Best Defense

OK, what comes after ‘dithering’?

Wow. Here it is November 6 and we still have no idea where the Obama Administration is going on Afghanistan. All I want for Christmas is a decision! No matter what the president decides, I’ll come away worried by his handling of the process. What can you do in 10 weeks than you can’t do ...

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WASHINGTON - MAY 6: In this handout from the The White House, U.S. President Barack Obama sits at his desk in the Oval Office during a phone call with Chinese President Hu Jintao May 6, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

Wow. Here it is November 6 and we still have no idea where the Obama Administration is going on Afghanistan. All I want for Christmas is a decision!

No matter what the president decides, I’ll come away worried by his handling of the process. What can you do in 10 weeks than you can’t do in four? I don’t think he and the people around him understand the costs of the Big Dither of 2009 — in the trust of Afghans, in the support of Americans, in the confidence of other nations. Spencer Ackerman has just offered up a good, if CNAS-centric, analysis of the state of the debate.

I am still an Obama fan, though less than I was 90 days ago. I am still glad he is president, and I’ll take him over Bush any day. Biden may be a wanker, but he isn’t Cheney. I just hope Obama gives a great speech explaining his approach and brings along the American people with him.  

Photo: PETE SOUZA/The White House via Getty Images

Thomas 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 ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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