February 17th, 2009
04:01 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama approves Afghanistan troop increase

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama has approved a significant troop increase for Afghanistan, Pentagon officials told CNN Tuesday.

The new troop deployment is expected to include 8,000 Marines headquartered from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as well as 4,000 additional Army troops from Fort Lewis, Washington. The troops will be equipped with Stryker vehicles able to operate in southern Afghanistan's tough terrain, according to the Pentagon officials.

The Obama administration has been conducting several reviews of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, including a review by Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in the region.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the original mission in Afghanistan was "too broad" and needs to be more "realistic and focused" for the United States to succeed.

"If we set ourselves the objective of creating some sort of central Asian Valhalla over there, we will lose, because nobody in the world has that kind of time, patience and money," Gates said during a recent Senate hearing.


Filed under: Afghanistan • President Obama
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Mike H.

    Shouldn't he give a speech telling the American people why we are uping the ante in Afghanistan, what we hope to achieve and what our exit strategy is?.

    February 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    OBAMA WILL HUNT BIN LADEN DOWN IN HIS CAVE IN AFGHAN, OOPS; OR WAS THAT GEORGE W. BUSH OR JOHN MCCAIN THAT SAID THAT?

    February 17, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Veronica

    Im against war,but we need to find Bin Laden.He is the one that attacked our country.NOT SADAM HUSSEIN.

    May God protect and bless our troops.

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    We are now going to try to end the war we should have been fighting all along. Iraq was never the threat the the Bush administration claimed it was. The real fight was always in Afghanistan. That is where bin Laden was hiding. Of course considering the business ties between the Bush and bin Laden families it is no surprise that Bush was not all that interested in pursuing him.

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    We are now going to try to end the war we should have been fighting all along. Iraq was never the threat the the Bush administration claimed it was. The real fight was always in Afghanistan. That is where bin Laden was hiding. Of course considering the business ties between the Bush and bin Laden families it is no surprise that Bush was not all that interested in pursuing him.

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    We are now going to try to end the war we should have been fighting all along. Iraq was never the threat the the Bush administration claimed it was. The real fight was always in Afghanistan. That is where bin Laden was hiding. Of course considering the business ties between the Bush and bin Laden families it is no surprise that Bush was not all that interested in pursuing him.

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Rick from Murfreesboro, TN

    We are now going to try to end the war we should have been fighting all along. Iraq was never the threat the the Bush administration claimed it was. The real fight was always in Afghanistan. That is where bin Laden was hiding. Of course considering the business ties between the Bush and bin Laden families it is no surprise that Bush was not all that interested in pursuing him.

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Tony

    Just one more lying politician who will do or say anything he needs to to get in the White House.

    I look forward to 2012 when I can work as hard to get him out as I did to get him in.

    February 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Rachel

    It is now Obama's war. By the way, the people who attacked us on 9/11 are probably no longer in Afghanistan, but have moved to Pakistan. So why do we care about Afghanistan? We should just bring all the troops home, unless Obama is looking to invade Pakistan. This will be Obama's Vietnam.

    February 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Page 3 of the GOP handbook:

    You must have a selective memory in order to be in the party. Remembering things as they actually occurred or accurately recalling inconvenient facts instead of first re-writing history and fabricating a new set of facts to support our word view, rather than accept that we might have been wrong all this time, is unacceptable and will get you branded a liberal.

    February 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Tony

    Hey Obama! 2012 is not that far away.

    Remember that when you send more troops to Aghanistan.

    February 17, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. JJ12345

    I thought the surge in Iraq didnt work (Pres Obama's words), why would it work in Afghanistan?

    February 17, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. undecided

    campaign slogan "I will bring our troops home".

    reality check" take them from Iraq send them to Afganistan"

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. gerryluimes

    With the Taliban getting stronger and more brazen,and with the initiation of Sharia Law in parts of a dubiously helpful Pakistan that already features a weak leadership, it must be hell to make a decision
    to introduce more troops into Afganistan.You have to be "an eternal optimist" to believe that a solution for peace and well being in that country will ever be possible.. No president and no foreign military power has any hope.Check on past history there.....

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Griff

    Bill Clinton feels he owe's something to Obama... But it is the reverse, as you will find out... Bill Clinton owe's nothing to anyone: but his own Daughter..

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Thank you, America!

    ha.. its funny how things are forgotten.. we armed and trained Bin Laden and we gave ' Keys to the City' to Sadaam..what'll we think of next?

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Denise

    What happened to repsect for our President? We elected him to make the decisions and it's not 30 days in and people have no patients or faith.

    I do. I believe my President is acting in our country's interst.

    THAT'S WHY I VOTED FOR HIM. STOP ALL THE HATEFUL CRITICISM. I CAN SEE WHY YOU'D BE CYNICAL, BUT PULEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON THIS PRESIDENT. AT LEAST NOT YET – UNTIL YOU SEE HOW THINGS GO.

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    @ Don

    The only thing getting ignored here are the facts...by GOPers like yourself.

    Shovel away "my friends"...we'll give the Republican party a state funeral...we promise.

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    NoW you are witnessing the end of bin laden because thanks to OBAMA you will see Bin laden tracked down.

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Karen - Missouri

    Bush screwed up the terrorist mess so now we have no choice but to correct it. Bush had 8 years to ruin us, Obama has done more in 3-4 weeks for this country to improve it and make corrections.

    Republicans ARE obstructionists...look at Congress, Wall Street, and California. Enough said.

    February 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Greg

    This is the change you voted for. Looks like the same thing you so hated from Bush.

    February 17, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. JJ12345

    Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon February 17th, 2009 4:08 pm ET

    Obama did not PROMISE the stimulus package will work.

    He did not PROMISE a certain number of jobs.
    _________________________________________________
    He did promise that the stimulus would create or save 4.5 mil er, 4 mil oh no wait 3.5 million jobs. That is such a crock, how do you measure saved jobs? We think company x will lay off 10,000 jobs 6 months from now but they didnt?

    February 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Michael

    What are the time lines for this troop surge? When will the impact of this surge end the war in Afghanistan and when will they be brought back home? What is the plan?

    February 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Peggy - TX

    The answer to the question:” is this change we can believe in" is YES IT IS.

    Afghanistan was the source of the terrorist, few are upset with Bush for starting that was, and it was the Iraq war that most people questioned.

    The arrogance and ignorance of the disgruntled Republican's, as reflected in these comments, has reached a new low. Such ridicules dribble did not work in the election and rather then smearing Obama's image, it is just making the blind-followers of the Republican hype machine sound really STUPID.

    February 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Royce Penstinger

    Our young men and women need to realize this is NOT the time to enlist in the military...in fact, if Obama were to begin deportation of Illegal Aliens our youth would not need to enlist in the military...maybe that is the real reason why E VErify was stripped from the Stimulus Package.

    February 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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