After returning from his minor flop of a trip to Asia, President Obama has convened yet another strategy meeting on Afghanistan. Of course, part of the politics of this empty trip seems to have been to delay supporting the troops again. Perhaps Rham Emannuel counseled that sending reinforcements now would undermine Democratic nerve on the health care bill. Who knows? One thing we do know is that the Chinese pulling the plug on Obama's nationwide town hall was an embarrassment plain and simple. And what trip would be complete without a bow or two. The bow to the Japanese emperor proves one thing is improving in the Obama Administration. The presidents' bowing is getting much better. He really has the bend down pat. Though in the interest of variety, next time the president might curtsy, just to show he's versed in other ways of showing submission before a king or dictator.
Moving from the vapid Asia trip onto an issue the President should have addressed four months ago, Afghanistan continues to fester. Honest Americans can debate this war in all of its aspects, but the Taliban are still there, Pakistan is still tottering and Bin Laden is still on the lam. From this point of view, the question is not whether, but how many troops should go. Concurrently, the President should seriously enlarge the Army. Obama promised to do so already, but there is scant evidence he is following through on this pledge. More troops are needed in Afghanistan. A larger Army is needed so that troops don't have to spread thin throughout the world and redeployed over and over again in combat theaters. No question these are hard decisions. However, when American troops need reinforcements, the job of the President is to call for those troops, not sightsee on the great Wall of China. The mixed up priorities of this novice executive had better straighten out and fast.