“President Obama this morning announced a new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy that will require significantly higher levels of U.S. funding and thousands more military and civilian personnel to reverse what he called an “increasingly perilous” situation….
Among the resources required, he said, are an additional 4,000 troops, beyond the 17,000 he authorized last month, that will bring total U.S. deployments to more than 60,000. U.S. military expenses for Afghan operations this year, White House aides said, will increase about 60 percent from the current toll of $2 billion a month. The newly announced forces, from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, will serve as trainers and advisers to an Afghan army expected to double to 134,000 by 2011….
“In going forward,” he said, “we will not blindly stay the course,” but will monitor progress with a series of benchmarks and metrics imposed on Pakistan, Afghanistan and U.S. efforts. “And after years of mixed