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ARLINGTON, Va. — By the end of the week, Gen. Stanley McChrystal will submit his request for additional troops and resources in Afghanistan to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Gates intends to sit on the request until the White House national security team completes its review of the general’s strategy assessment, , Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said.

Handing that request to President Barack Obama before then would be “simply premature,” said Morrell, who pushed back against what he called “breathless reporting” and “near hysteria” in the media over perceived delays in the assessment’s delivery and the commander’s subsequently expected request for resources.

McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in the country, presented Gates with his assessment of the overall war strategy on Aug. 31.

Pentagon officials had said the assessment would not contain any requests affecting troop levels, and those would come in a separate request.

But in a declassified and partially redacted copy of the assessment, posted on The Washington Post Web site this week, McChrystal indicates his desire for more forces to carry out basic counterinsurgency strategy, which requires offering better protection of populated Afghan areas, among other listed desires.

In Washington, there has been a growing clamor for the release of the McChrystal report and the commander’s resource request — which reportedly could ask for anywhere from 10,000 to 45,000 more troops.

Obama gave a flurry of interviews over the weekend, saying he would take whatever time required to make the right decision — and Gates has also called for a “deep breath” defending Obama’s need for deliberation. But in the past week, an increasing number of lawmakers have demanded the Obama administration allow McChrystal and Central Command leader Gen. David H. Petraeus to speak their minds on Capitol Hill, as Petraeus did earlier in the Iraq war.

“I think it would be useful at some point in time for General McChrystal to share with the Congress, both the Senate and the House, his views and his proposals and his sense of the success that changing strategies would have,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are also among leading members of Congress calling for a McChrystal appearance before the legislature.

Morrell said the president’s national security team was not delaying any decisions, but that the United Nations General Assembly and the following G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, would occupy much of the team’s attention through this week.

“I am confident that there is a commitment on everyone’s part to work this complex issue as quickly as possible, but without rushing it. It is far more important that we make sure that the strategy we are pursuing is the correct one, and the president and his team are comfortable with it,” said Morrell.“I think there’s this sense — a mistaken sense — that the war is somehow in suspended animation while there is a discussion back here in Washington, and nothing could be further from the truth.”


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