Washington, Oct 23: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has said that he would order a surge of US troops - perhaps 15,000 or more - to Afghanistan as soon as he reached the White House.
"We're confronting an urgent crisis in Afghanistan. It's time to heed the call ... for more troops. That's why I'd send at least two or three additional brigades to Afghanistan," said Obama, the Democratic contender and now clear front-runner to replace George W. Bush. A US Army brigade includes about 5,000 soldiers along with tanks, armoured personnel carriers and helicopter gunships, globeandmail reported. Seeking to deflect attacks that he is dangerously inexperienced in foreign policy, Obama huddled with a high-profile panel of experts before a news conference aimed at showcasing his command of global affairs.
"The terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large and plotting," he said, echoing Bush's oft-repeated refrain. But he was quick to blame Bush for miring the United States in a pointless war and wrecking its reputation abroad.
"We must be vigilant in preventing future attacks, he said. "We're fighting two wars abroad and we're facing a range of 21st-century threats from terrorism to nuclear proliferation to our dependence on foreign oil, which have grown more daunting because of the failed policies of the last eight years."
As the deepening economic crisis has all but eclipsed other issues in the final few weeks of the campaign, McCain has repeatedly tried to shift the debate and portray Mr. Obama as unready to cope with foreign challenges.
Earlier this week Joe Biden, the Democrat vice-presidential candidate, predicted that unspecified foreign adversaries would attempt to challenge an inexperienced young president, just as the Cuban Missile Crisis tested president John F. Kennedy in 1962, but claimed Obama would rise to the occasion.
That assurance prompted a new jibe from Mr. McCain: "I know how close we came to a nuclear war and I will not be a president that needs to be tested. I have been tested, Senator Obama has not."