Top officials and Obama advisers study Afghan war

(AP) – President Barack Obama summoned his war council to the White House Situation Room on Wednesday for an intense, three-hour discussion that exposed emerging fault lines over Afghanistan – with military commanders pressing for more troops and other key officials expressing skepticism.

There was no discussion of specific troop levels during the meeting in the West Wing basement, according to a senior administration official. But the talks underscored the divisions throughout Obama’s inner circle that must be navigated in the coming weeks, the official said.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and special Afghan and Pakistan envoy Richard Holbrooke appeared to be leaning toward supporting a troop increase, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were private. The official, who attended the meeting, based the assessment on the tone and substance of their participation.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Gen. James Jones, Obama’s national security adviser, appeared to be skeptical of troop increases, the official said.

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