If President Obama decides to go along with Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for 40,000 more troops in Afghanistan, he’s probably going to need Republican help to do it. Democrats are increasingly opposed to the buildup, with party leaders telling the Washington Post they worry that more American troops could be fodder for Taliban propaganda, though they like McChrystal’s plans to train more Afghan forces.
But even that proposal has run into trouble, with the Senate last week turning down the president’s request for $900,000 for the effort. Republicans, meanwhile, would support Obama, but would expect strict adherence to McChrystal’s plan. “I’m against a half-measure. That’s the worst scenario,” says Lindsey Graham. “If you do what the commanders recommend, I will be an enthusiastic supporter of the president.”