Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, may ask for more troops, but whether he’ll get any is in doubt. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has already moved to expand the Army, but getting troops the downtime they need between deployments will limit how many can be sent to the escalating war in South Asia. — PS

Christian Science Monitor:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that Gen. Stanley McChrystal is free to ask for whatever he thinks is needed for the mission. But should the general ask for tens of thousands of more forces, as some analysts involved in his Afghanistan assessment have suggested, those troops may not be available right away.

Mr. Gates indicated as much Thursday when he said that providing more forces to Afghanistan in the near term would be a challenge because the drawdown in Iraq won’t begin substantively until early next year.

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