Gates Expected to Back Afghan Escalation

Secretary's Endorsement Would Give McChrystal Plan a Boost

by Jason Ditz, October 02, 2009

According to several administration officials, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is inclined to endorse the massive escalation proposed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Gen. McChrystal is reportedly seeking up to 45,000 additional troops for a long term continuation of the already eight year long war in Afghanistan. McChrystal has cautioned that the war will likely be lost if he isn’t given the troops.

President Obama has been delaying his decision on the request, and some of his top advisers, including long time war enthusiast Joe Biden, have suggested that throwing tens of thousands of additional ground troops at the war isn’t necessarily the wisest strategy, and are hoping instead to scale back their goals.

But Gen. McChrystal has rejected the notion of scaling back his ambitious war effort, and if he does ultimately get Secretary Gates on his side it could go a long way toward giving President Obama a justification for endorsing the plan.

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