The Plank

Is the Die Already Cast on Obama's Afghanistan Decision?

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The NYT reports on the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, which featured a surprise appearance by General McChrystal:

“What we did today was to discuss General McChrystal’s overall assessment, his overall approach, and I have noted a broad support from all ministers of this overall counterinsurgency approach,” said NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Although the broad acceptance by NATO defense ministers of General McChrystal’s strategic review included no decision on new troops, it was another in a series of judgments that success there cannot be achieved by a narrower effort that calls for not increasing troop levels substantially and focuses more on capturing and killing terrorists linked to Al Qaeda. That counterterrorism strategy is identified with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Just a reminder that it's not just developments in Afghanistan that are going to determine the outcome of the Obama administration's policy debate. In a way, that debate may be heading to a foregone conclusion at this point.

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