- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My book researcher, Kyle Flynn, a two-tour vet of Afghanistan (with extra points for duty in Oruzgan, the Pashtun answer to Arkansas) and now a graduate student at Georgetown University, offers this interesting analysis of three reasons for the likely timing of the White House decision on how to proceed in Afghanistan:
- President Obama wanted to see if Pakistan was going to take seriously its operation in South Waziristan, which it advertised publicly for the last six weeks.
- Nov. 7 upcoming run-off elections in Afghanistan (COIN, credible partner, host-nation, blah, blah, blah)
- Last but most importantly: Nov. 3, gubernatorial elections in both Virginia and New Jersey. The latter of which is my reasoning why the decision was delayed this long. Corzine is in the fight of his life and Obama is going to piss people off either way. Important special elections also in California and New York.
Kyle concludes: “Let’s bet the decision comes early next week after the domestic political issues are settled.”
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