Is President Obama really not feeling any political pressure from progressives on his looming decision to potentially send tens of thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan?
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National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones (Ret.) insisted this morning on CNN's State of the Union that political pressure from Obama's progressive base has nothing to do with the President's decision on whether to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
"The strategy does not belong to any political party," Jones said. "And I can assure you that the President of the United States is not playing to any political base."
Jones, seeming almost offended by the line of questioning, also said, "I don't play politics, and I certainly don't play it with national security."
Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, took a similar stance today. When asked on Meet the Press whether political pressure might be a factor in the troop decision, she said firmly: "Absolutely not."
Still, the question really doesn't seem to be whether Obama's feeling any political pressure from liberals on Afghanistan, but rather how big of a role it'll play in his deliberation over whether to grant Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's request for additional U.S. troops -- reportedly as many as 40,000 -- or to scale back forces and adopt a counterinsurgency strategy as Vice President Joe Biden is said to advocate.