Amidst reports that a decision to send more troops to Afghanistan has been taken, the White House has said President Barack Obama will on Wednesday hold the eighth round of situation room meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Beginning mid-August Mr. Obama had already held at least seven rounds of such meetings on Afghanistan and Pakistan, with one of them being exclusively on the latter.
He had also met several key Congressional leaders and talked to international partners on the issue, besides top commanders of his military. All this effort -- running into more than 20 hours, had been to find the right strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan that works.
While no time line of the process had been announced, the White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, said “it is nearing its conclusion and unlikely to be announced before Obama leaves for his trip to on Thursday.”
Some media reports on Tuesday said that it was now likely to be announced after Mr. Obama returns to the US later next week.
Besides Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Defence Secretary Robert Gates; Permanent US Representative to the UN Susan Rice; Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke; US Ambassador to Afghanistan Lt Gen Karl Eikenberry; General James Jones National Security Advisory would also attend the Situation Room meeting at the White House on Wednesday.
Top US military leaders likely to attend the meeting are Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James E Cartwright, USMC, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; General David Petraeus, US Central Command; and General Stanley McChrystal, US Commander in Afghanistan.