Obama's move has nothing to do with an effort to "win" in Afghanistan: He has realized long, long ago, that even the remote possibility of a "win" in that country is utterly impossible. Instead, he sees the political need to maneuver between the positions of the 'war hawks' and the 'advocates of peace' with whom he largely agrees: While the military wants to 'win', (whatever that means), the 'Right' would be ready to pounce on him as an appeaser of 'terrorists', if he acknowledges that winning is utterly impossible. The choice of Petraeus as McChrystal's replacement solved Obama's dilemma. In choosing Petraeus, he found a way to derail a serious political rival, since Petraeus looks like a possible contender in the 2012 election. By sending him to Afghanistan, Obama has made his candidacy much more difficult. At a stroke, Obama has taken Petraeus out of the 2012 presidential race. As we learned in the "godfather" movie: "Keep your friends close, and the competition closer". Petraeus could have been the Republicans' possible messiah: His impeccable military credentials, his undoubted intelligence, his mastery of personal and professional politics had led many to see in him as the candidate to take on Obama and beat him - and now he is gone, and the name of this game is: Obama wins again!!
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