Report: Obama to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan

The president is reportedly close to providing his commander there almost all the new soldiers he'd requested


Alex Koppelman
November 10, 2009 4:50AM (UTC)

As President Obama has been considering his next move in Afghanistan lately, much has been made -- both in the media and by the president's opponents -- of reported tensions between him and his commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, over the question of how many additional troops should be sent. Now, though, it seems that, whether because of the political pressure or strategic reasons, Obama's ready to give McChrystal almost all of the new soldiers he wanted.

Both CBS News and the Associated Press report that Obama is close to a final decision about how many new troops to send to Afghanistan, and that the number will be close to the 40,000 McChrystal requested. CBS' David Martin, more specifically, has put the number likely to be headed to the country at 32,000.

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Obama was caught between a rock and a hard place politically with the decision. On the one hand, the left has lost its enthusiasm for what was once seen as the good war -- as opposed to the invasion of Iraq -- and he's getting pressure to start drawing down, rather than expanding the American effort. On the other, the right has been quick to jump on the president over this, and relished the chance to attack him as not following his commanding general's advice.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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