troop surge

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In Iraq, It's Like the 'Surge' Never Happened

Al-Qaeda has killed thousands this year

(Newser) - Nine car bombs exploded in Baghdad yesterday, which, along with a suicide attack and other incidents killed at least 66 people, the AP reports—and, unfortunately, that didn't make it a particularly unusual day. The al-Qaeda affiliate group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been pummeling the country... More »

Petraeus for President: UK Journo

Disaffected voters look to military for credibility, inspiration: Toby Harnden

(Newser) - The American political parties are in shambles, and in the credibility gap that plagues voters and candidates alike, a dark horse is emerging: David Petraeus. The head of Central Command evokes Dwight Eisenhower, because not since Ike's heyday "have the chances of a military man winning the White House... More »

Afghan War Killing More and More Iraq Veterans

Death toll stands at 996

(Newser) - The American death toll from the war in Afghanistan is nearing 1,000, according to the Pentagon's official death toll and already over it according to unofficial counts. The number of military personnel killed in Operation Enduring Freedom, which stood at 996 as of yesterday, includes a rising number of... More »

Obama Talks Afghan Strategy With Karzai

Morning videoconference pleased Afghan president, sources say

(Newser) - President Obama spent an hour on the phone with Hamid Karzi this morning to discuss the new US policy for Afghanistan, a spokesman for the presidential palace reports. A close confidant of Karzai's who was with the Afghan president following the call said Karzai was happy with the videoconference conversation... More »

Obama Issues Orders for More Afghan Troops

Briefed military last night, will reveal number and other details tomorrow

(Newser) - After weeks of deliberation, President Obama has settled on a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan and ordered the military to carry it out. The exact size of the troop escalation has not been announced, but sources put the number in the neighborhood of 30,000 more troops. The... More »

Obama to Give Afghan Speech at West Point

Tuesday troop surge announcement comes as approval falters

(Newser) - President Obama will announce his decision to send 20,000 to 40,000 more troops to fight in Afghanistan in a speech to West Point cadets next Tuesday at 8pm. His remarks will outline a surge, but administration officials say the president is not making a case for an open-ended... More »

In Afghanistan Debate, Obama Focuses on Exit

White House wants to make sure surge will enable handover

(Newser) - The Obama administration’s extended ruminations on an Afghan surge aren’t really over how many troops to send in—they’re about how they’ll get those troops out. Obama’s main problem with the initial military plan was that it seemed too open ended, administration sources tell Gerald... More »

US Ambassador Disagrees on Afghan Troop Surge

Wants Karzai government to shape up first

(Newser) - The US ambassador to Afghanistan—a former general who served there as recently as 2007—is against increasing troop levels until the Afghan government gets its act together. In classified cables ahead of President Obama’s deliberations on a surge, Karl Eikenberry cites rampant corruption and mismanagement in Hamid Karzai’... More »

CBS: Prez Will Grant McChrystal Troop Request

White House denies decision made

(Newser) - President Obama has decided to grant Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for a large and long-term increase in US forces in Afghanistan, according to CBS and AP , which cite "informed sources." The president will give the general almost all the troops he has asked for, boosting the size of... More »

Obama Eyes 30K+ Troop Surge

Said to be close to decision as Asia trip looms

(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... More »

Public Backs Afghan Troop Surge 47%-43%

....and majority support holding off on decision until after runoff

(Newser) - Public support for a troop surge in Afghanistan is surging, too, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll . Support for a troop increase edged out opposition 47% to 43%, after trailing opposition 44% to 51% last month. But 58% also support waiting until after the runoff election to make... More »

Afghan Surge Gains Favor; Public Sours on DC

Support for public option also grows; GOP isn't more popular, though

(Newser) - New poll numbers out today hold good news and bad for the Obama administration. Support is rising for a troop surge in Afghanistan, the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey finds, and nearly half now favor a public option in the health-care reform measures now under consideration. The bad news: 58% said... More »

Pentagon Holds Secret Afghan War Games

Mullen leads exercise to assess effects of troop surge

(Newser) - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, led a secret war game earlier this month to assess the Obama administration's options in Afghanistan, including a 44,000-troop surge. A team of military leaders used Gen. Stanley McChrystal's analysis to examine how Taliban insurgents and the Afghan... More »

More Troops in Afghanistan = Angrier Insurgents

Doesn't US remember how our country began? Or how Vietnam ended?

(Newser) - The United States was born from a nationalist insurgency. “Given that history, you’d think we might be more sensitive to nationalism abroad,” writes Nicholas Kristof. “Yet the most systematic foreign-policy mistake we Americans have made in the post-World War II period has been to underestimate its... More »

Public Thinks Obama's Clueless on Afghanistan

Deeply divided country leaves president between rock, hard place

(Newser) - When it comes to the Afghan war, Barack Obama is between a rock and a hard place politically. Only 45% of the public approves of his handling of it, down 10 percentage points from last month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, and a whopping 63% don’t... More »

Sources: Obama Will Send 40-45K More to Afghanistan

White House denies a decision has made, but UK's move would make more sense

(Newser) - President Obama will announce a troop surge in Afghanistan next week, sources tell the BBC, with Afghanistan’s ambassador to the US saying Obama will commit as many as 45,000. The White House says there’s been no decision, with spokesman Robert Gibbs sniffing that the BBC wouldn’t... More »

Pentagon Downplays 13K Surge in Afghan Support Troops

Extra thousands swell US numbers in Afghanistan

(Newser) - When does 21,000 equal 34,000? When the Pentagon is counting. The 21,000 additional troops President Obama approved for Afghanistan earlier this year have been accompanied by 13,000 extra support troops, bringing the total number in Afghanistan to nearly 68,000. Pentagon and White House officials have... More »

Obama Team Downplays Risks in Afghan Pullback

Al-Qaeda, Taliban much closer than public has been led to believe

(Newser) - US military and intelligence officials see dangerous misrepresentations in the Obama team’s flirting with a limited, anti-al-Qaeda strategy in Afghanistan. “The White House is downplaying the dangers of doing the only thing that they think Congress and the public will support,” an official tells McClatchy. But taking... More »

Pelosi Eye Roll Hints at Dem Rift on Afghanistan

She doesn't seem to be on the same page as Reid

(Newser) - It was a little thing. After Tuesday’s powwow with the president on Afghan strategy, Harry Reid emerged from the White House with Nancy Pelosi and announced: “Everyone said that ‘whatever decision you make, we will support it,’” as the House speaker rolled her eyes. Though... More »

In Afghanistan, We Fight and Die, China Wins

In fact, Beijing comes out ahead whether we stay or go

(Newser) - American and Chinese interests seem to be conveniently aligned in Afghanistan, writes Robert D. Kaplan. By securing the country, NATO forces have allowed China access to vast mineral deposits and trade routes to the Indian Ocean. In turn, Chinese companies employ Afghan workers, stabilizing the economy and hence the nation.... More »

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