Since President Obama's speech this week there's been plenty of conservative bloviating. Here's my take on the two oft repeated criticisms. (I posted some of these comments over on Jim's Stonekettle Station)
On not giving McCrystal 40,000 US troops, although it looks like the total of US and NATO troops will be close
"You should always listen to the generals and give them everything they want."
General John Shalikashvili, anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
On his setting 18 months as to when we would start pulling out troops
"You should never set a time limit on military engagements."
Feb. 7, 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." (USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/educate/war28-article.htm)
On the "dithering"
"He waited too long to make a decision"
1) I like that he didn't knee jerk a decision and demanded a more realized plan and better answers, 2) Afghanistan is about to be locked down by bad weather. Even if we took our time now, all the first troops we could have positioned will be in place by the time the mountains open back up, and 3) I like that he thought about it before spending more of our blood and treasure. the previous administration would have done better if they had also done so.