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. WAYNE

    OBAMA LOVES WAR
    REMEMBER 911, REMEMBER OSAMA BIN LADEN? WELL BUSH FORGOT ABOUT HIM, NOW PRES. OBAMA MUST GET JUSTICE FOR AMERICA. HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO DO THIS.

    February 17, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Debi

    John February 17th, 2009 4:04 pm ET

    Finally after 8 years we are going after the people that attacked us on 9/11 instead of going after oil profits.
    ------------------------------

    Yes we are. I just hope the people that are opposed to the Iraq war (of which I am one) are open minded enough to realize Afghanistan is where we should have been for the last 7 years.

    February 17, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Give me a break!

    Obama always said this would need to be accomplished...

    Ask yourself what McCain and Palin would have done? I know!! I know!!! Shoot Osama bin Laden from a helicopter!! You betcha!!

    You people make me sick!

    February 17, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Matthew, Detroit

    The liberals do not have the constitution to fight.

    Any liberal on this site that states they support Obama's War in Afghanitstan is a liar. You will last 12 months and fold.

    What does Code Pink have to say about it.... Speak up and Code Pinks on the site.

    What does that liberal crazy from CA who used to stand outside Bush's Ranch say now. Yep that chick is probably losing her mind today. I would love her to do a photo op with Barry.

    I LOVE how NO one calls the guy President. He just does not deserve it. Hard enough to call him Mr. Obama.

    February 17, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. PaulMoATX

    undecided"campaign slogan "I will bring our troops home".

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

    You sure don't listen do you? Obama will be bringing troops home from Iraq over the next 16 months, in phased withdrawals. Obama has been saying since 2003 that we should be focusing on Afghanistan and that more troops should be sent to the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is where Bin Laden is and has been for years now, but the Bush administration was stuck on its high horse and never listened.

    Obama is sending troops to Afghanistan because this is where the people that plotted 9/11 and killed Americans on Bushes watch are. Do you think he wants to put troops in harms way, no, but that's where our troops should have been from the start.

    Why don't read and educate yourself instead of listening to parsed words from the biased folks at Fox News.

    February 17, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Michael, Arkansas

    Bill Clinton is much smarter than Barack.

    Bill would have gotten us out of trouble. Barack just does not have it.

    February 17, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. peter from Orlando florida

    If Obama happen to catch the monster Bin Laden, the GOP will be leave with only one agenda which is conservativism way of solving thing.Than after their defeated from conservativsim they will be going to their sexties ideologies which will make them disappear for ever and the new Independent party will emerge from there.All of these credits will go to Obama because he is the only one who can unite this country after all these mess.

    February 17, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Happy 2009!!

    What a bunch of BITTER Republicans on this blog! You mind as well join your leader, John McCain, who still sounds like a sore loser on John King's, State of the Union. Pathetic!

    February 17, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. James

    JJ12345 February 17th, 2009 4:39 pm ET Where is Code Pink and the other antiwar groups? Have not heard from them in a while or is it ok now that Obama is President? -----------------
    You are correct! As long as you invest in green jobs, planned parenthood and suport GLBT causes any war is ok !!! ; )

    February 17, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Vegas

    For arguments sake, let's say the Former Pres Bush did lie about the reasons to go to war in Iraq. Let's say he took whatever intel he had and twisted it for his own purposes. Let's say he took this twisted intel to Congress in 2002/2003 and convinced a majority of Congress to vote to authorize the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Even though Congress was a mojority Republican at the time, there were a majority of Democrats (who are still serving in the Democrat-controlled Congress) who also voted to authorize the use of force.

    If you were to read the Consitution and the War Powers ACt, you would understand that ONE man does not send US forces anywhere for more than 60 days without the approval and consent of Congress. So, for every flipping one of you (including the esteemed members of Congress, the Cabinet, and former presidential nominees) who consistently blame former President Bush for our involvement in Iraq....READ THE FLIPPING CONSTITUTION!

    I'm not saying it was the smartest decision by anyone involved. I jsut want people to start laying blame on ALL the people involved in that decision. One man does not run this country....checks and balances people. Checks and balances.

    February 17, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. hrao

    Bush lead to Iraq and did not get us out. Now the great man Obama is leading us into Afganistan? Will we ever get out?

    February 17, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Kevin

    Hannity and Limbaugh having a butt-to-skull ripping stroke in 5...4...3...2...

    February 17, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. SUSANM

    ABINGDON, MD

    JUST A WAST OF VERY GOOD SOLIDERS. THE FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN, WE CAN DO THE JOB, BUT AS SOON AS WE LEAVE, ITS THE SAME OLD THING, OVER AND OVER. WITHOUT A THANKS. PLUS THE LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.

    February 17, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. Dan J

    I love how this was announced within minutes of signing the stimulus bill. That's no coincidence. This Presidency is about stagecraft, smoke-and mirrors.

