Pentagon Plays War Game for Afghanistan Strategy



In Monday's Washington Post, Pentagon Correspondent Greg Jaffe and Associate Editor Karen DeYoung reported that Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, oversaw a secret "war-game" earlier this month, evaluating two military options put forward by the Pentagon. The Obama Administration is weighing these strategies as part of a review of the war in Afghanistan.

Jaffe spoke with CBS News' John Dickerson on Monday's Washington Unplugged. "They had a war game in the basement of the Pentagon; they brought in outsiders to play the Taliban, to play the Pakistani Government, to play the Afghan Government."

What were those two scenarios? Jaffe explains, "One is 10-15,000 soldier increase, which would primarily accelerate the growth of the Afghan Security Forces. The other was a 44,000 increase which would allow them to do what they think of as a full-blown insurgency strategy."

The options were drafted from an analysis prepared by Gen. Stanley McChrystal and forwarded to President Obama by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The question remains, what were the results? According to Jaffe the goal wasn't necessarily designed to endorse one strategy over another.

"I think it was more to sort of explain the implications and the possible outcomes of going in either course," he said.

Whether these tests have an impact on a final decision, one point remains clear; Mr. Obama has yet to make a firm decision on moving forward in Afghanistan. Expectations are that a decision will come sometime next month.

Watch Dickerson's interview with Greg Jaffe above, as well as Lynn Sweet on "Obama the Campaigner" and Bob Schieffer's interview with journalist Kati Marton about her new book "Enemies of the People."

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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