AP source: Obama focusing on al-Qaida, not Taliban

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Associated Press

Posted on October 8, 2009 at 12:15 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior administration official says President Barack Obama is prepared to accept some Taliban involvement in Afghanistan's political future and is inclined to send only as many more U.S. troops to Afghanistan as are needed to keep al-Qaida at bay.

The assessment comes from an official who has been involved in the president's discussions with his war council about Afghanistan strategy. The official was authorized to speak to The Associated Press about the discussions but not to be identified by name because the talks are ongoing.

Aides say the president's final decision on Afghanistan strategy and troop levels is still at least two weeks away, but the emerging thinking suggests he would be unlikely to favor a large military ramp-up of the kind being advocated by his top commander in Afghanistan.

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