Obama will unveil Afghan troops move at West Point



Obama will unveil Afghan troops move at West Point Washington: US President Barack Obama plans to announce a redrawn battle plan for Afghanistan, including what the military says could be a roughly 50 per cent increase in American forces, in a national address on Tuesday night from the US Military Academy.

Although military and administration officials cautioned that Obama has not settled on a final figure, the military is planning for an increase of up to 35,000 troops begin next year. Military officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

The additional forces would come atop a record 71,000 US troops in the country now and would represent the largest expansion since the war began eight years ago.

Obama will be speaking to a war-weary American public, with the Army's storied academy at West Point, New York, as a backdrop and cadets entering the service most stretched by two wars on hand.

Polls show support for the war has dropped significantly since Obama took office, with a majority now saying both that they oppose the war and that it is not worth fighting.

The President promised this week to "finish the job" begun eight years ago, and press secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday the announcement would include an exit strategy.

But the surge in troops would be Obama's second since taking office, and liberal Democrats already are lining up against it, in part because of the also-surging cost -- up to USD 75 billion a year.

PTI