It sounds more and more like Team Obama doesn't want to have it look like they are just going to execute the plan developed by Team Bush - that wouldn't do. Instead, they want to gain some white-space on the calendar so they can "modify" then plan and call it their own.
A comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan must be agreed by the NATO summit in April, U.S. national security adviser and retired Gen. James Jones told a German newspaper.Naw, I ain't worried either.
Jones, who is to speak at the Munich Security Conference later on Saturday, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily the problems in Afghanistan required more than a military response.
"Not everything has collapsed but the trends don't look good," Jones said.
"We need more than a military solution," he added, noting that it was a mistake that the country's justice system was not being reformed more thoroughly and that more police were not being trained. By the NATO summit in April, a new, comprehensive strategy had to be developed, the paper quoted him as saying without giving direct quotes.
Jones said the United States would conduct a general review of its foreign policy within 60 days.
Jones is participating at the security conference in southern Germany, which brings together more than a dozen heads of state and government and defence experts to discuss security issues including Afghanistan, the future of NATO and Iran.
Decisions about withdrawing troops from Iraq and sending more troops to Afghanistan have been delayed until the Pentagon provides President Barack Obama with more detail about the risks and implications of the issues confronting him, accorThat's fair; get'cher stink on it and make it better.
Both officials, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, have a direct understanding of the discussion regarding troop withdrawals. They said the military is not concerned about the delays, but that there is concern about the deteriorating levels of security in Afghanistan.
There also appears to be a delay in making a decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan, both senior Pentagon officials said.
It is believed that thousands of ground combat Marines, a marine aviation unit and Army special forces could be sent to southern Afghanistan in the weeks ahead. But for now, the White House is waiting on sending two additional Army brigades until it is nearer to completing a review of its strategy in Afghanistan, the officials said.
Its not clear when that might happen. The White House is now reviewing strategy assessments completed by the military and awaiting the return of Richard Holbrooke, who made his first trip to the region as envoy. The Pentagon had been tentatively set to announce the deployments last week, but both officials said when further discussions took place with the White House, it became clear a longer timeframe was needed.
Here's the bet; the plan that comes out in April or so will be 95% of what was on the plate on 19 JAN.