As officials in the Obama Administration continue to press for smaller escalations, top US commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal is upping the ante on his request, now calling for over 60,000 additional troops to continue the war.
The news comes as quite a surprise, as previously the general had been reported to be calling for an additional 45,000 troops, but had also said that 40,000 more troops was the absolute minimum needed.
The US has approximately 68,000 troops in Afghanistan now, following President Obama’s March escalation which added an additional 21,000. If Gen. McChrystal gets his 60,000+ additional troops President Obama will have virtually tripled the American presence in Afghanistan in the less than 9 months since taking office.
Though President Obama has already assured Congress that the “Biden Option” is off the table, there is a growing dispute among cabinet members between sending the massive number of troops sought by McChrystal or sending a smaller number and dramatically increasing drone strikes inside Pakistan.