The New York Times explains “The Biden Plan”:
Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden made it clear that the option Mr. Biden had proposed was not a pure counterterrorism alternative, relying only on drones and Special Forces to track down leaders of Al Qaeda. Instead, Mr. Biden’s approach would increase the use of such surgical strikes while leaving the overall size of the American force in Afghanistan roughly at the 68,000 troops currently authorized.
I’ve discussed this dynamic elsewhere: to make force reductions politically palatable, Obama may have to resort to more air strikes to shore up his national security credibility. If you’re a cold-eyed realist whose primary interest lies in extricating the United States from Afghanistan as quickly and with as little cost as possible, this approach probably sounds appealing. Liberal war skeptics and non-interventionists, however, ought to be less thrilled at the prospect of bombing our way out of Central Asia.