Obama to troops: "I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way"

A noble and altogether proper sentiment, made somewhat less so by (a) reports of how much golf he’s been playing and (b) the inconvenient truth that there are troops in the field being endangered by the lack of reinforcements. I can only assume he’s defining “rush” here as “any speed faster than the speed I feel like going.” If not, then the obvious question — asked a thousand times but still unanswered as far as I know — is why this strategic reassessment wasn’t undertaken when he decided to replace McKiernan with McChrystal earlier this year. Especially since Bush’s own assessment last year provided “helpful” information, per Gibbs’s own admission.

According to ABC, it sounds like the new yardstick for “rush” is anytime before mid-November:

Sources tell ABC News that as of now President Obama will likely announce his decision about a new strategy in Afghanistan at some point between the Afghan run-off election, November 7, and the president’s departure for Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, November 11.

There is a chance the announcement may be delayed until the president’s return from the Asia trip on Friday, November 20, but as of now the plan is to have the announcement in that window.

Sources emphasize that no decision has yet been made, but as of now it looks as though the president is leaning towards sending more troops to Afghanistan, though not as many as Gen. Stanley McChrystal requested, 40,000.

Be sure to read this Danger Room piece on today’s helicopter nightmare in Afghanistan after you watch the clip. Boots on the ground aren’t the only thing we need more of.

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