And the Goal is?

By: Patti Bankson

President Obama has revealed the result of his extensive musing on his Afghanistan problem… the “right” war, he calls it. Using a backdrop of uniformed West Point cadets was a winner, wasn’t it? Made me wonder, though, where’s the criticism here regarding clever photo-ops like this one… you know, the criticism that G.W. got whenever he… oh, well. Obviously, there’s a difference here that I don’t get.

Another yawner. Actually, his speeches reveal what little passion he has. Starting with the obvious, there’s at least a measure of passion in his marriage; there’re a couple of living proof children. He’s made verrrry passionate campaign speeches, before and since his election, so he’s passionate about winning, whether the presidency or the approval of a crowd. Otherwise, there’s “no fire in the belly””… in fact, there’s no fire anywhere. Now, I think “laid back” is good. “Congenial” is good. Playing nicely in the sand-box is good. But, not necessarily the most important qualities needed in a president. Especially when one, like it or not, must step up to the plate as Commander-in-Chief.

Political opposition to this war shouldn’t matter. Fact is… we’re there. Well, not us…. but, our oh-so-young, men and women doing what they’re asked to do while lacking the backup and tools they need. There’s no sure way to know the answer to this question, but if I had a loved one fighting in Afghanistan right now, I’d be asking, “Will he or she come home with all the body parts he/she left home with? Will he or she even come home at all?” If there’s a “No” in there anywhere, the next question I’d want answered is: “Could the outcome have been different if the request for the troop increase had been handled differently… sooner?”

It’s reported that General McChrystal laid out 3 increase request “options”: from the least, 10,000 (non-combat) troops up to a possible 80,000. In between was 40,000, the minimum the General believes is needed for a chance for success in Afghanistan. The President is sending 30,000… 10,000 fewer than what’s believed could give us a chance at success. Why?

Some say this is Obama’s Viet Nam. Possibly, with some differences… this is desolate, mountainous and arid; that was lush jungle and humid… and with some likenesses… Like sending our troops to fight with their hands tied behind their backs… to get injured and killed fighting a war politicians never meant to win in the first place!

That aside, if possible, I repeat, support the war or not, we’re there! More of our sons, daughters, husbands and wives will be maimed forever and/or dead forever, unless they get the help they need, and deserve, to survive…in tact. So…let’s ensure Afghanistan doesn’t become Viet Nam II. Here’s how: (1) Tell the politicians to butt out. That was one of the Viet Nam problems: clueless politicians orchestrating war from their DC offices with political motives. (2) Let the Generals and their Warriors run the war. Let them have a GOAL, a reason for going on, for being there – something else that was missing in Nam.. (3) Make the GOAL a big one, something the Warriors can feel good about when it’s all said and done…something they’re chomping at the bit to do, and being held back from doing…. fighting to WIN.

Comments welcome at or

© 2009 Patti Bankson

About The Author Patti Bankson:
Send comments to © 2011 Patti Bankson The Way I See It / The Apopka Chief /

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.