Society Magazine

"I Am Giving an Order"

Posted on the 12 January 2014 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reveals more about how the Afghanistan war was, and likely still is, being managed than the Obama administration cares for us to know:

I had been the secretary of defense for just over two years on Jan. 21, 2009, but on that day I again became the outsider. The Obama administration housed a web of long-standing relationships—from Democratic Party politics and the Clinton administration—about which I was clueless. I was also a geezer in the new administration. Many influential appointees below the top level, especially in the White House, had been undergraduates—or even in high school—when I had been CIA director. No GatesObamawonder my nickname in the White House soon was Yoda, the ancient Jedi teacher in "Star Wars."

For the first several months, it took a lot of discipline to sit quietly at the table as everyone from President Obama on down took shots at President Bush and his team. Sitting there, I would often think to myself,Am I invisible?

During these excoriations, there was never any acknowledgment that I had been an integral part of that earlier team. Discussions in the Situation Room allowed no room for discriminating analysis: Everything was awful, and Obama and his team had arrived just in time to save the day.

...

On Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, the president called me at my home in the Pacific Northwest for a long talk. He was fine with the 30,000 troops, with flexibility "in the range of 10%" for additional enablers, but he wouldn't agree to the requests for 4,500 enablers unrelated to the new deployments that had been stacking up on my desk for more than two months. He said that pushed the total number to 37,000. The president asked me to return to Washington early for a meeting with him, Mullen and Petraeus to make sure they were on board. "I'm tired of negotiating with the military," he said.

That Sunday meeting was unlike any I ever attended in the Oval Office. Obama said he had gathered the group principally to go through his decisions one more time to determine whether Mullen and Petraeus were fully on board. The commanders said what he wanted to hear, and I was pleased to hear my proposal being adopted.

Then came an exchange that is seared into my memory. Biden said he was ready to move forward, but the military "should consider the president's decision as an order."

"I am giving an order," Obama quickly said.

I was shocked. I had never heard a president explicitly frame a decision as a direct order. With the U.S. military, it is completely unnecessary. As secretary of defense, I had never issued an "order" to get something done; nor had I heard any commander do so. Obama's "order," at Biden's urging, demonstrated the complete unfamiliarity of both men with the American military culture.

And it reveals how power has gone to the head of this President and the psychophants who surround him.

The whole thing should be read... as should Gates new book.

America will regret electing these people for a very long time.


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