In the Arena

Kerry Nails It

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John Kerry gave a good, detailed speech about Afghanistan policy today. His sense that McChrystal’s 40,000 request is too much, too soon is especially noteworthy. I hate to make predictions, but just this once: I still think Obama will approve 20-25,000 troops–two brigades to secure Kandahar city and environs, plus three to train the Afghan security forces (although I’m more skeptical than the U.S. Military about our ability to create an Afghan army of 250,000 or more, plus hundreds of thousands of non-corrupt police officers).

Meanwhile, I’m heading overseas for a week or so and probably won’t be blogging much.

And furthermore: The right-wing hate machine is gearing up for another jihad, this time against Dalia Mogahed, a Gallup analyst who specializes in Muslim public opinion. I know Dalia; she’s terrific. Her work on the relative moderation of most Muslims has been invaluable. And I agree with Jeff Goldberg that this smear campaign is outrageous.