December 1st, 2009
12:38 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama's Afghanistan plan wins conservative praise

 US Marines search for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Helmand Province in Afghanistan
US Marines search for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Helmand Province in Afghanistan

Washington (CNN) - It's not often the Republican National Committee holds a conference call with reporters during which President Barack Obama is largely praised.

But amid news the president has decided to beef up U.S. forces in Afghanistan by at least 30,000 within the next six months, the RNC deployed conservative foreign policy expert Dan Senor to offer accolades of the plan.

"I have been critical of the process over the last 90-some days through which the president has arrived at his decision, but it sounds to me, based on what we know, that it is a very good decision and I applaud him," said Senor, an adjunct senior fellow at the non partisan Council on Foreign Relations and a former advisor to the U.S. led coalition in Iraq.

"If you would have said to me that a year into this president's administration he would have doubled our troop presence in Afghanistan…plus not reduce our troops meaningfully in Iraq, and fire Gen. [David] McKiernan and replace him with Gen. [Stanley] McChrystal…I would have had a hard time believing it, I'm pleasantly surprised," Senor added.

Senor did say critical questions still need to be answered, including the role of NATO-led forces and the timeline of troop deployment, but he ultimately concluded, "I'm encouraged."

Of course, encouragement from Republicans and conservative foreign policy experts might not be what the president needs as he tries to convince members of his own party to support the plan, many of whom are wary of a further commitment.

A string of powerful Democrats have recently expressed doubts about a troop buildup, including Sen. Carl Levin, the chairmen of the Armed Services Committee, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


Filed under: Afghanistan • President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Why wouldn't the party of war be ecstatic over the thought of more of our troops being put in harm's way? That has been their M.O. since 2002.

    December 1, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  2. TiredofDem

    Maybe Obama will have to give back his Nobel prize because of this increase in troops. Oh wait, he already pawned it off for chump change.

    December 1, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. G NO P

    Praise?
    I want to see the moron teabaggers out there protesting the taxes that it is going to cost all of us to continue to support this war. Conservatives are complete hypocrites.

    December 1, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. montag24

    Just the fact that the neo-cons support thismove should tell Obama he's making a big mistake.

    December 1, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Why not, they get their natural gas pipeline built. Everybody wins. Except for all the dead people piling up. Have a nice day!

    December 1, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Michele

    It figures. They support sending more young kids over there to kill and be killed, while they cannot find it in their consciences to support funding for education, or, heaven forbid, health care for the American people, let alone funds for the wounded and mentally ill troops if they return home. They can go live under bridges and it's fine with conservatives. Republicans, the self-called religious conservatives, are a bunch of idiots. Let's save every pregnancy, but once born, you are on your own!

    December 1, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. RealityKing

    Only progressive selfishness could cause one to turn a blind eye and run from the truely oppressed people of this world..

    December 1, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. lila

    Well, if the Republican National Committee are giving Obama praise then that's a red flag. Republican's have been pretty much wrong on everything over the last 10 years. What I figure is that Obama has 1 one year in Afghanistan before the nation turns against the war full swing. Regardless of Cheney's doom cries. Cheney tuned into a monster while he was fighting monsters. I don't think Obama will do the same. That said... 1 more year.. and he needs to get bin Laden in that time. If he does that then he will earn much respect... if he fails at it and allows a deadly costly war to drag on... and on.. it will take down his legacy beyond repair.

    December 1, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Jefe

    It would seem to me the only reason Republicans would be against an escalation is if they believe it will result in the end of our dumping our blood and treasure on Afghanistan's soil coming sooner. Republicans want the wealth of America drained into weapons manufacturers and Halliburton-type "nation builders". To see what we, as Americans, have worked so hard for kept in the hands of Americans makes their stomachs turn. Yes, they do wish for more casualties (because they belong to an Anti-Christian death cult, while claiming to be Christians), but if it was truly going to end the war sooner, they would be against it. Peace makes Republicans sick, and a lack of a foreign war to waste ourselves on is something, in their eyes, that only a Democrat would want to see.

    December 1, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    We asked George Bush to spend $1 Trillion on credit for, we are now asking Obama to charge another $100 billion a year on credit (hopefully the Chinese will loan us the money). Health care will be a bargain by comparison, but why are we paying as we go on health care and not just charging that too?

    We want the government to spend more money as long as they don't ask us to pay for anything.

    It is the American people, not the government, that is the problem. Let's admit it.

    December 1, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Tim

    How many times tonight will he explicitly or implicitly blame the current situation on Bush? He's had well over a year to develop a strategy for Afghanistan, and he made a point of saying how important it was during his campaign.

    So one of the most important things on his own personal agenda takes him over a year to review?

    That is pretty much the definition of dithering.

    December 1, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Tim

    Obama's plan is to send an additional 30,000 troops into Afghanistan in the next six month, so that we are up to speed by June 2010. His goal is to be out of Afghanistan by July 2011. Since we will have to pull out about 150,000 troops plus all the equipment, and it takes much longer to pull out than it does to send them in, we have well under 6 months to conclude the fight.

    Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?

    I prefer Cherry, what's your favorite flavor?

    December 1, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Tim

    Independent Lilarose, Bandon, Oregon

    If the media is going to get advance notice of what the speech will entail, why bother to watch Obama give the speech??

    Why bother in any case?

    December 1, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Unwelcome praise indeed...GOP support is shallow. Guess who will be the first to throw stones if the Afghanistan war goes poorly.

    December 1, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Allen

    Three years, huh.......Obama doesn't have the stomach to win in three years. The only way the Taliban will quit in three years is if we burn their villages, kill their wives, burn their children and kill them without mercy.

    War is hell, Mr. Obama...just ask Harry Truman..the last American President to win a war...Wars are won by killing your enemies wives and daughters...

    December 1, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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