Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Taking the Over in Afghanistan [updated]

I wonder where Vegas would put the over/under line on the US decision to send more troops to Afghanistan?  20k?  30k?  If the former, I would certainly bet the over.  If the latter, then probably, because the worst I would do is a push.  So, perhaps Vegas would set the line at 35k as the real question right now is whether Obama takes a symbolic but materially significant stand that is independent of McChrystal (30k) or does he buy into the estimates given to him that 40k is the magic number for giving the US/NATO a chance of success?

The idea that going short and hoping that Europe kicks in the rest is just that--a hope.  As National Football Post's Mike Lombardi always says (as well as many others apparently): "Hope is not a plan" or  "Hope is not a strategy."  Either way, the US should not be expecting significant reinforcements from its allies, especially with the Dutch pulling out in 2010 and the Canadians in 2011.  It is far more like that their examples will be emulated than the American one.

The good news is that soon we will have our answer, and then we can start talking about the next big decision.  Any bets on what that might be?

Updated: The latest leaks suggest the number is going to be 34k, which means that 35k was the perfect line.  And that I would have lost some cash, I guess. 

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