News

    Obama to Announce New Afghan War Plan

    In a few hours, President Barack Obama unveils a new U.S. plan for winning the eight-year war in Afghanistan.

    US President Barack Obama
    US President Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama is to unveil a new U.S. plan for winning the eight-year war in Afghanistan Tuesday.  Senior White House officials say the president will announce an expedited deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops in Afghanistan while, at the same time, setting a date to begin a drawdown of American forces.

    As a candidate and as president, Barack Obama has described Afghanistan as the war the United States cannot afford to lose.  After months of deliberations, Mr. Obama will unveil his strategy for victory in a nationally-televised address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Observers see the speech as one of the most consequential of his young presidency.

    Senior U.S. officials say the long-awaited plan entails the swift deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan over the next 6-8 months, bringing the total number of U.S. forces to just under 100,000. The immediate aim will be to degrade militant extremists' capabilities while building up Afghan security forces who will assume greater responsibility for safeguarding their nation.

    Other countries taking part in the multinational effort in Afghanistan are also expected to bolster their forces, with a NATO announcement expected in the coming days.

    A senior U.S. official says the United States will begin to draw down U.S. troop levels in July, 2011, but stresses that no deadline has been set for a complete withdrawal.

    Key to the strategy is a crackdown on rampant corruption in Afghanistan.  Mr. Obama is expected to set goals for good governance in the country, while also boosting U.S. developmental aid, particularly in agriculture.

    The president has repeatedly stated his intention to "finish the job" in Afghanistan.  But many Republicans have accused Mr. Obama of needless delay in reviewing the U.S. mission, including former vice president Dick Cheney. In an interview with Politico-dot-com posted Monday, Cheney suggested the administration's focus on an eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan projects "weakness" and emboldens militant extremists in the country.

    That charge was firmly rejected by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, who appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" program. "The number of men and women in our armed forces right now sitting in Afghanistan is twice the number that was there when the president took office in January.  We are committed to ensuring the safety and security of the American people by taking on al-Qaida and its extremist allies," he said.

    Militant extremists also pose a threat to neighboring Pakistan. Senior U.S. officials say President Obama will stress the need for a sustained focus on terrorist elements in Pakistan, and to help Pakistanis stabilize their country politically, economically and in security matters.

    President Obama has repeatedly accused the former Bush administration of neglecting Afghanistan in order to focus on another conflict, the war in Iraq.  Analysts say whatever may have occurred in Afghanistan before Mr. Obama entered office, with his new strategy he is effectively taking ownership of the Afghan war and responsibility for its outcome.

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora