Commentary: Afghanistan review can't wait until December

President Barack Obama continues to say that a planned assessment of progress in Afghanistan will occur in December — and that a planned reduction in U.S. combat troop levels will begin in July 2011.

That review can't wait until December. A number of milestone events make such a review urgent now.

Since May, for the first time, more U.S. troops are serving in Afghanistan than in Iraq.

In June, Afghanistan surpassed Vietnam as the longest military campaign in American history, more than nine years.

By the end of August, the United States will have tripled military forces in Afghanistan from January 2009 – from more than 30,000 to more than 100,000.

A prime opportunity to announce a new review came on June 23 when the president changed Afghanistan commanders, firing Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and appointing Gen. David H. Petraeus, who once led U.S. forces in Iraq.

Obama balked.

Another opportunity came with congressional review of more than $33.5 billion for the additional 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Yet Congress is poised to pass the request this week with little debate.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.sacbee.com.