President Obama confronts the most fateful foreign policy decision so far of his administration. Rapidly deteriorating security in Afghanistan, the post-election political crisis in Kabul, highlighted by Abdullah Abdullah’s decision to drop out of the runoff vote, and General Stanley McChrystal’s request for 44,000 troops rightly spurred Obama to call a timeout for reflection. Over the past eight weeks, in a process with little precedent in American presidential decision-making, the president and his advisers have held more than a half-dozen no-holds-barred seminars examining and reexamining every dimension of this challenge.
Allison, Graham. "In Afghanistan, Kerry Keeps US Goals Modest." Boston Globe, November 4, 2009.