December 1st, 2009
08:55 PM ET
10 months ago

Bash: Alexander is on message

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said he supports the mission change, but he has concerns about the exit strategy.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said he supports the mission change, but he has concerns about the exit strategy.

(CNN) – Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said he supports the mission change, but he has concerns about the exit strategy.

"My major concern is that the administration is more focused on an exit strategy than a success strategy," Alexander said. "An exit strategy should come only after we've achieved success."


Filed under: Afghanistan • Lamar Alexander
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Saul- Virginia Independent

    Somebody please tell McCain that he is not a general and having serve in the military does not make him a war expert. The president have a lot of decorated generals around him that help formulate this strategy.

    December 1, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  2. We Shall Overcome

    The same Cheney exit strategy that has kept us in this war for almost a decade

    December 1, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. Peter Carmon

    Everyone has an opinion on what the President just outlined in his speech. If the way he is going about it is so wrong what is the right way. It seems as though everyone is saying his strategy is wrong no one is offering anything different. Everyone is just quick to criticize but not offer any other solutions. My question is to all of the so called experts Military, Political, Socioeconomical, WHAT THE IS RIGHT WAY TO GO ABOUT. If you have no solitions, finger pointing and criticism is nothing but how air you are getting paid for.

    December 1, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. D.

    When a community organizer/ state senator needs to think about war and decide on strategy, with all help and advisors, he is not going to manage war the way it should be managed.
    In times of peace, a social worker/ community organizer and/or a sociologist mentality can serve a president well. In times of harsh conflict and complex new type of wars, America needs an a-political person who does not care about campaigning but about national security, and someone who has strong understanding of the world affairs and international policy as well as strategy... Alas,.... we do not have such leaders in the current administration; nice speeches will not carry the water!

    December 1, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. Robert

    "An exit strategy should come only after we've achieved success."

    Absolute nonsense..

    This is the latest talking point of the Republicans in trying to undermine a brilliant president...

    As the president said, our commitment is not open-ended. We are not there forever. Stating a general time-frame of how much longer we will be willing to stay over there will get the Afghans off their toots and into shape to run their own country.

    Making the statement that our commitment is not open ended while declaring a timeframe of when we intend to begin withdrawing is absolutely brilliant strategy.

    Had Bush and Darth done the same thing we'd likely be out of the mess by now.

    December 1, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. Independent Lilarose, Bandon, Oregon

    For all the naysayers over Obama's plan, stop blabbing on and on and on and give us some of your own ideas!

    What would YOU do? And when would YOU do it?

    Come on, let's get some ideas.

    While you are all blabbing, our country is going down the tube.

    Already we are three down economically (China, India, US)

    December 1, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    He is so very correct.

    December 1, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Your major concern is focus on an exit strategy? If the shrub/darth vader dictatorship had really wanted success in Afghanistan we would have NEVER gone into Iraq and we would probably have been out of Afghanistan right now.
    President Obama continues to clean up after yet another bush mess! I am glad to have a president who thinks before he shoots (that goes for dead and alive bush and shot in the face darth vader).

    December 1, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. New Yorker

    It's true. Why signal to the enemy that you don't have the resolve to follow through? Tell the Afghan leaders what they need to hear but, good grief, don't focus on the exit plan till the job is done

    Nice to hear Obama give credit to Bush by acknowledging Bush got the job done in Iraq. Chances are he would have made much greater progress in Afghanistan, by now, if he were still president. He wouldn't have needed 10plus months to figure out more troops are needed and he would have had the troops to send now that Iraq is winding down. Ah, if only we had someone in the WH that isn't too worried about offending the liberal left.

    December 1, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. vic nashville , Tn

    "My major concern is that the administration is more focused on an exit strategy than a success strategy," Alexander said. "An exit strategy should come only after we've achieved success."
    I live in Nashville ,Tn really Sen. Lamar Alexander doesn’t how hard is Afghan war

    December 1, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. catmom

    How interesting that Republicans are so eager to continue the war, no mention on how to pay for it and they really don't care. BUT they want to complain because the President has an exit strategy??? I don't understand , where do they plan to get the money to pay for their ongoing war?

    December 1, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  12. Nevada dude

    Alexander is full of beans. Having an exit strategy is straight out of the Powell Doctrine. I wish repubs would just get over this undermining of the President just because he is a Democrat.

    Obama has outlined a strategy in afghanistan, which is much more than can be said about Bush. now lets stop all this hemming and hawing and get the job done so our boys can come home!

    December 1, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  13. Tom

    That's because Lamar doesn't want an exit, ever. War to infinity is the Republican way. I sure am thankful I don't live in a swamp within Lamar's district.

    December 1, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  14. Marie Laveaux

    Alexander is wrong...Karzai needs to know what's at stake if he fails to deliver on his part.

    December 1, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    We are always concerned with republicans thinking things through, as they usually over simplify.

    December 1, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  16. jack rittwage

    I just have seen CNN interview their own reporters after the president's speech on his war plans. Where are the generals who I am sure are better able to comment on his speech?

    December 1, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  17. concerns about the exit strategy

    listen dummy

    how long are you going to kill American boys over there in some kind of endless war

    define what success is, go after if completely, recognize when you have met your definition of success, do not allow missioin creep

    and get the boys the hell home

    December 1, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. Bob

    I think Dana Bash is "on message"........straight from the RNC........She ought to join her hero Beck at FOX.......

    December 1, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  19. g ontario

    put the afgans on notice shape up or where shipping out is a smart move

    December 1, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  20. aa

    This guys are crazy they want to stay there for 30 years

    December 1, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  21. PAUL W.

    Without an exit strategy the Afghan government will come to rely upon our carrying the heavy load. Get the job done in time and get the hell out. This isn't gonna be a GOP-style war where Dick Chaney's company and Blackwater, and every other campaign contributor gets a couple of billion just for sending a box of fruit to the troops.

    December 1, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. Florence

    Predictable Repugs will all have a message that can be xeroxed.

    Obama was on target – an exist strategy is needed to force Karzai to step up to the plate and stop the Afghans from hating the troop presence. CNN has a slew of panalists critical of the speech but where were all these folks when Bush was selling US out in Iraq. I don't trust any of these jokers. Obama is right if McChrystal can't get the job done in 2 years we need to move on. fterall, it's been 8 years since we tried to deal with this problem. No more soldiers dying on the battlefield. War is never the answer but Bush left a mess with very little options.

    December 1, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  23. Reagan was wrong

    Well duh of course. Republicans know about exit strategies as much as I know about brain surgery.

    December 1, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  24. Lee in TN

    Lamar Alexander is an embarrassment to the state of TN! He is always a follower and never a leader. During his run for the Senate, he was asked time and again about his position on issues and his response was always, "whatever President Bush's position is."
    Now that Vice President Cheney is gone and no longer forming positions for the President's office, Lamar is bouncing between all sorts of positions being thrown around by Boehner, McConnell, McCain, and even wannabe's like Palin, Gingrich and Corker. All with an agenda of "politics over people."

    December 1, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  25. Terry from West Texas

    "An exit strategy should come only after we've achieved success." says the mealy-mouthed Conservative from Tennessee. And how does one know when success has been achieved? Alexander, of course, being a Conservative, has not given it any thought at all. The important thing is to criticize Obama. Some other Conservative will criticize him for failing to define an exit strategy and focusing entirely on the strategy. They are like a pack of hyenas. One bites your tail while the other bites your foot.

    December 1, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
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