Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

Americas

Obama, top advisers mull Afghan strategy

©

Video by Guillaume MEYER

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-07

On the eighth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama gathers his top advisers in the White House Situation Room to debate whether to send more troops into an increasingly unpopular war.

AFP - President Barack Obama moved closer to a crucial decision on the US-led war in Afghanistan after receiving a request from his commander to send in more troops, officials said Wednesday.
   
With the appeal for reinforcements in hand, Obama and his top advisers could start talking about committing yet more troops to the unpopular war later this week after a wide-ranging strategy review, the White House said.
   
"It could happen as early as Friday, it could be next week," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.
   
As the NATO-led mission struggles to counter a spreading insurgency, Obama faces an appeal for up to 40,000 troops from the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal.
   
On Tuesday, the president told lawmakers he had no intention of reducing the US military force in Afghanistan, which will reach 68,000 troops by the end of this year, an administration official said on condition of anonymity.
   
The choice for Obama may lie somewhere between keeping roughly the current level of troops or opting for the commander's "all-in" approach that would inject tens of thousands of additional troops into the fight against Islamist insurgents.
   
Top security, military and political advisors met Wednesday in the secure White House Situation Room for a third in-depth meeting on Afghanistan, amid accusations from some Republican lawmakers that Obama was dithering.
   
The high-stakes war council comes amid rising public doubts over the mission, a spike in US and NATO casualties and an increasingly tenacious insurgency, eight years into what is now one of the longest US military operations on record.
   
In a move suggesting he may be close to making up his mind, the president asked for the troop request document last Thursday before setting off for Copenhagen, where he briefly met with McChrystal aboard his plane.
   
The troop request had been closely held by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to avoid leaks of the politically sensitive document, the Pentagon said.
   
A "formal request" for more troops vetted by the US and NATO military chain of command had not yet been presented to the president, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said.
   
Gates had earlier said he would hold off on passing on McChrystal's request until a White House review of strategy was completed.
   
Requests for forces are usually reviewed by senior US military leaders before being passed on to the defense secretary and the president.
   
An earlier sensitive document from the commander -- an assessment of the war -- was leaked to the media last month, piling political pressure on Obama's deliberations.
   
"We wanted to avoid a repeat of what we saw with the assessment frankly," Morrell said.
   
A new poll Wednesday added to the political tumult whipped up around Obama's decision-making process.
   
The Quinnipiac University survey found 65 percent of voters willing to have US soldiers fight and possibly die to stamp out extremists operating in Afghanistan.
   
But only 38 percent of those asked said they would be willing to send more troops to Afghanistan.
   
Other polls have shown rising public anxiety over the war, launched to target Al-Qaeda and its Taliban hosts after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
   
Wednesday is the eighth anniversary of former president George W. Bush's 2001 announcement of the start of air strikes in Afghanistan.
   
This year has been the deadliest of the war, with 394 foreign troops killed in 2009, including 236 Americans, according to an AFP toll.

Date created : 2009-10-07

Comments

COMMENT(S)