Obama Afghanistan Speech Time
December 2, 2009 by USA Post
Obama Afghanistan Speech Time:President Obama, in a speech that could define the rest of his presidency, will announce Tuesday that he was sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan with plans to start withdrawing them in July 2011, a move intended to appease the military, a war-weary public, and anti-war liberals. President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., as he travels to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009, to speak about the war in Afghanistan. (AP)
President Obama, in a speech that could define the rest of his presidency, will announce Tuesday that he was sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan with plans to start withdrawing them in July 2011, a move intended to appease the military, a war-weary public, and anti-war liberals.
“The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 – the fastest pace possible – so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers,” Obama said in excerpts of a prime-time speech he plans to deliver from West Point.
“They will increase our ability to train competent Afghan Security Forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight,” he said. “And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans.”
The 30,000 new troops will bring the total in Afghanistan to more than 100,000 U.S. forces. The main mission of the new troops will be to reverse Taliban gains and secure population centers in the volatile south and east parts of the country. NATO diplomats said Obama also is asking European members of the military alliance to contribute between 5,000 and 10,000 new troops to the international force in Afghanistan.
During the 92-day review, Obama has been under intense pressure from all sides: conservatives have pressed him to hasten deliberations and heed the advice of his military commanders; anti-war Democrats and liberals have pleaded with him to wind down the war; political advisers, including Vice President Biden, have urged him to scale back the effort and focus on pursuing Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs predicted that Americans will be pleased with the president’s strategy, and its limited timeframe.
But so far, Obama’s announcement of a troop buildup along with a timeline for withdrawal has drawn mixed reactions.
“I am encouraged that the president has renewed his commitment to the strategy he outlined in March, a strategy that will allow our troops to return on success and put Afghanistan on the road to stability,” said Sen. Kit Bond, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
But the Missouri Republican raised concerns about the president’s timetable for withdrawal.
“We need a success strategy, not an exit strategy,” he said. “When it comes to troops movements in Afghanistan, the president should listen to the military commanders on the ground, not arm-chair generals in Washington.”
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