Globe and Mail
October 24, 2008

WASHINGTON — Sounding presidential, Senator Barack Obama said Wednesday he would order a surge of U.S. troops – perhaps 15,000 or more – to Afghanistan as soon as he reached the White House.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“We’re confronting an urgent crisis in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama, the Democratic contender and now clear front-runner to replace George W. Bush, said Wednesday.

“It’s time to heed the call … for more troops. That’s why I’d send at least two or three additional brigades to Afghanistan,” he said in his most hawkish promise to date.

A U.S. army brigade includes about 5,000 soldiers along with tanks, armoured personnel carriers and helicopter gunships.

Seeking to deflect attacks that he is dangerously inexperienced in foreign policy, Mr. Obama huddled with a high-profile panel of experts before a news conference aimed at showcasing his command of global affairs.

“The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large and plotting,” he said, echoing Mr. Bush’s oft-repeated refrain.

But he was quick to blame Mr. Bush for miring the United States in a pointless war and wrecking its reputation abroad.

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