If you watched President Trump’s address last night to the men and women in uniform at Fort Myer, you got a taste of the harsh realities of what it’s like to be President of the United States. It should also put to rest once and for all any questions about the President’s mental state. The guy is clearly running on all pistons.
For many in America, the long and drawn out situation in Afghanistan is one of those messy affairs we just want to put a stop sign in front of and say, “enough.” Mr. Trump famously said as much before he became POTUS 45 and the legacy media will no doubt remind him of that in myriad ways today.
Afghanistan is simply one of those no-win situations. The president said as much last evening in his speech, yet he put his preferences aside and listened to what the experts had to say. And they told him a pull-out from that war-torn country would leave a vacuum that terrorists would fill lickety-split.
And so, despite his instincts, President Trump stopped, listened, and plans to take the advice of his military experts. Unlike Mr. Obama, he intends to give them a long leash. There will likely be more troops and more firepower headed to Afghanistan, although the president was purposefully cagey about the who, what, when and where. It never really made sense to telegraph our troop deployments and timetable in the first place. When Mr. Obama and President George W. Bush announced all that information, it simply gave the enemy time to plan ahead. Not too bright if you ask me.
No one wants another American to die in that mountainous Central Asia Hell hole, but sometimes there just aren’t any suitable options. To recognize that what you want cannot be accomplished demonstrates a great deal of maturity. Even one of the president’s harshest critics from his own party lauded the decision to try and win the fight. On Fox News last night, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said:
I’m proud, I’m relieved. I’m proud of the fact that President Trump made a national security decision, not a political decision. I’m proud of the fact that he listened to the generals and most proud of the fact that he shows the will to stand up to radical Islam. I’m relieved that he did not take the advice to withdraw which would’ve been disastrous, or create a mercenary army. So I’m very pleased, very thoughtful, very inspiring speech, and I can assure you, a lot of people in Congress will be behind the president.
War, it appears, makes strange bedfellows.
Being the nation’s top dog and sitting behind that desk in the Oval office comes with some harsh realities. It means that sometimes you must hear what the experts are saying and give them some rope in the hopes that they don’t use it to hang themselves. So, the good news here is that President Trump can see and understand what his presidential campaign song articulated: “You can’t always get what you want… But if you try sometimes well you just might find, you get what you need.”