1. Taliban provides safe haven for al Qaeda.
2. Al Qaeda launches 9/11 attacks.
3. U.S. deposes Taliban and seeks to install a more democratic government.
4. U.S. deposes Saddam in Iraq and attempts to install a more democratic government.
4. Conflict in Afghanistan drags on.
5. Democrats, including Sen. Obama, complain Bush took his eye off the “war of necessity” to become embroiled in a “war of choice.”
6. Bush changes strategy in Iraq, launches “surge,” and stabilizes country, setting stage for eventual troop withdrawal.
7. Candidate Obama promises a more aggressive posture in Afghanistan.
8. President Obama names a new general for Afghanistan, promising a more aggressive prosecution of the war.
9. Obama’s general requests more troops, saying they are essential for victory.
10. Obama thinks about it.
11. More U.S. troops, awaiting a word from their commmander in chief, die.
12. Obama, preoccupied with health care debate, continues to think about it.