Local Troops Wait for Word

President Barack Obama prepares to sell a broader, more expensive battle plan for Afghanistan to an American public weary of the conflict that began just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

President Obama is expected to announce an increase of up to 35,000 more U.S. forces Tuesday. The move would hope to defeat the Taliban-led insurgency and stabilize a weak Afghan government. The escalation, which would take place over the next year, would put more than 100,000 American troops in Afghanistan at an annual cost of about $75 billion.

What's still to be announced is how many of those 35,000 will be troops from the San Diego area. Camp Pendleton has already committed to sending 10,000 troops, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, with 3,000 troops from the base deployed there currently.

The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Conway, has said his branch could dispatch up to 18,000 additional troops and still maintain proper intervals for training and rest.

The revised plan is expected to call for 30,000 to 35,000 new troops in a phased deployment over the next 12 to 18 months, according to MSNBC and the Washington Post.

Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, has recommended speeding up the growth of the Afghan army and police. He wants an overall Afghan security force of 400,000 ---- 240,000 soldiers and 160,000 police officers ---- by October 2013.

Obama will outline his decision to an increasingly skeptical U.S. public on Tuesday night in a nationally broadcast address from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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