Spotlight: Paying for the Afghan War

Bryan Denton / Corbis

A soldier on patrol in Afghanistan's Zabul province.

President Obama conducted his ninth war council on Afghanistan shortly before Thanksgiving with a fresh face at the table: Peter Orszag, head of the Office of Management and Budget. The appearance of Obama's chief bookkeeper at what's likely to be the final Afghan war-cabinet meeting signals growing concern over the cost of a new war plan expected to include sending some 30,000 more troops into the fight.

With the Afghan war now into its ninth year, Obama is facing increasing pressure from Congress to justify its cost. Members of his own party are talking of a war tax, underscoring their opposition...

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