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Obama pressed to send more troops to Afghanistan

President Barack Obama should heed his top generals’ advice over the approach to the Afghan conflict, US Republican Congressmen say.

As Obama formulates a new strategy for the unpopular war in Afghanistan, he met senior congressional leaders on Tuesday at the White House to discuss his policy and talk about the various options before taking a final decision on whether to dispatch another 40,000 troops, as requested by his generals.

Emerging from the meeting with the president, the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, opined that he (the president) will ultimately concur with the advice of “some of his finest generals” by the end of the day.

Obama is also trying to respond to the Taliban’s resurgence in the conflict. Nearly 400 Western troops have been killed in the fighting this year alone, making it the deadliest year of the war. More Western soldiers have died this year than in the first four years of the war combined.

At the same time, Afghan civilian casualties have risen to 1,500 – many killed in US air raids – in the first 9 months of the year, resulting in greater animosity toward the occupiers.

The worrying point for Obama is that US public support for the war has plummeted. On the other side, the Republicans have warned him of the urgency, saying he cannot wait too long to come to a decision.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama will reach a final decision in the coming weeks.

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