Despite mounting political pressure and public discontent, President Obama—at least in public—is hanging tough on his raise and withdraw strategy in Afghanistan. The FT reports that the President ruled out any “sudden” troop pullouts and reaffirmed his commitment to the timetable in a joint address with British PM David Cameron.This is Obama’s call to make, but whatever he does, he has to act more like a war leader. Over the past few months, the public has lost confidence in his Afghanistan strategy, and support for the war has collapsed. A recent Gallup poll reports that fully half of all Americans believe the the troop pullout should be accelerated, while less than a quarter believe we should honor the current timetable. There are a number of reasons for the current ambivalence, from the difficulty of the mission, to the apparent contradictions of the strategy, to the long duration of a war that shows little sign to the public of improvement. Many of these problems are beyond Obama’s control, but on top of this he has added another problem: he is attempting to fight a major war without talking about it.Wars, even relatively small ones, are serious things. The President has committed troops to Afghanistan and spent money on it as if it was vital to the national security, but in domestic politics he has treated it as an irrelevance and a distraction, something of minor importance. With his first term drawing to a close, Obama hasn’t spent political capital on maintaining support for the war, rarely visits the troops, and hasn’t even bothered to update the nation at regular intervals as to the progress of his “war of necessity.”Acting as if the war mattered but ignoring it as if it were a trivial distraction is not the way to handle Afghanistan. If nothing else, the troops in Afghanistan and their anxious friends and families back home deserve explanations and updates from the man whose decisions have sent their loved ones into harm’s way.