The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama will face a stiff political challenge Wednesday in presenting his plan for a gradual end to the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. His prime-time address must remind a skeptical electorate and a concerned Congress that the country’s longest war remains worth fighting — and funding — for several more years.
Obama’s generals have requested more time to consolidate the gains they say have been made since the president dispatched 33,000 additional U.S. troops to the country last year. The escalation, which angered his party’s anti-war base, followed a months-long strategy review to determine how to salvage a flagging war effort.
As Obama begins the promised withdrawal, his challenge will be to provide his generals with the resources to wage the war’s final phase while persuading Congress that, at a time of fiscal strain, maintaining most of a $10 billion-a-month war effort is worthwhile.
President Obama will reveal his withdrawal plan Wednesday at 8 p.m. It is expected that he will withdraw 5,000 troops this summer and another 5,000 by the end of the year. That will leave 23,000 of the surge troops in Afghanistan, and those troops will likely all be brought home by the end of 2012, giving his generals another full fighting season after this one with the bulk of the surge forces in place.
President Obama better tap into his gift for prose, because the thought of spending that kind of money for a war that has lost support in Congress and among the American people does not bode well. He’ll have to do more than maintain support for the Afghan war — he will have to reignite interest and support in the war to the tune of $10 billion per month. Good luck with that.
Read more at the Washington Post.
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