Surging Toward the 2012 Elections?

McChrystal: The 2011 timetable isn’t set in stone; Obama: Actually, it is

Apparently a little disagreement on how hard that July 2011 date to start withdrawal from Afghanistan is. (Of course, “starting” the withdrawal in July 2011 leaves all sorts of timetables possible.)

A commenter on the earlier Surging to Retreat post brought ups something Murdoc hadn’t considered:

I suspect he figures that in 2011, the R’s will control both the House and the Senate, so he won’t be able to start a withdrawal even if he actually wanted to.

This could be right, but there could be even more to it. Here are two possibilities that he might be thinking:

  • Dems keep control in 2010 and war goes badly: Obama can bring the boys home and look like a hero. If things don’t improve much by mid-2011, probably not a lot of people will be up for staying the course, anyway. This could win him the 2012 election.
  • Dems lose control in 2010 and war goes badly: If GOP is for staying the course [and the troops stay in the fight], Obama can just blame them for breaking his promise to bring the boys home. This could win him the 2012 election and put the Dems back in control of Congress.

Both of these options could pay off big time for him and the Dems in 2012.

The problems begin, though, if the war actually goes well:

  • Dems lose control in 2010 and war goes well: Unless the GOP calls for withdrawal (unlikely) he can simply change his mind to stay the course. After all, it was his “surge” that’s winning the war. This may not have a real big impact on the 2012 elections, but if anyone benefits politically it will probably be the pro-victory GOP. They might even be able to say “Since 30,000 more troops have started winning the war, maybe the requested 40,000 would have won it by now.
  • Dems keep control in 2010 and war goes well: This is the nightmare scenario for Obama. What if he wants to bring the boys home to look like a hero, and he has the Congress to do it, but the little people (voters) insist on winning? Does he declare victory prematurely and bring them home anyway? New media won’t make that easy to pull off. Does he stay the course? Dem Congress and voters might have a collective aneurysm. Probably just best to hope that the war goes badly.

Right now, both of the scenarios that involve the Dems keeping control of Congress in 2010 look unlikely. But there’s a lot of time left on the clock. Plus, they have the benefit of being able to run against the Republicans. If Congress was high school football, the GOP Senate would be on everyone’s schedule for Homecoming.

Obviously, there are a lot of factors in play and my simplistic options leave a lot to be desired. But suddenly the simultaneous “surge” and declaration of the war’s end date make a lot more sense to Murdoc the cynical.


  1. Hey, that’s what we commenters are here for!

    And one other thing. Who’s the biggest threat in the ME now?

    And is it better to have 120,000 US troops to the left of Iran and 90,000 to the right, or 90,000 to the left and 120,000 to the right?

  2. Well he sure didn’t take an extra three months to decide just to examine the tactical situation. I’m not politically sophisticated enough to evaluate the likelihood of those theories, but my gut tells me something along those lines was the primary driver behind this decision.

    A simple “win or pullout” decision could have been decided with a coin toss as soon as McChrystal’s report was in.

    And if this troop increase is not enough, and just leads to more of our kids getting killed prior to a set withdrawal (surrender) regardless, then Obama will truly be on my shit list.

    Unless the military pulls a miracle out of their ass, that’s exactly what’s going to happen too. The Taliban and Al Queda had some real moral support from the wavering and hedging. They know it’s just a matter of time now.

  3. War goes well scenario –
    It seems unlikely that after a 3 year surge we’re going to be saying ‘gee if only we put a third more troops in there’. But if there’s real progress (as determined by US polls I guess) then I could definitely see less pressure on Obama if he decides to do a phased pull out with some big initial withdrawal comparable to the surge numbers and then a real slow ‘final’ withdrawal. Seems to be working for him in Iraq.

  4. hunter: It seems unlikely that after a 3 year surge we’re going to be saying ‘gee if only we put a third more troops in there’.

    I agree 100%. What I meant was that the Repubs could say that. Not necessarily mean it. I could have been a little clearer.

  5. I’m skeptical. Of the whole concept.

    “…we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. Or until July 2011, whichever.”

    How is another 18 months going to get the G’s into fighting shape to finish the fight against the Taliban, when they remain incapable after 96 months?

    NYT headline for 1 August 2011: “Taliban Victorious”.

  6. Here’s my prediction:

    The Democrats let the Bush tax cuts expire, maybe pass some kind of CO2 Cap & Tax, pass an incredibly expensive and unpopular healthcare bill, raise more taxes, interfere in more businesses, involve themselves in more scandals including the census and election rigging. Unemployment reaches 15%, maybe even 20%. Terrorist attacks against the United States occur abroad and here at home, the Administration does not respond to them in any meaningful way.

