The Af-Pak Debate

President Obama is right now meeting in the White House Situation Room with his national security team to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan, the fifth such meeting since September.

It is likely an intense meeting, attended by:

Vice President Biden;

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (via videoconference);

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates;

US Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Susan Rice;

Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke;

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen;

Central Command Commander Gen. David Petraeus;

Afghanistan Commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal (via videoconference);

Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence;

CIA Director Leon Panetta;

Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (via videoconference)

Anne Patterson, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan (via videoconference)

General James Jones (Ret.), National Security Advisor

Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew;

Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor

John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security; and

Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, Special Assistant to the President for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Among the issues they’ll be discussing -- how to deal with the fraud-riddled elections in Afghanistan; whether counterterrorism can work without counterinsurgency; the Pakistanis complaining that the latest aid package impedes on sovereignty, and which Taliban are a threat to the US and which are not.


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