June 19, 2010 1:00 AM

Commentary: Obama's mixed Afghanistan messages

Even before July 2011 arrives, Obama faces a stark choice. He can insist on his timetable and its promise of a drawdown — but that will further reduce McChrystal's chances of success and increase the probability of eventual defeat. Or he can adjust his message and tell both Karzai and the American people that he intends to stick it out until the job is done — even if that means slowing the withdrawal. So far, he's sent both messages, and that has only sown confusion.

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