Military Frustrated by 'Slow' Obama

Commanders irked by ongoing review of Afghanistan strategy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2009 3:54 AM CDT
President Barack Obama meets with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, aboard Air Force One in Copenhagen, Denmark.    (AP Photo/White House, Pete Souza )
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – President Obama's ongoing review of Afghan strategy is frustrating military officers used to a different commander-in-chief's style, say past and present top brass. Some fear that the long deliberations over Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for more troops signal weakness and indecision to the enemy, while others fear the president is "pulling the rug out from under" them after promising to make the war a priority.

The military grew used to President Bush's policy of quickly picking one strategy and sticking to it "often to ill effect," one adviser to McChrystal tells the New York Times. Obama, by contrast, is readier to question assumptions. “There’s a value in that,” he said, “but that can be incredibly frustrating for those trying to operationalize the strategy.”