Obama's new Afghan policy has received a mixed response from the American public and politicians. The biggest critics of his ambitious healthcare reforms, the Republicans, are the strongest supporters of his new Afghanistan policy. His own party forms the most critical opposition to his plan for a 'New Surge' in Afghanistan. This dichotomy of opinion, especially opposition from his own party, has forced President Obama to announce a withdrawal timetable, making him appear weak by announcing the escalation and end of the conflict at the same time. This strategic weakness was pointed out by Republican Senator John McCain when he said, "The way you win wars is to break the enemy's will, not to announce dates that you are leaving". What Mr. Obama was confronted with was a dilemma of either satisfying the domestic opinion or addressing his foreign audience, both allies and foes, which all wanted to gauge American commitment and strength. Mr. Obama chose the former by bowing to the public opinion at home and making a pledge of withdrawing American troops by mid of 2011, something everybody knows is a kind of political rhetoric rather than reality. What the Pakistani rulers and policy makers need to learn is how the power of the public opinion forced a 'magical stage-performer ' like Barack Obama to change his policy, at least in public. In fact, in this particular example lies the solution to Pakistan's problem of the War on Terror. Pakistan's political parties and rulers need to rally the masses on the streets and launch a strong political movement against the US-sponsored war. The politicians should derive their strength from support of the people who are vehemently anti American and wary of American designs for the region. An All Parties Conference against the War on Terror should be called to announce dates for public rallies across the country creating the sort of political fervor needed to highlight our opposition to the war. This should give the policymakers the much needed political strength and a mandate to radically change Pakistan's foreign policy, end its alliance with the US and resist international pressure. Otherwise, Pakistan should brace for 18 months of deadly violence and destruction and the never ending demands of 'do more' from an increasingly belligerent US. -MOEZ MOBEEN, Islamabad, December 4.