Better late than never (I hope). According to CBS sources when the President comes back from his trip to China, he will announce his new plan for Afghanistan. Thankfully it looks as if President Obama will give his hand picked General close to what he asked for
CBS News correspondent David Martin reports that the president will send a lot more troops and plans to keep a large force there, long term.
The president still has more meetings scheduled on Afghanistan, but informed sources tell CBS News he intends to give Gen. Stanley McChrystal most, if not all, the additional troops he is asking for.
McChrystal wanted 40,000 and the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands more support troops. A senior officer says “that’s close to what [McChrystal] asked for.” All the president’s military advisers have recommended sending more troops.
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The Administration will continue to press Afghan President Hamid Karzai cleans up his government.
“He’s got to take concrete steps to eliminate corruption,” Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said last week. “That means you have to rid yourself of those who are corrupt. You have to actually arrest and prosecute them.”
The Plan is for a slow build-up rather than a surge:
The first combat troops would not arrive until early next year and it would be the end of 2010 before they were all there. That makes this Afghanistan surge very different from the Iraq surge, in which 30,000 troops descended on Baghdad and the surrounding area in just five months.
Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute says a slow motion surge will produce slow motion results.
“If they’re going to be sort of trickled in very slowly over the course of a year than it’s unlikely to have a very decisive impact in the course of 2010,” he said.
The buildup would be expected to last about four years, until McChrystal completes his plan for doubling the size of the Afghan army and police force.
So after almost three months of dawdling the President is going to give General McCrystal what he asked for. The question is….what the hell took him so long.