Obama Poised to Announce Afghan Strategy Next Week

Posted November 24, 2009 at 7:06am

President Barack Obama appears to have narrowed in on a decision on his Afghanistan policy and will announce it “within days,— according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.Several news outlets are reporting that Obama will outline his plans Dec. 1 in a nationally televised address. Obama’s top military advisers including the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, are expected to address Congress shortly thereafter. “After completing a rigorous final meeting, President Obama has the information he wants and needs to make his decision and he will announce that decision within days,— Gibbs said in a statement Tuesday morning. Obama has been weighing his Afghanistan strategy for months, and on Monday night he met for the ninth time with his national security and military advisers. The president will meet Tuesday afternoon at the White House with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to talk about his decision.Liberal lawmakers have resisted any increase in troops to the region, and some have advocated for an outright withdrawal. Republicans — and some moderate Democrats — have said they would support a buildup, and urged Obama to make a decision on the strategy immediately.However Obama decides to proceed, he is likely to get blowback from Capitol Hill. In making the decision immediately after Thanksgiving, however, he may be able to temper some of those criticisms before the health care debate resumes in earnest.