Still not in any great rush to decide what to do about Afghanistan, the Ditherer in Chief has told his commanding general in the war zone not to come to Washington quite yet to brief the president on what he needs to get the job done.
Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post:
The White House has told the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan to delay a planned trip here Friday to brief President Obama and his senior advisers on his recommendation for a major troop increase.
Officials had hoped to have Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and what national security adviser James L. Jones called "all the key players" speak to Obama in person by the end of this week, leading to final deliberations over a forward strategy.
But "we're not finished," Jones said Thursday, and meetings may extend beyond next week. When the White House is ready, he said, McChrystal -- along with the U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan -- will fly to Washington so that the three "can meet with the president before a decision is made."
McChrystal's distance from this month's high-level discussions illustrates both the determination of the new commander in chief to reshape the White House's relationship with the military and the complexity of the decision Obama must make.
Unlike the Bush administration, which repeatedly emphasized that the new direction it took in the unpopular Iraq war in 2007 was blessed and orchestrated by its commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, Obama has solicited a broader range of views. White House officials have emphasized that McChrystal's assessment that tens of thousands additional troops are needed to resist Taliban advances is just one of a number of positions being considered.
Who is included in this "broader range of view?" No doubt George Soros will put his two cents in and I wouldn't put it past Obama to seek out the ideas of Code Pink in trying to decide the matter.
For a guy who railed against Bush for not listening to his generals on Iraq, he certainly has an interesting way of weighing the advice of the guy who knows best what is happening in theater.