Annual Afghanistan review under way, focuses on path, pace foward

President Obama will soon learn whether his Afghanistan strategy, announced last December, is working.

The president's annual review for Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy is well under way and due to be completed in early December.

A senior administration official told reporters Tuesday that the focus of the review, which began about two weeks ago, is whether the strategy is working and whether it is working at the pace Obama wants to see.

The official would not say what the review has revealed so far.

While Obama and the new Congress will likely use the review to devise and implement policy changes, the official said the review is diagnostic and not "prescriptive."

Instead, the review will prioritize areas where the policy is not working.

"The review itself will not take on those policy issues," the official said. "We'll simply tee them up."

Officials are currently in the "data collection phase," after returning from a 12-day trip to the region followed by a stop at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The official said the review will benefit from Obama's trip to Lisbon, Portugal, later this month for the NATO summit.

The plan the president laid out at West Point last December called for a surge of 30,000 troops with a transfer of security responsibilities to Afghan forces set to begin in July 2011.