The First Draft: Obama Decision Time On Afghanistan?
The latest violence in Afghanistan may raise the drumbeat in Washington for a decision from President Barack Obama on whether to send more U.S. forces.
He’ll make remarks today at a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony, and could address the matter there. Plenty of other topics are on the front burner, though, including healthcare reform and overhauling financial regulation, to name just two.
Senator John McCain, Obama’s Republican presidential rival in 2008, said the decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan should come soon. McCain told CBS television’s “Early Show”: “Overwhelmingly the military establishment and those who have had the experience of our success in Iraq know that the people there don’t want the Taliban back … and they want an environment of security. And we watch this situation continue to deteriorate while this long protracted process of decision-making goes on. We’re not operating in a vacuum. The president of the United States needs to make this decision and soon. Our allies are nervous and our military leadership is becoming frustrated.”
Afghanistan is clearly not the only focus of U.S. foreign policy concern. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Pakistan, pledging a fresh start in U.S.-Pakistani relations. Clinton’s visit came as a car bomb killed over 80 people in a crowded market.
Back in Washington, the struggle continues to get doses of swine flu vaccine to those most at risk. One top U.S. health official says the government may end up throwing away unused doses of the vaccine if people can’t get it fast enough.
And it’s raining. Again. Still.
One bright note: U.S. consumer confidence is on the rise for the first time since 2007.
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Photo credit: REUTERS/Ahmad Masood (Security forces around an international guest-house in Kabul after an attack by Taliban militants, October 28, 2009)