Monday, November 9, 2009

Obama to Add Troops in Afghanistan

Looks like the President will listen to his generals for once. He has "tentatively" agreed to add around 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, meaning that the President is going the way of (gasp) President Bush's surge in Iraq.

From CBS:

Tonight, after months of conferences with top advisors, President Obama has settled on a new strategy for Afghanistan. CBS News correspondent David Martin reports that the president will send a lot more troops and plans to keep a large force there, long term.

The president still has more meetings scheduled on Afghanistan, but informed sources tell CBS News he intends to give Gen. Stanley McChrystal most, if not all, the additional troops he is asking for.

McChrystal wanted 40,000 and the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands more support troops. A senior officer says "that's close to what [McChrystal] asked for." All the president's military advisers have recommended sending more troops.

But they also have warned that troops alone will not win the war unless Afghan President Hamid Karzai cleans up his government.

"He's got to take concrete steps to eliminate corruption," Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said last week. "That means you have to rid yourself of those who are corrupt. You have to actually arrest and prosecute them."

The first combat troops would not arrive until early next year and it would be the end of 2010 before they were all there. That makes this Afghanistan surge very different from the Iraq surge, in which 30,000 troops descended on Baghdad and the surrounding area in just five months.

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