Changing conditions require Afghan reassessment

President Barack Obama’s top defense and diplomacy advisers said the United States retains the Afghanistan war goal that he outlined just two months into his presidency – to sideline al-Qaida – but changing circumstances require a reassessment of how to get there.

A “snap decision” on whether to add more U.S troops would be counterproductive, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.

Whatever the president decides, the military will salute, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

“It’s important that at the end of the day that the president makes a decision that he believes in,” Clinton added.

The question of whether to further escalate the conflict after adding 21,000 U.S. troops earlier this year is a major decision facing Obama and senior administration policy advisers this week.

Obama invited a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday to confer about the war. And Obama will meet twice this week with his national security team.

Divided on Afghanistan, Congress takes up a massive defense spending bill this week even before the president settles on a direction for the war.

Read the full story from The Associated Press


  1. issodhos

    President Obama had several years as candidate Obama to determine the importance of the military action in Afghanistan. As president he had a few more months to dwell on the importance of Afghanistan. To have a loathsome pol like Secretary Clinton state that he should not have to make a “snap decision” on adding more troops to Afghanistan is disengenuous at best.

    And further, if Afghanistan was so vital to America that President Obama decided it was necessary to send an additional 21,000 troops a few months ago, then it should be so vital that it is worth the risk of sending 200,000 more troops and doing whatever else it would take to achieve whatever he and his predecessors may view as victory. If it is not, then it was not worth the 21,000 additional troops then and is not worth more now. Pack up and leave.

  2. Sandra Price

    Issodhos, you are simply earning your war metals. Join the club… You happen to be correct. Remember Emerson’s famous words “To Be Great is to Be Misunderstood.”

    Remember, no matter how anyone voted last November, we would still be at war and in debt. With that old (deleted) Dick Cheney still stirring up neoconservative shit, the nation will never know peace. Nobody could possible lead us out of this MIC mess. There is no way out! I think you told me that years ago.


  3. Warren

    For the past 70 years the most politically palatable form of economic stimulus has been a good war. Politicians need to create jobs? Just take X men and women out of competition in the labor pool and send them to war. Then employ another 10X men and women back home to arm and supply the first X. Borrow the money to pay for the whole mess and then wrap it all up in the American flag.

    No way these Middle Eastern wars are ending soon. The politicians can’t afford it. A couple of million additional people would be looking for work.

    Sadly, this is not cynicism as usual. This is horrible fact.


  4. woody188

    Changing conditions my pa-toot. We have always been fighting insurgent Taliban and not “al Qaeda” in Afghanistan. Democrats don’t want to commit any more troops because it will be bad for them politically as it eats at their base. So more soldiers will die because politicians are worried about mid-term elections. As the great Daffy liked to exclaim: “You’re despicable!”

    Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain