WASHINGTON -- At the conclusion of the 1939 movie "Gone With the Wind," Vivien Leigh, playing Scarlett O'Hara, defers decision on what to do about the major crisis in her life with this sentence: "After all, tomorrow is another day." Unfortunately, the Obama White House seems to have adopted Scarlett's decision-making process for the war in Afghanistan. Note to the O-Team: Kabul isn't Tara -- and Americans are dying while the commander in chief dithers.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, a full month after Gen. Stanley McChrystal submitted his "assessment" of the situation in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama convened a three-hour meeting of his "national security team" in the White House Situation Room to "discuss next moves." According to information subsequently provided by the White House press office, Gen. McChrystal "participated in the meeting" via an encrypted video link, and no decisions were made.
Less than 24 hours later, the commander in chief boarded Air Force One and headed -- not to meet with his commander on the field of battle -- to Copenhagen to meet with the International Olympic Committee. His mission: persuade the IOC to select Chicago as the site for the 2016 Summer Games. Apparently, winning Olympic gold for Chicago is more important than winning a war.
That's not just my opinion; that's the sense of many who have put their lives on the line in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, as the "Sit Room" meeting was ongoing, I was with a grievously wounded Navy SEAL at the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md. His concern was not for his own life-threatening injuries, but on his mates who are carrying on the fight without him.
Later that evening, a military officer in Kabul offered this evaluation: "This is only the second time that the president has talked to Gen. McChrystal. We still don't have any decisions. We don't know what we're going to get or when we will get it. What we do know is that what we have isn't enough to win." According to press reports, Gen. McChrystal told the meeting participants that the situation in Afghanistan is "serious" and "deteriorating."
The White House press secretary now says that Wednesday's meeting was the beginning of a "thorough review of the options and strategy" for Afghanistan and that at least "three more strategy sessions have been scheduled." That's not good news. Time is not an ally in this fight. Indecision is an enemy in every war. The trip to Copenhagen is an unnecessary distraction.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.