cart, meet horseRecognizing the apparently overblown nature of the the recent stories about Generals Petraeus and Odierno meetin' Obama in the street with their shootin' irons, I still keep seeing stories that make me wonder if we all remember how this show is supposed to be scripted. Here's the beginning of a new story from Politico:
President Barack Obama is refusing to be rushed into his first decision to send troops into combat, an early sign he may be more independent-minded than U.S. military leaders expected.The president of the United States is independent-minded because he's not instantly giving military leaders the things they tell him they want. Why, I tell ya, Clevis, it's almost like that dang-fool president thinks he's the boss o' them military folks!
The new president's methodical decision-making offers an early insight into how the new commander in chief will approach the war in Afghanistan and has surprised some Pentagon officials, who had predicted repeatedly in the past two weeks that Obama would decide within days on additional forces, only to find the White House taking more time.
Rather than sign off quickly on all or part of a long-standing Pentagon request for three Army combat brigades and Marine units, totaling over 10,000 troops, Obama and his aides are questioning the timetable, the mission and even the composition of the new forces, officials familiar with the deliberations said.
The timetable and the mission are political decisions, and don't belong in the hands of generals. (The composition of forces, yeah.) This is ordinary behavior in a functioning government, and it's being greeted with man-bites-dog stories about how the president is "questioning the mission." We can argue over the scope and dimensions of the insanity, but it seems clear enough that we've wandered off into crazyland.