The President is closer than ever to a decision on how many troops, if any, he will inject into the increasingly violent conflict in Afghanistan.
“It could come at any moment,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One just before the President addressed some 3,500 sailors at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
The President was more tempered, “[W]hile I will never hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests, I also promise you this-and this is very important as we consider our next steps in Afghanistan: I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm's way. I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary.”
But after six meetings with his national security team and many weeks of deliberation, some are getting antsy, “If we can quickly get forces in there, then perhaps we will not have lost critical time,” Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “But as [Afghanistan commanding] General [Stanley] McChrystal said, time matters. And I'm afraid with every passing day we risk the future success of the mission.”
When pressed on the timing, Gibbs did broaden his comments to the standard fare of late, “in the coming weeks.”