeb, have commented on the matter  — both links found on this page.).

The distinction the Chairman possibly was trying to make was that prior to Obama’s election, with relatively minimal American forces, the goal of the U.S.A. in Afghanistan apparently was simply (if it can be called simply) the following:

1. topple the Taliban from power — done.

2.  install a new government — done.

3.  secure the area in Kabul, without diluting the allied forces by trying to clear and control larger geographical areas — a work in progress.

4. continue to seek and destroy the Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership elements, and coordinate efforts with Pakistan — done, but a continuing work in progress. 

5.  train Afghan military and police forces to bring safety and security to Kabul, and gradually have Afghan forces expand further and further out, in concentric circles of control around Kabul and the countryside, gradually increasing the central   government’s influence — a work in progress.    image\CONCENT.gif

6.  work with the Afghanis to eradicate the drug agriculture — a work in progress…..

But, when President Obama was elected, he supposedly chose to make it a larger war, costing more “blood and treasure” and making it a war of nation building, with America’s  armed forces and citizenry shouldering most of the pain and hardship –meanwhile, in patchwork fashion, he inserted additional handicaps, for example, saying the new expanded mission was to be completed on a shortened timetable, with fewer troops than requested… 

That was the argument Michael Steele seemingly was trying to make

Because one or more in the Republican audience where Mr. Steele spoke do not seem to support him, a tape of his presentation became disseminated and a bit distorted and so the Republican Party is where it is, though there is some validity to his supposed argument… 

Regardless, at his stage, if he is removed or forced to resign, the attacks from the opposition will be that he was removed because he is Black, and that would not be beneficial to the Republican Party…

[Will be on flying out for an extended weekend trip but will be checking in.]

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4 Responses

  1. I don’t know all the facts about what the person in charge of the Republican party said but I think if the result of the war is not a good one it is Obama who messed it up.

  2. He certainly has been a lightening rod for those in his party, as well as in the opposition… Seems that McCain “suggested” that he think really deeply about whether he ought to step down, but Steele responded that he is staying…

  3. Nice summary of the initial goals in Afghanistan. As it has been said (Churchill, I believe), the best designed plans in war seldom survive even the first battle.

    Mr. Steele, even though he has been a target for the opposition, has not proved an adequate spokesperson for the Republican Party. They would do well to consider replacing him.

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