MIDDLE GROUND

Obama 'Appears Committed' to More Troops

The long and winding road continues. President Obama met with Pentagon officials Friday night to explore the option of sending fewer troops than requested to Afghanistan. The meeting, which included chiefs from the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, focused on the state of U.S. forces after eight draining years in two wars. It was the first time all leaders convened, and they will likely meet again before Obama reaches his final decision about how many troops to send to Afghanistan. Though the chiefs primarily support General Stanley McChrystal's request for approximately 44,000 additional troops, Obama now appears to be seeking a compromise between his military and civilian advisers, and appears committed to adding at least 10,000 to 15,000 troops. A recommendations meeting will come next week, but with other items on his agenda, it's unlikely the president will make any announcement until late November.