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Associated Press, Published September 16 2009

Obama: No 'pending' decision on troops to Afghan

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said Wednesday there will be no quick decision on whether to send more U.S. troops into wartorn Afghanistan, saying "my determination is to get this right."

The U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, delivered a grim assessment of the war to Washington last month and is expected to follow up soon with a request for thousands of additional troops and more equipment.

That would leave Obama to decide whether to expand a war polls say is rapidly losing public support and drawing increasingly pointed criticism from lawmakers in Obama's Democratic Party.

The president already has roughly doubled the size of the American military force in Afghanistan, with only limited gains to show for it.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the Oval Office, Obama promised a deliberative process on how to proceed, not just on the military front but in the civilian and diplomatic arenas as well.

He said he must consult widely before deciding, with foreign leaders as well as U.S. generals, aides and officials. Obama said there is no "immediate decision pending."

Asked whether the U.S. and its allies are winning the war, he didn't answer. Obama did say, though, that it was clear the war he inherited from former President George W. Bush lacked a clear strategy to defeat the al-Qaida terrorist network.

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