Obama's Afghan plan will be a political gambit
The United States won't finish the job in Afghanistan because the job that it should finish and the job in President Obama's mind are two different things.
The job of the United States and NATO in Afghanistan is to defeat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and remove their ability to sow terror in the U.S. and other western nations. The job in Obama's mind is to get the United States out of the country as soon as he possibly can with the least amount of political damage to himself.
President Obama is a politician in the worst sense of the word and doesn't have the mindset to bring the war in Afghanistan to a successful conclusion. That would require him to be resolute and strong with a clear understanding of why the U.S. and NATO are there in the first place. It would require him to make a long term military commitment on the part of the United States regardless of what other NATO nations do, and regardless of the political consequences at home. He would have to place his anti war mentality aside, exercise real leadership and vision and be a true war time President. There is nothing in his record that he will ever be willing or able to do any of this and that is why the Taliban and Al-Qaeda won't be defeated in Afghanistan or anywhere else as long as he is in office.
The plan that he reveals to the nation and the world on December 1st will be full of contradictions, escape clauses, conditions, equivocations, rationalizations and spin. It will be typical Obama. He will try to reassure, satisfy and inspire everybody while protecting himself at the same time. There will be a little bit for everyone but not enough for anyone. Instead of acting like the leader of the free world and making a bona fide commitment to victory he will try and be all things to all people, which of course will enable him to blame others when things go off the rails as they inevitably will. That has been his pattern in the past and that is most certainly what will happen when his plan is unveiled.
As I said in the beginning, two different jobs. Obama's personality and machinations ensure failure for the first. Let's hope that they ensure failure for the second as well and that the American people see his dismal performance in this area as yet another reason to vote him out in 2012.