Many people predicted that Obama would add a “surprise” stop in Afghanistan to his trip to Copenhagen to pitch Chicago’s Olympics bid. That may not come to pass; Obama met with Gen. McChrystal in Copenhagen on Air Force One for twenty-five minutes.
That’s good, but there’s a disturbing signs that the fix is in, and I don’t just mean Chicago’s bid. The Post, this morning:
Senior White House officials have begun to make the case for a policy shift in Afghanistan that would send few, if any, new combat troops to the country and instead focus on faster military training of Afghan forces, continued assassinations of al-Qaeda leaders and support for the government of neighboring Pakistan in its fight against the Taliban.
Who are these senior White House officials? And what do they know about circumstances in Afghanistan that McChrystal doesn’t? Who thinks he’s got a better handle on the situation than McChrystal?
According to White House officials involved in the meeting, Vice President Biden offered some of the more pointed challenges to McChrystal, who attended the session by video link from Kabul. One official said Biden played the role of “skeptic in chief,” while other top officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were muted in their comments.