Obama to Send 34,000 Troops to ‘War of Necessity’ in Afghanistan
November 24, 2009
(ChattahBox) —As the quagmire that is the war in Afghanistan enters its ninth year, President Obama has been deliberating on long and short-term strategies for our forces stationed there. And he may finally be ready to announce his decision after Thanksgiving. McClatchy Newspapers is reporting today, based on unnamed “U.S. officials,” that Obama will announce his Afghanistan strategy on Dec. 1. And his plan will call for sending an additional 34,000 troops to the war-torn country, which has experienced a deadly escalation of terrorist violence by the militant Taliban.
The U.S. officials spoke to McClatchy Newspapers, after a high-level Monday night held by Obama with his national security team to fine tune his final plans. Obama referred to Afghanistan, as a “war of necessity,” revealing the basis for his decision to expand troop levels.
“The U.S. officials all spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly and because, one official said, the White House is incensed by leaks on its Afghanistan policy that didn’t originate in the White House.”
Obama’s plan essentially splits the difference among the three options presented to the President by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The high-end of McChrystal’s options, included 80,000 troops, a medium-risk option of 40,000 to 45,000 troops and a high-risk plan of 20,000 additional troops.
The U.S. officials were forthcoming with details on the exact brigades due to be deployed:
“As it now stands, the plan calls for the deployment over a nine-month period beginning in March of three Army brigades from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., and a Marine brigade from Camp Lejeune, N.C., for as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops.”
An additional contingent of 7,000 would be earmarked for command of U.S.-led NATO forces in southern Afghanistan together with an expansion of a further 4,000 military trainers.
Obama’s decision would be accompanied with a coordinated presentation to the public and Congress, with McChrystal, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, all scheduled to appear before Congressional committees after Obama’s announcement.
As expected, Obama’s Afghanistan strategy will contain “off ramps, to allow the administration the flexibility to either scale back operations or pull out all together.
See McClatchy Newspapers for more.