WASHINGTON -- As President Barack Obama huddles with top advisers about the future of Afghanistan, he must figure out how best to approach a troubling and complicated conflict.
Should he blanket the nation with up to 40,000 more troops, as recommended by the top commander in Afghanistan? Or should he focus on a more narrow counterinsurgency campaign, aided by Special Forces and drone Predators, as advised by Vice President Joe Biden?
Whatever approach Obama takes will have repercussions in North Carolina, home to two of the military's top bases, the Marines' Camp Lejeune and the Army's Fort Bragg. Nearly 17,000 troops from the twobases now serve in Afghanistan -- about one-fourth of the nation's military presence there.
Beyond the full-time military, hundreds of N.C. National Guard soldiers have cycled through the country, flying Apache helicopters in combat, running detention centers and sending C-130 supply missions into the nation's far-flung rural regions.
Members of North Carolina's congressional delegation are considering the president's decision. Nearly half its members sit on committees related to the war effort. North Carolina's lawmakers are talking with generals, reviewing intelligence reports and hosting visitors from Afghanistan's parliament.
Many say that before choosing a military solution, they first must figure out the United States' long-term goals in Afghanistan.
Read the complete story at newsobserver.com