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Senators Get Classified Briefing on Afghanistan

Senators received a classified briefing Thursday evening by representatives from the National Security Council on President Barack Obama’s plan to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan over the next six months. The briefing of the full Senate “was very informative,— said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee that earlier in the day heard public testimony on the subject from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Obama unveiled his plan in an address Tuesday night from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His plan drew mixed reactions on Capitol Hill, where Republicans have held firm against placing any kind of timeline for withdrawal, while Democrats continue to grapple with how to fund the occupation next spring when cash in the current war supplemental runs out. “We’re looking into how to fund it and whether they are existing funds or if we have to go into deficit spending,— Casey said, adding that the latter option “isn’t preferable but sometimes you have to do it.—

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