[After months of deliberation in 2006], no one accused George W. Bush of dithering. So why does Barack Obama keep hearing the taunt as he deliberates about Afghanistan — and why do even some who sympathize with his dilemma find it hard to shake the feeling that this commander in chief lacks resolve?
One part of the answer is easy: Bush was renowned for summoning plenty of resolve, and not enough critical thinking. No one questioned that Bush’s heart was in his bid for “victory” in Iraq. Not a few wondered whether he had weighed carefully enough whether dispatching 20,000 more American troops in early 2007 was a reasoned strategy or a reckless gamble…
Obama’s prolonged deliberation would be understandable if he were choosing between escalating or ending the war, as Bush was. Yet he narrowed his options many weeks ago — and still has been unable to come to closure…
In the end, it’s not enough for a president to be seen as having thought through a decision to send more troops to war. Enemies, allies and the country also need to be convinced that he believes in it.
Read the whole thing.
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