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Obama to decide ‘shortly’ on troops for Afghan war

The White House on Monday promised that President Barack Obama would “shortly” make a decision on whether to pour thousands more US troops into the Afghan war.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One as Obama returned to Washington from a weekend in Chicago that the decision, the subject of intense speculation here, was still expected soon.

“I would expect the presidential decision could come shortly.”

“I don’t think it will go, without getting into broad timelines, I don’t think this is anything that involves weeks,” Gibbs said.

Politico.com earlier reported that the president was refusing to be rushed into making a decision on the expected deployment, in what it said was a sign he may be more “independent minded” than military leaders had expected.

In several leaks to newspapers in recent weeks, military leaders have said that they expected a decision to be finalized within days.

US envoy Richard Holbrooke has been tracking through Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent days, as speculation mounts about the deployments and the results of Obama’s Afghanistan policy review.

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