Obama won't decide on Afghanistan for at least another week

President Barack Obama won't announce his decision on troop strategy in Afghanistan for at least another week, his spokesman said Thursday.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said during a gaggle with reporters on Air Force One that the president would not announce a decision before he returns from a trip to Asia on Thursday, Nov. 19.

"Let me start by saying I think everybody thought coming out of yesterday's meeting that the meeting was very productive and that we made progress," Gibbs told reporters of Obama's meeting with his national security team yesterday at the White House.

ADVERTISEMENT
Reports from that meeting have suggested that Obama, at the prompting of his ambassador to Afghanistan, has asked for new strategic options to pursue in that country.

That move marks reported concerns over the perceived corruption in the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose uncontested election has become a key variable in Obama's deliberations over a top general's recommendation that he send more troops to the country.

"What the President wants to ensure is that we take into account -- and understand, so that the American people can understand -- our time commitment and ensure that we have the strongest partner in the Afghan government," Gibbs said. "And we want to make sure that we continue to work on those aspects."

Gibbs added that the president is getting "closer and closer every day" to making a final determination on Afghanistan.