Obama Says He Is Close To Afghan War Decision

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From the NY Times:

BEIJING — President Obama said Wednesday he is “very close to a decision” on a troop increase for the war in Afghanistan, and will make his case to the American people for his Afghan strategy in the next “several weeks.”

“I am very confident that when I announce the decision, the American people will have a lot of clarity about what we’re doing, how we’re going to succeed, how much this thing is going to cost,” Mr. Obama told CNN in an interview at his hotel in Beijing. Most important, he said, is that he is asking “what’s the end game on this thing, which I think is something that unless you impose that kind of discipline, could end up leading to a multi-year occupation that won’t serve the interests of the United States.”

Mr. Obama said that his “preference” on Afghanistan “would be not to hand off anything to the next president,” but did not indicate if that meant he plans to pull out most American troops by 2012. “We have a vital interest in making sure that Afghanistan is sufficiently stable, that it can’t infect the entire region with violent extremism.”

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