Obama says Bush’s plan for Afghanistan, Iraq forces comes up short on both counts

RIVERSIDE, Ohio (AP) âÄî Barack Obama said President Bush isn’t acting quickly or forcefully enough to get more U.S. forces into Afghanistan and out of Iraq. Bush “is tinkering around the edges and kicking the can down the road to the next president” with his decision Tuesday to bring home only 8,000 combat and support troops from Iraq by February, said Obama, who hopes to be that next president. Bush said a Marine battalion scheduled to be sent to Iraq in November will instead be deployed to Afghanistan, followed by an Army combat brigade early next year. In all, that would add 4,500 to 4,700 combat troops in Afghanistan. Less than two hours later, Obama went before reporters during a campaign stop in this Midwestern battleground to respond. “His plan comes up short âÄî it is not enough troops, not enough resources, with not enough urgency,” Obama said. “The next president will inherit a status quo that is still unstable.” The Democratic presidential nominee said Bush doesn’t understand that Afghanistan and Pakistan are the central front in the war on terrorism, not Iraq. He said his Republican White House rival, John McCain, doesn’t get that, either.