Afghan Report Pressures Prez for More Troops

Where military sees inadequate resources, Dem base sees hopeless mire
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2009 9:54 AM CDT
U.S. Marines move in formation through farm fields after landing by helicopter in an overnight night air assault near the Taliban stronghold of Nawa in Afghanistan's Helmand province July 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
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(Newser) – As he heads to Camp David tomorrow, with General Stanley McChrystal's assessment of the situation in Afghanistan under his arm, President Obama faces a political minefield. The grim report lays the groundwork for deploying more troops to Afghanistan, the New York Times reports, adding pressure on the president, who must navigate between increasing demands from the Democratic base to pull out and military calls to end the "under-resourcing" blamed for worsening violence.

Obama already ordered 21,000 extra troops to Afghanistan this year; the prospect of sending more tests his commitment to a floundering war he didn't start—not to mention his entanglement with a corrupt, ineffectual Afghan government. Two US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan yesterday, bringing the August casualty toll to 51—the highest for any month since the beginning of the war.