Monday, February 9, 2009

Are Obama's Own Generals Plotting to Undermine His Exit Strategy for Iraq?

Are Obama's Own Generals Plotting to Undermine His Exit Strategy for Iraq?

Special Report: Are Obama's Own Generals Plotting to Undermine His Exit Strategy for Iraq?
Posted on February 09, 2009 by gm

A network of senior military officers appears to be engaged in an effort to mobilize public opinion against Obama's decision to leave Iraq.

By Gareth Porter

CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus, supported by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months at an Oval Office meeting Jan. 21.

But Obama informed Gates, Petraeus, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen that he wasn't convinced and that he wanted Gates and the military leaders to come back quickly with a detailed 16-month plan, according to two sources who have talked with participants in the meeting.

Obama's decision to override Petraeus' recommendation has not ended the conflict between the president and senior military officers over troop withdrawal, however. There are indications that Petraeus and his allies in the military and the Pentagon, including Gen. Ray Odierno, now the top commander in Iraq, have already begun to try to pressure Obama to change his withdrawal policy.

A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilizing public opinion against Obama's decision.

Petraeus was visibly unhappy when he left the Oval Office, according to one of the sources. A White House staffer present at the meeting was quoted by the source as saying, "Petraeus made the mistake of thinking he was still dealing with George Bush instead of with Barack Obama."

Petraeus, Gates, and Odierno had hoped to sell Obama on a plan that they formulated in the final months of the Bush administration that aimed at getting around a key provision of the U.S.-Iraqi withdrawal agreement signed envisioned re-categorizing large numbers of combat troops as support troops. That subterfuge was by the United States last November while ostensibly allowing Obama to deliver on his campaign promise.


I agree a lot with the premise of this article, and I personally as a disabled Army Infantry veteran, am ashamed at the level of back channels and duplicity these "officers and gentleman" have used to avoid the Chain of Command in bypassing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Cheifs of Staff of the Army, Navy, the Commandant of the Marine Corp etc. Jack Keane is a civilian he retired he has no place in the chain of command any longer and he should be stopped from being a "private runner
between either General Petraesu and or General Odierno to the White House, given that Bush and Cheney are gone I doubt that his influence in the White House is now gone.

I fully believe in "civilian control" of the military, there are no place for "prima donna" Generals or Admirals, they either do the mission assigned to them by the President of the United States, or they retire, or else they can be court martialed for refusing to follow orders, it is that simple. General MacArthur is the most recent example of a President "firing" a famous General, no one military person is so im[portant that they can NOT be replaced. The military system is full of Colonels and Generals that are capable of being promoted and stepping up. We have the best training colleges for men and women of this rank anywhere in the world, Command and Staff, The War College etc, many Generals have died in service and have had to be replaced immediately, we have a deep bench and the President should not be having to look over his shoulder on if the military is going to carry our his orders, if that is a problem, then the offenders need to be gone, either in jail or retired. I hope it does not come to that, but it is time for Jack Keane to find other hobbies.

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