- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

President Obama will lay out his strategy on Afghanistan Tuesday in an address to the nation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the White House said Wednesday.

While still mum on the details —spokesman Robert Gibbs said Mr. Obama hasn’t even told him whether a final decision has been reached —the White House said the president will tell Americans what’s at stake.

“We’re in the ninth year of our efforts in Afghanistan. The American people are going to want to know why we’re here, they’re going to want to know what our interests are,” Mr. Gibbs said. “The president will want to walk through is decision-making process and give people a sense of the importance of our efforts, but reiterate for them that the president does not see this as an open-ended engagement.”

Mr. Gibbs would not say whether that meant a specific timetable.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Mr. Obama’s top general in Afghanistan, has requested a surge of tens of thousands of troops. He says without those troops, the war effort may be lost.

Mr. Obama has spent months considering Gen. McChrystal’s request, drawing fire from Republicans who say the delay is costing American lives and possibly squandering a closing window for victory.