The first question American journalists asked President Obama in China had nothing to do with his nine-day Asia tour -- it was about why he hasn't made a decision on how many more troops to send to Afghanistan. Obama said his impatient critics aren't involved in Afghanistan, and that those who are "recognize the gravity of the situation and recognize the importance of us getting this right." Is it time for Obama to stop deliberating and make his move? (Watch a CNN report about Obama's Afghanistan decision)
Enough debate. Decide already: "The cost of indecision is growing every day," says David Broder in The Washington Post. The Taliban insurgency is getting stronger, our allies are getting more nervous, and every day President Obama hesitates Democrats in Congress get more reluctant to "make an all-out commitment to win the war." Enough "dithering" -- Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he needs more troops, he should have them.
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This is how a president is supposed to act: President Obama's willingness to air the debate publicly, says Andrew Sullivan in The Atlantic, is a sign of strength and confidence, not weakness. Obama rejected all four major policy options before him and asked for more information because he won't let such an important decision be rushed. "His concern seems to be genuinely to do the right and the most sustainable thing. Which is a kind of strength we haven't seen in a president since Reagan."
A complex decision takes time: President Obama is deliberating questions far more difficult, says Fred Kaplan in Slate, than whether to give Gen. Stanley McChrystal the 40,000 additional troops he wants. Obama has to decide "what we can do, what we can't, what we should try, what we shouldn't bother trying, and the risks of doing or not doing each one." Obama inherited the Afghan war, but it's his now -- "the least we can allow him is a sense of confidence in his first crucial judgment."
Obama is starting to look indecisive: Dick Cheney sounded "premature and partisan" when he accused President Obama of "dithering" three weeks ago, says Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times. After George W. Bush, "who shot first and asked questions later," it was good to have a president who took his time. But now, after eight Cabinet-level meetings and several missed target dates for an Afghanistan decision, "Barack Obama is in danger of giving deliberation a bad name."
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