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Afghan Options Call For More Troops

From a disappointed New York Times:

All Afghan War Options by Obama Aides Said to Call for More Troops

By PETER BAKER and HELENE COOPER

November 8, 2009

WASHINGTON — Advisers to President Obama are preparing three options for escalating the war effort in Afghanistan, all of them calling for more American troops, as he moves closer to a decision on the way forward in the eight-year-old war, officials said Saturday.

The options include Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s request for roughly another 40,000 troops; a middle scenario sending about 30,000 more troops; and a lower alternative involving 20,000 to 25,000 reinforcements, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. Officials hope to present the options to Mr. Obama this week before he leaves on a trip to Asia.

While some civilian and military officials believe Mr. Obama is seeking a middle ground in the debate over Afghanistan, aides denied he has made any decision or is leaning toward any of the options. Still, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates appears to be supportive of the middle option, some officials said, and his view is thought to be pivotal because of Mr. Obama’s respect for him and his status as a holdover from a Republican administration…

The range of alternatives under discussion suggests that the president has rejected the extremes on either end. He appears inclined to send more troops — with the only question being how many — and seems not to be seriously considering General McChrystal’s highest proposal of 80,000 more troops

McClatchy Newspapers reported Saturday that Mr. Obama is nearing a decision to approve the middle option being drawn up by advisers, citing unnamed administration and military officials. White House officials denied Mr. Obama has made a decision or favors any of the options at this point, noting that they have not been formally presented to him. But administration officials confirmed that the 30,000-troop plan is under consideration…

Officials are focusing on an approach predicated on the belief that the Taliban cannot be entirely eradicated in Afghanistan and that Al Qaeda is the real threat to American interests. The main goal for American forces, then, would be to protect the 10 most important population centers in Afghanistan and keep the Taliban isolated long enough to train Afghan security forces to take over the fight.

Mr. Obama has met with his national security advisers seven times since General McChrystal sent his assessment Aug. 31. Officials hope to schedule another meeting this week

If this report is true (which is always something to bear in mind with any New York Times story), and all of the options entail sending troops, why not just send the lowest number of troops (20,000) for starters?

What harm would it possibly do? And it would certainly be better than doing nothing. And we are sure the soldiers in the field in Afghanistan would appreciate any reinforcements.

Or is Mr. Obama determined to wait until the Senate votes on healthcare reform, so that he doesn’t risk losing his ‘netroots’ storm troopers foot-soldiers?

(You know, the ones who were so decisive in the elections last Tuesday.)

The range of alternatives under discussion suggests that the president has rejected the extremes on either end. He appears inclined to send more troops — with the only question being how many — and seems not to be seriously considering General McChrystal’s highest proposal of 80,000 more troops.

Isn’t it odd that this is the first we have heard about this request for such 80,000 more troops? And this minor detail is only mentioned in passing in this article.

But why should we care what the general in charge should think needs to be done?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, November 8th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Afghan Options Call For More Troops”

  1. canary says:

    McChrystal’s plan was purely based upon Obama’s and Kerry’s insistance of plan based on their 3 cups of tea stragedy. Obama keep saying there is no Taliban in Afganistan and the problem is Pakistan, who’ve we’ve known since 9/11 has allowed Bin Laden crossing back and forth.

    The facts are U.S. and British troops are getting slaughtered doing the live and build peace in Afganistan. No more cross over, let the marines fight, then bring them to safety. 80, 000 troops may seem like alot, but after a couple of our states very high tea party number attender counts, I thought, 80,000 troops just doesn’t look like that many soldiers
    I think Obama’s only reason for sending any troops is because of pressure.
    He’s got our finest Marines dying, and that makes him happy. He does not like Marines. Period.

    hmmmm “..options to Mr. Obama this week before he leaves on a trip to Asia.” Is this his trip to Indonesia he said was coming up shortly.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    Leave it to Barry to do his utmost and do it “Half-Assed!”

    Barry had better think twice before getting on the Marines bad side.

    “No better friend …..No worse enemy”


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