I said previously that President Obama had to decide whether to fight to win, or fold and flee. Apparently the fold and flee option has been discarded:
By Ben Feller, Associated Press
WASHINGTON – President Obama yesterday ruled out shrinking the Afghanistan war to a narrowly focused counterterrorism campaign, but did not signal whether he was prepared to send more troops to the war zone – either the 40,000 his top commander wants or even a smaller buildup, according to several officials.
House and Senate leaders of both parties emerged from a nearly 90-minute conversation with Obama with praise for his candor and interest in listening. But politically speaking, all sides appeared to exit where they entered, with Republicans pushing Obama to follow his military commanders and Democrats saying he should not be rushed.
Obama is examining how to proceed with a worsening war that has claimed nearly 800 U.S. lives and sapped American patience.
Having taken the decision to continue the fight, President Obama now has to decide how he’s going to do that. The simple and easy decision is to agree to the 40,000 additional soldiers for which Lieutenant General Stan McChrystal asked; such would be reflective of the “surge” to which President Bush (reluctantly) agreed in Iraq, which certainly helped out the situation there. Thus far, the President has not agreed to an Afghan surge.
But he has to agree to something, has to change our strategy in Afghanistan, because the enemy is starting to gain ground under our current strategy. And the President has to be given some time to do that. How much time is another question, because every day that is taken in examining possible changes while no actual decisions are taken is a day in which our soldiers and Marines are in harm’s way without a workable plan for success.
¹ – The Philadelphia Inquirer, Wednesday, 7 October 2009, p. A-1