Solid Gold Soul

November 12, 2009

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Colin Powell

Was General Powell’s advice to President Obama on Afghanistan taken to heart? One could argue that it was or one could argue that it was just co-incidence because here’s the latest “bombshell,” as it’s being described by the

A senior Obama administration official tells MSNBC that the president will reject all of the options that have been presented to him by his national-security team, and that instead he will demand clarifications on when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility for the country to the Afghan government. The sticking point appears to be timelines: President Obama wants to make clear that the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan is not open-ended. Consequently, the options presented to Obama will be amended. Previously, it was believed he was leaning toward 30,000 additional troops.

Here’s what we reported earlier …

*Yesterday, for the first time, Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, went on the record to share the advice he gave President Obama regarding Afghanistan.

He spoke exclusively with Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

Powell’s comments to “take your time” are in stark contrast to the reported suggestions that Cheney has given.

According to Powell:

This is a very difficult one for him. And it isn’t just a one-time decision. This is the decision that will have consequences for the better part of his administration. So Mr. President, don’t get pushed by the left to do nothing; don’t get pushed by the right to do everything. You take your time and you figure it out. You’re the commander-in-chief and this is what you were elected for.

Powell also said:

If you decide to send more troops or that’s what you feel it is necessary, make sure you have a good understanding of what those troops are going to be doing and some assurance that the additional troops will be successful. You can’t guarantee success in a very complex theater like Afghanistan and increasingly with the Pakistan problem next door. But you have to have some sense of what these additional troops will be able to do.

And secondly, take your time.

Third, you’ve got to ensure that you’re putting this commitment on a solid base, and the base is a little soft right now. We’ve got a president in Afghanistan that had a rough election; a lot of corruption associated with the election; a lot of corruption in the government. Mr. Karzai has been told, and I know him very well, he’s been told he’s got to do something about this; he’s got to do something about the drug problem, and he’s got to start pulling the Afghan people together.

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