Gen. Stanley McChrystal's call to beef up the war effort in Afghanistan is proving a tough sell with senior administration officials. White House advisers challenged many aspects of the commander's assessment at a meeting this week, including his belief that al-Qaeda would again find sanctuary in Afghanistan if the Taliban regains control. Joe Biden played the role of "skeptic-in-chief," one official tells the Washington Post.
A gap is widening between administration officials who side with McChrystal, and those who want to narrow the war effort to focus solely on defeating al-Qaeda. Greater stability in Pakistan and the tainted election in Afghanistan in August have changed the situation since a policy review in March concluded that the two countries were a single problem, say advisers, who expect policy discussions to continue for some time.