Leaked cables expose Obama War Cabinet rift over Afghanistan troop deployment

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Washington/New York, Nov.13 (ANI): The leaking of two classified cables sent by US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry has exposed the rift prevailing within President Barack Obama's national security team over his war strategy, reports The Times.

The contents of the cables were passed to The Washington Post and The New York Times on Thursday by three officials.

The cables appear to have been shown to the media in an orchestrated effort by some members of Obama's war Cabinet to increase pressure on Karzai to revamp his corruption-riddled Government.

They lay bare, however, the deepening rifts within the White House.

"I have been appalled by the amount of leaking that has been going on," Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, said.

He was referring to the almost daily anonymous briefings given by American officials about how many troops Obama is considering sending to Afghanistan; a numbers game that has led to wildly fluctuating press reports.

In the memos, General Eikenberry says he has deep reservations about sending in more US troops because he was concerned by the unreliability and corrupt nature of Karzai's Government.

The cables put Ambassador Eikenberry, a retired general, starkly at odds with the current ground commander, General Stanley McChrystal, who has requested an increase of at least 40,000 troops. He also appears to be at odds with Defense Secretary Gates, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who have reportedly backed a proposal to send about 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.

President Obama has rejected all four options that he and his national security team had debated in his eighth strategy review meeting.

After weeks of deliberation, he essentially sent his advisers back to the drawing board to come up with more, or improved, options. (ANI)

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