Obama Cools to Surge in Afghan Forces

President expected to pare down Afghan role in US plans
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2009 7:29 AM CST
Obama Cools to Surge in Afghan Forces
Afghan police officers stand guard near the site of a small explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009. A bomb has exploded in a trash bin in the center of Kabul.   (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)

Even as President Obama is expected to announce a surge in US troops in Afghanistan tomorrow, the White House has soured on doubling the size of the Afghan army and police, the Wall Street Journal reports. The president plans to scale back a key element of Gen. McChrystal's strategy, the paper says, responding to doubts from Joe Biden and other top officials about the weak Afghan government's ability to train and support a force of that size.

By placing less emphasis on Afghan forces, and more focus on boosting US troops in Afghanistan, Obama risks angering Dems wary of escalation, the Journal notes, as well as Republicans wary of half-measures. "If what you're trying to do is to please all people, than that might not make any sense," says a GOP rep.

(Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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