I’ll ‘Never Rush’ Troops Decision: Obama

Even as under pressure to set out a new policy, US President Barack Obama has made it clear that he will ‘never rush’ a decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Speaking at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida, Obama said: “I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm’s way.”

He told servicemen and women present at the base that he would not risk their lives “unless it is absolutely necessary”.

At the same time, he vowed that if it was necessary to send servicemen to war, the US would back them “up to the hilt”.

“Because you deserve the strategy, the clear mission, the defined goals, as well as the equipment and support you need to get the job done,” he said.

Prior to it, the president met his national security team again for talks on Afghan policy.

Domestic analysts believe that Obama’s remarks may be a response to ex-Vice President Dick Cheney’s suggestion he was “dithering”.

The White House has said that a decision on a new strategy for Afghanistan, including troop numbers, will be made in the coming weeks, but critics say that the process is taking too long.

The top US military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has asked for at least 40,000 more US troops there.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s incumbent President Hamid Karzai and his election challenger Abdullah Abdullah are preparing for a run-off vote due to take place on 7 November.

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