Obama is dithering on Afghanistan

Bromley illustration

After eight years of government by gut instinct, most Americans welcomed the arrival of a deliberative president. Yes, get the experts in. Reflect, weigh their advice. What a good idea.

And so it is if you are attempting, say, to reform the healthcare system. (A shame it was not tried.) There is even more to be said for taking your time if you are contemplating going to war. But when you are already fighting one, it has drawbacks. The US has been at war in Afghanistan for eight years – and it is losing. On this issue, Barack Obama is giving deliberation a bad name. He needs to make his mind up.

The White House is touchy about this and is deflecting critics by blaming the previous administration. Mr Obama is asking hard questions his predecessor ignored, goes the line. True enough, Mr Obama inherited a wretched situation – but the recent dithering is all his own.

The remainder of this article can be read here. Please post comments below.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

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