I have zero time to address tonight's important address to the nation on Afghanistan, so I'll let today's comments in the NYT "The Caucus" section speak for their themselves.
But Rich Lowery over National Review pointed out Obama's quandary best:
Prepare for the advent of Barack Obama, neocon. On the Afghan War, he is throwing in with the lying, warmongering running dogs of neoconservatism by ordering a surge of some 30,000 troops....The responsibilities of office separate him from a political base that only sounded stalwart on the Afghan War so long as it was a handy political tool with which to beat George W. Bush about the head and shoulders.
As soon as Obama assumed office, liberals bailed from the war with an almost comical desperation. They professed to have just discovered that Hamid Karzai is corrupt. That al-Qaeda is mostly across the border in Pakistan. That waging a war of counterinsurgency in one of the poorest, most illiterate countries in the world is a trying and complex endeavor.
Consequently, he finds himself in rough alignment with all the same hated people who conceived, executed, and supported the Iraq surge, and against the people who opposed it — and elected him.
If Obama weren’t burdened by his office, he might stand with his party’s newly minted Afghan doves and familiar purveyors of defeat. But he can’t. That makes him a conflicted commander-in-chief, ordering the surge, but loading it with conditions and “off ramps,” talking of resolve, but leaving room to maneuver. His head says “win,” his heart says “don’t commit.”
I hope this surge is as successful as the one in Iraq. We all should.
(Unfortunately, experts and analysts aren't seeing an "awakening" (ex: local militia that fought back against Al Qaedists in the Anbar providence of Iraq in 2006/7; a movement that eventually swept across Iraq and is known as the "Anbar Awakening") in Afghanistan. And the Anbar Awakening was a huge key to success in Iraq.)