NATO spokesman James Appathurai announced today that the alliance will not be holding talks on Afghanistan at Monday’s conference, as they had initially planned.
The delay is because President Obama has yet to make public his decision on America’s anticipated Afghanistan escalation. Appathurai says the Afghanistan talks are tentatively rescheduled for December, but that the exact date hasn’t been set.
And that’s probably a good thing if NATO intends to wait until after President Obama makes his decision. In an interview today the president said that he will probably make such an announcement in “the next several weeks.”
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the American commander in Afghanistan, has been seeking troops in ever increasing numbers since August. President Obama has insisted that he won’t be rushed into a decision, though essentially he is deciding between a handful of escalations of various size.
Any decision will likely be an unpopular one, as polls have consistently shown most Americans opposed to continuing the conflict. None of the “options” being considered by the president has included ending or even significantly curtailing the conflict, over eight years after the US invasion.