WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has begun planning to send as many as 7,000 more US troops to Afghanistan next year to make up for a shortfall in contributions from NATO allies, senior Bush administration officials said.
They said the step would push the number of US forces there to roughly 40,000, the highest level since the war began, and would require at least a modest reduction in troops from Iraq.
The planning began in recent weeks, reflecting a growing resignation to the fact that NATO was unable or unwilling to contribute more troops despite public pledges of an intensified effort in Afghanistan from the presidents and prime ministers who attended an alliance summit meeting in Bucharest last month.
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said publicly last month that the United States was prepared to commit additional forces to Afghanistan in 2009, but he put no number on the anticipated increase. - Boston Globe
I guess if they want to...