Marine Corps Commandant Faults Withdrawal Deadline for Comfort to the Enemy

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Conway has directly faulted President Obama’s withdrawal deadline for giving aid and comfort to the enemy in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama’s July 2011 date to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has given a morale boost to Taliban insurgents, who believe they can wait out NATO forces, the top U.S. Marine said Tuesday.

But General James Conway, who is retiring this fall as commandant of the Marine Corps, said he believed Marines would not be in a position to withdraw from the fight in southern Afghanistan for years.

Conway’s unusually blunt assessment is likely to fan criticism by opposition Republicans of Obama’s war strategy as public opinion of the nine-year-old war sours further.

“In some ways, we think right now it is probably giving our enemy sustenance,” Conway said of the July 2011 deadline.

But is this mere speculation or opinion?  Conway continued, “In fact we’ve intercepted communications that say, ‘Hey, you know, we only need to hold out for so long.'”  This degree of public challenge and direct truth-telling within the highest ranks of the military is fairly unique, and might be a function of not only his beliefs and the supporting evidence, but also of the fact that he is a short-timer.  General James F. Amos is currently before the U.S. Senate for confirmation as the next Marine Corps Commandant.  Conway might be thinking, “What are they going to do – force me to retire?”

The truth is refreshing, and it leaves little doubt as to the fact that the perception of withdrawal is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  Conway attempts to address this perception in his interview, but the only one who can really accomplish that is the very one who forced the withdrawal deadline on the troops to begin with.

Dr. Steven Metz recently said of the Malayan insurgency (concerning Obama’s withdrawal strategy), “I do find it ironic that Malaya is often held up as a model for how to do counterinsurgency, yet one of the things that made that campaign successful was that the British announced their intention to withdraw.”  Based on what I know, I think that it is unproven speculation that “an announcement of withdrawal” aided the campaign, but in this case speculation isn’t needed.

There is no irony, and there is no need to hold a PhD in order to understand the exigencies defining the situation.  We needn’t obfuscate the facts with pedantic theory in order to be wise.  The enemy wants to believe that the U.S. presence will vanish sooner rather than later, and our CiC is giving them that assurance.

  • Warbucks

    Commadant Conway may use every euphemism in the book to describe “aid and comfort to the enemy” yet I do not find him citing that specific phrase. To do so publicly would trigger a breach of protocol so grave as rise to a level of prosecution for insubordination I suspect. — but I could be wrong.

  • Fritz

    Why blame Obama? The American people voted for the candidate who promised to bring the troops home sooner rather than later (or never). It was a reasonably clear choice.

  • Herschel Smith

    You’re presupposing that the reason that the population voted him in was specifically because he made such a promise (and the promise only pertained to OIF, not OEF, so you have your facts wrong). It would be like saying that specifically because the population voted him in, then they must specifically approve of him throwing a trillion dollars down the toilet in a so-called stimulus plan. Opinion polls show that the population isn’t constrained by your faulty logic. They see it more clearly than that.

  • Warbucks

    This discussion comes back to the earlier postings on “Declaration of War”

    Short, concise, clear 50-word maximum statements in the form of a declaration of war by the President and ratified by due process seems to be an essential nuance to offset the tendencies of justified response* in this modern age.

    The world has to protect itself against even a larger danger multi-country shadow government of elites, military industrial complex without seeming to be unpatriotic to and within our respective counties. At the highest levels of every developed country, we are run through with elite-corruption. We are in a far greater war with higher stakes than a war with just a militant arm of Islam. They and we, are pawns in a larger game of Create the Problem, Foment A Response, Offer the Solution provided us by the power elites of the shadow governments .

    The best way to start engaging this greater threat to human liberty and freedom is not through radical economic or political changes but through disclosure of the true extent of our scientific and technical capabilities, most of which is buried in black-ops budgets and hidden. (

    *Justified response: You believe perhaps that all the aircraft flown into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on a day when military exercise just happened to be underway, really happened just as reported. Trust no one. Investigate all evidence. Look at every shred of evidence on what happened. All the pieces always fall in place when you follow the money.

    Always, always, always follow the money.

  • TSAfabet

    Hahahahahahahaha… that Warbucks. Always slaying us with that tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. “…just happened to be underway…” hahahahaha… can’t stand it… too funny. Stop.

    On a more serious note, at Fritz, as I recall from 2008, Obama promised that the “real war”, the “good war,” the “just war” was in A-stan. He didn’t talk about withdrawal from A-stan at all; just the opposite. What he is doing with the July 2011 withdrawal date is just what he and the other nincompoops like Biden and Pelosi wanted us to do in Iraq: announce a fixed date to withdraw as some kind of way to light a fire under Maliki’s butt. Thankfully, Bush stuck to his guns (figuratively and literally) and didn’t take their advice.

    Obama’s campaign for President was one, big charade of ducking every reasonable question about his views and associations and philosophy and hiding behind trite phrases and a fawning national media. He is the Manchurian candidate. We cannot afford to have him re-elected.

  • Warbucks

    You may be right of course.

    Let’s hope you are and that I am indeed, wrong.

    When no one is looking Google-up the words “9-11 Skeptic” – videos and find the videos with the retired US Air Force General and other retired military officers and weapons-knowledgeable persons (purportedly) discussing and showing the militarized equipment mounted on the bottom of the two planes hitting the WTC Twin Towers along with enlarged close-ups of the multiple demolition explosive charges going off from top down to the bottom in a Puff-Puff-Puff-Puff sequence close up. These videos are simply not shown by the mainstream media to my knowledge.

    Then finally Google the Pentagon 9-11 security camera videos until you find the Video placing a scaled model of the plane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon and notice that the plane appears far larger than the entry wound of the Pentagon building…….. and the list goes on and on and on.

    It was somewhere in the video watching a retired US Air Force General that the skeptic in me gained its open mind and began looking all things through a different lens.

    Finding a different possible or probable truth does not change my ultimate actions or decisions necessarily, it only awakens me to a larger set of considerations and possibilities that haven’t been considered before.

You are currently reading "Marine Corps Commandant Faults Withdrawal Deadline for Comfort to the Enemy", entry #5400 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Marine Corps,Obama Administration and was published August 24th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (677)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (29)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (7)
Ammunition (22)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (61)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (41)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (49)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (5)
Body Armor (17)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (27)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (8)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (215)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (122)
Department of Homeland Security (13)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (6)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (2)
Featured (176)
Federal Firearms Laws (16)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (422)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (39)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (378)
Guns (902)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (45)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (38)
Islamists (55)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (75)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (49)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (239)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
Media (23)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (23)
Mexico (30)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (10)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (17)
NATO (15)
Navy (20)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (216)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (27)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Police (194)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (232)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (105)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (28)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (154)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (24)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (1)
Survival (12)
SWAT Raids (53)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (92)
Thanksgiving (5)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (12)
TSA Ineptitude (10)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (13)
U.S. Sovereignty (14)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (41)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (17)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2016 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.