US President to Outline Revised Afghan War Strategy
VOA News 01 December 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama will announce a revised strategy for the war in Afghanistan Tuesday that will involve deploying at least 30,000 more American troops.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday on CNN and NBC's Today Show the president will discuss a time frame in which he believes the United States can transition its forces out of Afghanistan.
U.S. forces have been fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan since 2001. The White House is struggling to balance waning public support for the war with national security concerns. It also is not convinced that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is committed to improving governance and dealing with graft.
Gibbs said President Obama will outline ways the Afghan government can address the graft and make other changes.
Mr. Obama discussed his strategy earlier Tuesday with President Karzai by video conference.
Mr. Karzai's office said the talks included plans for military advancements, political progress and economic developments.
Mr. Obama will outline his plans Tuesday evening at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
The announcement will follow months of deliberations by President Obama and his national security team. The commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, had asked for 40,000 additional troops, fewer than Mr. Obama is expected to commit.
Spokesman Gibbs said the Obama administration believes it will get more troop contributions from allies that he said understand Afghanistan is not just one country's problem, but an international effort.
In London Monday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he will send 500 additional troops to Afghanistan in December, boosting his country's forces there to more than 10,000.
French Defense Minister Herve Morin said late Monday his country is not likely to contribute more troops to the war. But he said France plans to bolster its role in the war by providing more aid for reconstruction.
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