November 24th, 2009
09:44 PM ET

Evening Buzz: White Ties, Ball Gowns & Raw Politics

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

It's a big night at the White House. More than 300 guests are at a state dinner in honor of the prime minister of India and his wife. Sure, some guests are Hollywood A-listers, but most are politicians. Yet, all of them got the ultimate Washington invite.

Tonight we'll have the raw politics linked to the state visit.

The two leaders spoke at a news conference earlier today.

"I believe that the relationship between the United States and India will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century," Pres. Obama said this afternoon.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh touched on that when discussing the war on terror.

"The forces of terrorism in our region pose a grave threat to the entire civilized world and have to be defeated. President Obama and I have decided to strengthen our cooperation in the area of counterterrorism," Singh said.

Here's a little geography lesson on why this visit has connections to the war on terror: India has a tense relationship with its nuclear rival and neighbor Pakistan. Of course Pakistan also shares its border with Afghanistan. And remember, just a year ago there were the deadly terror attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai. According to Indian police, those attacks were planned and carried out by terrorists with ties to Pakistan.

We'll dive into the tense situation tonight on 360° and look at the new developments on the war strategy for Afghanistan.

According to reports, Pres. Obama is planning on sending another 34,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. An official announcement is expected next week. The new strategy comes after nine White House meetings.

What do you think of the new strategy? Sound off below.

Join us for this story and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Interested to hear WHY the Pres. is going to send 34K, 6000 less than McCrystal says he needs to avoid the tide turning for the Taliban. This "do it on the cheap" strategy sounds strangely like the strategy of a SecDef from the past, Donald Rumsfeld. If the war is "necessary" (and I believe it is) why not fully resource it with the troops the Commander YOU picked says are necessary. Next we will hear that Obama (if we can get him to come off the golf course and campaign stops),from the safety of Washington D.C., will be picking targets and the munitions to be used, for McCrystal.

    When an under-resourced military can't end it so he can "exit", what then? We will need to be in Afghanistan for a decade more before they can be relied on to keep the Taliban/AQ out.

    November 25, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  2. Tim Gibson

    What were the cost involved in this state dinner, aside from the other parties the first family have enjoyed while many in america find themselves wondering when their pantry will run dry. As well, why would hollywood A-listers even be invited, this was a state dinner which should have been government people not hollywood insiders and reporters who favor the Obama deceit team.

    As to Afghanistan, pull the troops out. We will not "win" this war, not today, not 10 years from now and in the mean time countless americas will die because of the tea and biscuit style politics of the Obama team who think kind words win anything on the battle field.

    November 25, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  3. Idzan Ismail. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Kudos Mr President for honoring India as the first official guest of DC and treated to a lavish dinner.
    This is breaking the norm of past presidencies which accorded the honor to Canada and Mexico first.
    We are thankful to you President Obama for recognising the importance of Asia as a world force.
    All this while Asia is put in the back seat on the world stage.
    Obama recognizes Asia as the emerging force in world economy with India and China as the two most populous democracies.
    I hope similar honor is accorded to my Prime Minister when he visits DC in January.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  4. Brent

    I imagine President Obama, just like most other Americans wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan but that may not be feasible at this point in time. Some accuse him of dithering but it's quite a difficult situation, which is why I assume he is taking the time to consider all possible options. It's a double edged sword; sending more troops into the line of fire on one hand vs. leaving those already there under supported.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  5. Francis Onabis

    President Obama should pull out of Afghanistan. There is no workable strategy for wining a war you do not know why they are fighting. Its now a question of pride for the Afghan people and taliban.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  6. Eric

    It amazes me that during a discussion of increasing troop strength in Afghanistan that not one word is said about estimated numbers of troop deaths that will result form this open-ended committment. This needs to be discussed up-front. We have to know what the committment in lives is, not just "one trillion dollars over ten years". I have to believe that Obama and team have intentionally left this out of the discussion...a sad comment on the supposed "transparency" that Obama has touted.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  7. Maureen

    Hi. Yes. There's a lot of entertainment on the schedule at the State Dinner tonight. In fact, we hope to bring you some of the performances during the program tonight. On the agenda: The National Symphony Orchestra, with Marvin Hamlisch as the conductor, A.R. Rahman, an Indian composer, musician and singer who wrote the "Slumdog Millionaire" score and Oscar winner and singer Jennifer Hudson.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  8. Annie Kate

    It will be interesting to hear about the Afghanistan strategy and what Obama is sending the 30,000 troops over there to do and for how long. I hope it is not as open-ended as Iraq was and that it does not last long.

    Sounds like a big to-do at the White House; is there any entertainment planned for the guests or just dinner?? See you tonight!!

    November 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm |