Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wire: Obama Says Still no Plan for Afghanistan; Admin War Objectives Doc Leaked to Press

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2009 -- Newswire services this afternoon reported that President Barack Obama said Wednesday has yet to make a decision on whether to send more U.S. troops into the deteriorating war in Afghanistan.

The president's comments came, The Associated Press reported, one day after Adm. Mike Mullen, his top military adviser as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endorsed an increase in U.S. forces as likely necessary to battle a deepening insurgency. The U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, also has delivered a grim assessment of the war and is expected to follow up soon with a request for thousands of additional troops.

"I'm going to take a very deliberate process in making those decisions," said Obama, taking questions from reporters as he sat in the Oval Office with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "And so I just want to be absolutely clear, because there's been a lot of discussion in the press about this: There is no immediate decision pending on resources," Obama said, according to press reports.

However, the Obama administration has set objectives for countering al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, from boosting Islamabad's counterinsurgency capabilities to building up Afghan security forces so U.S. assistance can be reduced, according to an internal document obtained by Reuters news service on Wednesday.

The administration sent the objectives to U.S. lawmakers ahead of an expected request by Gen. McChrystal for additional forces to counter a resurgent Taliban insurgency.

See links below for details.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Obama: No 'pending' decision on troops to Afghan
Obama sets Afghanistan, Pakistan objectives: document

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