You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Things Obama Didn't Explain

Obama's speech promised benchmarks and metrics to measure our progress in AfPak. But what are they? That's the really hard question. There may be a White House backgrounder on this point that I haven't seen. But to me the speech sounded like a vow to set benchmarks, not an explanation of what they'll be,

As for an ultimate goal, this is how Obama put it:

to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. 

Okay, but where is the point at which we're confident al Qaeda won't be coming back? That's a hard thing to describe. I'm not sure we've achieved a whole lot of clarity this morning.

Also: No mention whatsoever of drones and the degree to which Obama can and will rely on them, which is an incredibly big question.

--Michael Crowley