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Obama agenda: Tonight's curtain-raiser

"President Obama will outline Tuesday his intention to send an additional 34,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, according to U.S. officials and diplomatic sources briefed Monday as Obama began informing allies of his plan," the Washington Post writes.

The New York Times adds, "President Obama has decided to expedite the deployment of 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan over the next six months, in an effort to reverse the momentum of Taliban gains and create urgency for the government in Kabul to match the American surge with one using its own forces, according to senior administration officials."

The Boston Globe: "President Obama will be under heavy pressure tonight to convince an increasingly skeptical American public, as well as worried members of his own party in Congress, that it is worth risking more American lives and billions more in costs to escalate a war that, over the past eight years, has fallen short of its original objectives. Obama ran in 2008 on a platform of withdrawing from Iraq and winning in Afghanistan, and now, with his popularity waning and political strength on the line, he will make a detailed argument in a prime-time speech for how he intends to accomplish that elusive goal: by adding at least 30,000 troops over the next 18 months."

"President Obama briefed his generals and called world leaders yesterday to give them a heads-up on the Afghanistan troop surge he will outline in tonight's long-awaited speech," the New York Post says. "Obama phoned the heads of Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia, India and other countries to describe the new strategy that he officially ordered his military chiefs to begin carrying out on Sunday night, officials said. The rest of the world will get the details in what is expected to be a 40-minute, nationally broadcast address by the president from West Point."

The New York Daily News: "President Obama's feuding top advisers rallied behind his Afghan troop surge plan Monday -- but the hard sell comes Tuesday night to the American public. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who wanted 40,000 more troops, and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, who argued that Afghan reform must precede new troop commitments, are now in sync after a videoconference with Obama."

The perils of the middle road? "President Barack Obamas new strategy on Afghanistan -- to be unveiled tonight in a nationally televised speech from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point -- will likely trigger howls of protest from both the right and the left on Capitol Hill," Roll Call writes.

The Boston Globe notes that although John Kerry, the Senate Foreign Relations chairman, is wary, he's set to endorse Obama's Afghanistan plan, a position that would put him at odds with a number of fellow Democrats in Massachusetts and in Congress.