Iraq NotFlop II

Thanks to TPM, we have the following from the Obama Jordan press conference. Obama was asked a question born of the old confusion between tactics and strategy, and he answered it perfectly. The question was something to the effect that by committing to a 16 months-ish timetable, wasn't he effectively ignoring the advice of the commanders on the ground that he said he would consult? He rejected the premise like a pro:
"The notion is that either I do exactly what my military commanders [say] or I'm ignoring their advice. No, I'm factoring in their advice, but placing it in the broader strategic framework that's required."
Obama will not allow the Republicans to continue to own the issue of national security through language manipulation. What a refreshing change. Obama shows in another statement his understanding of strategy vs tactics:

"In his role as commander on the ground, he wants to attain as much flexibility as possible," Obama said of his talk with Petraeus. "What I emphasized to him was, if I were in his shoes, I would probably feel the same way."

"But my job extends beyond Iraq," Obama said.

Exactly. You can't let the Commander in charge of a single battlefield control the strategy for the entire war. Of course he will focus on his task at hand! It is the theatre's commander who decides what to do in that theatre. It is the CinC's job to decide what is in America's strategic interest. The two are very different jobs, but the Bush Administration has purposefully erased the line separating them because of the incredible unpopularity of President Bush. They cynically cashed in on the moral authority our military has in America in order to perpetuate Bush's own flawed policies of staying in Iraq as a goal unto itself.

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