It has been over 2 months since President Obama began looking into the war strategy in Afghanistan. Understandably, he wants to get it right. However, while he was busy second guessing his commanders on the ground, over 77 additional US soldiers have died in the conflict.
The President has scheduled a prime-time address to the nation tonight in which he is scheduled to lay out the strategy. During the speech to the cadets at the United States Military Academy, he is expected to announce a 30,000 troop increase and provide further details on how the US will hand over control of the battle to the Kabul government.
According to a senior official, who requested anonymity to discuss the speech before it is delivered. “He wants to give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down.”
The nation's patience with the lack of progress in the region and the mounting cost in both lives and tax dollars is beginning to wear thin. There has even been a Democratic suggestion that a surtax on the wealthy is needed to fund the war efforts. It is doubtful that Obama will announce support any tax.
The time for action is now. President Obama needs to strongly make the case that there are clear, achievable objectives in the conflict. The resources necessary to achieve the objects must be allocated and there must be clarification as to when and how we are going to get out. The nation will no longer support open ended participation in conflicts around the world as the number of casualties approaches 1000 in Afghanistan. From the news around the world and the posturing on the Sunday morning talk show circuit by members of Congress, it looks like President Obama has his work cut out for him.
Oh, one more piece of collateral damage of the conflict: "A Charlie Brown Christmas" will be pre-empted for the President's speech.