President Obama will announce tonight at West Point that he is deploying 30,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next six months bringing the total number of US troops in that country to over 100,000, reports Senior White House Correspondent Major Garrett.
Administration officials tell Fox News that the President pushed for this number in Sunday night's Situation Room war counsel meeting because he wanted the maximum amount of forces on the ground available for the 'spring offensive' in the unstable southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan -- areas where the Taliban has made gains.
As Fox reported Monday, the President issued the orders for the additional troops in that same Sunday evening war counsel meeting.
That number of troops - costing roughly $30 billion a year -- also ensures that they would be in a position to handle the training of Afghan army and police forces - a key element of the US strategy.
Mr. Obama also plans to layout a rough timeline for withdrawal for the main US military mission in his speech tonight. The number of forces to be withdrawn could be the same number of these additional forces, but aides say, it could encompass additional forces.
Watch the speech LIVE on Fox News Channel tonight at 8pm.