Commander in Chief

This review is now complete. And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan. - excerpt from President Obama's speech

From the "be careful what you wish for" department we have the previous statement from the first US President to invoke the "Powell Doctrine." Ever since the Vietnam War we have been inundated with the oft repeated chorus of "don't send in troops without an exit strategy". From Reagan to Bush II it has been the same refrain and to a man none of them heeded the warning. Each one of them to a man committed American troops without consideration of how they will be extracted. The closest to come to observing this doctrine was the elder Bush with the Gulf War when he went against conventional wisdom and did not allow US troops to enter Baghdad.

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Copenhagen, Now and Then

Copenhagen, Now
The fact the President Obama's presence in Copenhagen did not sway the IOC to award the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago in the long run matters not one iota. While the President should not have gone largely because of the potential for a minor political embarrassment, now realized, he also met with General McChrystal, the ISAF commander in Afghanistan. It was the President's first meeting in person with General McChrystal since he assumed command in June. The fact that Mr. Obama had not talked with General McChrystal since his report, now leaked, was submitted at the end of August had generated criticism especially in conservative quarters. The President's visit with General McChrystal not only truncates that criticism but also allowed the President to presumely ask hard questions directly of the General. More from the New York Times.

Copenhagen, Then
The President will be returning to Copenhagen in December to attend the Global Conference on Climate. The urgency to act on this matter cannot be overstated. To this end, Carol Browner, the former chief of the EPA and now Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, has been making the case that the United States must act now to limit greenhouse-gas emissions; that sweeping change is necessary and piecemeal fixes are insufficient; and that enacting new regulations would establish the conditions for businesses to pioneer new technologies. The Atlantic has more including video clips of Carol Browner's call to action on climate. Elections have consequences, as they say. Thanks to the election of President Obama, we have competence and scientific rigor in the Administration.

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