On Saturday, the United States suffered its highest human lost since the Afghanistan conflict began. At least 38 elite, brave American warriors died in combat. Flasback to May 23 of this year. That’s when Barack Obama made the surprise announcement that he would begin accelerated troop withdrawals in July. That timetable meant beginning the withdrawal during the summer fighting season.
Current and former military experts advised the president against this reckless move. People who understand war knew that the President would place lives unnecessarily at risk for his own political gain.
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, testified to the House Armed Services Committee:
The president's decisions are more aggressive and incur more risk than I was originally prepared to accept.
General David Petraeus, the NATO commander in Afghanistan, testified to the US Senate:
The ultimate decision was a more aggressive formulation, if you will, in terms of the timeline than what we had recommended.
(source: The Telegraph)
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called the President’s decision “an unnecessary risk” and asked him to reconsider (The Daily Beast).
Then Defense Secretary Robert Gates justified the decision, saying it was based on the political situation in the United States, not the military realities on the ground in the theatre.
In the end. Mullen and Gates admitted that the decision was the President’s and the President’s alone. That should make it very difficult for Obama to pass the buck on this one. Still, you know he’ll try.
Eternal rest grant unto them o Lord, and let the perpetual light shine on them. May their souls and those of all the faithful departed, through Your mercy, rest in peace.