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U.S. open to possibility of troop increase in Afghanistan: Pentagon

The U.S. is open to the possibility of sending more troop to the Afghanistan war, where President Barack Obama's government has "limited time" to show improvement, said top defense officials on Thursday.


U.S. Marines walk around a base in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, September 3, 2009.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a press conference at Pentagon that he has received the assessment report on the Afghanistan strategy written by Army General Stanley A. McChrystal, U.S. top commander in the country, and informally forwarded a copy to President Obama.

"Any request for additional resources would follow" after the evaluation of the report by senior military officials, including Central Commander David Petraeus and Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, and discussion by the president's national security team, Gate said.

Speculations have been on that McChrystal, who took over the command in June, would ask for more troops and other resources for the eight-year war in view of Taliban's resurgence

However, Gates said that he is "very open to the recommendations and certainly the perspective of General McChrystal."

Mullen, who co-host the press conference, said that he and the defense secretary would hold up to four meetings to review the report and expect to finish the process by Friday.

"We're going to do that with a clear eye not only on the needs in Afghanistan, but also the needs of the force in general and on our other security commitments around the globe," Mullen said.

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 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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