The Ticket

Biden warned Obama on 2009 troop surge, according to memo

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Ticket

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Feb. 21, 2012 (Susan Walsh/AP)

Vice President Joe Biden warned President Barack Obama that the underlying rationale for the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan was profoundly flawed, according to a leaked memo that is set to be published this week in a new book about the war in Afghanistan.

According to "Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan," by Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Biden thought that the role of the additional troops was poorly defined, and did not believe the "counterinsurgency" strategy used in Iraq would work in Afghanistan.

"I do not see how anyone who took part in our discussions could emerge without profound questions about the viability of counterinsurgency," Biden wrote to Obama in the November 2009 memo.

"Although Biden's doubts have become well known," The Associated Press notes, "the new book details how Biden used a months-long White House review of the war to question the basic premise."

At the time of Biden's memo, President Obama was considering sending as many as 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as then-war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal had requested. Biden supported adding 20,000; Obama approved 30,000 with a deadline for their return.

This week, Biden has the war for the White House on his mind, with two days of campaigning in Iowa planned.

[Related: Emails from 'America's last prisoner of war']

"The Vice President will discuss how President Obama is helping create an economy built to last—one focused on reclaiming the security of the rural middle class and restoring the basic values of hard work and fair play that made our country great," the Obama campaign said in announcing Biden's Iowa swing, dubbed "Strengthening the Middle Class Tour."

Biden "will also lay out the clear economic choice in this election—between the President's vision for moving our country forward, ensuring an economy built to last and economic security for the middle class, and Mitt Romney's vision, which would take us back to the same failed economic policies that brought on the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."

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