Obama Under Growing Pressure to Move on Afghan Escalation

Sen. McCain Cautions Anything Short of Full Escalation Would Be Error

President Obama is under increasingly pressure from Republican Congressmen and the more hawkish members of his own party to move quickly to approve Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s call for massive escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

Sen. McCain (R-AZ) has become one of the most outspoken advocates of the McChrystal Plan, which calls for an absolute minimum of 40,000 additional troops but potentially over 60,000 more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. McCain says that anything short of accepting the general’s call “would be an error of historic proportions.”

Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) likewise said it made no sense for President Obama to put General McChrystal in charge of the war “and not take those recommendations,” cautioning that the war’s failure could imperil neighboring Pakistan.

Others, including Sen. Levin (D-MI) and Rep. McGovern (D-MA) have spoken out in support of an alternative strategy of trying to make the already unwieldy Afghan military dramatically larger.

Though President Obama made the escalation of the war in Afghanistan the centerpiece of his foreign policy, just nine months after taking office the war’s growing unpopularity and Gen. McChrystal’s aggressive demands have left the president stalling for time.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.