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President’s Visit to Dover


I appreciate Kathryn’s post on President Obama’s visit to Dover Air Force Base to “[meet] with family members and [pay] his respects as the bodies of 18 Americans killed this week in Afghanistan were returned to the United States.” It was a classy move that I believe underscores the serious nature with which President Obama is approaching his forthcoming Afghanistan decision.

As much as anyone else, I want the president to make his decision as soon as possible — American lives, and commitment, hang in the balance. But if he has to take a few extra days to get it right — and become convinced of the rightness of General McChrystal’s approach — then the extra time is worth it.

Many more flag-draped coffins will be returning home to Dover in the coming months and years. I just hope the president’s visit to the tarmac underscores, for him, that if we are going to pay such a heavy price in America’s best and bravest, we must only do so in pursuit of battlefield success — with a decisive mission and the necessary manpower.

Anything less would be morally indefensible, both to the souls he saluted in the darkness and the families he consoled in their grief.


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