President to present Afghanistan strategy today

President to present Afghanistan strategy today

NOTE: President Obama's address will be live streamed on at 3:00 PM Hawaii time.

WASHINGTON (NBC) – Tuesday  President Barack Obama will announce his strategy for fighting and finishing the war in Afghanistan.

Up before dawn, President Obama held an hourlong video conference with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, outlining his revised battle plan.

"What the President will tonight announce is an acceleration of that strategy to take on Al Qaeda and its extremist allies, an acceleration of our training of Afghan national security forces," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained on the Today Show.

President Obama has already issued the orders.

The first of nearly 34,000 troops will deploy to Afghanistan starting next month.

The president spoke directly to General Stanley McChrystal, then yesterday laid out his plan to leaders of Britain, France and Russia.

Among the leading dissenters is Vice President Joe Biden, skeptical like many Americans of expanding the war.

Even supporters of the Obama path say time is short.

"The next election is really the deadline," says NBC Military Analyst and retired Army General Barry McCaffrey. "So, there's 36 months to show substantial change in the ground situation."

The president has invited about 30 lawmakers to talk about the war plan Tuesday afternoon.

Hearings start Wednesday when the Secretaries of State and Defense face questions on strategy and cost.