    BOMB BOMB BOMB! President McCain is sure holding true to that promise! Oh, wait…

    February 17, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. PaulMoATX

    You know what tickets me off ticket man, is that you don't post valid and substantive posts, like this one......

    undecided"campaign slogan "I will bring our troops home".

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

    You sure don't listen do you? Obama will be bringing troops home from Iraq over the next 16 months, in phased withdrawals. Obama has been saying since 2003 that we should be focusing on Afghanistan and that more troops should be sent to the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is where Bin Laden is and has been for years now, but the Bush administration was stuck on its high horse and never listened.

    Obama is sending troops to Afghanistan because this is where the people that plotted 9/11 and killed Americans on Bushes watch are. Do you think he wants to put troops in harms way, no, but that's where our troops should have been from the start.

    Why don't read and educate yourself instead of listening to parsed words from the biased folks at Fox News.

    February 17, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. fearful for my country

    All during his campaign we heard about how much it costs to have the troops in Iraq each month. I thought the idea was to move the troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, not send more from the States. Thats a few more milliuon a week. Somebody give this man a clue. He's fallen into a position he can't handle and needs help.

    February 17, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. John

    Once again Obama is being forced to deal with a mess left by his predecessor.

    February 17, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Think People

    First and Foremost... for all of those saying Obama is bankrupting our kids.... What is your proposal to fixing this economy? What Obama is doing is trying to create more jobs... this is where the GOP said he original plan had alot of pork... yes it did... pork for American families to bring home and put it on the Dinner Tables so their children can eat. And we were already bankrupted... G W... took care of that. From fighting a War that should have not been started in the first place... and then starting the War in a area where only oil was present.. not the enemey did not help America or our Economy either. Research how much money we have spent in Iraq and that alone will sicken you. The bottom line is corporate greed and American job loss is what sunk our economy. If the corporations had not tried to inflate their bottom line by packaging up and buying mortagages, they would have never failed b/c when the housing market started to become unstable... due to the Loss Of American Jobs...those corps would not have had that liability weighing on their companies. If you tip the scale too far in either direction... it will fall over... hence the American Economy of today. I hope people are learning their lessons.

    Wait and see how many other developed nations export many of their jobs of out their country.. I can bet you they are scaling that idea back now...

    February 17, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. KC

    Just as long as the government gives the troops more man power if needed, proper equipment and support. These aren't just stick figures on a playing board - they are young men and women risking their lives for ungrateful, greedy people like the posters on these blogs. The same people that spit on my husband when he came home from Vietnam are the same idiots on the Hill now so they better now screw it up this time!

    February 17, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. Afghan-American Voice

    We need a STRATEGY rather than just troops!!!

    1) Hit the terrorists right in their hideouts in Pakistani border cities
    2) Help Afghan people with economy, education and reconstruction
    3) Stop the Karzai puppet regime – support a leader that represents the people of Afghanistan rather that someone that just went there from West Virginia
    4) STop Corruption in the government – So far most of the US aid went to Swiss banks of Karzai government officials
    5) Work extra hard to stop civilian casualties – kill terrorists and not civilian Afghans that like you and support you.

    February 17, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. William A. Schaedler from St. Louis

    OBAMA is announcing that he only wants to have one term in office with this act. Because that's all he will get. Instead of ending a money drain this fool continues it. A real shame. I hope the American voter learns from this stupid act of OBAMA's.

    February 17, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Ray Ray

    Obama = LBJ

    Funny how Democrats – who enjoy the total support of anti-war nutjobs – ARE the ones who escalate wars!!

    February 17, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. GOP: Geriatric Obstructionist Pityparty

    If you whiners like warmonger had been listening during his campaign, the would know that sending troops to Afgan is NOT a new aspect. President Obama stated every time that we should get out of Iraq and focus on Afghanistan, but Afganistan has no oil reserves or a need for Haliburton, just bin Laden, so obviously the shrub's crew only gave it a glance.

    It is not that Dems are anti-war, we just want it to be the correct country and for the dispicable criminal that masterminded and attacked us.

    Of course, I see the repubs are already throwing the troops under the political bus to score points for the party.

    February 17, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. C.R. HENDERSON

    OUR NEW PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK IN EVERY WAY IN GETTING THE MESS BUSH LEFT BEHIND CLEAN UP AND RIGHT WE NEED A HONEST PRESIDENT RESTORING THE UNITED STATES BACK WITH HONOR AND TRUST FROM A FAR. ALL IS WASHINGTON NEEDS TO GET ON BOARD WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA AND GET THINGS DONE TOGETHER

    February 17, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. Barney Frank

    Yeah, Obama is going to end the wars. Sure he is. Iraq goes the way they agreed to before Obama took office, and Afghan. goes nowhere. This is the change we've all been waiting for. Status Quo; just a little tanner.

    February 17, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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