Submitted By Todd on December 2nd at 12:50am
Americans are far less approving of President Obama's handling of the situation in Afghanistan than they have been in recent months, with 35% currently approving, down from 49% in September and 56% in July.Will the President's Tuesday night speech, in which he announced, half halfheartedly, his decision to send 30,000 more troops into the war zone, turnaround the slide?
The decline in Obama's approval rating on Afghanistan is evident among all party groups, with double-digit decreases since September among Republicans (17 points), independents (16 points), and Democrats (10 points).Not likely. The goal, though, seems to be to secure his unhappy base - aging Vietnam protesters who pushed aside Hillary so that Obama could reproduce the glory of the Woodstock era. While they won't be happy that Barack is expanding the war, their anger, he hopes, will be mitigated by the phony and undefined commitment to withdraw troops in July of 2011.
Obama's announcement drew less-than-wholehearted support from congressional Democrats. Many of them favor a quick withdrawal, but others have already proposed higher taxes to pay for the fighting.The President doesn't have much credibility when it comes to promises on troop withdrawals. Remember that he was able to outflank Hillary because he made an irresponsible commitment to withdraw blindly from Iraq - here's what his policy was, as stated on his website, until it was altered a few weeks after he secured the Democratic nomination.
"Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months."Now, in Obama's eleventh month, there are still 124,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, and there's an even larger contingent of contracts.
If the timeline for the troop increase holds, it will require a costly logistical scramble to send in so many people and so much equipment almost entirely by air. It will also probably require breaking at least an implicit promise to some soldiers who had thought they would have more than 12 months at home before their next deployment.Crowd scans indicated that West Point cadets watching the speech were either unhappy with its content or just falling asleep - not a good sign for a White House hoping to create a perception of Obama as a powerful Commander in Chief.