Afghanistan

Obama Pressured Over Troop Decision

National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones refuted the idea that President Obama is affected by political pressure in deciding whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan. "The strategy does not belong to any political party," Jones said Sunday. "And I can assure you that the president of the United States is not playing to any political base." U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice took a similar stance on Sunday. But House liberals are already organizing against Gen. Stanley McChrystal's request for additional troops. They introduced a bill last week with 21 co-sponsors to prohibit sending more soldiers. A troop increase could face stiff opposition in the Senate, as well. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Sunday that a surge in Afghan troops, not U.S. troops, is needed. And even Vice President Joe Biden is reported to not favor a surge. Eight U.S. troops were killed over the weekend in an attack near the Pakistan border, ramping up both sides of the debate. Obama is expected to make his decision within a few weeks.