Toby Harnden
November 24, 2009

[efoods]White House sources indicated that Mr Obama is preparing to address Americans in a live prime-time broadcast next Monday followed by testimony before Congress by senior figures such as his Pentagon chief Bob Gates.

The same sources said Mr Obama was close to deciding on an increase of between 30,000 and 35,000 more American troops in addition to the 68,000 currently in Afghanistan.

Gen Stanley McChrystal, commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, who requested some 44,000 troops in an August 31st document that was subsequently leaked, is expected to travel to Washington to tell Congress of his plans for the troops.

Mr Obama convened a group of senior officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mr Gates, at 8:13 pm. EST in the White House Situation Room.

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