Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says emphatically: "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."
Obama does not seem to know what he wants to do. Media reports maintain that he is undertaking an extensive review of Afghanistan. Previously it was thought that Obama had agreed with Gen. McChrystal's "counterinsurgency strategy" but now key members of his own Democratic party are publicly warning that their patience on Afghanistan is running out. The president is thus beginning a "logic chain" review of the current war plan. Public support for Obama's "good war" is in free-fall as up to 57% of the American people now oppose this eight-year mess.
In another article in the Washington Post this morning they report: But Obama's deliberative pace -- he has held only one meeting of his top national security advisers to discuss McChrystal's report so far -- is a source of growing consternation within the military. "Either accept the assessment or correct it, or let's have a discussion," one Pentagon official said. "Will you read it and tell us what you think?" Within the military, this official said, "there is a frustration. A significant frustration. A serious frustration."
This is the right time for anti-war activists to be stepping on the gas. This is one time when public pressure can bear serious fruit.
Obama does not want to end this occupation. He does not want to anger the Pentagon. He is a people pleaser. The massive US military base building now underway in Afghanistan indicates to anyone paying attention the true US intensions.
But the Democrats, already in trouble with their "base" of voters for failing to deliver on real health care change, cannot afford to have the peace movement on their backs in the 2010 Congressional elections. So they are in a position now where they must begin sounding like they have serious doubts about Afghanistan in order to cool down the public concern. But if we have learned anything in recent years it is that there is a very long distance between Democrats talking a good game and delivering on their big talk.
Now is not the time for the peace movement to take the steaming kettle off the hot stove.