This is a small thing, but I’m glad that Obama made this point in his Afghanistan speech tonight:
Let me be clear: there has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war. Instead, the review has allowed me ask the hard questions, and to explore all of the different options along with my national security team, our military and civilian leadership in Afghanistan, and with our key partners. Given the stakes involved, I owed the American people — and our troops — no less.
Yes, Obama took a long time to decide on a strategy. Maybe a little too long. But since additional troops couldn’t be sent over sooner than 2010 anyway, it was never going to make any difference at all to events on the ground. I’m pretty sure that most of the people who have spent the past couple of months baying about Obama’s “dithering” knew this perfectly well — and if they didn’t then they have no business even having an opinion in the first place — but they kept baying away regardless. Pretty reprehensible stuff.