The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

GOP Aide: Party Will Criticize Any Afghanistan Escalation Under 40,000

Last updated: 07/31/2020 08:00 | 11/11/2009 08:30
news
Katya Ryder

Here’s what an anonymous Republican aide told Greg Sargent about the politics of escalation in Afghanistan:

“There better be a hell of a compelling reason for ignoring the advice of our generals on the ground or Republicans will ensure that this Administration spend the next few years explaining to the American people how dismissing our military’s advice has made our troops and our country safer,” the aide says.

Greg wants to know:

But there’s an interesting caveat, one that underscores the political challenges the GOP will face as they respond to Obama’s decision: What if he decides to send less than 40,000 troops, but the decision is endorsed by the commanding officer, General Stanley McChrystal?

You can see this taking shape. Defense Secretary Robert Gates — who’s warned his fellow Republicans against making Afghanistan “Obama’s war” — has promised that McChrystal will testify before Congress after President Obama makes up his mind on the scope of escalation. McChrystal is not going to go before the armed services committees and say he’s dissatisfied with any decision Obama makes. Either he is and he continues to serve and he’s not and resigns. And the latter option is, to say the least, extremely unlikely.

What’s more, let’s say that McClatchy is right and Obama goes with 34,000 new troops. Is the Republican Party really going to say that 6,000 troops — basically one to two Army combat brigades — are the difference between success and failure? That’s, well … that just doesn’t make sense.

Finally, why stop at 40,000? There was a higher-end estimate in McChrystal’s resource-request options palette, one that reportedly centered around 85,000 new troops. Why aren’t Republicans going to jump on that? Some in the military, I’m told, are behind it. But it’s also an extremely high request that’s almost certainly unrealistic, given the realities of deployment on a 12-month schedule for resting troops at home and with 120,000 troops still in Iraq. But as long as the GOP is indicating to Sargent that it’s interested primarily in playing politics with the war, why not go for a number with real differences from any 30,000-plus option Obama is likely to favor?

Katya Ryder | School teacher, earned National Board Certification in 2013 I have a passion for science and majored in biology at Arizona State University, where I also earned teaching certificate and Master of Education

Related

E-Verify Mandate Begins Today

The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm

EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management

At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from

EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules

The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.

EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann  has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.

EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’

In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work

EPA Analysis Says Climate Bill’s Cost for Households Would Be ‘Modest’

All the attention on the energy front today is going to the BP spill, but the Environmental Protection Agency quietly released its long-anticipated analysis of

EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria

The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards

EPA biologist says fracking may be partly to blame for West Virginia fish kill

New documents obtained by an environmental news service show that an EPA analyst believes that wastewater from fracking may be partly responsible for a fish kill in a West Virginia river. Scientific American reports : U.S

EPA: BP Has 24 Hours to Find a Less Toxic Chemical Dispersant

Thought the massive quantities of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico were the only major threat to the country’s southeast coastal waters right now? Think

EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com