WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama has approved a significant troop increase for Afghanistan, Pentagon officials told CNN Tuesday.
The new troop deployment is expected to include 8,000 Marines headquartered from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as well as 4,000 additional Army troops from Fort Lewis, Washington. The troops will be equipped with Stryker vehicles able to operate in southern Afghanistan's tough terrain, according to the Pentagon officials.
The Obama administration has been conducting several reviews of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, including a review by Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in the region.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the original mission in Afghanistan was "too broad" and needs to be more "realistic and focused" for the United States to succeed.
"If we set ourselves the objective of creating some sort of central Asian Valhalla over there, we will lose, because nobody in the world has that kind of time, patience and money," Gates said during a recent Senate hearing.