President Obama Announces Troop Increase in Afghanistan

Posted on December 1, 2009 by

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By Jacqueline Onorato

from The Boston Globe

On December 1st at the United States Military Academy at West Point, President Obama announced that he plans on sending an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in order to stop Taliban momentum in the region and stabilize the country’s government.

“There is no imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but the Taliban has gained momentum,” Obama

said. “Al Qaeda has not re-emerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe-havens along the border.”

Obama plans on sending the first additional troops starting in 2010 and that he plans on the beginning of the withdrawal of these forces in July 2011.

Obama specifically outlined three goals of the troop increase: to deny al Qaeda a safe haven, reverse the Taliban’s momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow Afghanistan’s government, and strengthen Afghanistan’s security forces and government.

“We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens,” Obama said. “And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded

in mutual respect — to isolate those who destroy; to strengthen those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner, and never your patron.”

The increase  will make the total number of troops in Afghanistan to about 100,000.

The United States first invaded Afghanistan after the events of 9/11 as retaliation against al Qaeda and overthrew the Taliban at the time, but have regrouped in the mountainous regions along the Afghanistan-Pakistan boarder.

About 900 American troops have died in the conflict.

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