Indecision Kills

I can’t imagine. Being a volunteer soldier shipped to a far and barren land to fight a largely faceless enemy, an enemy that breeds merciless hate and destruction in the name of religion.

And then to have my on-the-ground commander request reinforcements from headquarters, only to get a “we’ll think about it” in return.

Installed in May by President Obama to lead international forces in Afghanistan, four-star General Stanley McChrystal requested 40,000 additional troops on Aug. 30. It is now Oct. 30 and he has received no new troops.

He did get an answer of sorts after speaking to the Institute of International and Strategic Studies in London last month: “Keep your mouth shut.” (So much for open and honest debate!)

Besides that rebuke, Commander-in-Chief Obama has only organized committees and studied the issue from comfy confines far from Kabul. Not a surprising response from a former community organizer, but a frustrating one nevertheless.

That’s because 65,000 of our men and women in uniform currently in Afghanistan have endured the deadliest month of the war. Fifty-five of their comrades have fallen in October alone.

All the while, Commander Obama studies and stalls and depletes the confidence of our military that its country will supply what it needs to succeed.

I think, though I do not know, that adding troops in Afghanistan is the correct action. Leaving troop levels unchanged, after the theater’s top general requests a substantial increase, is not.

President Obama needs either to get in or get out. Sitting on the fence merely demoralizes, not to mention endangers, the people he leads.

If he’s a pacifist, let him be a bold and decisive one. Not a pacifist masquerading as a semi-hawk when a critical mission and American lives are on the line. For, as an ROTC-trained fraternity brother of mine once put it, indecision kills.

While in Florida fund-raising for Democrats this week, President Obama didn’t pass up a chance to pontificate to Navy service personnel in Jacksonville: “I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm’s way. I won’t risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary.’’

He could have added, “I also won’t rush to send you backup if your general says you need it.”

Through the years, Democrats have had a near-monopoly on the slogan, “Help is on the way.” They offer it to the poor, the sick, the jobless “ whomever holds the short end of whichever proverbial stick.

They apply it to virtually anyone in need; that is, unless you’re a struggling soldier risking your life for your country on the other side of the globe. Then, you get to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

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