U.S. sending more troops to Afghanistan

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The U.S. would send an additional 1,400 Marines to Afghanistan in an attempt to consolidate security gains and put extra pressure on insurgents before the scheduled military drawdown in July, media reported Thursday.

The additional troops could start arriving as early as mid-January, the Wall Street Journal quoted U.S. officials as saying.

The forces would mostly be deployed in the south, around Kandahar, where the U.S. has concentrated troops in the past several months.

"Temporarily adding front-line forces could help counter an anticipated spring offensive by Taliban militants returning from havens in neighboring Pakistan," the report said.

U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a buildup of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan in December 2009, and gave the Pentagon authority to add an extra 10 percent -- or 3,000 more troops -- to respond to unforeseen contingencies, the report said.

As the deadline to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan approaches, the White House has felt the urgency to make more progress in the country to show the president's strategy has worked in fighting insurgency and restoring security.

Last month, the White House unveiled a review of the administration's Afghanistan strategy, saying the U.S. was on track to achieve its goals in Afghanistan, but the achievements made there were "fragile and reversible."

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