Archive for Monday, October 26, 2009

Lawmakers split on Afghan troop decision

October 26, 2009

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— Top lawmakers sparred Sunday over the timing of President Barack Obama’s decision on how to move ahead in Afghanistan, with Republicans urging a quick move to boost troop levels and Democrats counseling patience.

In partisan displays, senators generally agreed on the need to support whatever Afghan government emerges from a Nov. 7 run-off election between President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah. But they differed on exactly how to do that and when.

Republicans said Obama must sign off soon on a recommendation from the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to substantially increase the number of American troops there by as many as 40,000 or more. Democrats warned against a hasty decision on any increase.

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