From NBC's Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube
The Pentagon is preparing initial orders to send an additional 22,000 soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan before the end of the year. That would include a Marine Expeditionary Brigade of 12,000 Marines with combat infantry and combat air power that would be deployed in the hotly-contested south in Afghanistan.
Besides combat forces the overall 22,000 would include a headquarters, logistics, engineer and military police forces.
The first of the deployments would begin in the spring and be strung out through the rest of the year, depending, in part, on troop reductions in Iraq.
These orders would not be the last. The total number of additional U.S. forces sent to Afghanistan this year is expected to be at least 30,000.
In today's meeting with the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, President Obama will be briefed on Iraq, Afghanistan and the overall global risks facing the U.S. military after more than seven years of wars. Pentagon officials say that no decisions on troop deployments or strategies are expected out of this meeting today.