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Is Obama making right decision on Afghanistan?

"President Obama will go on TV Tuesday night to announce that he plans to send tens of thousands of additional American troops to Afghanistan to fight in a war that has lasted most of the decade and has long since failed," columnist Bob Herbert wrote. He argued that the tougher but better choice for Obama "would have been to tell the public that the U.S. is a nation faced with terrible troubles here at home and that it is time to begin winding down a war that veered wildly off track years ago. But that would have taken great political courage. It would have left Mr. Obama vulnerable to the charge of being weak, of cutting and running, of betraying the troops who have already served. The Republicans would have a field day with that scenario."Columnist Dick Polman warned that Obama risks losing support from his political base with his decision to send more troops. "He will need political strength at home to sustain his daunting mission abroad, and I question whether he can succeed if the liberal base begins to wonder whatever happened to hope and change," Polman wrote.But columnist David Brooks complimented Obama for recognizing that the counterinsurgency strategy faces a number of practical problems in Afghanistan, and for trying to develop a hybrid approach that is more realistic: "My impression, pre-speech, is that Obama has negotiated these constraints in a serious manner, and improved some of his options — for example, by accelerating troop deployments. He has not been enthusiastic about expanding the U.S. role in Afghanistan, but he has not evaded his responsibility as commander in chief, and he's taking brave political risks."

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