WASHINGTON, Nov 10 – The White House on Monday denied President Barack Obama had come to a decision on sending US reinforcements to Afghanistan, after media reports said he had made up his mind on a troop buildup.
"Reports that President Obama has made a decision about Afghanistan are absolutely false," James Jones, US national security adviser, said in a statement.
"He has not received final options for his consideration, he has not reviewed those options with his national security team, and he has not made any decisions about resources," said Jones, a retired general.
"Any reports to the contrary are completely untrue and come from uninformed sources."
McClatchy newspapers reported over the weekend that Obama was leaning towards sending more than 30,000 troops, and CBS television reported on Monday evening that the president had "tentatively" decided on deploying close to 40,000.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said earlier on Monday that Obama faces a "pivotal moment" as he weighs whether to send more troops and is unlikely to announce his decision until after his scheduled return from a trip to Asia on November 19.
After attending Tuesday’s memorial service for the 13 killed in a shooting spree at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, Obama is due to meet his senior commanders on Wednesday again in the situation room to discuss Afghanistan.
The top commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has asked for tens of thousands of additional troops to fight a deadly insurgency by Taliban militants and Al-Qaeda linked groups.
McChrystal has presented a number of options in a troop request to the president, including a maximum of 80,000 troops, another option of about 40,000 and a third scenario with some 20,000, according to US media.
There are more than 100,000 NATO-led troops now stationed in Afghanistan, including nearly 68,000 American forces.