Obama’s Red Queen strategy first-resources later statement that I excoriated last week was not a mistake, a slip of the tongue. It is official administration policy:
The White House says it wants to review the entire strategy for the region before considering McChrystal’s request.
“Right now the focus is on the strategic assessment itself. It (the troop request) will be shelved until such time that the White House is ready,” a defense official said in Washington.
“It is not going to be addressed, or reviewed, or analyzed until the White House is ready to begin discussing it.”
Only a strategic boob, oaf, or knave–or somebody who just doesn’t give a damn–would say something so cosmically stupid.
Again: you cannot disconnect strategic decisions from considerations regarding the resources required to implement available alternatives. No how, no way. It is a logical impossibility. The “strategic assessment itself” does not reside in some vacuum, some clean room, isolated from messy realities about resources and costs. Strategy is all about trade-offs involving objectives and costs.
Read that last sentence again. The administration will not address, review, or analyze the request for resources to implement a strategic plan the administration allegedly approved in March until it completes a new strategic review. How can you possibly give something a “complete review” when you leave out a critical component of that review?
Mental image: Obama and his security team (heaven help us), with their fingers in their ears, yelling “I can’t hear you!”
The amazing thing is that the administration apparently thinks that this is a convincing story. Are they that stupid, or do they think we are?
Sadly, I think the answer to that last question is: “Both.”