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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.