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Commander-in-Chief Needs to Support
Commander-on-the-Ground in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, DC – In light of
today’s significant progress in Afghanistan’s election dispute, U.S. Senator Kit
Bond, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, urged President Obama
to quit delaying his decision on whether to support the winning strategy for
Afghanistan outlined in July by General Stanley

            “The clear message
for the President is ‘no more excuses’,” said Bond of the news of Afghanistan’s
election dispute resolution.  “Delay leads to defeat, not victory; it’s critical
for the Commander-in-Chief to support his commander-on-the-ground

March, Bond supported the President’s decision to move forward with a fully
resourced counter-insurgency strategy—a clear, hold, and build plan that focused
on rooting out terrorists and staying to protect the people of Afghanistan.  In
July, the President’s hand-selected top commander on the ground in Afghanistan,
General McChrystal, delivered his assessment to the President on the resources
needed for this new strategy to be successful. 

Despite the urgency stressed in General McChrystal’s
report, President Obama has continued to delay making a decision on whether he
will give the General the resources needed for success in Afghanistan.  White
House officials repeatedly have blamed their own indecisiveness and lack of
action on Afghanistan’s electoral uncertainty, an excuse Bond called a “red
herring.”  Today, President Hamid Karzai and his main challenger, Abdullah
Abdullah, announced an agreement that will result in a runoff election on
November 7th.  Unbelievably, the Obama Administration is still
calling a decision on whether to support General McChrystal’s winning strategy
for Afghanistan weeks away. 

Bond pointed out that ultimately, delay
will lead to defeat—even the right strategy won’t work if not implemented on
time.  Ultimately, if we allow the Taliban and al Qaeda to reestablish terrorist
safe havens across the country, no strategy will be successful, more American
lives will be lost, and al Qaeda will have again have a firm Afghan base of
operations, the same base that orchestrated the 9-11 attacks on our

In addition to the devastating long-term
impact of delay, the lack of resolve in Washington is a public diplomacy
disaster now in Afghanistan.  The Senator pointed out that while the
people of Afghanistan are rightly questioning whether the United States is going
to abandon them, the terrorists are emboldened by the hope that they can just
wait us out.

“The wavering in Washington is
disheartening American troops, demoralizing the people of Afghanistan, and
emboldening our terrorist enemies,” said Bond.