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Obama’s Task

November 19, 2009, 6:34 AM
“There is no doubt that the prospects for success in Afghanistan are so bleak right now because former President George W. Bush failed for seven long years to invest the necessary troops, resources or attention to the war,” writes the New York Times. “But it is now President Obama’s war, and the American people are waiting for him to explain his goals and his strategy. Mr. Obama was right to conduct a sober, systematic review of his options. We all know what happens when a president sends tens of thousands of Americans to war based on flawed information, gut reactions and gauzy notions of success. But the political reality is that the longer Mr. Obama waits, the more indecisive he seems and the more constrained his options appear… It has become a cliché in Washington that there are only bad choices in Afghanistan. But it seems clear that this is not the time for a precipitous withdrawal, nor can the United States cling to the status quo while the Taliban gains ever more territory and more power. To move forward, Mr. Obama needs to explain the stakes for this country, the extent of the military commitment, the likely cost in lives and treasure and his definition of success. Mr. Bush failed to do all of that in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Obama’s Task

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