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Obama Afghan strategy decision 'within days'

Wed Nov 25 02:45:50 EST 2009
Tue Nov 24 15:45:50 UTC 2009

WASHINGTON, Nov 24 AFP - US President Barack Obama has concluded months of deliberations on whether to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan and will announce his decision within days, the White House said on Tuesday.

"After completing a rigorous final meeting, President Obama has the information he wants and needs to make his decision and he will announce that decision within days," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Late on Monday, Obama held the ninth and last in a series of meetings with his top commanders and national security advisers to examine the troubled war effort against the militant Islamic Taliban movement and its al-Qaeda allies.

Obama is widely expected to announce his decision next Tuesday, possibly in a nationally televised address, although a White House official said "nothing had been confirmed" about the timing of the announcement.

Obama has been weighing requests from the military top brass for up to 40,000 additional troops to be deployed to Afghanistan, where there are 68,000 US troops.

US soldiers and allied NATO troops have been waging an increasingly costly war against a Taliban-led insurgency that is in its ninth year and taking an increasingly heavy toll on the more than 100,000 troops deployed under US and NATO command.