WASHINGTON -- Four months before President Bush leaves office, his top civilian and military aides are conducting four major new reviews of the war strategy and overall mission in Afghanistan, which have exposed internal fissures over American troop levels, how billions of aid dollars are spent, and how to cope with a deteriorating security situation in neighboring Pakistan.
The most ambitious of the assessments, run by the White House, begins in earnest this week with a series of high-level meetings, administration officials said. Officials have been directed to produce detailed recommendations within about two weeks for Mr. Bush's most senior advisers on a broad range of security, counterterrorism, political and development issues. Many of the dozen aides interviewed for this article spoke on condition of anonymity because the reviews are continuing.
Some of the issues being studied, including proposed increases in American troop levels in Afghanistan, have set off internal debate and could have far-reaching consequences for the next administration.