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Obama to have 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan by June

The Obama administration plans to send roughly 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by next summer, speeding up its original plan to have the troops in by the end of next year, a senior military official told McClatchy Tuesday. A Marine brigade based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. will arrive early next year and another three Army brigades will go to Afghanistan by next June, the official said. President Obama will announce his new Afghanistan strategy tonight at 8 p.m. from the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command will attend. The president is expected to announce not only more troops but that the United States will put tougher demands on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to root out the rampant corruption plaguing his government. With the additional troops, the United States will have nearly 100,000 troops. In addition, there are 42,000 NATO troops. The forces are tackling a resurgent Taliban that is taking over large swathes of the country. Indeed, violence against Afghans and coalition forces are at their highest levels of this eight-year war.

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