- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Though President Obama has spent nearly nine months in office, Gary Jarmin blames President Bush for Mr. Obama’s problems in Afghanistan, supposedly for investing resources and lives in Iraq, which Mr. Jarmin describes as “a great unnecessary distraction” in the war on terror (“Bush was the fiddler,” Letters, Friday). While a decision by the Obama administration over whether to dispatch 40,000 additional troops has been placed on hold, it is all right, according to Mr. Jarmin, for Mr. Obama to ponder, at his leisure, what to do in Afghanistan.

The relationship between Mr. Obama and Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who commands 68,000 U.S. and 100,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, has been strained since Gen. McChrystal requested more troops on the ground and rejected a switch to Special Forces and drone-missile strike tactics. No war has ever been won by missile strikes and commandos alone, without boots on the ground to protect the population. When it comes to supporting our Marines and soldiers in combat, there has been delay and hesitancy by the administration, as troop morale continues to sink. The Taliban are on the verge of proclaiming victory now that an American withdrawal is in sight.

DOMINIK NARGELE

Arlington

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