(Thumbnail image from The Official White House photostream)

 

“Which Afghan strategy will President Obama choose? The one being pushed by his vice president, or the one being favored by his top general?  Now there are suggestions that the president is leaning towards a plan favored by his vice president that calls for the U.S. to potentially scale back its troop numbers in Afghanistan and focus much more attention on Pakistan." (Al Jazeera English)

That is coverage from Al Jazeera English looking at the request from the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.  Last week, General McChrystal asked President Obama for up to 40,000 more troops. Today, President Obama meets with his national security team and members of Congress on the Afghan situation.

We look at responses from various media outlets, including FOX news, CNN, NBC, and ABC.

First, FOX News’ Bret Baier offers a Republican versus Democrat analysis of the "rift" between Vice President Biden and General McChrystal.

“Democrats think that this is overblown; it’s not a much a rift as they say, and they need time to figure out the strategy. Republicans say you put the general on the ground. This is the top special-ops guy, and he’s requesting more than 40,000 troops. How can you turn your back on that assessment?”

CNN offers an answer during their "Blogger Bunch." Gina Cooper says she likes that the president is taking the time to think this decision through.

“The president’s job is to look at the big picture, and that requires giving a lot of thought. It requires taking a lot of things into consideration. How does this fit in with our larger national security goals as well? [… ] I think we need to acknowledge the fact that this is something that is complex. Iraq, I mean, Afghanistan is not Iraq. What may have worked in Iraq does not necessarily work in Afghanistan. He has to listen to the many different points of view that come along with that. Not just one.”

NBC News notes the unique situation in which President Obama finds himself.

“All of this is playing against a very unusual backdrop, Lester, General McChrystal, you just saw in [another] piece, has come forth with a plan that includes the very controversial option of adding 30,000 to 40,000 more troops to the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. That’s an option that the president hasn't even embraced himself and yet, General McChrystal has made a major foreign policy speech in London just this past week, promoting that plan.”

Finally on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, an editor from The Nation criticizes McChrystal’s news conference.  She says that such decisions are not up to the public at large.

“ I think what General McChrystal has done forces us to think very tough, hard way in this country about civilian control of military. And he might go back and read the Constitution, Article Two. The president is the commander in chief. I think we’re at a dangerous moment in the civilian-military relationship.”

So what do you think? Should troop movements and surges be discussed behind closed doors, and is the president doing the right thing by taking the time to consider all his options?

Obama to Choose Afghanistan Path

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Oct 6, 2009

Obama to Choose Afghanistan Path

(Thumbnail image from The Official White House photostream)

 

“Which Afghan strategy will President Obama choose? The one being pushed by his vice president, or the one being favored by his top general?  Now there are suggestions that the president is leaning towards a plan favored by his vice president that calls for the U.S. to potentially scale back its troop numbers in Afghanistan and focus much more attention on Pakistan." (Al Jazeera English)

That is coverage from Al Jazeera English looking at the request from the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.  Last week, General McChrystal asked President Obama for up to 40,000 more troops. Today, President Obama meets with his national security team and members of Congress on the Afghan situation.

We look at responses from various media outlets, including FOX news, CNN, NBC, and ABC.

First, FOX News’ Bret Baier offers a Republican versus Democrat analysis of the "rift" between Vice President Biden and General McChrystal.

“Democrats think that this is overblown; it’s not a much a rift as they say, and they need time to figure out the strategy. Republicans say you put the general on the ground. This is the top special-ops guy, and he’s requesting more than 40,000 troops. How can you turn your back on that assessment?”

CNN offers an answer during their "Blogger Bunch." Gina Cooper says she likes that the president is taking the time to think this decision through.

“The president’s job is to look at the big picture, and that requires giving a lot of thought. It requires taking a lot of things into consideration. How does this fit in with our larger national security goals as well? [… ] I think we need to acknowledge the fact that this is something that is complex. Iraq, I mean, Afghanistan is not Iraq. What may have worked in Iraq does not necessarily work in Afghanistan. He has to listen to the many different points of view that come along with that. Not just one.”

NBC News notes the unique situation in which President Obama finds himself.

“All of this is playing against a very unusual backdrop, Lester, General McChrystal, you just saw in [another] piece, has come forth with a plan that includes the very controversial option of adding 30,000 to 40,000 more troops to the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. That’s an option that the president hasn't even embraced himself and yet, General McChrystal has made a major foreign policy speech in London just this past week, promoting that plan.”

Finally on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, an editor from The Nation criticizes McChrystal’s news conference.  She says that such decisions are not up to the public at large.

“ I think what General McChrystal has done forces us to think very tough, hard way in this country about civilian control of military. And he might go back and read the Constitution, Article Two. The president is the commander in chief. I think we’re at a dangerous moment in the civilian-military relationship.”

So what do you think? Should troop movements and surges be discussed behind closed doors, and is the president doing the right thing by taking the time to consider all his options?

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