Monday, November 30, 2009

Live-blogging the Afghanistan speech

As pretty much everybody knows by now, President Obama is going to deliver the verdict on Afghanistan tomorrow at 8 p.m. from West Point. Sounds like it's going to be about more than just troop numbers, too (but couldn't we have guessed as much?):

President Obama plans to lay out a time frame for winding down the American involvement in the war in Afghanistan when he announces his decision this week to send more forces, senior administration officials said Sunday.

Although the speech was still in draft form, the officials said the president wanted to use the address at the United States Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday night not only to announce the immediate order to deploy roughly 30,000 more troops, but also to convey how he intends to turn the fight over to the Kabul government.

“It’s accurate to say that he will be more explicit about both goals and time frame than has been the case before and than has been part of the public discussion,” said a senior official, who requested anonymity to discuss the speech before it is delivered. "He wants to give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down.”

The officials would not disclose the time frame. But they said it would not be tied to particular conditions on the ground nor would it be as firm as the current schedule for withdrawing troops in Iraq, where Mr. Obama has committed to withdrawing most combat units by August and all forces by the end of 2011.

Considering that 80% of the Ink Spots cadre will already be at my house drinking fancy wine* that the other 20% (MK) donated when he left the country (again), I'm making the unilateral announcement that we're going to live-blog the speech. (Because it's not already nerdy enough to get together to drink and talk about Afghanistan, we may as well have a laptop, too.) So watch this space, and tune in Tuesday night at 8 ET.

*Damn, elf's suspicions about officer-caste elitism confirmed for all to see!


  1. Maybe I'll listen to the speech so that I can join you all for the live blogging?

    *I see you've added "recent comments" to the sidebar. I always like that - it makes it easier to skim the comments section and decide which comments to focus on. More efficient reading that way.

    Yikes, who's the biggest nerd at IS? Sadly, me....

  2. I occasionally engage in geekery. But if you go to the gym immediately afterwards, you don't feel so dirty.

  3. I'm just gonna make sure I wear a rugby jersey or something. That should do it.