An experiment

So President Obama has announced that we will send 34,000 troops to reinforce Afghanistan. Together with the hoped-for 5,000 troops from allies, that would make 39,000 of the 40,000 that General McChrystal requested. (I suppose 39,999 would have been too obvious.) That’s good news.

He also announced that we will begin withdrawing in 2011. Recall that in 2008 President Bush rejected a troop withdrawal deadline (favored by Democrats), because a withdrawal schedule without victory would show a lack of resolve and notify the enemy exactly how to win. Well, now we have the opportunity to find out: can we achieve victory despite having a troop withdrawal deadline in place?

I hope we can.

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