President Barack Obama “may soon announce plans to expand Afghan security forces by roughly 70,000 over current targets by year’s end as a US troop drawdown looms,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said today, the AFP reports.
"I would think it would be decided in the next few days," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, told reporters after a trip to Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq.
Levin said Obama had told him at the White House on Monday that such an increase, above the roughly 306,000 Afghan police and military set to be trained and equipped by 2012, was "under consideration."
"All he said is that it is under consideration, it’s under review. And he left it at that, and I left it with the words, ‘it’s urgent to do it,’ because of the importance of the size of the army as well as the quality of the army and police to the success of our mission," Levin told reporters.
Asked why the decision was on hold, he said: “I think there may be an issue with Pakistan not wanting to see a larger Afghan army.”