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.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.