Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 9/30/2009

Sep 30, 2009 2:28pm

TAPPER:  Would the White House be comfortable with parts of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban as long as they were not hosting — providing safe haven for Al Qaida?
GIBBS:  Well, I hesitate to get into hypotheticals, what if, what if.  The president is going to have a top-to-bottom assessment to ensure that we have a strategy that meets our goal, the goal that the president has outlined many times.
TAPPER:  Does the Taliban pose a threat to the United States?
GIBBS:  I think there's no doubt that many believe that them controlling a large amount of area in a place like Afghanistan as they did provides safe haven for those that can reach in directly into this country and do damage.  That's obviously part of what the president will discuss with advisers today.
TAPPER:  And the book, "Lessons in Disaster," is being passed around and read by a lot of White House officials right now.  What — what lessons are you guys getting out of "Lessons in Disaster"?
GIBBS:  Well, I think a number of people have — have — have read the book here.  Again, I — I think the — I think this goes to a larger perspective of the way the administration is viewing this assessment and this discussion.  And that is, let's get a firm strategy.  Let's — let's discuss that.  Let's poke and prod it and ensure that we've done it the right way, then implement tactics to achieve that strategy. And part of those tactics are deciding resources.  I think we've seen what happens when thousands or tens of thousands of troops are moved into an area and then you come up with a strategy or, after that happens, then you come up with definable goals that you know when they're achieved and when it's time to go home. So I think the administration wants — wants to go through and ensure for the American people that we're making the very best decisions to protect our national security.


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