White House says Obama is nobody’s patsy on Afghanistan decision

By Alex Eliseev 7 October 2009

President Barack Obama believes it is "tremendously important" to listen to Congressional views about Afghanistan, but “the president is going to make a decision - popular or unpopular - based on what he thinks is in the best interests of the country,” says his press secretary Robert Gibbs. Obama met bipartisan leaders from the House and Senate as part of the review of Afghan/Pakistan efforts. But the key question is whether Obama will up the ante with more troops. Top military officials want additional forces to beat the Taliban, but the White House has been tamping down expectations of an early decision. What is clear is there will be no withdrawal of troops as the war hits its eight-year anniversary today. Obama underscored this saying, “I don't think we have the option to leave”.

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