The Obama administration is expected to announce by the end Tuesday that it will send one Army brigade and a large Marines expeditionary force.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
President Obama is immediately sending more than 17,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, the White House announced Tuesday.
"This reinforcement will contribute to the security of the Afghan people and to stability in Afghanistan," Obama said in a statement. "I recognize the extraordinary strain that this deployment places on our troops and military families. I honor their service, and will give them the support they need."
Of the 17,000 plus troops, 10,000 will be Marines stationed in the South; one Army Striker brigade comprised of 3,800 troops; 1,000 Special Operations Force trainers and 3,200 force enablers.
The troop increase is a down payment on a larger influx of U.S. forces that has been widely expected this year. It would get a few thousand forces in place in time for the increase in fighting that usually comes with warmer weather and ahead of national midyear elections.
A spokesman for Gen. David McKiernan told FOX News that they had already started to build camp barracks for the troops in anticipation of the announcement -- knowing how sensitive the timing is given the spring fighting season.
It is generally takes about three months for an Army brigade to deploy to the combat zone.
This is the first time the new commander in chief has sent significant numbers of new forces into battle. Obama campaigned on a new strategy for the Afghanistan war, but he has taken his time to approve the new forces.