Obama, Prime Minister Brown slammed by military leaders in US, UK
While several former US military commanders have complained about President Barack Obama dragging his feet in deciding whether or not to give his generals the additional troops they say they need to succeed in Afghanistan, British defense bigwigs have alleged that Prime Minister Gordon Brown is failing to support British troops fighting in Afghanistan.
Since the election of President Barack Obama, former Lieutenant General McInerney (US Air Force) has frequently blasted the Obama administration for what he regards as its weakness on defense.
In a September 2009 op-ed for the right-wing media group Stand Up America, McInerney and co-author Major General Paul Vallely (US Army) argued that Obama and his advisers fail to acknowledge that "we are in a Global War Against Radical Islam."
Generals Vallely and McInerney say that "radical Islam" is an "ideology that is as evil as Nazism, Fascism and Communism."
McInerney and Vallely also claim that President Obama is all but ignoring the recommendations of General Stanley McChrystal, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, to increase troops levels in Afghanistan, which they argued could lead to defeat.
In the United Kingdom, General Lord Guthrie went as far as saying he believed the prime minister was "dithering" over his promise to send 500 extra troops to the country. And Admiral Lord Boyce told the British newspaper The Guardian that the government "did not realize we are at war".
At the same time, Britain's Field Marshal Lord Inge claims that the British military never believed Brown was "on their side," a strong statement that is a far cry from what former US military are quoted as saying about President Obama in the US news media.
These and similar statements are circulating in the United Kingdom after Prime Minister Brown promised his nation that the UK would not "walk away" from Afghanistan and would "succeed" in its mission, but then turned around and stalled the deployment of additional troops.
According to The Guardian, while speaking during a debate on the armed forces in the House of Lords, Lord Guthrie said: "I do think that military services, the people in the frontline, are questioning whether the government is really, really committed to making progress in Afghanistan."
"Both the prime minister and the chancellor have said the frontline can have what they ask for," he said, according to The Guardian.
"I have no doubt whatsoever that with additional helicopters some of these lives which have been lost would have been saved," he added.
Guthrie practically condemned Prime Minister Brown's pledge to send 500 more troops conditional on the soldiers being properly equipped and other NATO countries sharing more military responsibility. Brown's promise of more British troops also hinged on the Afghan government providing more of its own military recruits.
"The three conditions laid down by the prime minister for their movement reveal a complete lack of understanding of what these men are for," Guthrie said. "If commanders on the ground had requested additional troops they should be sent regardless of political concerns."
The Brown government's own chief of defense staff, Air Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, has told reporters that the reputation of Britain's armed forces is under threat unless progress is made in Afghanistan.
Menanwhile, an internal Ministry of Defense report -- Strategy for Defense -- states that the mission in Afghanistan must succeed to secure "the reputation and long-term future of the [British] armed forces" .
The document, leaked to the London Times, favors the "assumption of a rolling three-year military commitment to Afghanistan", effectively ruling out an early pullout.
According to The Guardian, Brown has warned the re-elected president Hamid Karzai that he will "forfeit the right to international support" if he fails to root out corruption in Afghanistan. Brown is quoted as telling President Karzai that an Afghan army must be created to successfully take over responsibility for security.
But the prime minister told reporters that he was not threatening to pull Britain's 9,000 soldiers out of Afghanistan. He's quoted by several UK media sources as saying in a speech to the Royal College of Defense Studies, "We cannot, must not and will not walk away."
Lord Boyce, the chief of the defense staff between 2001 and 2003, said the UK was in the middle of a "defense train crash". "It is too much to hope that the present government will provide the necessary cash to allow its aspirations to be realized properly or honorably," he said.
Lord Inge told British reporters that the prime minister had some baggage with regard to his support for the armed forces. "They have felt he has never really been on their side and they have not had his support," he said.
This condemnation of the government's current Afghanistan policy came after a deadly period for UK soldiers. Last week, seven soldiers were killed, including five shot by an Afghan police officer they were training. These latest losses brought the total British death toll to 230 since the invasion of Afghanistan by the US-led coalition.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's the former editor for the House Conservatives Fund's weblog. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He's also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc.