News

Obama Launches Afghanistan War Strategy Ahead of National Address

President Obama is to announce the strategy in a national address Tuesday night. He is expected to send about 30,000 additional American troops to fight in Afghanistan

Multimedia

Michael Bowman

President Barack Obama has initiated a new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan ahead of a Tuesday night speech to the nation on the future of U.S. efforts in the strife-torn nation. 

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says President Obama informed his national security team of his strategy decision for Afghanistan late Sunday, and issued orders for its implementation.

Since then, the president has held a series of telephone calls with U.S. allies, a process that will continue through Tuesday, when Mr. Obama is scheduled to unveil his revised Afghan war strategy to the nation in an address from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Press Secretary Gibbs declined to divulge specific details about the strategy, which the administration has been pondering for months amid a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, a contested national election there and public opinion polls showing declining American support for the eight-year war.

But one day before President Obama was expected to announce a troop buildup in the tens of thousands, Gibbs repeatedly stressed that the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan is not open-ended. "We are not going to be there forever.  And we do not have the resources - manpower or budgetary - to be primarily responsible for the security of Afghanistan.  Afghans have to be primarily responsible for that security," he said. 

Gibbs said a major goal will be to train Afghan forces so that they can assume control of areas secured by foreign troops.

For the plan to succeed, however, the press secretary said the United States needs a reliable partner in Kabul. "It is time for a new chapter in our relationship as it relates to corruption and improved governance in order to address the security situation," he said.

The press secretary said President Obama will touch on the costs of the new plan for Afghanistan in Tuesday's speech, but that he is unlikely to delve into the subject in detail.  Gibbs stressed that the financial impact has been part of the administration's deliberations from the beginning.  He declined to comment on whether Mr. Obama would consider a proposal by some fellow Democrats in Congress for a special war tax to pay for an expanded U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Some Democratic lawmakers say they worry that mounting war expenditures will sap the already-debt-ridden federal budget of funds that could otherwise pay for domestic priorities.  Cost estimates for the 30,000 to 35,000-troop build-up Mr. Obama is expected to announce run as high as $75 billion.

Gibbs said that while outlining and advocating a new way forward in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama's speech will address the need for strengthened diplomatic engagement with neighboring Pakistan, which is also threatened by militant extremists.

President Obama has described Afghanistan as a war the United States cannot afford to lose.  But he has also decried what he sees as the previous administration's diversion of resources away from Afghanistan in order to wage war in Iraq.

Analysts say that in Tuesday's address to the nation, the president will stress that success in Afghanistan can still be attained, and that further investment and sacrifice are necessary and worthwhile.

Mr. Obama is expected to refer to the enhanced Afghan mission as an international endeavor.  Britain announced on Monday that it will send 500 additional troops to Afghanistan in the next few weeks, boosting its forces in the country to more than 10,000.
 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs