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