"Obama authorized the whole thing. The only thing you saw announced in a press release was the 21,000," a defense official, speaking anonymously, told the Washington Post.
On Tuesday, a defense official refuted that the dispatch was "unannounced," saying the decision to send 15,000 additional troops was part of a larger move to reach 68,000 troops in Afghanistan by year's end -- a move that Defense Secretary Robert Gates cleared with Obama in March, the official said.
The revelation comes as Obama weighs a request from the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, for more combat, training and support troops, with several options including one for 40,000 more forces.Obama Quietly Authorizes Up to 15,000 More U.S. Troops for Afghanistan