U.S. to review Afghan troop surge by end of year


The United States will review its strategy of increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan at the end of this year, President Barack Obama said in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera today.

In July the House of Representatives approved funds to pay for a troop increase, to 150,000, designed to break the resistance of and weaken the Taliban. “We will have a review at the end of this year to see if the strategy has been efficacious,” Obama told il Corriere.

Obama said that a gradual reduction of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan will start by mid-2011, Reuters reports.
“By the middle of next year we should begin the transition but that does not mean our presence will evaporate overnight,” he said.

The United States led an invasion of Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, bombings to overthrow the Taliban. Over the last two years, however, the Taliban has stepped up an insurgency an pressure has grown for an exit strategy.