October 11, 2009

I suppose Bill Kristol fancies himself the "grown up" during this argument on Fox News Sunday. While discussing whether President Obama should be increasing troop levels in Afghanistan or not, Juan Williams points out that President Obama already gave Gen. McChrystal 21,000 additional troops this year, and the result has been nothing but increased casualties. Later in the segment Kristol responds.

Wallace: I know there are political pressures but I would like to think that this President—I do think that this President is trying to make the right decision. There is no guarantee if you give McChrystal the 60,000 troops that it’s going to work…(crosstalk) …particularly given the nature of the government that is in control in Afghanistan.

Kristol: Look, what is better about giving him, “giving him”—I like that—why do we have to use that formulation?—The President is sending as many troops as he thinks he should send, as many troops as he thinks best to accomplish the mission—unless he wants to abandon the mission. But he doesn’t want to abandon the mission. What argument… what serious grown up argument is there that sending 15,000 is any better than sending 40,000 troops when the generals, Gen. McChrystal and Gen. Petraeus think 40,000 is what we need to adequately resource the counter-insurgency.

Maybe we shouldn’t send so many bullets either—we shouldn’t send too many vehicles. They’re very expensive. I mean this notion that we’re sending—that we’re going to have more casualties is ridiculous Juan. Short term of course when you engage the enemy you might have more casualties. Ask any soldier or marine over there, “Would you prefer to have 110,000 of you or 70,000 of you?”—that we are stretched too thin. If we’re going to fight, let’s fight the war.

So when are you signing up to go over there Bill? Liz? Both of you ready to suit up and go put your lives on the line over there? I think if you asked those soldiers what they'd rather be doing, most of them would rather be home. Not on their third, fourth and fifth tours of duty.

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