In his clumsy attempt to appease the left while simultaneously doing what absolutely needed to be done as president (and promised by candidate Obama in '07 and '08), rather than speaking softly and carrying a big stick, as did President Ronald Reagan, Obama seemed to convey a philosophy of "speak with soaring rhetoric from the teleprompter, but then hand over your lunch money to the bully." 

Obama's arbitrary deadline is a political move designed to appease his left flank. It won't work. They don't like the surge. And those who do, in fact, support the surge are already nervous about the delay and equivocation, and now have much more to worry about with the announcement of a set troop withdrawal date that has no connection to actual victory in Afghanistan. It makes it so much easier for al Qaeda and the Taliban. All they have to do is wait us out.

President Obama's very unpresidential handling of the surge decision pleases no one. Eighteen months from now, should the United States still need more time to achieve victory (a dirty word to Obama, which no doubt strikes fear and dread into the hearts deployed military personnel and their families), Afghanistan will be a disaster, and so will Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJudge orders Walker to hold special elections Mueller investigates, Peters quits Fox, White House leaks abound 2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives MORE's presidency.