President Obama isn't planning to go it alone: The administration has hopes that from 3,000 to 7,000 NATO troops will be committed to joining the US troop surge in Afghanistan by the time he rolls out his new strategy after Thanksgiving. Advanced talks are underway, the Wall Street Journal reports, and coordinated announcements of new troop deployments are expected as soon as Obama makes his move.
The desire to solidify NATO support, to send a clear signal that the US is not unilaterally taking on the Taliban, is in part responsible for the delay in completing the White House review of Afghan strategy, says the Journal. Even 3,000 new NATO troops would be a vote of confidence for the Obama team, the paper adds, given George Bush's failure to extract commitments for more troops at the end of his tenure. The administration is said to be targeting six European countries, including Germany, Italy and the UK.