GUESSING ABOUT OBAMA AND AFGHANISTAN
Why all these meetings and deliberations about Afghanistan? I can't believe they are simply a charade that will end up with Obama giving McCrystal what the hawks demand.
I think Obama wants desperately to avoid being locked into a military escalation that spells quagmire for many years ahead. I think he hopes to open a window to a change of course that will provide more room for political and diplomatic maneuver and a possible escape route from commitment to endless war.
Of course the pressures are enormous, and he'll probably end up adding some troops and still trapped in a hopeless war. Nevertheless, the war in Afghanistan has finally come into question, with a majority of the public now opposed. The Obama Administration's own uncertainty, it's insistence on deliberation in defiance of demands from top generals and Republican hawks, underscores the growing anxiety and public counter-pressure for an end to the war.As in the past, popular anger over the toll that a winless war exacts is what will prove decisive — sooner, let's hope, rather than disastrously later.