Afghanistan

34,000 New Troops and New Focus

After much negotiation and speculation, the magic number appears to be 34,000 and focus may be the magic word. President Barack Obama is expected to announce in his Tuesday Afghanistan speech a plan to deploy 34,000 new troops, bringing the total number of troops in Afghanistan to 100,000, more than half of which will have been sent under Obama's watch. The president will also ask NATO to provide an additional 5,000 troops, bringing the total just shy of the 40,000 requested by General Stanley McChrystal. But the real change, ABC's Jake Tapper reports, will be a focus on local solutions and working directly in dangerous provinces. This method seeks not only to deter global terror, but also to allow the U.S. government to sidestep Afghan President Hamid Karzai if he fails to clean up his corrupt government. American deployments will begin in January and continue in stages. Obama will also address the transfer of security responsibility to Afghanistan in Tuesday's address.