U.S. President Barack Obama is consulting with top military officials Friday as he considers whether to send additional forces to Afghanistan.
Mr. Obama will meet at the White House with the Joint Chiefs of Staff – military leaders from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the meeting comes as the president reaches the “end stage” of his decision-making process.
Mr. Obama has been reviewing strategy options for the war in Afghanistan, including a request from the top U.S. commander in the country, General Stanley McChrystal, for an additional 40,000 troops.
The White House has indicated the president will wait until after the November 7 Afghan presidential run-off election before announcing a decision.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama made an overnight trip to a military base in Delaware where he witnessed the return of the remains of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan.
He called the occasion a “sobering reminder” of the sacrifices made by U.S. troops, and said the price paid by soldiers and their families will influence how he sees foreign wars.
In Afghanistan Friday, officials say at least eight civilians were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.