White House: No Afghan Decision Until After Thanksgiving

Nearly Three Months After Request, Decision Still Isn't Forthcoming

Nearly three months after General Stanley McChrystal went public with his request for more troops for Afghanistan, President Barack Obama is still not close to making a decision on just how large of an escalation he will approve.

Vagueness has been a consistent theme from the start, with officials bouncing between promising a decision “soon” and insisting that no decision was forthcoming. Today, the White House says that President Obama won’t make a decision until at least after Thanksgiving.

In an interview yesterday, President Obama said he expects to make an announcement at some point in the “next several weeks,” but even then he was vague on if that would happen. With Thanksgiving gone it seems the real question is if the escalation will be announced by Christmas.

After his disastrous escalation earlier this year, President Obama has been reluctant to announce his intentions in the increasingly unpopular war. At the same time, officials have made it clear time and again that the various “options” he was considering were all escalations of varying sizes, and that at no point was serious consideration given to leaving Afghanistan or even reducing the military’s presence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.