yes, pulling out of afghanistan would be a political (and geopolitical) catastrophe
the region, as we all know, would become thoroughly destabilized
pakistan is nuclear, never forget
and yet staying and trying to win will repel his base
it will also be nearly impossible for him ultimately to succeed, were he even (hypothetically) interested in victory over there
picking some strategy halfway between is the worst option
so, of course, it's the one he'll adopt
The Democrats can't finish (and win) a war if they tried. Barack Obama needs to quit with his empty promises. He will go down as one of the worst US presidents in history.
Why is Iraq suddenly "finished"?
Because Obama says so.
The majority of the American people don't want to be at war. We're eager to believe progress has been made, and our troops are free to come home.
Obama could announce next week that we've won the war in Afghanistan, that we've achieved "victory", as defined by a new set of guidelines that he and his war council have made up, and the majority of Americans would be dancing in the streets.
Everybody's sick of bad news, sick of this long war. Nobody really knows what we're supposed to be doing over there anymore.
Americans are tired of the recession, tired of unemployment, tired of the daily rising casualty count in the middle east.
Most of us just want Obama to talk pretty to us again, about "hope" and "change".