Obama to Focus on bin Laden, Revamp Afghan Approach

Eyes regional strategy, talks with Taliban, Iran
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2008 8:39 AM CST
Barack Obama, right, walks along with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Sunday, July 20, 2008.    (AP Photo/Presidential Palace, HO)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is drastically rethinking the war effort in Afghanistan, his security advisers tell the Washington Post, including making the capture of Osama bin Laden a top priority. The administration’s fledgling plan calls for a more aggressive regional approach, possibly involving help from Iran. Obama also favors the ongoing negotiations between the Afghan government and the “reconcilable” portions of the Taliban.

The Bush White House has dismissed these talks, but senior Pentagon officials say that many Taliban fighters aren’t ideological, and favor talks. “At the end of the day, that’s how most wars end,” said Gen. David McKiernan, head of US troops in Afghanistan. No concrete strategy has yet been formulated for the hunt for bin Laden, the Post says. “This is our enemy,” one adviser said, “and he should be our principal target.”