I must say from the outset that I am on the side of those strategists who believe the best course in Afghanistan is to move to counter-terrorism … and not escalate in Afghanistan. But I bristled when I heard WHCOS Rahm Emanuel tell John King on CNN that questions on strategy had never been asked.
Last night former Vice President Dick Cheney set out to set the record straight. He makes the claim here that not only were the questions asked, but an entire strategy for dealing with a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan had been laid out and given to the Obama administration from the moment President Obama took office, a policy the Obama administration adopted virtually word for word.
But don’t take Cheney’s word for it. Three weeks ago on my radio show, Center for National Policy Vice President Scott Bates made the exact same statement … that the Obama administration reached out to the Bush administration not in January, but in November of last year for its assessment and its strategy for Afghanistan … a strategy that Bates told us, was adopted by the Obama administration because there was so little time and things there were deteriorating so rapidly. Listen for yourself, from September 29, 2009 from Sound Off.
Understand, Scott had no idea this would be the center of controversy. He has advised both Democratic and Republican administrations and makes frequent trips to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been assisting Iraq in its elections, helping them set up and structure their government and has been called on to do the same in Afghanistan. He did this in the Balkans, Iraq, before their first election, and most recently in Afghanistan. He is a neutral.
As he says, he believes the best strategy is one that may now be called “The Biden Strategy”, that nation building would be a mistake. But facts are facts. The Bush administration fully analyzed the situation for the Obama administration, and was adopted in March of this year. We all can debate strategy. Just not the facts.
The Cheney speech is a good one and should be seen in it’s entirety. Powerline has it all. It is so worth the entire watch … plus the Powerline take on the speech.