Video: War decision looms

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    >>> good evening, everyone. it's business in asia for the president as he keeps another eye on afghanistan and where the u.s. should go next. this is day three of the president's eight-day trip to asia that includes a highly anticipated visit to china. after an initial stop in japan , he's attending the 21 nation asia pacific economic summit in singapore. nbc news white house correspondent savannah guthrie is traveling with the president. savannah, good evening. what's on the agenda there?

    >> reporter: well, there's no question free trade dominates the agenda here, lester, and though the leaders here aren't going to get everything they want from the obama administration, the president wants to make clear he's putting a priority on this region. traditional summit garb for the opening photo of the apec economic conference. on the second leg of his four-nation journey through asia , the president is hitting now familiar themes of reengagement. in tokyo lunching with the everyone porer of japan and in the trip's major speech calling himself america's first pacific president.

    >> i know that the united states has been disengaged from many of these organizations in recent years, so let me be clear, those days have passed.

    >> reporter: the united states and asia are increasingly interdependent. the u.s. has borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars from china and japan . in turn, their economies are reliant on the big consumer appetite of americans and china in particular, where the president will travel tomorrow, is key on security issues like iran and north korea .

    >> asia as a region is more important to the united states from a trade and security perspective than perhaps any other region of the world.

    >> reporter: but as the president travels the region this week, his agenda is partly overshadowed by the looming decision on afghanistan . allies are anxious to know what the administration's strategy will be. aides say additional national security meetings are a possibility upon the president's return, but mr. obama promises a decision soon.

    >> i recognize that there have been critics of the process. they tend not to be folks who i think are directly involved in what's happening in afghanistan . those who are recognize the gravity of the situation and recognize the importance of us getting this right.

    >> reporter: well, the president is looking at several options, all of which would increase troops, but he's been pressing visadvisers to be clearer about the exit strategy . in singapore the president plans to meet with dmitry medvedev on the agenda, an arms control agreement and iran.

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