November 24, 2009
Posted: 08:44 AM ET
President Obama will announce within days whether he will send more troops to Afghanistan.
The U.S. commander on the ground has asked for more troops and Republicans have criticized Obama for the drawn-out consideration process. The White House has defended its timetable, saying the president wants to get the decision right, not fast.
Monday's meeting, which ended at 10 p.m., included Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, Afghanistan commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and other senior officials.
At the last war council meeting - on November 11, Veterans Day - Obama pushed for revisions in proposed plans for troop increases to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government.
Gibbs said before Monday's meeting that Obama would seek answers to the questions he posed on November 11 about "not just how we get people there, but what's the strategy for getting them out."
Sources said one option that has been presented to Obama calls for sending about 34,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the 68,000 already committed to the country, with other options involving variations on that plan.
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