December 4th, 2009
11:57 AM ET

Around the Web: Behind the 2011 date

A round-up of news and commentaries from CNN as well as other media and Web sites.

How did President Obama and his advisers arrive at the July 2011 date? Christi Parsons and Julian E. Barnes of the Los Angeles Times take a look at question

“It started out as a projection from the military, intended only for the ears of the president and his top advisors. But in a war council meeting at the White House less than a month ago, Obama proposed making it public," they write.

The White House has authorized an expansion of the CIA’s drone program in Pakistan, reports Scott Shane of the New York Times.

“American officials are talking with Pakistan about the possibility of striking in Baluchistan for the first time — a controversial move since it is outside the tribal areas — because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to hide,” he writes.

Over at the BBC, Michael Codner, who heads the military sciences at the Royal United Services Institutes, provides an analysis of what the increase in U.S. troops could mean on the ground in Afghanistan.

Democratic Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia writes in the Washington Post that Obama’s plan needs clarity.

“I have great regard for the careful process the Obama administration employed in its efforts to define a new approach for the long-standing military commitment in Afghanistan and to put an operational framework in place for our responsible withdrawal,” he writes.

“I intend, nevertheless, to continue to call on the administration to clarify to the American public and Congress how it defines success and how we reach an end point.”

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona says he agrees with Obama’s overall strategy but disagrees about setting a timetable for withdrawal in a Foreign Policy magazine piece.

Some other reports and perspectives on Obama’s Afghan strategy:

- Cyril Almeida (Dawn): "Obama’s two generals"

- Mosharraf Zaidi (National Post): "Obama dodges Pakistan realities"

- Joe Klein (Time): "Can Obama sell America on this war?"

- George F. Will (Washington Post, registration required): "This will not end well"

- Eugene Robinson (Washington Post, registration required): “Down the wrong path in Afghanistan”

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