|Will Obama change Afghan strategy?
In Washington, the administration of President Barack Obama is locked in a long, detailed debate over its strategy in Afghanistan. BBC Washington correspondent Paul Adams is keeping up with developments.
There was more than a whiff of the Sixties in the air on Monday, as demonstrators gathered in McPherson Square, just a few blocks from the White House.
The protesters may have been wearing the now familiar orange jumpsuits, but the badges for sale all seemed to feature the Kennedy brothers and the Beatles. And the man with the guitar sang Bob Dylan. Quite badly.
Judging by this week's turnout - a few jumpsuits, the man with the guitar and a few dozen followers, this anti-war movement has some way to go.
They walked to the White House in silence, some of them wearing hoods, and chained themselves to the railings.
On a warm sunny day, with the White House gleaming and the leaves on the trees just starting to don their flaming autumn hues, very few people paid much attention to a small demonstration of little apparent consequence.
But does that mean Americans simply do not care about Afghanistan? Not a bit of it.
The latest polls show more and more of them are worried about the way the war is going.
Now that Iraq has receded from public consciousness, Afghanistan, the war which began first and then was all but forgotten, has replaced it as the focus of popular disquiet.
It is an interesting turnabout, but it means that - whenever the president does finally wrap up this lengthy process of consultation, whenever he says how many more troops he is going to throw at the war, and what he intends to do with them - he is going to have to be at his persuasive best.
Apart from anything, his own Democratic Party will demand it.
The mood up on Capitol Hill has become distinctly fractious, with some Democrats, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, warning that there is not much support anywhere in the country for the idea of sending more troops.
The elegantly coiffured Ms Pelosi was at the centre of a priceless video moment on Tuesday, as she and other senior politicians left the White House after discussing Afghanistan with the president.
Her Senate colleague, the Majority Leader Harry Reid, attempted to put an avuncular - perhaps even patronising - arm around her shoulder.
He claimed that the general consensus during the meeting had been that whatever decision the president came to, everyone would support it.
Ms Pelosi was having none of it, first stepping away from Mr Reid's grasp with a hollow smile and then visibly rolling her eyes as he made his claim.
But what exactly is going on in these marathon meetings at the White House? We know it is all about reassessing the president's strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. And we know that it will not be long.
By the end of the month, the president will let the American public in on his new thinking.
But as to where that thinking is going... Well, the papers here are filling many pages with quotes from unnamed White House officials, who talk of heated debate within the administration, of camps promoting counter-terrorism over counter-insurgency, of the wisdom or otherwise of sending more troops.
When he announced his new Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy in March, the president said America would not as he put it "blindly stay the course", but would review whether the right tools or tactics were being used.
It is that review that is going on now. But the ferment of publicly aired ideas does rather beg the question of just how the president's strategy has been implemented until now. After all, it is not as if the fundamentals of America's involvement in the region have changed overnight.
Why are we being bombarded now, more than six months on, by all these conflicting ideas? Should this stuff not have been figured out before?
Some have suggested that the administration is suffering from a dose of sticker shock, the sudden realisation of what all this is going to cost. Others are saying it does not reflect well on the president's ability to lead.
And it is possible to see a thread here that links Afghan dithering with Mr Obama's failure to take charge of the healthcare debate until it got out of hand, perhaps even with his last-minute unsuccessful involvement in Chicago's bid to win the 2016 Olympics.
Comedian Jon Stewart made fun this week of the officials who keep saying that the president has a lot on his plate.
Mr Obama should start eating, Stewart quipped, or get a bigger plate. But it is perhaps too early to say whether the president is afraid of eating, or simply wants to chew and digest his food very carefully.
A final, slightly surreal postscript to all this. Yesterday morning, Americans woke up to two rather unexpected headlines: their president had won the Nobel Peace Prize and Nasa had attacked the moon.
What on earth was going on? Well, it turned out Nasa was looking for water, while the Nobel committee said it felt that Mr Obama should be honoured for giving everyone hope.
He seemed as surprised as anyone but accepted, with humility, and described it as a call to action on a host of fronts: nuclear non-proliferation, global warming, Israel-Palestine and, yes, the war in Afghanistan.
Later in the day, the Nobel laureate convened his war council yet again. I wonder if the peace prize had made it just a little harder to decide?