Obama Sharpens Plan to Gauge Afghan Progress

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2009 7:20 PM CDT
President Barack Obama smiles as he walks away from Marine One after arriving back on the South Lawn of The White House in Washington Thursday, Aug. 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Hoping to allay fears over Afghanistan, President Obama plans to show Congress a new system for measuring US progress there—and holding people accountable when goals fall short, Politico reports. The complex set of indicators will measure nine objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including "the proportion of the Afghan population that is now secured," one official says. Other objectives remain classified for now.

The Oval Office calls the matrix "the SIP"—or Strategic Implementation Plan—but officials say that it's ambitious enough to be called "GULP." "It is a bit of an unusual Washington document in the sense that it holds people accountable," another official says. "And then it says, 'Oh, by the way, we are going to review your progress.'" The plan will demand returns from the the intelligence community, State and Defense Departments, and other officials.