Obama in high-level Afghanistan meeting

Oct. 1, 2009 at 1:57 AM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama and high-level advisers met at the White House Wednesday on Afghanistan but the White House said no major decisions were made.

The review of the administration's Afghanistan strategy included a major discussion of a range of options, the White House said. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and allied commander in Afghanistan, attended the meeting, his first with Obama since he submitted a military assessment calling for an expanded counterinsurgency effort and suggesting the mission in Afghanistan was likely to fail without a major increase in troop strength.

White House officials want to consider options such as training Afghan security forces or targeting al-Qaida leaders for death or capture, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Defense Secretary Robert Gates' "thinking on this is evolving."

"But I don't think he has come to a final determination on what he believes to be the appropriate course going forward," Morrell said.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama remained committed to destroying al-Qaida "and its extremist allies."

Another meeting is scheduled for Oct. 7, the Times said.

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