"a young commander in chief"

I had a hard time with the president's decision on Afghanistan. Obviously many others have too. My instinct is exit now, end this war, period. But then after he announced his plan that conflicted with another instinct I have. To trust him. And I do. But that's not at all what I'm writing about here, my position on the war.

It's just about our president, and a moment that will go down in history.

NY Times today:

Now as his top military adviser ran through a slide show of options, Mr. Obama expressed frustration. He held up a chart showing how reinforcements would flow into Afghanistan over 18 months and eventually begin to pull out, a bell curve that meant American forces would be there for years to come.

“I want this pushed to the left,” he told advisers, pointing to the bell curve. In other words, the troops should be in sooner, then out sooner.

This wasn't the plan he chose out of those presented to him, this is his plan. THAT ONE, that brilliant person we found to lead us, made his move.

When the history of the Obama presidency is written, that day with the chart may prove to be a turning point, the moment a young commander in chief set in motion a high-stakes gamble to turn around a losing war. By moving the bell curve to the left, Mr. Obama decided to send 30,000 troops mostly in the next six months and then begin pulling them out a year after that, betting that a quick jolt of extra forces could knock the enemy back on its heels enough for the Afghans to take over the fight.

Nobody knows how this war will turn out. If the president delivers what he said he would, a responsible end and fewer threats to America and its interests from that part of the world, he will have done his job.

Regardless of opinions on the war, as far as opinions on the president, I'm glad he is deliberative, bold, decisive, and usually the smartest guy in the room. This is the stories we heard of "many different options were presented to him and he rejected them all". It was this. His strategy.

If he can turn this mess of a war that was dumped into his lap into anything that will be viewed by history as remotely positive, this will be one of the moments he will be defined by.

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The situation in Afghanistan is worsening. It has to be controlled for a better future. We do not want 9/11 to happen.

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