I thought this piece on the Afghanistan decision-making was truly excellent:
We have known for a while that the administration’s Afghanistan deliberations were taking too long. Now we know why, and the explanation is not pretty.
First, it was a month until Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s commander in the Afghan theater and author of the plan being considered by the administration, was brought into the discussions. McChrystal presented his plan in August and the White House began its deliberations during the second week of September. Yet, McChrystal was not consulted until Oct. 8.
Second, when the White House war planners finally talked to McChrystal, they discovered he was not on the same page as the administration. McChrystal said his plan was designed to “defeat the Taliban and secure the population.” But key members of the White House team insisted that the mission should be to “degrade,” not defeat the Taliban.
McChrystal responded that defeating the Taliban was the mission he had been given in March. Obama agreed, but decided that the mission should be redefined, and the general’s plan adjusted accordingly.
In short, the decision on a plan of action was delayed because the White House waited a month before bringing McChrystal into the loop and, when the general finally was consulted, the White House decided it did not like the mission it had given him.
There’s a word for this — incompetence.
Speaking of flawed decision-making, however, Mr. Mirengoff ignores the assumptions of the Bush administration, namely, that the tribal and primitive Afghan people would respond positively to a decade-long American presence and an alien form of government. Obama and Bush both ignore the civilizational differences of the West and the Muslim world, as well as ignoring the ways Islam itself sustains the hopes and hates of our Islamic terrorist enemies.