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Page last updated at 02:52 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 03:52 UK

Obama Afghan review to last weeks

By Jonathan Beale
BBC News, Washington

US troops on patrol in Farah province on 23 September 2009
US commanders want more troops on the ground

The White House says that President Barack Obama will take several more weeks to review United States strategy in Afghanistan.

Only then will he make a decision on whether to send more US troops.

The White House issued a statement after the president met his most senior advisers to discuss the way forward.

General Stanley McChrystal, the top US military commander in Afghanistan, has already warned that the mission could fail without more resources.

President Obama held the second of what the White House says will be five intensive sessions on Afghanistan and Pakistan with his National Security team.

These discussions will influence the decision on whether the US deepens its military commitment in Afghanistan.

The meeting included Vice President Joe Biden, Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as senior military staff.

The commander of US forces in Afghanistan - General Stanley McChrystal - took part by video link.

He has already spelt out that he wants more boots on the ground. Reports suggest he wants up to 40,000 more troops.

The White House said the president would rigorously assess progress in Afghanistan when it involved decisions about keeping America safe and putting US troops in danger.

The goal remains to disrupt, defeat and dismantle al-Qaeda and its allies.

But the strategy is still unclear.

While the Pentagon is arguing for more troops some of the President's closest advisors - including Vice President Biden - are urging caution.

Some Democrats in Congress have also voiced opposition to widening America's military commitment.



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