Despite claims earlier in the day from President Barack Obama that no ‘immediate decision’ was pending on Afghanistan, Fox News is quoting sources in the government as saying General Stanley McChrystal has already made his long-awaited troop request, and it’s a doozy.
Gen. McChrystal is now ‘privately’ requesting another 40,000 troops for the eight year old war, which would bring the overall US presence there to well over 100,000 troops, and nearly triple the number in the nation with President Obama was elected last November.
The call’s “private” nature and President Obama’s protestation that no decision is pending are likely a function of growing Democratic opposition to the escalation. With polls showing a wide majority of Americans (and a dramatically larger majority of Democrats) now firmly against the war, several top ranking Congressmen are questioning the wisdom of continued escalation, and are expressing concern about the lack of concrete plans for an exit strategy.
How well the military is going to be able to cope with the increased number of troops deployed in Afghanistan is unclear, particularly with 131,000 troops still in Iraq (and more on the way).
It had previously been reported that Gen. McChrystal would seek 20,000 more troops for the conflict.