Friday, November 13, 2009

Obama's Options in Afghanistan

President Obama has yet to settle on a plan for Afghanistan. And little wonder. This is perhaps the toughest decision he’s had to make of his presidency. Most people agree that status quo isn’t working, so that leaves him with essentially two options.

Option 1: Give General McChrystal all the soldiers he asks for, which is about 40,000. This would leave over 100,000 total in Afghanistan. The question becomes what our final objective is. Is it to eliminate the Taliban completely? Is it to stay there until it’s a fully matured liberal democracy? Also, where will these soldiers come from? It seems like it could be third or fourth tour for some.

Option 2: Drastically draw down troops, and make greater use of drones. This will make it unlikely that we’ll be able to defeat the Taliban. Maybe we could make a deal with them in this situation? But that would doom many recently empowered elements of the population like women to a life of submission.

What do you think we should do? Take today’s poll.

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