Charles Krauthammer bashes Obama's call to arms, or to reflection, or whatever it was:
I'm sure the speech sounded better in the original French.
David Brooks explains that thoughtful isn't bad:
So that government of the technocrats, by the technocrats, and for the technocrats shall not perish from this earth. I'd want Obama next to me at a seminar, but I'd rather share a foxhole with George Bush.
Gallup finds us to be a 50/50 nation on Afghanistan:
Hillary is in Europe explaining to our NATO allies that Obama's July 2011 deadline was only intended as a reassuring signal of weakness and irresolution to the American Left; the rest of the world should disregard it:
Mrs. Clinton acknowledged on Thursday that some countries were confused by Mr. Obama’s timetable for withdrawal. But she said that, over all, “the response has been positive,” and she would work to clear up doubts over American intentions.
“I think there have been sort of misunderstandings about what that date meant,” Mrs. Clinton said Thursday to reporters during her flight to Brussels. “Now, that doesn’t mean we’re going to get to 2011 and jump off a cliff; it means that we’re going to be as careful and deliberative as necessary.”
When asked earlier about just sending troops, Democrats were much less likely than Republicans to be in favor. Now, in response to the new question asking specifically about Obama's multipart strategy, including references to increasing troops and to the timetable, Democrats and Republicans show similar levels of support.
BASED ON WHAT? This from the Brooks column struck me as a faith-based proclamation:
The advantage of the Obama governing style is that his argument-based organization is a learning organization. Amid the torrent of memos and evidence and dispute, the Obama administration is able to adjust and respond more quickly than, say, the Bush administration ever did.
An example of Obama's brilliance and flexibility would really illuminate this point, but Brooks does not provide one. On the specific topic of Afghanistan, Obama announced his "don't call it nation-building" counterinsurgency in March, appointed McChrystal in June to implement it, then dithered from September to December before mostly acceding to McChrystal's request for more troops to implement the agreed strategy.
As George Packer wrote in the New Yorker last September:
...the alternatives were already rejected by Obama’s strategy review [in March], and since then no one has made a persuasive case why they would work any better.