The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association

In War, There is No Timeline
by Jim Josephsen

As Commander in Chief, there stood President Obama in the presence of some 4000 of America’s finest, well trained, disciplined military personnel at the U.S. Military Academy. All the courageous men and ladies listening to President Obama must be scratching their heads; just what did he say?

Of course, they will do what their Commander in Chief orders. That responsibility is just part of their sworn duty. Yet all these trained, polished and prepared military men and women have been taught; when it comes to war, you fight to win. You do not go to war with the intention of a stale-mate or to conclude in political kissy face. A nation goes to battle to win. Anything less than complete and total victory is a national disgrace, is considered as good as losing.

And so President Obama said, “I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan…after 18 months they will begin to come home.” Now the world knows our game plan.

With that said, the rhetoric, the commentary, the political spin begins. The talking heads postulate. To the left, discourse leading the listener to believe President Obama’s strategy will prove effective, bringing all our troops home, securing peace in the region. To the right, tirades and outburst of treason fill the airwaves. Just how can the President propose a timeline? Does he have a clue?

Of course, not stated was the fact that President Obama made no mention of how many troops would be pulled out in July 2011. How long will the pullout take? Yet determined, he presses on.

What is the United States in for? With the President’s decision, the U.S. will have a military force in Afghanistan of approximately 100,000 young brave men and women, American citizens. Some 55 percent of Americans believe more will only die in vain. Only 35 percent of the American public supports the war in Afghanistan, believing it to be necessary for any hope of lasting peace in the area.

According to President Obama the troop buildup is meant for one purpose only; to bring the war to a successful conclusion. Of course defeating and destroying Al Qaeda and the Taliban insurgency is part of the purpose. But just how long will that take?

The irony is, had President George W. Bush accomplished what he originally set out to do in October 2001, President Obama would not be making such a mistake in setting a timeline for withdrawal. President Bush did not stay the course to win the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It looks as though President Obama’s strategy will not finish the job either. In essence President Obama is telling the world, we will quit playing war games in Afghanistan in 2011.

Still much more can be said, as the rhetoric brews and political pundits posture in their criticisms, both for and against the new directives. In focusing in on Afghanistan, key elements are missing. Afghanistan ranks among the world’s third poorest nations. It contributes nearly 90 percent of the world’s total heroine distribution. It is a nation that neglects human rights and stifles women’s rights. Illiteracy is rampant throughout the majority of its population. Clearly a nation in a time warp, it is fertile ground for the militant fundamentalist teaching of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

President Obama made his best attempts at unifying a much divided America. Attempting to please everyone, to pull the nation together on this war, the President made it clear he is well versed in pluralistic doctrine. He is the consummate politician. He needs Congress to fund the war. He needs the American public to understand why we are fighting. In echoing President George W. Bush’s battle cry of some eight years ago, President Obama reminded the American public that terrorism came to our soil and it launched from the terra-cotta of Afghanistan. Afghanistan, President Obama said, is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by Al Qaeda. How true these words are.

Still lost in the speech and the commentary is a reality that speaks volumes. The Taliban and Al Qaeda were listening as well.

Those who are versed in the history and objectives of militant Islam understand that Islam looks at the world and concepts relevant to time differently than does the average American, perhaps even differently than does President Obama. Islam in general and Al Qaeda in particular understands that, “Americans have watches, but we have time.”

Quite a curious statement but packed with meaning. While Americans live with a mindset of “I want it now,” “fast-food,” “instant gratification,” “I can’t wait that long,” “get it done” mentality, the Islamic world knows time is an element of life that works for you, that should not be rushed. Five years, ten years is a small passage of time when the objectives are purposed and the rewards are clear. If the objective is the destruction of the materialistic, self-promoting, self-serving, “great Satan” America, then two, five or ten years are but a moment in time.

For Americans, five years of war is “like forever,” and a waste of time, a waste of resources, a waste of lives, a waste of money. Of course America is going broke, steeped in debt that threatens our future. President Obama realizes Americans want to get back to the “good old days.” Americans don’t want a prolonged war. And to please the people, President Obama proposes we call it quits come July, 2011.

You can expect very little resistance from the Taliban or Al Qaeda over the next two years. Cat and mouse games will be played in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but now the strategy has changed. Al Qaeda and the Taliban will lay low and may even encourage the inept and listless Afghans to cooperate with the American forces; make America believe it has secured peace. Don’t for one minute think that either Al Qaeda or the Taliban are without political acumen. If the American military feels they are successful in educating the Afghans to the point of self-sufficiency; if the Administration feels the situation has stabilized, then American troops will leave the region feeling the mission has been accomplished.

Afghanistan will be brought to a successful conclusion, President Obama affirms. Victory is not necessary, many conclude he means. Of course, there was no mention of the other enemy, Iran. But that’s not on the table right now. Americans want out of Iraq and they want out of Afghanistan, and America now has its timeline.

For the next two years, the enemy in Afghanistan will wait, watch, position and prepare; waiting for the right time, for the right moment. By mid-2011, the exit will commence, we’re told. No more war. But then again, the enemy heard the President’s words too! It is now only a matter of time. “For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”


Breaking News Stories
Go here for the latest news stories on this subject. –news stories added 8 December 2009
Further reading:
Our Commentary
 Radical Islam Attacks –by Mark Armstrong
 Iran’s First Nuclear Warhead - Where Will it be Targeted?  –by Mark Armstrong
 Coming Moment of Truth with Iran  –by Mark Armstrong
War Fever Grips the Middle East   –by Mark Armstrong
Pakistan and Nukes  –by Mark Armstrong
 "Is Iran an Immediate Threat?" by Mark Armstrong 
"War With Iran Soon?" –by Michael Burkert 


Left: President Obama [courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
Center: Afghanistan [courtesy Wikimedia Commons]
Right: Taliban