“Barack Obama Better Be All In” on Afghanistan

At Contentions, the Commentary magazine blog, Peter Wehner assesses the prospects of success for David Petraeus, whom he calls one of the best generals “in our history”:

What Petraeus also needs, apart from time, is the full support of the president and his team. Petraeus had that in Iraq with President Bush. There were no efforts by then-Chief of Staff Josh Bolten to go on Sunday-morning talk shows to interpret troop-withdrawal timelines one way while Petraeus interpreted them another. The Vice President was not actively attempting to undermine what Petraeus was doing in Iraq. Late in the day, the Bush administration, after costly mistakes, decided on the surge strategy and united behind it. Despite enormous political pressure to pull back, Bush gave Petraeus the time and the tools he needed. It was a remarkable demonstration of presidential courage and wisdom. …

On the day Bush met with Petraeus privately in the Oval Office, after the Senate confirmed his selection for a mission that seemed unachievable, Bush said we were doubling down in Iraq. Petraeus said, “Mr. President, this isn’t double-down. … This is all-in.”

Barack Obama better be all in. If he is, he has the right man at the helm. If given the tools, David Petraeus — one more time — can finish the job.

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