Conclusion: Obama is more concerned about rebuilding the economy than securing the world from radical Islamic tyranny. Obama admitted in this speech what we already knew. He is opposed to war. He does not support going to war for any reason. If he had his way, he would pull the troops out immediately and focus all of his efforts on health care. As Obama stated, " I opposed the war in Iraq precisely because I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force and always consider the long-term consequences of our actions." In actuality, the long term effects of defeating Al Qaeda will result in freedom for the Afghani people and by extension the American people. Instead, Obama would rather restrain himself as Al Qaeda and others rearm.
He made clear that the economy is his number one priority: 1) " the American people are understandably focused on rebuilding our economy and putting people to work here at home." 2) "Over the past several years, we have lost that balance. We failed to appreciate the connection between our national security and our economy. In the wake of an economic crisis, too many of our neighbors and friends are out of work and struggle to pay the bills. Too many Americans are worried about the future facing our children. " [Bush should have focused on the economy and ignored national security] 3) "global economy has grown more fierce, so we can't simply afford to ignore the price of these wars." 4) "our security and leadership does not come solely from the strength of our arms. It derives from our people, from the workers and businesses who will rebuild our economy; from the entrepreneurs and researchers who will pioneer new industries; from the teachers that will educate our children and the service of those who work in our communities at home; from the diplomats and Peace Corps volunteers who spread hope abroad; and from the men and women in uniform who are part of an unbroken line of sacrifice that has made government of the people, by the people, and for the people a reality on this Earth."
You get the picture. Obama is trying to find a way out of these wars by asserting that the economy should be our main focus. But, what Obama fails to realize is that as long as Al qaeda is in business, no entrepreneur will be able to save America from a terrorist attack. And, if there is Gdforbid another terrorist attack, the economy will plunge anyway which is why it would behoove Obama to equally focus on national security issues as well.
Unfortunately, his Afghanistan plan will not secure America and may not even secure Afghanistan. By alerting to the enemy that you plan to remove the troops by a deadline, you encourage them to continue their war against America because no matter how many attacks they launch against U.S. troops, the U.S. will withdraw by 2011. Its a defeatist strategy. One thing about President Bush when he announced his surge in 2007 is that he never gave any timetables. Timetables are dangerous for morale and Obama fell into the terrorists trap.
I gather that the following occurred. Obama found himself in a difficult situation. General McChrystal informed him that the U.S. needed to put more troops in Afghanistan. Obama was not pleased at the recommendation which is why he waited to make a decision. Obama finally came up with a clever compromised plan. He decided to authorize the sending of 30,000 troops. (Mchrystal asked for close to 60,000 troops) In the meantime, he'll blame the fact that he needs to send more troops to Afghanistan on Bush. And in the speech, Obama eluded to the reduced troops in Afghanistan as being Bush's fault "the Iraq war drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy, and our national attention, and that the decision to go into Iraq caused substantial rifts between America and much of the world." But, Obama will get the troops out of Afghanistan in 2011 just in time for his reelection campaign so he will be able to reunite the left that is no doubt upset about his decision to enhance the war efforts. This goes hand in hand with Hoyer who in responding to Cheney's criticism of Obama remarked that Obama is merely fixing the mess that he inherited from Bush. (Mchrystal's request is somewhat accepted, Obama can frame the surge as a response to Bush's failures and the troops can be out by 2011)
What happens after 2011 when the Taliban reemerges and Al qaeda kicks out Karzai after our troops have left Afghanistan. We got a problem on our hands which Obama fails to understand.