Saturday, October 24, 2009

President Obama considering channeling Hitler.

Before you scream that I'm calling President Obama a Nazi, shut up. I'm not. I'm about to explain the title, and if you'll calm down long enough to read it, you'll see what it's about.

The situation in Afghanistan is complicated. The Military experts want one course of action, the politicians want another, and the left wants a third. The problem here is that President Obama is a politician more than a leader. He's a manager, and those folks tend to govern by consensus.

Now let me explain why I said what I did in the title if you don't mind. It has to do with the defense of the "Atlantic Wall" by Germany.

Now, in 1944 Rommel wanted the tanks right down on the beaches, especially Normandy, to repel the attack. He believed that leaving the tanks further inland was suicide because they would be targets of Allied Air Power. They would be destroyed before they could be brought into action at the hands of Allied pilots.

Von Rundstedt on the other hand believed it was paramount to keep the tanks back, where their mobility would be a factor. Besides he argued, putting them on the beach left them open to Allied naval firepower, and they would be destroyed before the Allies came ashore.

In a way, they were both right. It was madness to put the tanks on the beach, they didn't have the mobility they needed to survive combat for more than a few minutes. However, the Nazi's had already learned that they could only move their tanks at night, or they would be destroyed by raiding P-51 aircraft. However, at least with the tanks inland, you had the option of using them to block a break out of the beach head by the Allies. On the beach, they were easy targets of Naval Gunfire.

Hitler made a political decision, giving some tanks to the shore defense, and holding others in reserve under his personal command. Thus the famous sleeping pill incident, where Hitler couldn't be woken to allow those troops to move, giving the Allies a precious few hours to get a toe hold on the Continent.

He split his forces, and that was a blunder of epic proportions. He took the political plan, instead of the militarily smart plan. Rommel was a great field commander, but not on defense. He was a great maneuver General, not a defensive General.

Now, to tie this in with President Obama. The Military wants more troops, the Politicians led by Vice-President Biden want less on a strictly Counter-Terrorism plan.

He's thinking of doing both, increasing the troops, but limiting them to a counter terrorism battle plan. This is madness. It sacrifices soldiers to the image that the President isn't weak on National Defense, while being weak on National Defense.

The White House is trying to craft a plan that is acceptable to all of the different groups. He's trying to show he's reducing activity to the Left wing nutroots on the DailyKos, while he's showing he's tough on National Defense by increasing the troops there. In trying to satisfy all, he'll satisfy none, and the people who pay the price will be the troops left in Afghanistan. They'll be increasingly targeted, as the Islamic Extremists and Terrorists sense weakness in the Americans, and know that victory is near at hand.

In a way, this is how Viet-Nam dwindled to a close, with tens of thousands of troops dying while the Politicians dithered around trying to save face and declare victory. You can't have victory fighting a defensive war. I don't care how good the defensive line is on your football team, if you can't score a touchdown either because your offense sucks, then you'll still lose.

So Mr. President, while you're working towards a political plan, please make a decision first. Do you want to win? If you do, then political half measures are a sure way to lose.

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