President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTo Build Back Better, improving Black women's health is a must Rahm Emanuel has earned M since leaving Chicago's city hall: report 60 years after the Peace Corps, service still brings Americans together MORE will not announce his decision on an Afghanistan strategy this week, but could do so the week after Thanksgiving.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs ruled out the possibility of an announcement during the holiday.
"You know, when the president tells me what's likely, then I can add that to it,” Gibbs said. "I would simply say that it's not going to happen this week, obviously."
Besides Thanksgiving being on Thursday, Obama will host his first state dinner Tuesday night with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On Wednesday he is scheduled for the traditional presidential pardon of the turkey. He is scheduled to spend Thanksgiving at the White House.
On Monday, the White House announced Obama will hold his ninth meeting with his Afghanistan war council at 8 p.m. in the Situation Room. Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen are among the officials scheduled to attend. General Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Commander in Afghanistan, is scheduled to be there via videoconference.
Gibbs said no additional meetings on the subject are scheduled.
When asked if Obama will make his decision after Monday night’s meeting, Gibbs said: "I don't know the answer to that. It may be tonight; it may be over the course of the next several days."
Gibbs said the president will hear from his national security team as they report back on questions he had at the last war council meeting.
Obama has been reviewing an Afghan war strategy for the past two months and is considering McChrystal’s request to send as many as 40,000 troops to the war-torn country.
Gibbs said Monday that Obama will continue to look at "not just how we get people there, but what's the strategy for getting them out."
Gibbs also was asked how Obama will pay for whatever he decides given growing concerns about U.S. spending and borrowing and the national deficit.
Gibbs said it is premature to talk about the cost of a strategy that has not been decided on.
He did say, however, that Obama mentioned in a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff "that we had to take into account how much all of this was going to cost over a 5- and 10-year period."