TOUGH CALL

White House Split on Afghan Strategy

President Obama, famed for his cool under pressure, is taking his time with one of the toughest decisions of his career: whether to fulfill his general’s request for more troops and escalate the war in Afghanistan. The White House has at least five meetings scheduled over the coming weeks to reassess U.S. strategy in the region, but no deadline has been set on making a final call. "I think the most important thing is to do it right," National Security Adviser James Jones told The Washington Post's Bob Woodward. Jones said that urgent requests for more troops by General Stanley McChrystal may end up being unnecessary if the administration adopts a new plan. "We will ask General McChrystal, and say, 'OK, now that you've heard what our strategy is, does this affect your thinking in terms of your resources and, if so, how?'" Jones said. The debate has split the administration, with McChrystal's call for more troops going up against skepticism from Vice President Joe Biden that a major counterinsurgency strategy could succeed.