October 30th, 2009
05:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama meets Joint Chiefs to discuss Afghanistan, Pakistan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/30/art.obama1030-1.gi.jpg caption="Obama meets Joint Chiefs to discuss Afghanistan, Pakistan."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama huddled with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top military advisers at the White House on Friday as the administration continued its sweeping review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

Each branch of the armed services was given a direct opportunity to tell Obama the effect on the military if a large number of additional forces are sent to Afghanistan, two military sources told CNN's Barbara Starr.

The meeting was the seventh in a series of high-level discussions being held in part to forge a new consensus on how best to confront Taliban and al Qaeda militants threatening the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"The president wants to get input from different services," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said earlier this week. "It's a chance to consult with uniformed military leadership as a part of his [Afghanistan-Pakistan] review."

The potential for a major expansion of the number of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan comes with some misgivings from the military chiefs. The Army and Marine Corps have expressed concerns that it could make it tougher to give troops promised time at home with their families between overseas tours.

The White House strategy review is being conducted against a backdrop of rising U.S. casualties in Afghanistan, increased Taliban violence and political turmoil surrounding a planned November 7 Afghan presidential election runoff.

October has already become the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the war began in late 2001, with the death of 56 American troops.

Taliban militants have become increasingly bold. This week, they attacked a U.N. guesthouse in central Kabul, killing five U.N. staff members.

At the same time, the presidential campaign became increasingly contentious as the challenger to incumbent President Hamid Karzai demanded the removal of the country's election chief and 200 other staffers of the election commission to ensure a fair runoff.

Abdullah Abdullah and others have charged that massive fraud occurred in the first round of voting on August 20. The initial results gave Karzai the win, but a subsequent review by a U.N.-backed panel of election monitors threw out nearly one-third of Karzai's votes because of "clear and convincing evidence of fraud."

The result left Karzai short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. After a flurry of meetings with U.S. and U.N. officials, the Afghan president agreed to the runoff.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Pakistan • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. DJ

    Bring Hilary to the meeting to to ask..."How can Pakistan and the brass not know where Al Queda is after 8 years of war"? I wish someone would have had the guts to ask Bush that question.

    October 30, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. D.

    Discuss, discuss and discuss while I am getting my Nobel prize, till then it is discussion time...

    October 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Eric in Denver

    I wonder if Barry is going to wait until atleast next wednesday to make a decision just so his good friend Jon Corzine can pick up the far left voters!!!! If he decides to do the right thing now by listening to his general he will dissapoint the left who wants us to lose everywhere in this world. They will be disenchanted by Obama and won't show up at the polls to vote for the bald pinhead. Playing politics what a surprise!!!

    October 30, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Albo58

    Wow, almost 11 months in office and already consulting the CJCS about the Afghan war? Slow down, Speedy!

    October 30, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Len in Washington

    What a refreshing and honorable change from the past 8 years.
    I like it.

    October 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Uh... uh... uh... uh... how about those white sox?

    October 30, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Enough

    Geez, Quit your dithering and make a decision...........it's not like there is any choice. Is he afraid of upsetting the Nobel Peace prize committee or is he waiting until after our November elections to not upset the Democratic races? Obama is so used to voting "present" this having to make a decision is too much pressure on him.

    October 30, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. g.g.

    I hope that the president thinks long and hard on whether to send more troops on this fools mission. The Taliban are simply abiding their time. It's a losing battle. He should look at history to what the the success of the other countries that tried. Let the people of afghanistan decide on who they want to govern them.

    October 30, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    He is just trying to figure how to turn this into another photo-op like he did with the fallen soldiers the other night. Bet he wished balloon boy had room for him.

    hes trying to figure how to turn this into another photo like he did with the fallen soldiers.

    October 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. S

    Sniffit, you have no clue. Why did it take months for your beloved Obama to meet with his appointed General McCrystal? Obama plays golf every weekend as reported last week on CNN. Bush never had that luxury. Be proud all you want, but this guy is politics as usual, even worse, becasue he has blind, clueless foloowers such as yourself, who chose not to question his motives or policies. get a life and get a grip.

    October 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. Keith in Austin

    I am so sick and tired of this pitiful excuse of a Leader sitting on his thumbs while our troops are in harms way. I'll bet the farm his decision will come after the gubenatorial elections where Democrats are in trouble. Obozo is a weak and politically-driven Liberal and his so-called popularity is imploding now that his true colors are revealed. What a embarrasment!

    October 30, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |