03/07/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Military Official On Afghan Strategy: "Frankly, We Don't Have One"

The Pentagon is prepared to announce the deployment of 17,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan as early as this week even as President Barack Obama is searching for his own strategy for the war. According to military officials during last week's meeting with Defense Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon's "tank," the president specifically asked, "What is the end game?" in the U.S. military's strategy for Afghanistan. When asked what the answer was, one military official told NBC News, "Frankly, we don't have one." But they're working on it.

Senior military officials confirm to NBC News that a secret report from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to President Obama recommends a shift in the military mission in Afghanistan to concentrate solely on combatting the Taliban and al-Qaida and leave the "hearts and minds" aspect of the war to other U.S. agencies and NATO.