“The US is to send an additional 1,400 marines to southern Afghanistan in an effort to counter a Taliban offensive, a Pentagon official has said. …Defence secretary Robert Gates had ‘approved additional marine forces to southern Afghanistan to exploit and consolidate gains already achieved and apply pressure on the enemy during the winter campaign,’ Defence Department spokesman Col Dave Lapan said. …President Barack Obama approved a troop surge of 30,000 troops roughly one year ago. But the president gave Mr Gates leeway to add an extra 3,000 forces, if necessary. There are currently about 97,000 US troops in Afghanistan, along with 45,000 forces from other countries, and officials said the new marines would not put the total number of US forces above the limit of 100,000 authorized by President Obama.”

 – “US to Send 1,400 Additional Marines to Afghanistan,” BBC News, Jan. 6, 2011