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Obama accused of half measures for Afghan troop increase

From The Times
October 8, 2009
Barack Obama accused of 'half measures' in plan for Afghan troop increase

Tim Reid and Giles Whittell in Washington
President Obama has ruled out a reduction in troop numbers in Afghanistan and is heading for a “middle road” strategy that will lead to some additional forces — but not the full surge of 40,000 sought by his ground commander.

White House aides emphasise that no final decision on his crucial Afghan strategy review has been made — as the war’s eighth anniversary passed yesterday — but one option under serious consideration is a “hybrid” model of an expanded counter-insurgency campaign together with increased strikes against al-Qaeda inside Pakistan.

Signs that Mr Obama might be considering some additional forces, but not the full number requested by his ground commander, Stanley McChrystal, are causing alarm inside the Pentagon and among Republicans and some Democrats on Capitol Hill because they fear that it will lead to failure.

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