Obama to focus on Afghanistan
President Obama has approved a significant troop increase for Afghanistan, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.
The deployment is projected to include 8,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C. and 4,000 additional Army troops from Fort Lewis, Wash.
‘This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires,’ Obama said in a written statement. ‘The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and al Qaeda supports the insurgency and threatens America from its safe haven along the Pakistani border.’
Obama said the U.S. never wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan, but had little choice.
‘ ‘Nearly 3,000 of our people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, for doing nothing more than going about their daily lives,’ he said.
Obama has vowed to make Afghanistan the central front in the renewed fight against terrorism.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that 900 more troops would come from tje U.K., 600 from Germany and 600 from Spain. He added that Italy and France were committing forces, too.
Obama has begun the process of tying NATO and Europe firmly into the war in Afghanistan, BBC North America editor Justin Webb reported from the NATO convention in Strasbourg, France.
‘ Obama has had the opportunity to make his case directly to the European public and to European leaders that this war is essential for their safety, the BBC reported.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised British troops to assist in the 5,000-soldier UN increase.
Afghanistan may be the only issue under study by Obama in which he and his advisors are in complete agreement with former Presidents George W. Bush and Clinton and the Russians.
Afghanistan is indeed at the crossroads of Central Asia. If people, or perhaps oil pipelines, need to move across the region, Afghanistan is a strategic player and knows it.
The Russians tried to bring stability to the Afghan people from 1979-89 and failed miserably by underestimating the skill of Afghan fighters, who found mountain hideouts that are nearly impervious to bombs smaller than a Dacha, a Russian summer house.’
Also, the Afghani terrain presents unique complications that western style troops find hard to conquer.
Bush considered the size of the bomb issue with former Vice-President Dick ‘We-can-do-that’ Cheney and made minimal progress before switching gears by spending a lot of time and money trying to purchase friendship and peace with the Afghan people.’
Sadly, we had already exhausted our short supply of credibility by then.’
Arguably in an effort to learn from his predecessors’ mistakes, as well as lose fewer lives, Obama seems to be more inclined to solutions involving talks and dollars. ‘
The will of the Russians, Europeans and Americans seem to be aligned perfectly.
Politicians can have all the war they want in Afghanistan and the region surrounding Afghanistan as long as nobody dies.
Expect Obama’s U.S. stimulus package to grow slightly in the next several months to include Afghanistan.
Obama proposed a six-month withdrawal schedule from Iraq, but seems only to have moved American deployment to Afghanistan.
‘ Another surge, or ‘troop increase’ as he is calling it in an effort to further distance himself from the Bush administration, seems like a broken promise to those who listened when he said he would end the war, though he didn’t specify which one.