That’ll Be Some Awesome Congressional Testimony
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Obama strategy review for Afghanistan is considering middle paths for the eight-year war — something along the lines of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy, but more restricted to major population areas and prioritized missions, with, accordingly, a smaller troop increase than McChrystal may prefer. And that’s to be expected, right? It is, after all, a strategy review.
But remember: Defense Secretary Robert Gates has promised Congress he’ll bring McChrystal to Washington to testify after Obama makes his decisions. If Obama decides to adopt a restricted counterinsurgency mission, perhaps that’s wise, but it carries the risk of McChrystal being used at the hearing by Republicans as a cudgel against Obama. Politics is politics. But if the decision is made that way, then McChrystal’s support has to be secured for it. Perhaps we should expect to see Gates himself, a pillar of the GOP foreign-policy establishment — who recently urged Republicans not to view Afghanistan as “Obama’s war” — out in front on this one.