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25 March 2017 23:36 (South Africa)

Obama decision on Afghanistan - next course after Thanksgiving

The Obama administration is gearing up - finally - for the president's decision on Afghanistan strategy and troop level decisions, but no announcement is planned until after the American Thanksgiving holiday weekend that begins this Thursday. Obama has been considering recommendations from the theatre commander for troop additions of up to 60,000 new soldiers but the president seems poised to go with a middle-range add-on of around 30,000+ new troops. Obama has increasingly been saying to his advisors, according to administration sources, that a key element of the new strategy is a rethinking of options so that they include an exit strategy, or as White House press spokesman Robert Gibbs put it, it is "not just how we get people there, but what's the strategy for getting them out." Similarly, Obama said in a television interview last week: "At the end of this process, I'm going to be able to present to the American people in very clear terms what exactly is at stake, what we intend to do, how we're going to succeed, how much it's going to cost, how long it's going to take." For more, read the AP

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