It may be that Obama wasn’t serious during the campaign when he committed to victory in Afghanistan. But, even if true, that can’t explain delay. If he wants to surrender, then he needs to order a retreat before men and women lose their lives needlessly. Indeed, he should have done so already.
But if he is serious about winning, then he should have acted already. How can he be stuck in the middle for so long with so much at stake? The answer may well be that the high stakes health-care debate has come between the troops and their reinforcements.
A surge in Afghanistan costs lots of money, and so does a health-care bill. The primary hurdle between a health-care bill and passage in the Senate is budgetary. The insistence of many senators that any expansion of government spending be paid for has gummed up the works. Just about every attempt to pay for the bill has elicited angry opposition…
The sad fact is, the delay of the decision on Afghanistan makes no sense unless it is part of a politically calculated plan to delay revelation of the true costs of the war until after the health-care legislation has been passed.