The first question press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked by reporters as Air Force One winged toward Asia the other day was about Afghanistan. Small wonder.
It has now been two-and-a-half months since the president was asked for more troops by the general he sent there to fight what Mr. Obama said was a necessary war. And after weeks of deliberations and White House meetings, the president, it seems, is not satisfied with his options, finding they lack, among other things, "exit ramps."
That's the trouble with wars. They don't usually come with exit ramps. They have to be seen through, and there are no guarantees of victory. That's why committing troops to war is the hardest call a president has to make.
But you would never have known that to listen to candidate Obama last year, or President Obama earlier this year. In March, he said he'd completed a thorough review of Afghanistan policy, and talked to all the key players. He announced a new strategy, among whose goals was to, "reverse the Taliban's gains and promote a more capable and accountable Afghan government." The speech outlined all the difficulties, including the corruption of the government. Indeed it could be given today, so little has the situation changed.
The only thing that's changed is the request for more troops, requiring a deeper commitment. Welcome to the presidency, Mr. Obama.
— Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for Fox News Channel.