Obama to offer assessment of Afghan war on Thursday

President Obama will make a public statement about the progress being made by U.S. operations in Afghanistan on Thursday, the White House announced Tuesday.

The White House-commissioned Afghanistan-Pakistan review, conducted by the National Security Council with input from the Pentagon, State Department, and other agencies, will assess how the United States is faring in its core objective to defeat al-Qaida in the region as well as in its efforts to bolster the Afghan government with viable national and local security forces.

Obama sought the review of his strategy for concluding the nine-year war in Afghanistan, calling for the assessment a year after he decided to deploy 30,000 more U.S. troops there last December, putting the U.S. military presence now at roughly 100,000.

The president's regular monthly meeting on the review will take place late Tuesday morning in the Situation Room, according to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Obama is scheduled to meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon just before that session.

"Obviously, there will be another meeting before the review is released, so I don't want to get ahead of where we are on that," Gibbs told reporters on Monday. "But I think the president feels confident that we are on track on where we should be and that we can certainly meet our commitment to begin a conditions-based drawdown of our forces next July."

Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, also gave a recent upbeat assessment that the "counterinsurgency math" in Afghanistan finally adds up, and that U.S. and allied forces, along with their Afghan security-force counterparts, have reversed the Taliban's momentum in the insurgency's critical strongholds in southern Afghanistan. In addition, the top Marine commander in southern Afghanistan offered a rare bit of good news last week that an innovative local defense initiative in the former Taliban stronghold of Marja had finally brought the contested town under NATO and Afghan control.

But recent intelligence reports cast a pall over these assessments, indicating that much of the country remains controlled by Taliban militants. Doubts also linger about the willingness of the Pakistani government and military to eliminate Taliban strongholds across the border and the ability to get trained Afghan forces where they are needed.

Gates and Clinton are also expected to comment and take questions after the president's remarks Thursday.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.