TOKYO, Japan (CNN) – President Barack Obama, who is weighing whether or how much to boost U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan, said his decision will come "soon."
"It's a matter of making certain that when I send young men and women into war, and I devote billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer money, that it's making us safer," Obama said at a joint news conference in Tokyo with recently elected Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
A primary goal, he said, is to be sure that the United States and its allies are not subject to terror attacks.
"The decision will be made soon. It will be one that is fully transparent so that the American people understand exactly what we're doing and why we're doing it and what it will entail," Obama said in response to a question.
"It will also, I think, send a clear message that our goal here ultimately has to be for the Afghan people to be able to be in a position to
provide their own security and that the United States cannot be engaged in an open-ended commitment," he added.
With nearly 65,000 troops, the United States has the highest contribution to NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in Afghanistan. Britain is second with 9,000.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Friday he believes his country can persuade NATO allies and other nations to send another 5,000 troops to Afghanistan.
British officials are visiting other nations, trying to persuade them to send more troops, mainly to more intensively train Afghan soldiers so they eventually can protect their own country, Brown said in an interview with BBC Radio.
"I have taken the responsibility of asking others in Europe and outside Europe, actually, will they back this strategy, which is partnering with the Afghan forces, mentoring the Afghan forces. That is going to be where a lot of the military effort will be in the next period of time," he said.
"We (Britain) are prepared to put more troops into Afghanistan, but there has got to be burden-sharing amongst the alliance."
Brown agreed with Obama that training the Afghan forces so they can protect their own country seems to be the best strategy in dealing with the militants who are using guerrilla warfare to fight ISAF, Brown added.
On Wednesday, Obama told his war council that the U.S. troop commitment to Afghanistan is not open-ended, and asked for revisions to options he previously received for sending more troops, a senior administration official told CNN.
The war council - composed of top Cabinet, Pentagon and administration officials - met with Obama for the eighth time to discuss a request by the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan for up to 40,000 more troops. The meeting lasted more than two hours, according to the senior administration official.
"The president and his team discussed the length of time that it would take to implement the options he's been presented," the senior official said.
In particular, Obama pushed for revisions in proposed plans for troop increases to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, the official said.
Earlier, a senior administration official and a U.S. military official independently told CNN that one option presented to Obama calls for sending about 34,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the 68,000 already committed to the country.
Germany's Defense Ministry announced Friday that nation will send 100 more troops to Afghanistan to help with reconstruction efforts in the war-ravaged nation.
The troops, to be deployed in mid-January, will join about 4,000 ISAF troops stationed in the northern provinces of Afghanistan, a ministry spokesman said.