Emerging GOP Line: Don’t ‘Rumsfeld’ Afghanistan

Monday, August 10, 2009 at 11:55 am

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) went on “Face The Nation” and balked at the idea of more troops for Afghanistan, following the lead of Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). His colleague on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), had a memorable rejoinder:

Graham, who also serves on the Armed Services Committee, said, “My message to my Democratic colleagues is: We made mistakes in Iraq, let’s not Rumsfeld Afghanistan.”

“Let’s not do this thing on the cheap,” he said.

By “Rumsfeld[ing],” Graham explained that he meant in Iraq there were not enough American troops on the ground to control the population. “Don’t resist the fact that we are going to need more [troops].”

Already the seeds of that message have been sown. Fred and Kim Kagan, two advisers for Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s 60-day strategy review, wrote a piece for the Weekly Standard hinging off beleaguered Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell’s attempts last week to tamp down reporter speculation about the review and turning it into an alarmed observation about the potentially Rumsfeldian approach to the war taken by Obama.

The Kagans and Graham all have the bona fides of true Rumsfeld critics after the Iraq war debate of 2006. (Though Graham didn’t suggest a new Iraq strategy as much as he urged an infusion of new troops. But whatever.) Will the rest of the GOP want to make the critique that the trouble with Obama in Afghanistan is that he’s acting too much like the Bush administration? It’s not such a bad line of attack, particularly if McChrystal issues a request for new troops that Obama ultimately rejects.

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Comment posted August 10, 2009 @ 6:22 pm


Comment posted August 10, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Keep in mind. IF it stink it from the back side of the GOP's Elephant. ? TO BE RUMMED ? I'm not sure. Is it a NEW tes bag?, assthrowturf? As long as they con keep it up we can (;>).

wit loVe J Rome

Comment posted August 11, 2009 @ 6:01 am

Just compare the number of troops in Afghanistan during the last 8 years with the number of “ennemy initiated attacks” and you will understand what is the cause of what.

The “light footprint” Rumsfeld's theory was making sense. In 2001, there were five specialists of Afghanistan in Washington. Then you got hundreds of “experts”, you got self-confidence, you got regional ambition, you created PRTs and you brought the NATO “machin” to the country! Now, you are done: you need more and more troops to hold and hold again! Is the goal a “held country”?

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