Submitted By Todd on January 9th at 5:37pm
Senior White House advisers are frustrated by what they say is the Pentagon’s slow pace in deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and its inability to live up to an initial promise to have all of the forces in the country by next summer, senior administration officials said Friday.Yup - the White House is already laying the groundwork for saying the surge didn't work. By the way, don't you wonder how many senior administration officials took part in this little spin session?
Tensions over the deployment schedule have been growing in recent weeks between senior White House officials — among them Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, and Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff — and top commanders, including Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the senior commander in Afghanistan.Fighting at the White House! I'll betcha anything someone said "Can't we just blame Bush?"
Administration officials said that part of the White House frustration stemmed from the view that the longer the American military presence in Afghanistan continued, the more of a political liability it would become for Mr. Obama.There aren't any bell curves for Obama, it turns out, just straight lines heading down. Approval ratings, health care, Afghanistan - there's only one direction - down.
One administration official said that the White House believed that top Pentagon and military officials misled them by promising to deploy the 30,000 additional troops by the summer. General McChrystal and some of his top aides have privately expressed anger at that accusation, saying that they are being held responsible for a pace of deployments they never thought was realistic, the official said.Can't they all just get along?
On Dec. 1, when President Obama announced the deployment of the 30,000 additional troops, a senior administration official told reporters that the forces were part of a short-term, high-intensity effort to regain the initiative from the Taliban and that they would all be in place by May. Within days, White House and Pentagon officials had amended that to say that the bulk of the forces would be in place by the summer, but that it would take a few months after that to get all the troops in place.Didn't the July 2011 date for commencing withdrawal strike you as ridiculously optimistic?
But military officials acknowledged that they were taken aback by the president’s initial insistence that the troops be in place within six months. Last fall, military officials repeatedly said that it would take as long as a year to 18 months for all the troops to be in place.18 months would have brought us to July 2011 - the date of withdrawal. Yikes!
Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said Friday that the military was moving as rapidly as it could and that reports of tension with the White House amounted to a “fabricated and contrived controversy.”Fabricated? Maybe. But fabricated by the White House, already playing the blame game on the anticipated failure of a war plan that was announced just weeks ago.
The officials declined to be identified because they were discussing internal administration disagreements.Ah. Of course. Then why were they talking?