Another President Obama About Face

President Barack Obama first said he would stop tribunals at Gitmo, and then changed his mind. Then he said he would close Gitmo, which one is still in the air. Then he said he would draw down troops from Iraq, but sent more to Afghanistan. Today General George Casey, the Army chief of staff said we could have fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade. This would be a part of a sustained USA commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East. This of course is in direct conflict with President Obama plan to bring combat forces home from Iraq in 2010, and the United States and Iraq have agreed that all U.S. forces would leave by 2012. The United States has close to 139,000 troops in Iraq and 52,000 in Afghanistan. President Obama has agreed to send about 21,000 combat forces and trainers to Afghanistan this year to make the expected level of about 68,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of this year. Casey is plan envisions ten combat brigades plus command and support forces committed to the two wars. He stressed that the USA must be ready to take on sustained fights in the Middle East while meeting its other commitments. Casey said the Army has moved from 15-month battlefield deployments to 12 months. His goal is to move rotations by 2011 to one year in the battlefield and two years out for regular Army troops and one year in the battlefield and three years out for reserves. The Army today has a total strength of 1.1 million and a budget of $220 billion. Cannot wait to see who is right about this one.

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