October 7th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama mulls Afghanistan decision on 8-year mark

President Obama is weighing whether to send an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan.

President Obama is weighing whether to send an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A day after meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, President Obama sat down Wednesday afternoon with his national security team, the third of five meetings on U.S. strategy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Rising violence and the resurgence of Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan have put the Obama administration on defense as the war enters its ninth year.

The war has claimed the lives of 865 Americans and 570 allied troops, and U.S. public support for the conflict has slipped sharply in the past two years. There are 68,000 troops in the country now.

The White House has been working with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, who is expected to call for 40,000 more troops to carry out a counterinsurgency strategy.

It's a proposal that top Republicans and some moderate-to-conservative Democrats who attended the meeting agree with. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Missouri, said Obama should approve the proposal.

"I really think that the president's going to have to listen to Gen. McChrystal. He's his man. He's his pick," Skelton said. "This is a matter of national security."

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Michigan, said Wednesday that whatever the president decides, he must lead "boldly in a mission that needs to be successful, outline his case to the American people and then align all of our resources ... to execute the strategy that he selects."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Steph

    Well, of course President Obama should move quickly without thinking about all his options...it worked so well for Bush in Iraq. Heck, the previous president had close to 8 years to get this right...if Obama doesn't fix it right now...he's clearly a failure.

    October 7, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given nothing is clear and support from allies and Pakistan is questionable, I would need time to mull over what I would have been told about the situation. To make snap decisions like to invade Iraq really makes for problems then and later on.

    October 7, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. phoenix86

    People die while Obama waffles. Either commit and send in troops or do what you really want to do....cut and run.

    October 7, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. valwayne

    Obama should provide his Generals, and our troops in the field, the support they need in what he called the Central Front on the War on Terror. Mr. President...no Vietnam style half measures that leave our troops dying with no chance in hell to prevail please! If you decide not to support our men in the field don't leave them to be pick off. Bring them home now! Republicans....if the President decides to defend our nation and fight the Terrorist that brought us 9/11 support him. If he doesn't support the effort to defeat the terrorist bring the troops home out of harms way. No Vietnam like defeat by inches. Decide to Win or Leave!!!!!

    October 7, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Stu

    He can't make up his mind because he has absolutely no clue about military matters! This isn't community organizing or filing frivolous lawsuits. Obama is in way over his head.

    October 7, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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