Delay is Unjustified

I THINK I understand why President Obama has delayed, so far 78 days and counting, in making his Afghanistan decision.

He wants to be assured that he has a reliable partner in the Afghanistan government, and that Pakistan no longer has sanctuary for militants in Waziristan.

The problems are almost to numerous to mention. NO government in Afghanistan will EVER be a reliable partner, and the Pakistan Army, which actually behaved admirably in the SWAT Valley operation, is less likely to be so successful in Waziristan. The Pakistan intelligence forces are riddled with Taliban supporters and that puts Waziristan in question because there are no attacks about which the militants will not have warning.

So the President is trying to make his decision based on a mercurial situation. If he had read Churchill’s two-volume personal review of WWII, he would better understand that decisions based on even the best current information are simply linear thinking subject to the vagaries of too many unknowns.

The President is going to have to make a decision, and hope that it works out. There will be second guessers regardless: Too many troops, too few, bad strategy, bad weather,  bad timing, bad weapons mix…

As Churchill learned, it is best to make a decision and press on regardless. Dithering has few supporters when the historians write their reviews.

Whatever the President “decides” it must be in place by snow-melt, and it takes a long time to get troops and their “tail” in position.

The clock is ticking.

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