Shorter Ron Fournier

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 23, 2011

“The White House subsumed defense and national security concerns to focus on re-election when it came to deciding to draw down troop levels in Afghanistan.”

I’ll just add that there is nothing to indicate that Fournier’s analysis is in any way wrong. Robert Kagan is worth reading as well:

The press is reporting that the top military leaders have “endorsed” President Obama’s Afghan troop withdrawal decision. With all due respect to the fine reporters, that is not the news. Under our Constitution, military leaders have no choice but to endorse the president’s decision after giving him their best advice. They could resign, of course, but to have the entire senior military leadership resign over a president’s decision contrary to their advice would be a disaster, and not least for the troops on the ground.

Make no mistake, however. The entire military leadership believes the president’s decision is a mistake, and especially the decision to withdraw the remainder of the surge forces by September 2012. They will soldier on and do their best, but as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, put it, in characteristic understatement, they believe the decision will increase the risk to the troops and increase the chancethat the mission will not succeed. It bears repeating that the deadline imposed by the president has nothing to do with military or strategic calculation. It has everything to do with an electoral calculation. President Obama wants those troops out two months before Americans go to the voting booth.

Frankly, this style of decision-making ought to frighten people.

UPDATE: More from Kori Schake, whose analysis devastates the White House’s position.

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