Marines to Deploy Days After Obama Speech

Some 9,000 Marines may be deployed to southern Afghanistan days after President Obama announces his new war strategy Tuesday, The Washington Post reports. The Marines, intended to renew an assault on a Taliban stronghold in Helmand province, are being sent as part of the president's escalation of the war, and are important components of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's counterinsurgency strategy. One thousand Army trainers, intended to help instruct the Afghan army and police force, will follow the Marines in February. Obama's new plan is expected to call for 30,000 to 35,000 new troops to be deployed over the next 12 to 18 months. The additional troops are intended to stabilize regional Afghan governments and fight off the Taliban, which has made a comeback in recent months.