Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Bout Time 

The news that President Obama is about to announce his decision on troop levels in Afghanistan highlights a weakness -- indecisiveness. He has maundered about the decision for months while forces in the Afghanistan have been strained and waiting and his commanders left in the air not knowing how they are to proceed in handling the conflict.

From a PR perspective, the president may have placed himself in a position where he can't win. No matter what he decides -- whether to maintain, decrease or expand forces -- he has built contrary expectations across the country. The anti-war activists will be angry. The support-our-troops faction are already unhappy. Citizens who don't care for either side are wondering what took him so long.

Presidents should make decisions carefully. We know what happens when they "shoot from the hip." But, there is care, and there is paralysis. A perception that a President is unable to choose is ruinous to his image and his administration.

Hi Jim. I think "maundered" is too strong a word here but I'm glad you used it because I had forgotten what a great word it is, combining and intimating "meander" and "wander" and maybe even "murder." I can't wait to use it in a discussion or meeting -- e.g., maybe we should stop maundering and get to the point (ouch).

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