Thursday, October 1, 2009

On Military Policy, Conservatives Find Something to Like in Obama

"When it comes to national security, President Obama has a surprising amount of support from the right. 

Despite a recent outbreak of conservative-led criticism toward Obama's handling of the Afghanistan war, the Democratic president has won plaudits from Republicans for his leadership on military matters. 

They roundly reject his economic, environmental, health care and regulatory policies. But until two weeks ago, when Obama demurred at sending more troops to Afghanistan, conservatives largely applauded his conduct of the war -- particularly his early deployment of 17,000 troops and his replacement of Gen. David McKiernan with Gen. Stanley McChrystal. 

"He moved much more rapidly to replace a commander he was dissatisfied with, who was not performing well, than Bush did in his tenure, and all of that looked very good and very promising," said Frederick Kagan, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. 

Karl Rove, former adviser to President Bush and FOX News contributor, praised Obama for keeping on Defense Secretary Robert Gates from the prior administration. 

"The stewardship of the Defense Department by Robert Gates is a nice surprise. Gates is a patriot. The question was, 'Would Obama listen to him?' And Obama has," he said."

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