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Obama orders more options on Afghanistan

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Washington Post claims White House ‘appears committed’ to sending up to 15,000 more soldiers

US President Barack Obama has asked the Pentagon for more options on troop levels in Afghanistan including sending less than the roughly 40,000 new soldiers requested, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Citing two unnamed US officials, the newspaper said the request came at Obama’s meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the White House on Friday.

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The military chiefs have been largely supportive of a resource request by General Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, that would by one Pentagon estimate require the deployment of 44,000 extra troops, it said.

But opinion among members of Obama’s national security team is divided, and he now appears to be seeking a compromise solution that would satisfy both his military and civilian advisers, the paper said.

The report said the president seeks a plan that would not require him to send as many troops. However, Obama “appears committed to adding at least 10,000 to 15,000 troops,” the Post added.

Obama is expected to receive several options from the Pentagon about troop levels next week, the report claimed.

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Before determining troop levels, Obama must decide whether to embrace a strategy focused heavily on counterinsurgency, which would require additional forces to protect population centers, or one that makes counterterrorism the main focus of US efforts in the country, the paper said.

One option under review is a blend of the two approaches with an emphasis on counterterrorism in the north and some parts of western Afghanistan as well as an expanded counterinsurgency efforts in the south and east, it said.

Obama has also asked for a province-by-province review of the country to determine which areas can by managed effectively by local leaders, according to the report.

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With AFP.

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‘How much did you get for your soul?’ Internet dogpiles Lindsey Graham after he walks back criticism of SCIF raid

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On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared to have reached the limit of his capacity to defend his own party when a gang of House Republicans raided a sensitive, compartmented information facility where an impeachment hearing was taking place and illegally bringing in recording equipment. Initially Graham criticized the Republicans behind the stunt, calling it "nuts."

Later, however, he changed his mind and decided the demonstration was fine with him, offering this explanation:

CORRECTION:

I was initially told House GOP took the SCIF by force – basically like a GOP version of Occupy Wall Street.

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‘We lost New Mexico to Mexico’: Internet breaks into hysterics over Trump wanting to build border wall on Colorado

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The president of the United States indicated he accidentally forgot where the state of Colorado was during his speech to an energy conference of fracking companies Wednesday.

Trump told the audience he was building a "wall" in Colorado, which is the state just north of New Mexico. If Trump was referring to his U.S.-Mexico border wall, it's the southern New Mexico border on which he intends to build the wall.

It prompted many to wonder if the president whipped out his fact-changing Sharpie yet again.

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Giuliani henchmen caught on tape doing statewide tour for Indiana Republicans during 2018 election

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New images of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman with prominent Republicans emerged on Wednesday.

"Two associates of Rudy Giuliani who are accused of illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. campaigns attended an Indiana Republican event promoting U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and others just days before the 2018 election," the Indy Star reports.

"The reason remains a mystery," the newspaper noted.

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