While this has been an overarching goal of American policy during the last eight years, the President has taken a different tack:
In the bleak war assessment that he delivered to Mr. Obama earlier this year, Gen. McChrystal called for expanding the Afghan army to 240,000 and the Afghan police to 160,000, roughly twice the size of their current growth plans.
The proposal initially found support within the administration, where senior officials have talked openly about wanting to quickly transfer security responsibility to Afghan forces.
It appears that the President has taken this new approach due to influence from Vice President Biden and the left wing of the Democratic Party.
Unfortunately, without a reservoir of local forces, the United States cannot pacify Afghanistan.
In Iraq, there are over 600,000 troops and police, as well as local militias.
This pressure helped destroy al Qaeda and its allies.