Some confusing news from Washington. The New York Times reports that President Barack Obama “plans to lay out a timeframe for winding down the American involvement in the war in Afghanistan,” but The Wall Street Journal reports he has come up with a “revamped war strategy … that includes tens of thousands of additional US forces and benchmarks for the eventual transfer of Afghanistan’s defense to the Afghan government.”
The president is scheduled to meet with members of Congress next Tuesday before speaking at West Point, where he will outline his (exit) strategy for the war. The Times believes this signals a “winding down” of the American involvements in spite of sending 30,000 extra troops.
According to an anonymous administration official, Obama “wants to give a clear sense of both the timeframe for action and how the war will eventually wind down,” although, for now, we will see more action first before anything winds down. There is no talk of even a timeframe yet, let alone withdrawal. The Times‘ assessment would seem a little premature.