Obama Eyes 30K+ Troop Surge

Said to be close to decision as Asia trip looms
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2009 9:18 AM CST
President Obama salutes as a carry team carries the transfer case of Army Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind., who died in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – President Obama is zeroing in on an Afghanistan strategy that likely includes sending in some 30,000 troops, reports Reuters—short of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's requested 40,000, but far greater than war-weary Democrats may support. An additional 4,000 trainers are likely to be sent, McClatchy reports, with the first troops hitting the ground in March.

The president begins a weeklong Asian tour Thursday, and is expected to delay an announcement until he consults with key allies, sources say. The delay also gives the administration more time to continue cracking the whip on corruption under Hamid Karzai, as well as shore up support at home. "This is not going to be an easy sell, especially with the fight over health care and the (Democratic) party's losses" in New Jersey and Virginia, says one official.