War Support Holds as Obama Weighs Strategy

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After eight years of fighting in Afghanistan, a majority of Americans still support the war, according to a new Associated Press poll.

The poll shows that 52 percent of people think the war in Afghanistan is the right thing for the U.S. to do, but only 38 percent want to send more troops.

CBN News Senior International Correspondent Gary Lane appeared on Thursday's CBN Newschannel's Morning program to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.  Click here to watch the interview.

Eight years ago, the United States launched the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

The bold military strike was designed to not only defeat the ruling Taliban, but to deny al-Qaeda a home base from which to plan and execute other terrorist attacks around the world. 

The war has now lasted longer than anyone could have imagined.  It's also a war that President Obama inherited when he took office earlier this year.  Obama is preparing to meet again with his national security team to rethink U.S. strategy on Afghanistan as the war reaches a critical point.
    
It's the latest in a series of meetings on the status of the Afghan War the president has had this week.

Strategy Before Resources?

The president consulted congressional leaders Tuesday on a new way forward in the increasingly bloody war in Afghanistan.

"It's very clear that the president's headed in the right direction: strategy before resources. That was the discussion time after time in that meeting," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
    
In the sometimes tense 90-minute meeting it was clear the president ruled out shrinking the Afghanistan war to a counterterrorism campaign.
    
But what was not clear is whether he's prepared to send any more troops to the war zone.

"The effort in Afghanistan obviously requires a sustained substantial commitment," said Gen. David Patraeus, the top U.S. commander for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Patraeus wants as many as 40,000 additional troops and Republicans are supporting his request for an Iraq-style troop surge. 

"The closest parallel to Afghanistan today is Iraq," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "They had the strategy that succeeded and the generals that succeeded."

"Gen. McChrystal and Gen. Petreaus wouldn't be making recommendations if they felt you'd have to come back for more troops," he added.
    
However, with a nearly $300 billion tab and the number of Americans killed this year approaching 900, some Democrats are trying to convince the president to focus less on more troops and more on missile strikes.

"The question is how do we evaluate the tools at our disposal, do we have an able partner in President Karzai, is the government capable of acting in a way that is not fraught with corruption?" said House Speaker Nanci Pelosi.
    
At one point during the meeting, McCain said whatever the president decides - the new strategy can't come at a leisurely pace. Some in the room said Obama got testy and shot back "it won't."

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.