[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/30/art.afghanistan.gi-1.jpg caption="Gloria Borger says President Obama faces a political problem of his own making on Afghanistan."]
(CNN) - Sometimes, even in Washington, there's no way around a central truth: that in governing, there are moments when real, tough decisions must be made. No waffling. None of the usual "on the one hand, on the other hand." No hiding behind the votes cast by others.
There is one vote, and it belongs to the president.
It was that way with George W. Bush in December 2006, when, after conferring for three months with his generals and his Cabinet - not to mention the advice offered by the pooh-bahs in the Iraq Study Group - he decided on a surge strategy in Iraq. It was not a plan highly touted by many of his advisers, but by January, Bush told the nation "America will change our strategy ... [and] this will require increasing American force levels."
As it turns out, the surge worked.