Critics of President Bush's invasion of Iraq often complained that the necessary war in Afghanistan was being starved of resources because of the decision to topple Saddam Hussein. AmericaInTheWorld has always supported the Iraq war but it is difficult to argue with the contention that the campaign in Afghanistan was neglected. Barack Obama vowed to correct that while a candidate for the White House and has already committed another 21,000 US troops to the country.
He will soon receive another request for more troops from his commander in the field, General Stanley McChrystal, but that request will come at a time of mounting opposition to the campaign among US voters. A recent Washington Post opinion poll found 51% of Americans believing that the war is not worth fighting. Among the President's own Democratic party opposition is even higher, at 70%. Nearly twice as many voters want troop numbers reduced as support extra troops.
All this comes at a terrible time for Obama. The politician who could do no wrong is facing difficulties on multiple fronts. His flagship domestic reform - on healthcare - is unpopular. Earlier today unemployment hit at 26-year high of 9.7%. The budget deficit is exceeding the Obama White House's own forecasts. His net approval rating is down to 11.7%.