U.S. Afghan troop buildup completed

Sept. 13, 2010 at 11:56 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Army Gen. David Petraeus told President Barack Obama Monday the deployment of additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan has been completed, the White House said.

Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told Obama the planned deployment of about 30,000 additional troops was completed by the end of August "consistent with the president's decision last December," the White House said in a release. The United States has about 78,000 troops in Afghanistan.

"General Petraeus underscored that these additional forces are now at the highest operational tempo to date, and are focused on challenging long-established Taliban strongholds, targeting Taliban leadership, training Afghan security forces, and supporting Afghan-led reintegration and local policing initiatives," the statement said.

Obama and his national security team met for nearly 2 hours Monday in their regular monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, provided an update on the political developments in Afghanistan "with a focus on our ongoing efforts to support enhanced governance and accountability, as well as the preparations and challenges associated with the upcoming Afghan-led parliamentary elections," the statement said.

Richard Patterson, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, updated the president "on the extraordinary challenges" presented by that country's flooding, and U.S. efforts to provide humanitarian support.

Obama reviewed the "ongoing efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in the border region, including our close cooperation with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and our NATO allies," the statement concluded.

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