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AFGHANISTAN McChrystal's Plan Prevailing Joshua Roberts / Reuters

McChrystal's Plan Prevailing

General Stanley McChrystal, top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has been criticized for his request for tens of thousands more U.S. troops to battle in Afghanistan, but it's looking like his proposed strategy will pass. NATO’s 28 defense ministers endorsed McChrystal’s approach Friday, as has British Prime Minister Gordon Brown—actions that will likely lay the groundwork for President Obama’s eventual decision. The Obama administration is moving toward adopting a hybrid strategy in the Afghan war, one that would combine elements of the counterinsurgency approach—including thousands more troops—as well as aspects of the counterterrorism plan that relies on drone attacks to kill al Qaeda leaders. This month, the White House rejected the strict counterterror approach favored by Vice President Joe Biden. The emerging U.S. strategy would move key assets (helicopters, surveillance equipment) from Iraq to Afghanistan, and shift tactics of conventional forces on the ground. But embracing the hybrid model wouldn’t guarantee the general all of the 40,000 troops he wants, and the president’s final decision is still weeks away.

October 23, 2009 5:53 PM