Strategy

Woodward Goes to Afghanistan

It's a new era in the U.S.'s policy toward Afghanistan, and national security adviser James L. Jones is its enforcer. Bob Woodward's insightful piece in The Washington Post follows Jones to Afghanistan as he reiterates the new strategy to military commanders who were accustomed to all the troops they wanted under Bush. The new strategy relies on improving three key areas: security, economic development, and the Afghan government's rule of law. Last week, Jones met with commanders to make it clear that although Obama approved the deployment of 21,000 additional troops in February, otherwise the troop level must remain flat. Troop counts are likely to be a point of contention as the year wears on. A senior official said it'd take more than 100,000 troops to hold and clear towns across the country—that's 32,000 more than the 68,000 currently authorized.