Obama Buying Time With Afghan Surge

Measure more geared to buying time to revamp strategy on conflict
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2009 10:43 AM CST
Vice President-elect Joe Biden shakes hands with a NATO soldier after arriving at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 10, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama intends to sign off on a Pentagon plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the Washington Post reports, but not because anyone believes this new “surge” will turn around the failing war effort. Obama’s team expects the move, which will nearly double US presence in the country, to simply buy time to re-evaluate strategy.

“We have no strategic plan. We never had one” during the Bush years, said one commander who believes Obama’s first order of business will be defining the mission. Logistical questions abound—how will Afghan forces be trained, new resources distributed, narco-trafficking curtailed? “At some point,” a retired officer said, “this is going to have to converge into a decision on strategy instead of 40 different ones.”