It has taken months, but President Obama has finally made a decision on Afghanistan.
US President Barack Obama will send 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan over six months, in an accelerated deployment that will see forces start to come home in July 2011.
The first new Marines will join the fight by Christmas.The escalation - to be completed by next summer - is designed to reverse significant Taliban advances since Obama took office 10 months ago and to fast-track the training of Afghan soldiers and police toward the goal of hastening an eventual US pullout.
Let's hope this is a rerun of the surge in Iraq. The other thing changed in Iraq was the 'engagement model', or the rules about when they are allowed to shoot someone.
I trust that the rules allow the solders to protect themselves, not in a gung-ho fashion, but with all concern for the enemy safety put into the back seat where it belongs.
No one knows what the outcome of this will be. But the really cheering result is that Obama has made a decision. Right or wrong he has stuck his embarrassingly premature peace prize in the cupboard and made a decision. We should all be grateful for that. One only hopes that by signalling that he wants to be out in 2 years the Taliban won't just hide away and wait!