Obama mulling five options for Afghanistan

Nov. 10, 2009 at 10:38 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama and his senior advisers will consider five strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan at their next meeting, administration officials said.

Obama and his advisers are to meet Wednesday to consider an Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy, including recommendations on strategy and troop levels recommended by U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, ABC News reported Tuesday.

During his Oct. 30 meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Obama asked officials to assess four other strategy options -- including the missions, troop requirements and cost -- but hasn't reviewed them, ABC said. All five options would increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

"I've been asking not only General McChrystal, but all of our commanders who are familiar with the situation, as well as our civilian folks on the ground, a lot of questions that, until they're answered, may -- may create a situation in which we resource something based on faulty premises," Obama said in an interview with ABC. "And I want to make sure that we have tested all the assumptions that we're making before we send young men and women into harm's way; that if we are sending additional troops that the prospects of a functioning Afghan government are enhanced, that the prospects of al-Qaida being able to attack the U.S. homeland are reduced."

The White House has denied reports that Obama has decided a course in Afghanistan. An announcement of his final decision is expected after he returns Nov. 19 from a visit to four Asian countries.

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