Pres. Obama says the war in Afghanistan is not lost. But he says for several years it has "moved backwards." He has a new strategy that he hopes will change that course.
The commander-in-chief announced tonight at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York he is deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in the first part of 2010.
Pres. Obama is also seeking more support from NATO allies.
The boost will mean about 100,000 U.S. troops will be in the region, along with about 45,000 NATO troops.
Pres. Obama is ordering the Pentagon to have the new troops in Afghanistan within six months. Pres. Obama said the additional forces "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."
Pres. Obama's Senior Adviser David Axelrod discussed the new approach this evening on CNN's "The Situation Room".
"We feel that the sooner that we get in there we can stop the momentum of the Taliban, train up Afghan troops and begin to transfer authority or responsibility for the security there, and that's - that's our goal," said Axelrod.
A Pentagon official admits the six month timeline to get the new troops on the ground is "very aggressive". Though, the official is confident the military can get the job done.
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Adding 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan could be a political liability for Pres. Obama. Already some members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, are voicing their concerns over the Afghan war strategy.
"At a time of great economic crisis here in the United States, I would respectfully suggest that rather than nation-building in Afghanistan we should do a little more nation-building here at home," said Rep. Jim McGovern, (D) Massachusetts, at a news conference on Capitol Hill.
"I am here today because of my concern that we are about to wear out and break the military," said Rep. Walter Jones, (R) North Carolina, at the same event.
Since the war in Afghanistan began following the September 11th terrorist attacks more than 900 Americans have been killed in the region.
We'll have all the angles on Pres. Obama's speech tonight on 360°. We hope you can join us for our special coverage. See you then!
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