It's amazing the situation Obama finds himself in with regard to the 'war on terror.' If he pulls out of Afghanistan he will be lambasted for the 'cut and run.' If he doubles down with 100,000 troops he's repeating the mistake of Vietnam and alienating his base. So he takes the middle ground -- splits the difference -- with 30,000 troops and a supposed withdrawal date. This effectively pleases nobody. He is still getting lambasted from the right for allowing the Taliban to lay low until we leave. Left wingers such as myself are appalled at the meaningless loss of life and resources over a war we can't hope to win.
This is the genius of Bush/Cheney/Rove's decision to perpetrate an illegal and needless war against Iraq. They knew we would never leave. All they needed from it was to inspire enough jingoism to win them one election in 2004, which it did, After they won the election there was no incentive to get out. Why would they? Look what they left their predecessor. Now the Repubs can effectively campaign against a weakened Obama presidency in 2012.
Simple, yet diabolic.