In his remarks today before the West Point graduating class, President Obama made the following observation:
It is a particularly useful time for America to reflect on those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom – for you are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. When I first spoke at West Point in 2009, we still had more than 100,000 troops in Iraq. We were preparing to surge in Afghanistan. Our counter-terrorism efforts were focused on al Qaeda’s core leadership. And our nation was just beginning a long climb out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Four and a half years later, the landscape has changed. We have removed our troops from Iraq. We are winding down our war in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda’s leadership in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated, and Osama bin Laden is no more. Through it all, we have refocused our investments in a key source of American strength: a growing economy that can provide opportunity here at home.
Charles Krauthammer says President Obama’s premature announcement that he will reduce troops in Afghanistan to 10,000 was an “act of personal narcissism.”
“When this was talked about a few months ago in the press, there was mention of the fact that if the full withdrawal happened in 2016, that would allow Obama to leave office having fulfilled the promise of liquidating the wars,” he said.
Krauthammer found it contemptible that Obama would orient military plans around the timing of his departure from office, merely to make himself look better.
Again, I wonder what the military community makes of the distinction between what the president has done and what Fox News and Charles Krauthammer say about what he has done.
If you are graduating from West Point today, are you concerned that you won’t be sent to Afghanistan due to the president’s “personal narcissism” and desire to “liquidate” Bush’s wars?