Obama Closer to Afghanistan Decision

October 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Early Thursday morning, President Obama went to Dover Air Force Base for the transfer of U.S. soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan. As President Obama decides the military course in Afghanistan, he flew overnight to Dover Air Force base where he attended a dignified transfer. The remains are of the 15 service members and the three D.E.A. agents killed earlier this week that arrived back home in the U.S.

In Afghanistan, Kabul is a city under siege. Extremists targeted a building housing U.N. workers participating in the upcoming elections. Chris Turner is a private contractor. He helped fight back.

"The fire-fight was intense for a long time. The smoke was just a killer. I barely made it out myself," said eyewitness Chris Turner, "Thank heavens for the United Nations security guards. They were the ones that were keeping them from getting in, because I think their intent was to get inside and take hostages."

Eleven people died there.

But analysts say, the real target was the run-off election. The Taliban has threatened to kill anyone who participates.

"This attack will not, I repeat NOT deter the UN from continuing its work," said U.N. Special Representative Kai Eide.

These attacks may also be meant to influence the President's decision on troop levels. White House sources tell ABC News a reduction has been ruled out. Levels will range from:

10,000 to 40,000 troops, as requested by General McChrystal. Those troops would concentrate on protecting the major cities in Afghanistan. They would focus on training the Afghan Army and building up the government.

An announcement by the President may come as early as the beginning of November, a few days after the Afghanistan election.


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