Marines Give Opinion on Obama's Announcement

By: CBS Email
By: CBS Email

Residents from the southern California coastal community of Oceanside, including Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton and their families, range from concern to skepticism to thanks in their reactions to President Obama's proposed plan to pull troops from Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama announced his plan on Wednesday to begin withdrawing 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by year's end, followed by about 23,000 more by the end of next summer.

In Oceanside, a southern California community that caters to the adjacent and sprawling Camp Pendleton US Marine base, opinions ranged from full support in favor of the President's action to negative reactions and even skepticism.

"It's kind of the right sort of a shift, internal kind of perspective of things, trying to get us to focus on things here in the country and that's good because we kind of spread ourselves too thin globally and it's a good time for us to focus internally for a while," said Oceanside resident Alex Luebke.

Some residents, such as enlisted Marine John Smith, fully support Obama's decision but are unsure whether or not the President can keep his promises.

"I think the U.S. has no interest in leaving that region. I think the draw down is going to be a sham. They will reduce U.S. forces in the region but I think that the forces will be reimbursed by mercenary groups such as Blackwater and non-enlisted forces," said Smith. "I think the Afghan war needs to stop, I think the Iraqi occupation needs to stop, I think it's wrong. I think the Iraqi people need to choose their own destiny just as the American people did in 1776."

Obama's decision comes at a critical time as he eyes his 2012 re-election prospects and lawmakers from both parties, seeking to reduce federal spending, are anxious to curtail what has become a costly and unpopular U.S. military intervention.

Obama's challenge is to strike a balance between military leaders seeking to limit any reduction in combat forces and White House advisers pressing for a withdrawal large enough to placate his own Democratic party's anti-war wing and a growing number of Republicans.

William Kullman who is a Marine said "I don't really think that we should leave this quickly. The job's not done. It's kind of like what happened in Iraq. We were supposed to leave soon, we were supposed to leave around 2006, 2007 when we were in Iraq but we didn't because we knew the job wasn't done."

Logan Riddle, also a Marine doesn't agree, saying "The job that we have done there so far has been good and due to everything else that we are dealing with as a country at this time that we're making a smart decision. And that, the way that we will handle the draw down will be in an effective way that we won't have any negative repercussions from it at all."

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  • by So what the reason on Jun 23, 2011 at 09:19 AM
    So what the reason why the President is doing it. The important part it is happening. You think if a republican was in office they wouldn't do the same thing? All politicians are the same.
  • by DTH Location: Tallahassee on Jun 23, 2011 at 07:32 AM
    It's a shame Obama only does things NOW to get Re-ellected or to save face. I didn't Vote for Him and I wont Vote for Him.
    • reply
      by Rayna on Jun 23, 2011 at 09:19 AM in reply to DTH
      President Obama is listening to his military advisors and not non-military advisors. We have completed part of the job but if we remove all the military presence in the region at this time, then what we have done will be undone. How do we expect that region to have a steady government, when the President is being treated so unfairly in America. To get the world to follow us, WE MUST LEAD BY EXAMPLE. The people of America have always said we are fair and allow other to be chosen to do a job. However, since President Obama went into the White House, some of the people have brought out so much negativity. The negative people need to stop the ignorancy and help him to make this country great.I am tired of hearing Obama being blamed for all the woes of this country. The problems have been existing for years and he is not able to get rid of them like a blink of an eye.
      • reply
        by 1stlttightwad on Jun 24, 2011 at 05:39 AM in reply to Rayna
        Is it being negative to point out his mistakes and shortcomings or are you wearing rose colored glasses and have chosen to not look at gas prices, foreclosure, anti-business environments, national debt, and his desire to create a nanny state. Yes, he cannot get rid of the problems in a blink of the eye....while looking down his nose at everyone. Look at his photographs, you'll see what I mean.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 27, 2011 at 07:56 PM in reply to Rayna
        Name one president that has spent 2.3 trillion dollars in their first 500 days in office. Name a contemporary president who had over 23 million people out of work, closed industries, ignore his campaign promise to bring jobs back from overseas, went to war without consulting congress in Libya, had over 1 million homes in foreclosure in a single year, eroded healthcare benefits, reduced retirement benefits, etc... Obama is not being treated unfairly but people are waking up and seeing these tactics of his cause permanent real damage to their lives. And we don't want his kind of change. Nothing these politicians do is for the sake of altruism but only to get re-elected and drain the middle class who pay for all of these special interest programs. We have had enough of this type of mentality.
    • reply
      by state worker on Jun 23, 2011 at 09:50 AM in reply to DTH
      But you voted for Rick Scott ? now that's a shame!!!
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