Shouldn't the government have to do a cost-benefit analysis of keeping tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another two years, given the huge sacrifice involved? Shouldn't that be a public document that outside experts can examine?
To measure progress during wartime, Americans once employed pins and maps. Plotting the conflict triggered by 9/11 will no doubt improve your knowledge of world geography, but it won't tell you anything about where this war is headed.
Obama doesn't need a chief of staff. He needs someone to shake him until he feels something strongly enough to not just to talk about it but to act. He's increasingly appearing to the public like Dukakis without the administrative skill.
In a few days Obama will travel to Oslo, Norway to accept the Nobel Prize. One cannot help but feel, on the heels of this new Afghanistan stance, that he'll be coming into town for his peace prize with guns blazing.
Obama is working to persuade the American people that our interests in Afghanistan are worth sacrificing for, while he places a ceiling on what the United States is prepared to do. Therein lies the dilemma.
What Obama should really have been concerned with was Osama bin Laden's vow to first bleed the US in Afghanistan and Iraq, then break America's domination of the Muslim world by luring it into a final battle in Pakistan.
While we don't know what exactly is going through Obama's mind, or just when or in what form he will address us on his plan for the war in Afghanistan, we do know something about what his conclusions are likely to be.
What is being portrayed in the media as the surge is but a modest part of an ongoing expansion of the war effort. The media's focus on the president's speech as the crucial moment of decision has distorted what's actually underway.