Escalation or Drawdown: Obama Faces Growing Pressure on Afghan War

Popular Opposition Has More Politicians Criticizing the War

President Obama is supposed to make an announcement any day now about the size and scope of the drawdown in Afghanistan. Some are predicting a “substantial” move out, while others are angling for that drawdown to be shelved virtually entirely for the rest of this year and much of 2012.

Indications however are that President Obama is delaying the decision as long as possible, and this is providing an opportunity for Congressmen and Pentagon officials to up the pressure on him. This pressure is coming both ways, with the usual suspects urging ever more escalation and a growing number of Congressmen urging a major move out.

Though there has long been a group of Congressmen opposed to the Afghan War, the major increase in their numbers over the past few months points to an increasing effect that the public opposition to the war is having with next year’s elections looming.

At the same time, Pentagon officials seem to be scrambling after months of claiming “progress” in the war has had a number of Congressmen insisting a drawdown would be readily supportable. Now, they insist, the US role will continue well beyond 2014.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of