Since his election in November, President Obama’s promised escalation of the war in Afghanistan has been presumed to be one of the first things his administration would do. Yet the president has ordered reviews of the strategy to be completed before moving ahead with the troop surge: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates now says the official decision on Afghanistan will be reached within days.
“There is a realization that some decisions have to be made before the strategic review is completed” according to Gates, who says the president will be choosing from several different options. What was once a doubling of the troops may now be as little as 3,500 additional forces.
Gates also commented on the status of a similar decision in Iraq, saying that the administration had not even begun to review the assorted plans for Iraq. Since the surge forces to be sent to Afghanistan would largely be coming from Iraq, the lack of action from the president suggests he is in no hurry to change the status quo in the assorted wars he inherited.
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