As NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reports, the president " is pushing his national security team for more detail about an exit strategy for U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan." Administration officials tell her that during a 2 1/2 meeting yesterday with his top advisers, the president "pushed his team for more detail about an exit strategy for U.S. forces. They said he wants to make clear to the Afghan government that the U.S. commitment is not open-ended." NPRJohn Dickerson revives the "dithering" comment or shall we call it "dickering" after Dick Cheney. This is probably the first time the military leadership hasn't had a blank check from the American people to do whatever they want.
Invade a country? Sure, here's a few billion. No exit strategy? That's okay. We'll just tell the American people you can't put a timetable on these things.
Colin Powell has advised Obama to take his time, to ignore politics of the left and right, and get this decision right.
The four troop options:
-- "The low option": Adding 10,000 troops, all of them to train Afghan forces.
-- "The hybrid": 15,000 to 20,000 additional troops who would focus on counterterrorism.
-- The mix of 35,000 Americans and about 5,000 from NATO forces.
-- An increase of 40,000; all of them Americans. NPR