Politicians can't win wars. Only generals can win wars.
General's D.C. Trip Put Off as Strategy Talks Drag On
Writers Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe report on what Peggy Noonan calls “the missing debate on Afghanistan” as the White House delays the return of Gen. Stanley McChrystal for a final meeting with President Obama – scheduled for this week – before the White House announces its new strategy for Afghanistan.
Much of the story is given over to praise from top Obama advisors for the president’s respect for the military chain of command. But however respectful, the president also seems keen to keep McChrystal off the Hill and out of the public dialogue.
This adds to the sense that the lengthy, private deliberations of the administration are part of an effort to look busy and buy time before Washington erupts over whatever has been decided.
“The State Department, the intelligence community and other major actors have presented their views during the ongoing White House meetings, and the appearance of Karl W. Eikenberry, the ambassador to Afghanistan, and Anne Patterson, his counterpart in Pakistan, are to be given significant weight. Some at the table have suggested a status quo strategy in which the current troop level of 68,000 would be maintained and more attention would be given to building the Afghan military, seeking reconciliation with some insurgent elements and solidifying ties with Pakistan.”