It's no secret what mainstream pundits think of President Obama's just-unveiled Afghanistan war strategy: the blogosphere is enraged while a contingent of newspaper columnists is receptive but still divided. But what do military writers, many of whom will dedicate their lives to this strategy, think of it? From sour grunts blogging in their spare time to wary veterans to Twittering admirals, it's a varied field.
- McChrystal Loves It Top military commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal supports Obama's strategy fully. "The Afghanistan-Pakistan review led by the President has provided me with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task. The clarity, commitment and resolve outlined in the President's address are critical steps toward bringing security to Afghanistan and eliminating terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global security."
- 'Right Strategy, Wrong Message' Official Military.com blogger Jamie McIntyre sighs, "The strategy he has settled on, even with its limitations and reservations, may be the best of bad options. But the speech fell short of making the case. Bottom line: Right strategy, wrong message." McIntyre, a seasoned military reporter, writes, "this falls short of the soaring rhetoric that galvanized the nation behind the difficult but worth task."
- Vet Group Condemns VetVoice, a liberal veteran's organization and publication, break with Obama. "Veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not ready to support the strategy for the war in Afghanistan," they write. "[T]he strategy left unanswered too many questions regarding strain on the Armed Forces, and didn't address other issues that would help ensure that the entire mission wouldn't be put on the backs of the troops." Chairman John Soltz, an Iraq veteran, said, "We have been supportive of every move the President has made since he was elected, and have supported an increased focus on Afghanistan since our inception, but given the serious questions that are unresolved, we aren't ready to support what he's laid out."
- Obama Copies Bush Jonn Lilyea of surly conservative military blog This Ain't Hell slams Obama. "President Obama’s speech last night was generally a cut and paste job from some early GWB speeches interspersed with apologies to the Left for making the politically expedient decision," he writes. "It all comes down to credibility and since staffing only 75% what the generals requested is a muddled political compromise (which took 94 days, by the way) from where will the magic credibility spring?"
- Not Enough Troops Prominent conservative military blog Blackfive derides Obama's rush to commit troops rapidly. "Deploying troops to a theater of war takes a long lead time. Preparation and training are key. While it is probably true that there were no calls for deployments before 2010, a 3 month delay means 3 months in which the alerted units are shorted vital training time. And now the deployment cycle is going to be speeded up because he's trying to cover his tail? Guess who suffers to make him look better?"
- Twittering Admiral Enthused Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen got a little excited about the strategy, on Twitter. "Fully support the President's strategy for Afghanistan. Ready to EXECUTE."