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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The clock is ticking

President Obama is said to be reviewing the situation in Afghanistan to help him settle on a US strategy there.
Better late than never, we guess.
Still, after two years of campaigning and eight months more in office — indeed, after already having sent 21,000 more troops there — the fact that the president still lacks a plan is beyond stunning. Commander-in-chief isn’t exactly a post for someone who needs this much on-the-job training.
Just six months ago, in March (though well after he ordered the extra troops), Obama rolled out what was billed as his “comprehensive, new strategy” for Afghanistan.
But, as Amir Taheri points out in his column today, it turns out the president didn’t really have any strategy then — and he still doesn’t.
Which is why the top commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is warning that without an Iraq-style troop surge, the US mission in Afghanistan “will likely result in failure” — a view backed by the head of the US Central Command, Gen. David Petraeus, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen.
And why Vice President Joe Biden is suggesting his own plan: a scale-back of operations against the Taliban in favor of a tougher push against al Qaeda.
And, indeed, why the president himself recently wondered of Afghanistan: “Are we doing the right thing?”
Everyone, from the commander-in-chief on down, wants to know the game plan.
Again, this is beyond outrageous.

US lives are at stake on the battlefield. And if terrorists do regain power, they’ll soon be back to targeting places like . . . New York. (continues)

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