Sneak preview: What's in Obama's Afghanistan speech?

Much of Obama’s deliberation, according to White House advisers involved in the process, has been focused not only on ensuring that enough forces reach the battlefield but also on discouraging future troop requests if the security situation deteriorates. Obama has demanded that all troop options be explained in terms of realistic goals and timelines, an acknowledgment that the American public has limited patience for an expensive new military commitment at a time of economic hardship at home…

“If you don’t define your goals in a way that’s achievable in the short term, you’ll have another huge challenge explaining why you’re leaving without having achieved them,” said a senior administration official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations about the policy and its presentation. “The goal, I don’t believe, will be an Afghanistan free of the Taliban; it will not be an Afghanistan where the government is in control of the entire geography of the country. It has to be a goal we can reach, and that’s what you’re going to hear.”