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Obama agenda: Afghanistan, state visit

The Washington Post says that "President Obama has finished gathering information about troop options in Afghanistan and will likely announce his decision in an address to the nation next Tuesday, Dec. 1… On Monday night, Obama met for two hours in the White House Situation Room with his senior national security advisers, including Eikenberry and McChrystal, who participated by teleconference from Kabul." 

USA Today: "Obama has been considering several options, including a proposed strategy by U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal that would add up to 40,000 more troops to the war along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border."

"Military officials and others expect Obama to settle on a middle-ground option that would deploy an eventual 32,000 to 35,000 U.S. forces. That rough figure has stood as the most likely option since before Obama's last large war council meeting earlier this month, when he tasked military planners with rearranging the timing and makeup of some of the deployments." 

The New York Times notes that key House and Senate committees are already planning hearings on Afghanistan for next week. "[W]itnesses might include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

Meanwhile, the AP previews today's state visit. "Behind the elaborate ceremony of the Indian prime minister's state visit Tuesday, Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama will be working to smooth over differences on climate change and U.S. ties with Indian rivals China and Pakistan," the wire service says. "The White House is eager to show that, despite what some Indians see as a lack of attention during Obama's first 10 months, it values Singh's country as a key partner in dealing with extremists in South Asia, in settling international trade and global warming pacts and in steering the world economy out of turmoil. Indians will be looking for Obama to reverse a perception that he neglected India during his recent trip to Asia and seemed to endorse a stronger role for China in India's sensitive dealings with Pakistan." 

Sandwiched into the president's busy day of diplomacy (trying to manage the crucial U.S. relationship with India, Pakistan's main rival) is a meeting "with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the afternoon in between a meeting with senior advisers and a session with Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Robert Gates," the AP adds. 

The AP also looks at the history of U.S. presidents entertaining Indian leaders.