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AC360° Associate Producer
President Obama will travel to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, today where he is expected to announce his second escalation of U.S. forces in Afghanistan since he came into office. According to reports, he will send more than 30,000 U.S. troops to the region and will seek further troop commitments from NATO allies to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban in the country.
Tonight we’ll be digging deeper on Obama’s speech. How did he do? Was his mission and strategy clearly defined? Tom Foreman will be fact-checking his speech. Do you think his message succeeded in swaying those opposed to the plan? It took him nearly three months to come up with the strategy. How did he make the decision to proceed with this particular plan? We’ll be breaking down his points with our panel of experts and we’ll talk about how Afghan leaders are responding to the plan.
Will the deployment of more troops improve the situation in Afghanistan? When will they arrive? Earlier this fall, Anderson, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Michael Ware visited the region where the spoke to troops in Helmand Province. They’ll talk about how the new deployments affect troops on the ground. When the new troops get to the region, the total U.S. commitment in Afghanistan will be close to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, bolstered by about 45,000 NATO forces.
More troops mean more casualties. Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks into efforts to train local doctors and what kind of challenges doctors face given a shortage of hospitals in the area.
Don’t miss CNN’s special coverage of Obama’s announcement starting tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
Today is also World AIDS Day. Thirty-three million people are living with AIDS worldwide. The number of new cases is down 17 percent and people carrying the virus are living longer, but more and more women and younger people are getting infected and some are calling it the second wave of the crisis. The virus killed 25 million and left 33 million infected since it was identified early 30 years ago. According to the CDC, every nine-and-a-half minutes someone contracts HIV in the U.S. Should we be devoting more efforts to awareness and prevention?
What else are you following today? Let us know and see you tonight.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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