Obama Leans to Modified McChrystal Plan

Not buying Biden strategy as sufficient, without some troops
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2009 6:58 AM CDT
Soldiers from U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Mountain Warrior, patrol along a road during an operation in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar province on Friday, Oct....   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
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(Newser) – Gen. Stanley McChrystal looks less and less likely to walk away empty handed, the Wall Street Journal predicts, as President Obama moves towards a "hybrid" strategy in Afghanistan that would combine troop increases with the special ops approach supported by the vice president. One scenario would see 10,000 to 20,000 more troops deployed, focused on winning support of Afghans, while assets, including drones, helicopters, and surveillance equipment, are shifted from Iraq to target terror groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Insiders say Obama isn't persuaded that the Biden counter-terrorist approach alone would be viable, despite Biden's own staff beefing up the case in written arguments. With the limited troop increase, "You'd be trying to buy time" for the Afghan security forces, one tells the Journal. "In effect, you'd narrow the counterinsurgency part of the campaign down to training up the Afghans as fast as possible."