Needless to say, President Obama is coming under fire for his trip to Asia this weekend. The right really hates seeing a President travel, well unless that President is going for months on end to play cowboy in Texas.
While Obama has traveled a lot, he has also used those trips to help strengthen U.S. relations around the world. This is something really important given the question of; “what to do in Afgranistan?”
President Obama’s trip this weekend also includes some heavy reading material:
As Mr. Obama left Thursday for a weeklong trip to Asia, he took his Afghanistan review with him. The president asked his military and civilian advisers not to present entirely new options, administration officials said, but rather to help choose from what he believes are the most promising elements. The discussions are not fixed on troop numbers alone, the officials said, but on underlying strategy and performance measures.
So the President isn’t going on some little leisure trip. Instead he is working to strengthen our ties with Japan and contemplate Afghanistan in his extra time.
Andrew Sullivan points out that this is what it’s like having an adult President:
What we are seeing here, I suspect, is what we see everywhere with Obama: a relentless empiricism in pursuit of a particular objective and a willingness to let the process take its time. The very process itself can reveal – not just to Obama, but to everyone – what exactly the precise options are. Instead of engaging in adolescent tests of whether a president is “tough” or “weak”, we actually have an adult prepared to allow the various choices in front of us be fully explored.
As soon as General McChrystal’s words leaked out a couple of months ago the right went into a frenzy. Within a week of the comments they were blasting Obama for not doing exactly what the General wanted and sending in more troops. It was those kind of rash decisions we saw with Bush and played a major role in contributing to the Iraq quagmire we entered in 2005. President Obama seems determined not to make that same mistake. Instead we are seeing the thought process of a highly educated man play out, and for something as serious as war it’s a welcomed change to the previous 8 years.