The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Obama Eyes Middle Ground on Afghanistan

By Ben Pershing
Fairly or not, President Obama has in the past been dubbed the "compromiser-in-chief" because of his inclination toward the middle ground. That may well be where he's headed on Afghanistan.

At a meeting Tuesday with congressional leaders from both parties, the Los Angeles Times reports, "Obama did not indicate to the bipartisan group whether he is leaning toward or against a significant troop escalation. Instead, he suggested he is looking at the middle range of the spectrum, somewhere between a major increase in forces and a large drawdown." The New York Times says Obama told lawmakers "that he would not substantially reduce American forces in Afghanistan or shift the mission to just hunting terrorists there, but he indicated that he remained undecided about the major troop buildup proposed by his commanding general." And, the Times adds, Obama had a "pointed exchange" with John McCain over the pace of his decision-making, while Nancy Pelosi, Carl Levin and David Obey "voiced reservations" about a troop increase. (Sarah Palin, who was not at the White House Tuesday, thinks we should send more troops.)

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:27 AM ET on Oct 7, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This
Previous: Obama to Keynote Gay-Rights Dinner With Lady Gaga, "Glee" | Next: Obama Indonesia Trip Set for 2010

Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

If Karzai had been elected legitimately or was at least accepted by the majority of the country Obama would accept McChrystal's plan. Karzai won by fraud and he is not acceptable to the people of Afghanistan. If Karzai shows that he can be reasoned with Obama will go with McChrystal, otherwise he will not.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 7, 2009 2:06 PM

Pointing out an inaccuracy. Palin is a self described pit bull. She does not think, she responds like the political animal she is. Thank you for reporting what those incapable of thought want.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 7, 2009 1:56 PM

The best solution to the Afghanistan problem is to move out of Afghanistan and into the no man's land between Afghanistan and Pakistan and concentrate on neutralizing both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. This would be a military operation with recon and air power not involved in the politics of Afghanistan or Pakistan. Aid to these nations would be only as requested. We are not there to change the world; we are there to protect the interests of all nations by eliminating terrorist threats to all of the free world.

Posted by: OchamsRazor | October 7, 2009 12:16 PM


* "Seven Days in May" McChrystal just the latest ominous sign

Will President Obama realize that the "endless war" strategy, costing the nation much blood and treasure, is fueling a hard-right silent coup that already has decimated democracy and made a mockery of the rule of law at the GRASSROOTS -- where Democrats are weakest?



• Physical and Neurological Impairment Under the Cover of Telecommunications, "Less-Lethal" Law Enforcement Weaponry -- A Crime Against Humanity

A federal-local multi-agency coordinated action program -- an ongoing legacy of the Bush-Cheney years -- is committing a quiet genocide on thousands of unjustly targeted Americans...

...via microwave/laser weaponry; covert financial exploitation; and a grassroots vigilante army fronted by community policing, town watch and anti-terrorism units who use covertly placed warrantless GPS devices and cell phones to stalk their targets...

... a GRASSROOTS GESTAPO protected by federal and local law enforcement who know all about it...

...a domestic "torture matrix" hiding in plain sight, unreported by a complacent, manipulated mainstream media, unquestioned by naive and apparently misinformed Obama officials.


BAN the use of microwave and laser weaponry against the American people; and

BAN the warrantless GPS/cell phone tracking of U.S. citizens -- the electronic backbone of a GRASSROOTS GESTAPO now operating on your watch.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 7, 2009 11:28 AM

There is simply, "NO MIDDLE GROUND"! We lost the war 8 years ago and have followed a path of no strategy/win and blundered our way along impacting useless bloodshed and waste of treasure. We cannot win a war the Afghan's do not buy into. We tried it before and neglected to profit from our lessons in VietNam. It is time to declare victory and leave. NOW!!! We prop up a corrupt central government in a land where equality and democracy are unworkable and unknown.

Posted by: robjen116 | October 7, 2009 11:26 AM

Win the Hearts and Minds. To do that we should drill a water well and put up a wind mill that generates electricity for each small village and then leave the population in each area alone. When building these improvements we have to have a large on-site security force and the trucks delivering the materials have to be protected. We were short handed in Iraq in 2006, I know I was there, and if we had the security forces to repair the Iraqi infrastructure quickly and efficiently, we would have been out of there already. Instead we aggravated the Iraqi's by not getting much done due to security shortfalls, ie. contractors being harrasses, deliveries being hijacked/stolen drivers killed and the work areas being a non secure place.
Bottom line, go in with large force, get the job done then leave. Let them have a positive view of us getting in, helping their living conditions then getting out, instead of a constant aggravation. That's the best we can do without re-drawing middle east maps to appease them.

Posted by: mjpierno | October 7, 2009 10:03 AM

How about.. 'Compromiser-in-Chief'
.. 'Chameleon-in-Chief'
.. 'Conde' Nast Traveler-in-Chief'

Posted by: newbeeboy | October 7, 2009 9:49 AM


Cut the political correctness cr@p already. How about the incompetent, indecisive, chicken sh^t, "present" voting, dumbazz-in-chief!!!

Posted by: Bcamp55 | October 7, 2009 8:57 AM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company