Pre-Decisional Afghanistan Escalation Pushback
The Washington Post reports that there’s been an unannounced deployment of 13,000 support troops to Afghanistan over the last several months in addition to the 17,000 combat troops and 4,000 Afghan-mentoring troops under the Obama administration. Why’s this news coming out now? Here’s why:
[It] underscores the growing strain on U.S. ground troops, raising practical questions about how the Army and Marine Corps would meet a request from Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.
A bunch of these stories — and blind quotes — have been coming out lately. Clearly a faction within the administration dubious of escalation is pushing back in public, matching the perception that escalation advocates have already seeded the bed in the press.
Speaking of which, President Obama and Vice President Biden, the chief escalation skeptic, will meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the White House this afternoon for a private session. The New York Times reports that Gates, alongside Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, is in favor of a counterinsurgency strategy but with more limited resources than Gen. McChrystal’s higher-end troop requests.