[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/15/afghanistan.explosion/art.afghanblast2.gi.jpg caption="A car burns after the suicide blast outside NATO's Afghanistan headquarters last month."]
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN
As someone who often takes a conservative stance on issues, I once again find myself in the curious position of defending President Obama to disillusioned critics within his own liberal base. And once again, I'm glad to do it.
This time, it's Afghanistan. In one of the most complicated corners of the world, Obama - and his military commanders - are pursuing a troop build-up that has those on the anti-war left shaking their heads. Since taking office, Obama has sent an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan. And more could be on the way.
In a recently leaked report to the White House, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, called the situation "serious" but insisted that "success is achievable."
McChrystal didn't specifically ask for more troops. But that request is expected soon. Senior Pentagon officials are expected to ask for as many as 45,000 additional American troops this month. Currently, there are about 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
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