Obama commits 17,000 more US troops to Afghanistan
I don't necessarily disagree that the region needs to be stabilized, though I think the locals need to step up first.
However, my prediction is that this is part of a broader goal. I think the administration has doubts that the World Record Spending Spree will actually fix the economy in 3 years. It would be a big boost to locate and track Osama Bin Laden, and I wouldn't be shocked by an election-timed capture or elimination.
Of course, it shouldn't take that long to find ObL, seeing as how UCLA already has.