In his speech announcing a new strategy for Afghanistan next week, President Obama will emphasize that U.S. involvement in the country is not "an open-ended engagement," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said today.
Obama is scheduled to speak at West Point next Tuesday, where he may announce that up to 34,000 more troops are being sent to Afghanistan.
"I would simply reiterate throughout these meetings you've heard the President say this: We're not going to be there forever," Gibbs said.
But the president will also make the case for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
"The American people are going to want to know why we're here," Gibbs said. "They're going to want to know what our interests are. The President will want to walk through his decision-making process and give people a sense of the importance of our efforts, but reiterate for them that...the President does not see this as an open-ended engagement."
Whatever decision the president makes will likely include additional efforts from allies, Gibbs said.
"I anticipate that the national security team and the President will begin to talk to our allies about different parts of his decision as well as contributions that could be coming forward from them," Gibbs said.