Tom Ricks on three things we need from Obama on Afghanistan - "corruption and abuses? - security problems in Pakistan? - U.S. domestic support?" And Tom Donnelly at AEI's Center for Defense Studies - strength before brilliance: "the long process during which President Obama has reconsidered America's commitment to what he described as a necessary war in Afghanistan has transformed the purpose of his West Point speech tomorrow night. The first-order question is not the number of troops or the proper strategy; it's more elemental: does this man believe in victory?"
Steve Coll at The New Yorker asks what if we fail in Afghanistan? "Last week, I found myself at yet another think tank-type meeting about Afghan policy choices. Toward the end, one of the participants, who had long experience in government, asked a deceptively simple question: What would happen if we failed?" A follow on post can be found here.
Tom Barnett on the bottom-line on nation building - BLUF: "It costs the United States $1 million a year to keep a soldier inside a theater of operations such as Afghanistan. The math is easy enough: For every thousand troops, the price comes out to $1 billion a year."
Via e-mail from the Council on Foreign Relations - "in advance of President Obama's announcement on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, CFR offers expert analysis and background resources from a broad range of views."
Over at Commentary's Contentions Max Boot says one word from Obama can rejuvenate troop morale and that word would be victory. "That is a word that has been missing so far from Obama's vocabulary. I hope it is not MIA on Tuesday night."
Foreign Policy releases its first top 100 global thinkers list. Yes another list - but you guys seem to love dissecting them - and yes - General P and Dr. K are on that list.