It took him longer than I (and many others) believe it should have. But President Obama has reportedly ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan to hopefully finish off Al Qaeda, neutralize the Taliban and finish the war that the 9/11 attacks wrought – the war that Candidate Obama rightly said was the justifiable war, the one that we had to win.
Obama will address his Afghanistan decision in a nationally televised speech from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point tomorrow night.
The number of troops is slightly less than what General Stanley McChrystal requested, but it is close enough. The bigger issue, in my opinion, is why it took so long for him to make this decision. I’m all for thinking through decisions carefully to make sure you get them right. I certainly don’t believe in the “shoot now and ask questions later” philosophy that the previous administration took to many of its foreign policy endeavors. But you can’t take over a month to decide whether or not to send more troops to a conflict that you criticized the previous administration for neglecting. This delay certainly won’t help the perception that Obama can’t lead.
Now we better hope the delay won’t hurt this country’s chances of victory.