    By 2012, if not next year, the country is in a state of near rebellion and Afghanistan is a total afterthought whatever happens there.

  7. I am convinced that entire time-line is designed to support the “O” reelection campaign. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Obama doesn’t give a rat’s ass about our military. He see’s them as photo-ops, and something beneath his station in life.

    Obama and his sycophants will use our great military for whatever they an squeeze out of them, then walk away without a single moment’s emotion regarding them.

    I despise this man, and his entire administration. They are clueless, and a clear and present danger to both our nation, and especially our Constitution.

    Either this nation decides that victory over our enemies if the goal, or we abandon AFG at once, and bring everyone home.

    Only a retard would place a fixed date fir withdrawing our troops from a combat zone. Obama needs to be impeached at once, or, at the very least, held accountable for the deaths and wounding of every single AMERICAN SOLDIER FROM THIS DAY FORWARD.


  8. Bram,

    God forgive me, but I agree with your views.

    I never thought that, in my lifetime, we would reach such a situation in this great nation, but the clueless administration and their sycophant enablers have pushed us to the brink of open rebellion, and, though it makes my soul weep, it may well be that this is the only way to resolve the situation.

    What we are facing is no different than that of 1860, and the results will be an order of magnitude greater than that which Lincoln faced.

    Our problem is that e do NOT have Lincoln in the White House. Rather, we have James Buchannon, or, more likely, Harpo Marx.

    God help us all.

  9. God Help Us?

    As Pat Tillman (and I) would ask, WITCH GOD?

    After all there are more than 25,000 named gods humans have invented so far.

    That said, I ALSO despise Oduma and his entire administration. They ARE Totally clueless, as well as bein a clear and present danger to our nation & our Constitution.


    1. God Help Us?

      As Pat Tillman (and I) would ask, WITCH GOD? [sic]

      After all there are more than 25,000 named gods humans have invented so far.

      Neil, if you want to pretend that the poster didn’t know which God he meant, you’re deluding yourself.

      If YOU didn’t know which one he meant, you’re being intentionally obtuse.

      It’s like the guy who argued with me when I referred to “9/11”, because I didn’t tell him which year and what event on that particular day I was referring to. He acted like he was confused by what people meant by “9/11” and wondered if maybe they meant the 1973 coup in Chile. For real. Well, he wasn’t for real, but he really pretended he was for real.

      Anyway, it’s too bad that you think you’re on your own. And hoping that God helps doesn’t mean that we’ll just sit around and wait for Him to do all the work.

  10. I see no reason to not take any of the opportunities presented to educate people about the number of different gods humans have invented, NAMED and BELIEVED IN so far. Truth is, MOST Christians have little clue there are many other gods much less the approzimate number of them.

    The MAIN reason MOST people who ARE religious believe in the god (or gods) and in the religion they do is because their parents have INDOCTRINATED THEM into believing in the god and the religion the parents do. Force fed them before they had any BS detector at all Before they have the knowldge or experience to know what they are being told breaks the Laws of Physics.

    Had they been raised by those who are members of another religion, they would be a member of that religion. And then people go out and kill each other over whose religion is correct!

    This when NONE OF THEM, NOT a single ONE of them, has ONE SHRED of evidence it is ANY more true than is any other religion. And NO religion has ANY real factual proof what so ever!

    ALL ANY religion has is “Faith”, “Dogma” & “Belief!” They have No Facts! NO Logic! NO Common Sense! NO Physics, NO Science! NO Proof! NOTHING!!

    ANY and ALL gods ONLY exist in the MINDS of those who believe in in them. And the ONLY power ANY god has is the actions of those who believe in them

    IF these believers do nothing, their god has NO power over any who believe differently and NO power over any non human living, or non living things like rocks or rain or wind or trees or fire.

    And what I have said must make sense or MILLIONS and MILLIONS and MILLIONS of FORMER Christians would not now be Atheists. As more and more people learn more and more, the number of religious

  11. Neil: I see no reason to not take any of the opportunities presented to educate people about the number of different…

    I do. You’re spamming a thread with unrelated content. Don’t do it again.

    Go get your own web site. Make sure it works with WebTV.

  12. 1. IF others did NOT bring up “GOD” I would have not responded to it.

    2. I said NOTHING which is NOT true

    3. Had YOU not replied as you did, I would have dropped it.

    4. You best look up “Spam” as it seems you have no clue.

  13. Neil: In case you missed it the first time:

    You’re spamming a thread with unrelated content. Don’t do it again.

    Go get your own web site. Make sure it works with WebTV.

    Last warning.

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