Friday, January 23, 2009

Commander-in-Chief Obama

Just saw an interesting story on President Obama's upcoming meeting with military commanders at the Pentagon.

From the AP:
Iraq is stable enough to allow the roughly 22,000 U.S. Marines there to withdraw, the service's top general said Friday.

"The time is right for Marines in general terms to leave Iraq," said Marine Corps Commandant James Conway.

The Marine Corps can't fight in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he said, because it does not have enough combat support troops and equipment to divide between the missions.

"Anything that you put into Afghanistan must necessarily come as a reduction of Marine forces in Iraq," he told reporters. "When the door slams on the Marines in Iraq, let all the Marines be on the other side of the door."

Conway has been pushing for a large deployment of Marines to Afghanistan for months. No decisions have been made on the size of the force that would be sent.

More interestingly, was this observation:

Conway said that Obama's willingness to meet with his military chiefs at the Pentagon instead of the White House amounts to a gesture of respect to the commanders.

"It is great symbology; he's on our turf," he said. "More importantly, he gets to meet and shake hands with hundreds of people in all the services."

President Obama continually impresses me with his collaborative nature, political maturity, and his respectful demeanor.

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