Even as opposition to the U.S. war in Afghanistan continues to grow, the political and military establishment in the United States seems bent on escalating the war.
Last week, Obama announced that he was sending 4,000 additional troops to the country. This came on top of an already planned deployment of 17,000 troops. Now, the Pentagon is requesting that an additional 10,000 troops be sent to Afghanistan:
“President Barack Obama faces a decision later this year whether to send an extra 10,000 US troops to Afghanistan, amid an escalating war against Islamist insurgents, defense officials said.
A top general and senior Pentagon official disclosed on Wednesday for the first time details of a pending request from the US commander in Afghanistan for yet more troops for a war that has already lasted more than seven years.
“What the president was told is that the request (for more troops) is out there, but he doesn’t have to make a decision until the fall so that the troops would arrive as planned in 2010,” Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
General David Petraeus, the US Central Command chief, said he had approved the troop request but that the Defense Department had not yet formally passed it on to the White House.”
According to the article, Obama is being pressured from “the left” who is opposed to the expanded military presence, as well as “the right” which sees Obama as engaging in a strategy of “incrementalism” where he is increasing U.S. troop presence slowly rather than going in strong.
In recent weeks, Obama had said on 60 Minutes that an “exit strategy” was necessary in Afghanistan, but his recent plan made no such mention. Moreover, there are reports that his administration is “open” to further troop requests.