I have been very critical of this president. Across the board, I often
find myself in 180-degree disagreement with him and his administration's
policies. Among those disappointments have been his handling of Iraq
and the sheer demagoguery he displayed regarding the war on terror,
beginning with Iraq and certainly including issues such as Guantanamo
But I have to admit, he gets credit on his handling of one area specifically — the use of the military's special forces.
The commander in chief’s singular decision and authorization of the use of the military's best fighting soldiers in the killing of Osama bin Laden was impressive. Just this past week, Obama again called on the SEALs to rescue two hostages held in a Somali compound. The stealth warriors eliminated their targets and returned the hostages to safety. All in a day's work.
I admire that. If it works, keep doing it. And that's precisely what Obama did. Relying on the intelligence of his generals and their calculations, he made the right calls. And he might even do it again should the need(s) arise.
Sure, there might have been casualties. And there very well could be in the future. Every loss of American life is regrettable and tragic. But in the final analysis, and compared to alternatives (whole brigades subject to IEDs?), this is smart tactics and even smart politics.
It should come as no surprise, then, to see similar behaviors reflected in Obama's budget offering set to be unveiled later this month. Greater plus-ups for special forces and technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) make sense to the average American. Why work harder to remove the enemy when one can work smarter and from a secure location? And given tight budget constraints and legacy costs such as veterans’ benefits and other personnel needs that drain Pentagon budgets, credit this administration with trying to do more with less. There will always be a good reason for more spending. That's not the problem. The problem is we don't have the money. The sooner both sides start acting in the right way given that reality, the sooner we can begin to grow our way out of colossal debt.
Yes, his budget will be bloated and fat in other areas, including defense. But on this one issue, the president has served us well.