When there is no good solution to a problem, a president has three options: to avoid the problem, to pick the least bad of the available options, or to mix and match among the proposed solutions and minimize the long-term damage any decision will cause.
No issue has presented a tougher test for Obama's nonideological pragmatism than Afghanistan. Those with the greatest political stake in the debate reject the middle ground and doubt the president can think his way around the all-in-or-all-out dilemma. Yet this is exactly the kind of thinking Obama promised last year, and he's right to try to make it work.
Monday, November 23, 2009
E. J. Dionne: "A Plan C for Afghanistan"
E.J. Dionne (WaPo):