President Obama will face a stiff supporting challenge Wednesday in presenting his plan for a gradual end to the U.S. military contribution in Afghanistan. His prime-time address must remind a skeptical electorate and a anxious Congress that the country’s longest war remains worth fighting — and funding — for several more years.
Obama’s generals have requested more time to combine the gain they say have been made since the president dispatch 33,000 additional U.S. troops to the country last year. The escalation, which angered his party’s antiwar base, follows a months-long strategy review to decide how to salvage a flagging war effort.
Since then, public opinion has turned more and more against the war, except for a now-diminishing boost in hold after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May.As he begins the promised withdrawal, Obama’s face will be to provide his generals with the resources to wage the war’s final phase while persuade Congress that, at a time of fiscal strain, maintain most of a $10 billion-a-month war effort is worthwhile.