Apparently rumors of the death of President Obama’s decision making process on the route forward in Afghanistan were somewhat exaggerated. This from White House National Security Adviser Retired Gen. Jim Jones:
“Reports that President Obama has made a decision about Afghanistan are absolutely false,” Jones, who generally keeps a low public profile, said in a prepared statement Monday night. “He has not received final options for his consideration, he has not reviewed those options with his national security team, and he has not made any decisions about resources. Any reports to the contrary are completely untrue and come from uninformed sources.”
There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that, hopefully, we’re not going to hear some flat statement coming from the White House saying that the President has settled on some “compromise option.” The bad news is that we still might. Rumors were swirling that Obama was going to send “some” additional troops over, less than the amount being requested, but far more than we have currently, and with no mention of any clarification of what our overall mission is.
I still hold out hope that the President will come out and speak to the country, (and I’d probably even tune in to a prime time interruption for this one) letting us know the results of his review and exactly what he plans on achieving over there. And if his decision is to press forward for a solid, definable reason, then he should supply at least as many troops as our generals need, if not considerably more. PROVIDED he also lets us know how we will know when the mission is done and how he plans to get us out when those goals are achieved.
If he hasn’t done the work to be able to provide us with coherent answers to those questions, then I expect to hear him tell us that we’re getting out. Anything in between those two responsible choices will have me in the rare situation of being in agreement with Dick Cheney and saying that he’s “dithering” with the lives of our troops.
I’ll give you some more time to work this puzzle out, Mr. President, but we need some solid answers on this and time is ticking away.