KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan has submitted a request for more troops, a spokesman said on Saturday, but the Pentagon will hold it while President Barack Obama decides what strategy to pursue. General Stanley McChrystal hand delivered his long-awaited request to US Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Natos Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, said spokesman Lt-Col Tadd Sholtis. At the end of that meeting Gen McChrystal did provide a copy of the force requirements to Admiral Mullen on the US side and Admiral Stavridis on the Nato side, Sholtis said after McChrystal returned from the meeting at an air base in Germany. Right now the focus is on the strategic assessment itself. It (the troop request) will be shelved until such time that the White House is ready, a defence official said in Washington. It is not going to be addressed, or reviewed, or analysed until the White House is ready to begin discussing it. The official, who asked not to be identified while discussing the confidential review, said several White House meetings on strategy were scheduled for next week. Officials have not said exactly how many extra troops McChrystal believes he needs, although defence and congressional officials have suggested the request could be for about 30,000. The war has intensified in recent months. A UN report released on Saturday said 1,500 civilians had died so far this year, with August the deadliest month of the year and Aug 20 - election day - seeing the largest number of attacks since 2001. August and July have also been the deadliest months of the war for Western troops, who launched major advances. Obama, who has already ordered 21,000 extra troops to Afghanistan this year, has described himself as a sceptical audience of the case for sending more, and says he wants to be sure the strategy is correct first. Republican critics have reacted sharply to the delay, accusing him of dithering.