It is our war and it is about our security and our goals and ideals. I am happy with the pace at which the President is working this problem. He seems to be following the rules for a crisis—"Don't just do something, stand there."
Or, in the rules of the pilot handbook:
- Maintain Aircraft Control
- Analyze the Situation
- Take Appropriate Action.
Then, he, and Air Traffic Control, analyzed the situation. A couple of courses of action were considered and rejected. Then the hard decision was taken and everyone survived.
In an OpEd in The Washington Post Mr Ed Ruggero talks about the President and the Generals. What Mr Ruggero says makes sense to me.
There are some rumblings in the media, the the blogosphere and around the water cooler about a rift between the president and the generals responsible for fighting the war in Afghanistan. I don't think that's what's happening; what's more, I believe that reducing the on-going strategy discussions to some simple rubric like, "It's Obama vs. McChrystal" can be dangerous. What we can see, if we look closely, is a lesson for leaders on developing strategy and educating their constituencies.A line I used to use with my children was "I can give you an answer you won't like now or a good answer after I think about it."
The last three paragraphs of the OpEd:
This administration has gone to great lengths to make the discussions with the top generals as transparent as possible. The White House has been taking pains to remind people that the war is not necessarily about the stability of Afghanistan or the longevity of its corrupt government, or even the eradication of the Taliban (who, by any measure, are the among the world's worst bad guys). The big question is about the security of the United States, and how instability elsewhere affects us at home. The issues are complex, which is why the administration is, in my opinion, taking the time to educate the public on the issues.Regards — Cliff
Obama might still get it wrong; in Afghanistan, there may be many more ways to fail than to succeed. But here's what's most interesting to me: Complex issues such as this make Americans more, not less, likely to reduce everything to simple and even simple-minded sound bites and catch-phrases.
Yet so far in this debate, the White House, the political opposition, the generals themselves and even the media have--for the most part--resisted the urge to "dumb down" this complex problem. The optimist in me thinks that if we can continue to engage in an intelligent national conversation about this important and complex issue, well, we might be catching just a glimpse of how our democracy is supposed to work.