ABC White House Correspondent Jake Tapper reported that President Obama is likely to announce an increase in troop levels between November 7th and November 11th, when he departs for Asia.
The apparent elephant in the room is that the announcement would be shortly after the November 3rd elections. According to Washington Post polls, the president has lost ten points in approval of how he is handling the Afghan War in the last month. Now, more Americans disapprove of his handling of the war than approve, at 47%-45%.
Another political issue concerns the levels of the troop increases. Tapper reports that the announcement is unlikely to be at the level of 40,000+ that General McChrystal is reported to have requested. Some liberal Democrats have favored only adding training advisers for the Afghan army, while Republicans have generally favored the 40,000+ troop increases. If there is some “middle ground” request by the president, it is unlikely to get doves or hawks excited going into the elections.