from latimes: President Obama plans to send 30,000 to 35,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Monday, the largest single U.S. deployment since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The additional troops, Obama’s second major escalation of the conflict this year, will bring the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to about 100,000. But even as he dramatically escalates the war, Obama is expected to emphasize that there are limits to the length of U.S. military involvement in the region, White House officials said, though he is not prepared to set concrete deadlines for withdrawal. Obama will announce his newest Afghan strategy in a televised speech tonight before cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
video: soldiers confident afghanisurge will work
(no, seriously, this time will make a difference)
obama refuses to order release of decades-old intel docs
from allgov: Millions of secret government documents are scheduled to be declassified at the end of this year—unless President Barack Obama extends the deadline like his predecessors have done. Reports out of Washington indicate the White House is hurriedly preparing an executive order that will postpone the classified material from being revealed in order to assuage various departments unwilling to part with their secrets. Dating from World War II to the early 1980s, the documents cover foreign relations, spy operations and military activities that have remained hidden from the public. Agencies currently affected by the secret material include the CIA and the National Security Agency, as well as the departments of Justice, State, Defense, and Energy. Under current law, classified material involving more than one agency and that is 25 years old or more is supposed to be automatically released. If President Obama issues his executive order, it will mark the third time the deadline has been extended. President Bill Clinton did so in 2000 and President George W. Bush in 2003. Steven Aftergood, a specialist on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, wrote on the Secrecy News blog, “If the ‘automatic declassification’ procedures that were prescribed in prior executive orders are not ‘automatic’ after all, and if binding deadlines can be extended more or less at will, then any new declassification requirements in the Obama order will be similarly subject to doubt or defiance.”
scotus lets pentagon keep detainee photos secret
from csmonitor: The Supreme Court Monday threw out a federal appeals court ruling requiring the release of photos that allegedly show abuse of US-held detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The court cited a new law that allows the Defense Secretary to withhold such photos.