News

    Obama: 30,000 More US Troops To Afghanistan By Mid-2010

    U.S. President Barack Obama is sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan by the summer of 2010, and plans to start withdrawing American forces a year later. The president laid out his strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    U.S. President Barack Obama is sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan by the summer of 2010, and plans to start withdrawing American forces a year later.  The president laid out his strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan.

    After several months of deliberation, President Obama has announced his plan for deploying additional troops to Afghanistan.  He unveiled his strategy before an audience of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, late Tuesday and a nation watching on television.

    "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," said President Obama.

    The added troops will join an estimated 68,000 U.S. service members already in Afghanistan, and tens of thousands of allied forces.

    The president spoke as Americans' support for the war continues to erode.  A new survey by the Gallup organization shows only 35 percent of Americans surveyed approve of Mr. Obama's handling of the war - 55 percent disapprove.

    At West Point, Mr. Obama said Afghanistan is not lost, but has been moving backwards for several years.  He said al-Qaida is planning new acts of terror from its safe havens along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with the support of the Taliban.

    "We must deny al-Qaida a safe haven," said Mr. Obama. " We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government.  And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government, so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future."

    The president appealed to America's allies to contribute more troops to the fight in Afghanistan, and said he is confident that they will.

    "Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan," said President Obama. "Now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility - what's at stake is the security of our Allies, and the common security of the world."

    Mr. Obama said his strategy will allow U.S. troops to begin returning home by the middle of 2011, depending on the conditions on the ground. 

    "Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011," said Mr. Obama.

    The top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said after the speech he supports the president's plan, as long as the withdrawal does not begin until conditions in Afghanistan permit it.

    "The president was absolutely right to call for building a sufficient Afghan capacity that will allow our troops to come home, rather than setting a hard withdrawal date that is not based on conditions on the ground or the advice of our generals," said Mitch McConnell.

    A large part of the troops' mission will be to train Afghan forces to take over the fight against the Taliban and defend their country's security.

    With most of the Taliban now in Pakistan, the president emphasized the need for a continued partnership with the government in Islamabad.

    Civilian initiatives will be a large part of the U.S. strategy, especially in developing the region's agriculture, education and economy.  Mr. Obama also said the U.S. will require improved performance from the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    "We will work with our partners, the UN and the Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that the government can take advantage of improved security," said President Obama. "This effort must be based on performance.  The days of providing a blank check are over."

    The president acknowledged that his new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost the U.S. $30 billion in the coming year, and he said he will work closely with Congress to address that cost, while trying to revive the recession-battered economy.

    Over the past few months, Mr. Obama has held about a dozen meetings with his top military and foreign policy advisers, including commanders on the ground in Afghanistan. 
     

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    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 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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora