Barack Obama leder møte etter møte om Afghanistan. Er det fordi han er grundig eller fordi han er usikker? De første spørsmålstegn har dukket opp. Hva vil Bob Woodward fortelle om diskusjonene bak lukkede dører? Mange vil påvirke Obama, men han kan ikke gjøre alle til lags. Det går ikke i krig.
Christina Lamb har noen skarpe observasjoner i the Times:
IN Afghanistan they would call it a shura, the traditional tribal way of listening to elders’ views before reaching a consensus. In Washington, where President Barack Obama has now held five war councils, they are starting to call it dithering.
With another council on the Afghan war scheduled for this week, US officials admit it could be November before a decision is finally taken on whether to agree to General Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops. One participant revealed that the protagonists have not yet discussed troop numbers.
Latest polls show a majority of Americans now disapprove of Obama’s handling of a war which may come to define his presidency. Many senior members of his own party are in open revolt.
«It has been 76 days since General McChrystal submitted his review to the administration requesting additional forces, and the clock continues to tick,» complained Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the senior Republican on the House foreign affairs committee.
The slow pace, explained one adviser, is explained by the fact that each meeting focuses on a different part of the problem. «They are methodically going through all the information,» he said.
«The discussion itself is not unexpected,» said a Pentagon spokesman. «It’s not as if we were expecting a rubber stamp.»
The White House gives away little after each session, barely changing the adjectives used to describe them. The first was «rigorous and deliberate», the second «comprehensive», the next «robust» and the last «fairly comprehensive».