Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday that a proposal will go before [Secretary of Defense] Gates on Friday that would send a ground and air Marine contingent as well as a Marine battalion — together totaling more than 3,000 forces—to southern Afghanistan for a "one-time, seven-month deployment."
Gates, he said, will want to review the request, and is not likely to make a final decision on Friday. ...
Morrell added that Gates' thinking on the issue has "progressed a bit" over time as it became clear that it was politically untenable for many of the NATO nations to contribute more combat troops to the fight.
"The commanders need more forces there. Our allies are not in the position to provide them. So we are now looking at perhaps carrying a bit of that additional load," the spokesman said.
Morrell said the move, first reported Wednesday by ABC News, was aimed at beating back "another Taliban offensive" that is expected this spring — as has occurred in previous years. ...
Currently there are about 27,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including 14,000 with the NATO-led coalition. The other 13,000 U.S. troops are training the Afghan forces and hunting al-Qaida terrorists. ...
The Bush administration has launched a wide-ranging review of its policy in Afghanistan to ensure that gains made since the radical Islamist Taliban regime was ousted in 2001 are not lost and to bolster Afghan President Hamid Karzai's nascent government.
10 January 2008
Pentagon considers 3000 additional troops for Afghanistan
This is probably a good idea.
Posted by MaryAnn