The National Review: Obama Visits Dover, Now What?

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President OBama with troops at Dover Air Force Base i

President Barack Obama, far left, participates in diginified transfer of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind., at Dover Air Force Base, Del, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
President OBama with troops at Dover Air Force Base

President Barack Obama, far left, participates in diginified transfer of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind., at Dover Air Force Base, Del, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

I appreciate Kathryn's post on President Obama's visit to Dover Air Force Base to "[meet] with family members and [pay] his respects as the bodies of 18 Americans killed this week in Afghanistan were returned to the United States." It was a classy move that I believe underscores the serious nature with which President Obama is approaching his forthcoming Afghanistan decision.

As much as anyone else, I want the president to make his decision as soon as possible — American lives, and commitment, hang in the balance. But if he has to take a few extra days to get it right — and become convinced of the rightness of General McChrystal's approach — then the extra time is worth it.

Many more flag-draped coffins will be returning home to Dover in the coming months and years. I just hope the president's visit to the tarmac underscores, for him, that if we are going to pay such a heavy price in America's best and bravest, we must only do so in pursuit of battlefield success — with a decisive mission and the necessary manpower.

Anything less would be morally indefensible, both to the souls he saluted in the darkness and the families he consoled in their grief.

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