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Obama weighs hybrid Afghan war plan

Nov. 11, 2009 at 1:02 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A hybrid option for additional resources in Afghanistan is under consideration Wednesday by U.S. President Barack Obama and his top military strategists.

Obama is said to be considering as many as four separate options to revamp the war strategy for Afghanistan. Military officials tell The Wall Street Journal a hybrid option of more U.S. troops and trainers combined with a new strategic focus is among the favorites.

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, argues he needs as many as 40,000 additional troops to quash the Taliban, though that proposal is unlikely to gain support given the declining public approval of the war.

The hybrid option, the Journal reports, puts the troop increase close to McChrystal's plan, but relies on contributions from NATO allies to reach the general's goal of 40,000. The strategy would also focus on weakening, not eliminating, the Taliban while military trainers prepare Afghan forces to make gains in their capabilities.

Any increase in U.S. troop deployments to Afghanistan would take place under a phased system that could extend into 2012 with an initial review planned for 2010, the Journal notes.

Obama is expected to announce his plans for Afghanistan when he returns from his tour of Asia on Nov. 19, the same day Afghan President Hamid Karzai is sworn in for his second term.

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