He has called it a war of necessity, but voters are turning against the campaign. General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding officer, has made a strong case for more resources, both to fight the Taliban and to convince Afghans that the outside world will stay the course. Mr Obama says he needs to see a strategy before adding to the 21,000 extra troops he has already sent to the country, but that looks like a device to reassure American voters at a time when his domestic policies are in trouble. It sends an alarming message to wavering Europeans itching to pull out and to Afghans wondering whether to throw their lot in with the government or with the insurgents. If Mr Obama really does believe he must prevail in Afghanistan, then public doubts and delay will only make the task harder.
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