Report: Obama to Expand Afghan War by 50 Percent
Posted on Nov 25, 2009
President Obama won’t unveil his plans for Afghanistan until next week, but military officials tell the AP he intends to escalate the war by sending up to 35,000 additional troops. Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the plan would include an exit strategy, but that’s little consolation for the doves who got Obama elected.
Congressional leaders have made it clear that they will have trouble selling an expanded war, but it’s hard to imagine the same Democrats who refused to de-fund George W. Bush’s wars pulling the plug on Obama.
The president might have more support among the public. Gallup has found that roughly 47 percent of Americans would advise sending more troops, up from 42 percent two weeks ago—not that they have any greater insight into Afghanistan than Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who envisions 18-year-old American GIs learning Pashto and squatting in villages. —PZS
AP via Google:
Although military and administration officials cautioned that Obama has not settled on a final figure, the military is planning for an increase of up to 35,000 troops begin next year. Military officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the president’s plans.
The addition forces would come atop a record 71,000 U.S. troops in the country now and would represent the largest expansion since the war began eight years ago.
White House / Pete Souza