Obama’s Afghan decision not likely before November 11

by Ross Colvin
Saturday, October 31, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is unlikely to make a decision on his Afghanistan strategy and sending thousands more troops there before he embarks on his trip to Asia on November 11, a senior administration official said on Saturday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stressed that while a decision was unlikely before then, it had not been ruled out.

With violence this year reaching its worst levels in Afghanistan since the Taliban was ousted by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001, Obama is under pressure to spell out U.S. plans.

It is unclear if Obama would wait until he returned from his November 11 -20 trip to unveil his decision or announce it while he was traveling in the region.

The timing of Obama’s announcement would not be influenced by outside factors, the official said, referring to the political upheaval in Afghanistan after a disputed presidential election in August. A run-off is scheduled for November 7…

…General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has recommended deploying an additional 40,000 troops next year, a figure that includes trainers to accelerate the expansion of the Afghan army…

The complete article is at Reuters.

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