Obama ponders how long Afghanistan plans will take to implement

In his eight meeting with his war council, Obama looked at four options for a strategy forward in Afghanistan. He and his senior military advisers also discussed how long it would take to implement those strategies, according to an administration official. 

The four different approaches are believed to include different recommendations for the number of additional troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

The president leaves for a tour of Asia on Thursday morning, and Republicans have grown louder in their criticism that Obama is taking too long to adopt the strategy put forward by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of NATO and U.S. troops.

The official said Obama and his aides also discussed how to deal with the troubled Afghan government.

"The president believes that we need to make clear to the Afghan government that our commitment is not open ended," the official said. "After years of substantial investments by the American people, governance in Afghanistan must improve in a reasonable period of time to ensure a successful transition to our Afghan partner."