"President Barack Obama is considering a scaled-down version of the war plan advanced by his top Afghanistan commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. officials say," the AP says. "Such a narrowed military mission would increase American forces to accomplish the commander's broadest goals of protecting Afghan cities and key infrastructure. But with fewer troops, the strategy likely would cut back on McChrystal's ambitious objectives, amounting to what one official described as 'McChrystal Light.' ... A stripped-down approach would signal caution in widening a war that is going worse this year than last despite intense U.S. attention and an additional 21,000 U.S. forces sent there on Obama's watch."
Per the Washington Post, "President Obama has asked senior officials for a province-by-province analysis of Afghanistan to determine which regions are being managed effectively by local leaders and which require international help, information that his advisers say will guide his decision on how many additional U.S. troops to send to the battle."
More: "Obama made the request in a meeting Monday with Vice President Biden and a small group of senior advisers helping him decide whether to expand the war. The detail he is now seeking also reflects the administration's turn toward Afghanistan's provincial governors, tribal leaders and local militias as potentially more effective partners in the effort than a historically weak central government that is confronting questions of legitimacy after the flawed Aug. 20 presidential election."
The New York Times looks at the challenge the shortage of the swine flu vaccine presents for the Obama White House. "The shortage, caused by delays in the vaccine manufacturing process, has put the president in exactly the situation he sought to avoid — one in which questions are being raised about the government's response."
Busted? "Dozens of lobbyists were invited to a Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraiser Tuesday night with a Cabinet member even though President Barack Obama has sworn off taking money from lobbyists," The Hill reports. "A DNC official said it was a mistake that lobbyists were invited to a small gathering with Lisa Jackson, Obama's administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The official said a review of attendees indicates that no lobbyists attended the event."
Regarding that Northwest flight that flew 100-plus miles past its destination, the Wall Street Journal writes: "The Federal Aviation Administration violated its own rules by taking more than 40 minutes to alert the military after losing communication with a Northwest Airlines flight last week, according to officials familiar with internal reviews under way at several federal agencies."