As President Obama has a unique worldview, mainly due to his intelligence, exposure and experiences with other parts of the world, he can appreciate the crunch into which he has been put by fate.
A beginning has to be made with creating space between ourselves and the US and by devising a multi-level strategy to combat our own menace of terrorism. To put our own house in order we have to also qualitatively restructure our external cooperation with the US in this region. The first cannot happen without simultaneously moving on the second.
Since opinion was evenly divided between an increase in troops and a withdrawal, the president decided to do both; somewhat like driving a car while pressing both the brake and accelerator.