POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 7:23am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:59pm
President Obama today will hear out the case to send more troops to Afghanistan. Up to 40-thousand more is what General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. War Commander, is said to want. The President says he'll ask: will they wipe out Al Qaeda? "My overriding goal is to dismantle the Al Qaeda network," said Obama.
68-thousand U.S. troops are in Afghanistan now, almost a third, on Barack Obama's orders. He campaigned for a beefed-up mission. The Pentagon is committed. "If we are serious about this, if the world is committed to this, it's going to require all of us accepting additional responsibility and burden in this area," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.
But after eight years, many Afghans are angry. Hundreds of civilians have been killed. Taliban fighters are regrouping. Claims of fraud hang over last month's election. Could an Iraq-style surge help? Many Democrats are not on board.
"I don't think there's a great deal of support, for sending more troops to Afghanistan, in the country or in the Congress," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
But today the President will hear from NATO’s Secretary General, to send military trainers at least. "They will have a different mission, which is to train the Afghan security forces so they can take over from us," said Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb. In a war Barack Obama himself has long called necessary.