Obama heads to the Pentagon today, where he "was to hear the opinions of the four U.S. military service chiefs on Wednesday in a meeting the White House called one more step toward fulfilling his promise of withdrawing all combat troops from Iraq. The Joint Chiefs of Staff will be ready with a rough sketch of what would be required to fulfill the president's timetable for a 16-month withdrawal. Defense officials have said they can meet Obama's campaign pledge, but several officials have signaled that a fast withdrawal could upset the fragile security that currently holds in Iraq."
The New York Times says that Obama "intends to adopt a tougher line toward Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, as part of a new American approach to Afghanistan that will put more emphasis on waging war than on development, senior administration officials said Tuesday. Mr. Karzai is now seen as a potential impediment to American goals in Afghanistan, the officials said, because corruption has become rampant in his government, contributing to a flourishing drug trade and the resurgence of the Taliban."
More: "The officials portrayed the approach as a departure from that of President Bush, who held videoconferences with Mr. Karzai every two weeks and sought to emphasize the American role in rebuilding Afghanistan and its civil institutions."
More Bill Lynn problems? "The man nominated to be the Pentagon's second-in-command could make at least a half-million dollars next month with vested stock he earned as a lobbyist for military contractor Raytheon," the AP reports.
By the way, the Obama White House is one more lobbyist exception away from having to deal with a slew of hypocrisy stories regarding their pledge to ban lobbyists from key jobs. The latest lobbyist to land a key post: Tim Geithner's chief of staff.