The Obama Administration’s top two defense officials issued starkly different comments over the past two days on the Afghan War, with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates desperately struggling to defend the war to the Senate and Admiral Michael Mullen bluntly insisting it will continue on.
Responding to a letter from 27 Senators urging President Obama to change course in Afghanistan, Gates shot back to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee that Afghanistan is “not a war without end” and insisting that 2014 was the end date.
Which might’ve relieved many, if Admiral Michael Mullen had not offered a completely opposite assessment on the Charlie Rose show, declaring that a continued US presence beyond 2014 was a certainty and that any drawdown in July did not signal the beginning of the end of the decade-long conflict.
After a decade of ever-worsening conditions, it is ironically administration claims of progress, dubious as they are, that has fueled the Senate change in position. The war’s massive costs and the “major gains” the administration are claiming simply don’t add up for many, particularly in a nation beset with massive deficits.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- White House Assembling a Team for Upcoming North Korea Summit - March 16th, 2018
- US Shifts Toward Harsher Stance on Russia With Sanctions and Condemnation - March 16th, 2018
- Putin Furious After Britain Says He Ordered Attack - March 16th, 2018
- Cluster Bombs Reportedly Dropped on Syria's Eastern Ghouta - March 16th, 2018
- Turkey Attacks Hospital in Syria's Afrin, Killing Nine - March 16th, 2018