Thursday, April 02, 2009

OBAMA MAY SEND EVEN MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN

Wall Street Journal - President Barack Obama is weighing whether to deploy 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are questioning an increased commitment and seeking specific measures of progress against the deteriorating conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

When President Obama took office, the U.S. had about 38,000 troops in Afghanistan. The White House has announced plans to send 21,000 reinforcements in coming months, increasing the tally to almost 60,000.

Mr. Obama will decide this fall whether to order 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan next year, senior Pentagon officials told a Senate panel Wednesday, bringing the total to almost 70,000. . . .

A senior Pentagon official said in an interview that commanders in Afghanistan want to deploy the 10,000 additional forces to southern Afghanistan, a Taliban stronghold that is also one of the largest drug-producing regions in the world. The extra forces would provide an additional brigade of combat troops as well as a new American division headquarters in southern Afghanistan, the official said.