The Corner

The Conflicted Commander-in-Chief

Here’s my column on Obama and Afghanistan today. His heart is not really in this war, but the responsibilities of the office have basically forced him into making the right choice. Although he wants to hedge his commitment with all sorts of timelines and conditions, I’m guessing the logic of the war will continue to carry him in the right direction. To put it in Hillary Clinton terms, now that he’s in, he’ll need to win. An encouraging sign today is the news — noted earlier by Dan Foster — that Obama will speed the deployment of the new brigades into Afghanistan despite the conventional wisdom that it’d take a full year. There’s a political element to this decision — an earlier deployment will allow for an earlier pull-down, with the 2012 elections in mind — but it will make it possible to have much more of an effect on the ground next year than would have been possible otherwise. As always, nothing would be possible without the incredible bravery and sacrifice of our troops — all honor to them.

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