30 November 2009
I'm back (sort of) early in light of the President's Afghanistan address tomorrow. The Telegraph is asking the poignant question: "Will the true Barack Obama stand up on Afghanistan?" The answer is likely, no. He's more likely to try to find some sort of a balance point between all positions, and in so doing, may very well fail on one of the cardinal issues of his campaign. The President's decided tendency, when confronted with hard decisions (not unlike many commentators), is to vacillate, waiver and appease. Here is the President's policy statement on Afghanistan in February. Having found that he can't easily accomplish that policy, he is likely to announce tomorrow that he will increase troop levels by 34,000, with an exit strategy pegged at an 8 to 9 year commitment. The President seem likely to set his 'victory' bench marks at what he simply deems achievable. Jake Tapper (ABC News) pulled plenty of this magical-type of thinking out of Gibbs at today's press conference (although he got little in the way of concrete answers). Stay tuned for live blogging of the speech tomorrow.