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Escalating to drawdown in Afghanistan? Dream on

Business Times - 03 Dec 2009


Escalating to drawdown in Afghanistan? Dream on

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

FIRST, the good news (or sort of): In his much-anticipated address on Tuesday outlining his strategy for Afghanistan, President Barack Obama refrained from employing the kind of fantasy-infused rhetoric about democratising the Middle East that his predecessor tended to apply when marketing his own war plans.

Indeed, Mr Obama did not sound very Wilsonian or messianic when calling on the American people to support his plan to deploy 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan within six months. In the tenor of the speech, Mr Obama could only be described as the anti-Bush: very cautious and very methodical; not an idealist, but a realist.

After all, it has taken him several months to deliberate on the Afghanistan strategy, including numerous meetings with his national security advisers and outside experts. 'As your commander-in-chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined, …