The Obama Surge In Seven Bullet Points

Based on published reports, here's the gist of the Afghanistan surge President Obama plans to announce this evening:

1. 30,000 additional American troops deployed to the region within the next six months; asking NATO allies for thousands more; a time-frame, probably ending around 2013

2. New troops will be paired with Afghanistan brigades

3. Focus will be on clearing/holding/securing major population centers

4. Change of emphasis from the number of Afghan troops trained to the quality of the training

5. Hard benchmarks for Hamid Karzai on corruption, drugs and civil society. Aid will be tied to performance

6. Frontal diplomacy with Pakistan to ensure the transition to civilian primacy, in sotto voce, drone strikes, tough negotiations with Pakistan's military establishment, quiet assistance to the Zardari government, etc. etc. No desire to publicly upset the fragile balance of power

7. Rhetorically, the Surge needed to End a Long War -- linking this conflict to the stirrings of Afghan nationalism when the Soviet Union invaded decades ago; focus on weakening the ability of the Taliban to enable and sustain the Al Qaeda ideology; we're in this to end this
8. What the Surge isn't: a nationwide COIN strategy; a plan for creating a democracy in Afghanistan, a tactic to improve the conditions of women there (though the administration expects the conditions of women to improve), a plan to force the Pakistani military to completely yield power to the civilian government, for getting rid of the entire Taliban