The U.S. is sending 1,400 more Marines to Afghanistan to reinforce the 97,000 American troops already there, and bolster security gains made in the southern part of the nation in recent months. Pentagon officials, confirm a report in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, said the boost would be temporary and is intended to keep pressure on insurgent forces when fighting picks up during the spring.
The clock is ticking in Afghanistan, because President Obama has made it clear he wants to begin pulling some troops out this summer. The added troops, defense officials say, will help tamp down enemy attacks in the critical months before the July decision on how many troops to withdraw. Obama approved 30,000 more troops for Afghanistan 13 months ago, and the additional Marines keep the total below that, a Pentagon official says.