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WASHINGTON—The military is asking President Barack Obama to hold off on ending the Afghanistan troop surge until the fall of 2012, in a proposal that would keep a large portion of the 33,000 extra forces in the country through the next two warm-weather fighting seasons.
The military seeks to avoid a scenario in which large numbers of troops are pulled out during the heaviest period of militant activity next year, just as it hopes to be focusing on the violent eastern provinces bordering Pakistan.
The plan would also allow Mr. Obama to offer a war-weary electorate a substantial troop withdrawal around the same time he is asking for another four years in office.
Military officials say the November 2012 presidential election schedule has nothing to do with their recommendations, though they acknowledge that political considerations could affect Mr. Obama's decision. They say their only consideration is to maximize the pressure on the Taliban.