Senoir UK Defense Official: US “dithering” on Afghanistan

Posted on November 25, 2009

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USA and the UK During President Obama’s first year in office he has consistently embraced our most hardened ideological adversaries while, at the same time, giving our closest and most important allies the cold shoulder. Pressuring Israel to give endless concessions to its neighbors, abandoning our eastern European allies to the Russians, and even snubbing Prime Minister Brown in a series of blunders during a state visit to the US earlier this year.

Finally, Mr. Obama’s charms are yielding the results we knew they would: an increasingly weak international position. For the first time in nearly ten years of unceasing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the highest official in the defense establishment of our closest allies, the British, is now openly criticizing the United States for months of “dithering” on our decision on whether or not to reinforce our weakening position in Afghanistan – from the Telegraph:

Mr Ainsworth, speaking to MPs at the defence committe in the House of Commons, welcomed that troop ‘surge’ decision, but lamented the time taken to reach it.

He said that the rising British death toll, the corruption of the Afghan government and the delay in Washington all hamper efforts to retain public backing for the deployment.

“We have suffered a lot of losses,” he said. “We have had a period of hiatus while McChrystal’s plan and his requested uplift has been looked at in the detail to which it has been looked at over a period of some months, and we have had the Afghan elections, which have been far from perfect let us say.

“All of those things have mitigated against our ability to show progress… put that on the other side of the scales when we are suffering the kind of losses that we are.”

He went on to point out that while waiting for the decision the UK is suffering increasing casualties abroad, all while public opinion waivers at home.

I do not condemn the President for carefully deliberating on a major policy decision, I do condemn the President for doing so at the expense of our troops’ safety, our allies’ wavering and our international security becoming more precarious. Meanwhile, while the war is in jeopardy and the economy in shambles, we are told the top priority of our government must be… health care reform? Jobs, the deficit and the war are all taking a back seat to something that is now deeply unpopular with the American people.