James Forsyth

Decision time for Obama

Decision time for Obama
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Bob Woodward has the scoop that General McChrystal’s review of Afghan strategy calls for more troops. McChrystal is direct, stating that “ISAF requires more forces” and that “inadequate resources will likely result in failure”. He is also clear that these troops are needed now, "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."

McChrystal has yet to present his request for more troops to the Pentagon but it is clear that he will ask the administration for considerably more troops. Obama now has to decide whether he will back the new commander he put in place and give him the tools he needs.

The Washington Post’s analysis piece on the administration’s thinking shows that there is considerable resistance within the White House to sending more troops into a war which is increasingly unpopular. But it is clear that in the commander’s view, carrying on the same course will result in failure.