“On December 1st [2009], in a speech at West Point, the president [Barack Obama] laid out all the reasons why fighting the war in Afghanistan is a bad idea: It’s expensive; we’re in an economic crisis; a decade-long commitment would sap American power; Al Qaeda has shifted its base of operations to Pakistan. Then, without ever using the words ‘victory’ or ‘win,’ Obama announced that he would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, almost as many as [Commander of U.S. and NATO Forces in Afghanistan General Stanley] McChrystal had requested.”

 – Michael Hastings, “The Runaway General,” Rolling Stone, July 8-22, 2010