Obama Orders Revisions to Afghan Options
12 November 2009
A senior White House official says U.S. President Barack Obama is
calling on his national security team to revise the options for the
U.S. war strategy in Afghanistan.
|US President Barack Obama |
Mr. Obama asked for the
changes Wednesday during the latest review of his Afghanistan policy.
The official says the president wants his advisors to determine how and
when U.S. troops can hand over security responsibility to the Afghan
government. Administration officials say Mr. Obama wants to make clear
to Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the U.S. commitment in
Afghanistan is not "open-ended."
The president's call for
revisions comes as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry,
has expressed serious reservations about sending additional troops to
Officials say Eikenberry sent two classified cables
to Washington last week expressing doubts about Mr. Karzai's
leadership. The Afghan president has been blamed for allowing rampant
corruption under his watch.
A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in
Kabul refused to comment on the memos. The spokesman tells VOA that
Ambassador Eikenberry anticipates the Afghan people will "come to
expect more from their government," including "clean and competent
Eikenberry served as the commander of U.S. troops
in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007. He became ambassador to Afghanistan
earlier this year after retiring from the military.
puts him in stark opposition to General Stanley McChrystal, the
commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, who has requested
40,000 more troops - which would boost the U.S. commitment in
Afghanistan to more than 100,000 troops.
The White House has
said Mr. Obama is considering four options, including one that would
send 10,000 to 15,000 additional troops, and one that would comply with
General McChrystal's request.
The president is not expected to
announce a final decision until after he returns from a nine-day trip
to Asia that begins Thursday.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.