Catholic groups were alternately hopeful and dejected by President Obama’s plan to add 30,000 troops to the war effort in Afghanistan. “I think he’s making a tragic and horrible mistake,” said David Robinson, head of Pax Christi USA. “The irony of him announcing this fateful escalation the week before [receiving] the Nobel Peace Prize, this is Greek tragedy.” Mary Ellen Gallagher, a Maryknoll sister who is on the staff of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in Maryknoll, N.Y., said she hopes and prays that this strategy works. “But after eight years of this war, with the toll it takes on our own soldiers, the toll it takes on the people in Afghanistan, the lack of training in these eight years for the Afghani soldiers: Where have they been in all these eight years? Why have they not been trained to protect their own people? These are the questions that we have,” she said.