White House Braces for Anti-War Push From Left

Administration fears liberal call for pullout
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 1, 2009 11:47 AM CDT
In this Aug. 19 photo, Spc. Paul Pickett covers an injured US soldier as a helicopter lands to evacuate the wounded after their armored vehicle hit an explosive in Afghanistan's Wardak Province.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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(Newser) – Administration officials are concerned that pressure from the left could drive the Afghanistan war effort off the rails early, Politico reports. Rising casualties, along with doubts about strategy and the recent election, are raising fears the White House could be denied a chance to show concrete progress in the country. President Obama’s “supporters on the Hill are fighting a really serious political battle to keep the criticism under control,” says an analyst.

The issue is fast gaining traction, and the White House is busy putting together “numerical indicators” to show progress on various civilian and military fronts. “We have to show the American people that all this effort, all these resources, all these lives are making a difference,” says a Pentagon spokesman. Adds a White House official: “We’re prepared to shift and adjust, depending on what we see work."