Escalating

Obama's Big Plan for Afghanistan

In today's speech on Afghanistan, President Obama will announce a plan to send 4,200 new troops and hundreds of civilians to the embattled nation, Politico reports. "He's gone all in," said Politico's White House source. "This is Obama's war. He's pushed all the chips to the center of the table." Among those chips is an aggressive new benchmark system for quelling militants, reports The New York Times. The strategy is remarkably similar to America's Iraq policy of two years ago, which aimed to guide the unstable nation's fight against insurgency and push for permanence. The new troops will add to the 17,000 new troops Obama ordered for Afghanistan last month. Obama phoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday to relay the message. In his speech tomorrow, expect the president to explain why his new Af-Pak policy will work better than Iraq did, and to endorse an effort spearheaded by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) to dial up anti-terrorism aid to Pakistan.