By Sylvia Gurinsky
President Barack Obama shows shades of his days as editor of the Harvard Law Review in his decisionmaking over Afghanistan.
Now, as then, he doesn't tip his hand and takes everything into consideration. But Obama has issues now he didn't face in the Ivy League.
The leading issue is the fact that the Taliban's campaign against the upcoming presidential runoff election becomes ever bloodier. Most likely, Obama wants to wait until the results of the runoff are in before announcing what he'll do next. The Taliban likely won't let him.
If he wants to concentrate on Al Quaida, he must recall that it was the Taliban that allowed Al Quaida to roam through Afghanistan and plan the 9/11 attacks. In the weeks before that date in 2001, the Taliban also gave frightening flashbacks to 1930s Nazi Germany with its destruction of ancient sites and its inhuman treatment of people. That hasn't gone away.
World assistance in this mess still hasn't been forthcoming, for all of the praise over Obama's efforts and his Nobel Peace Prize. As the runoff gets closer - and the Taliban gets deadlier - Obama's hand may be forced. In his mind, if not publicly, he needs to have his strategy in Afghanistan decided already.