President Barack Obama outlined plans yesterday to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan by next summer to speed the battle against the Taliban. Officials said he would start bringing them home in July 2011.
The accelerated timetable surprised some Pentagon planners, who had been considering a 12- to 18-month period for deploying forces that will add to the 68,000 U.S. troops already in Afghanistan.
Obama is taking a political gamble by deepening U.S. involvement in the war. He came to office vowing a greater focus on Afghanistan but has faced skepticism from some advisers about putting more U.S. lives and money on the line.
Senior Obama administration officials said Obama’s decision to start bringing the troops home by July 2011 represents a faster exit timetable than any of the options presented to him.