February 17th, 2009
04:01 PM ET
4 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 Dallas

    Maybe McCrypt will reach across the aisle and show how he "knows how to find bin Laden".

    February 17, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. HistoryReFlux

    bin Laden, freedom fighter who beat back the Russians? Bin Laden that nobody's heard from in months?

    What's Petraeus's plan? I'm sure he has one, but the spotlight has to be on the guy running around in Air Force one; not the guys doing the planning and fighting.

    Why did he have to drag the stimulus bill out to Denver? If there is such a rush to get it going, why wasn't he waiting on the porch when it was delivered to the white house LAST NIGHT. Probably past MSM's bed time.

    February 17, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. margie w.

    I believe Obama is listening to far too many politicians. The Afghani's do not want more American soldiers over there. Our country has people starving in it now, and how many homeless?

    Iraq has already helped to drain our economy. (besides the greedy banking system, auto exec's etc) I'm very disappointed and I really hope that Obama gets back in touch w/what the majority of the American people are asking him to do and that is "to take care of American's!". He needs to re-visit this decision by year's end.

    February 17, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Griff

    If Barack Obama wan't Canadian Troops in Afghanistan, he should have served "One Day", in the Armed Service.... Barack Obama is a Wimp, with no rights where Solders die for their Country...

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

    Great job Obama....we should have increased troops in Afghanistan years ago! Get Bin Laden! Hang tough in Iraq!

    Girls now going to school in Afghanistan
    Women voting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Women running for office in Iraq.
    First woman place on a government council in Saudia Arabia
    Al Queada defeated in Iraq.

    Bush wasn't a brilliant man and the Iraq war is controversial but in the end he may become the man who helped transform the middle east. Like Lincoln before him his poll numbers may greatly improve over time.

    February 17, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    John – how can you have the audacity to say Nobama was "forced" to do something he begged to do? He hasn't been "forced" to do anything! And Kevin – how do you know so much about Rush and what he'll say? If you don't like what he says, do as I do, DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. Sean Hannity, on the otherhand, tell it like it is and it is the truth. That's one reason liberals don't like him – they are afraid of the truth!

    February 17, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Tommy from CALIFORNIA

    This is just another war. This war is for a good cause, yes. Then I thought to myself, but didn't the last president say that he was going to find Osama Bin Laden. This war is another waste of money, time, and lives. The Idiot said that he was going to find Osama Bin Laden look what happened, where is he. Yes, Obama is much smarter man then The Idiot. But, an army is an army and Obama can't make the army stronger that is the people in the army to decise. Yes, he can put more and stronger weapons we need the minds to us them well and wise.
    This is like Vietnam. He don't know the land as well as Osama Bin Laden. We didn't know the land of Vietnam look what happened there. Charlie beat us. the NVA beat us. They know that we are going over. They know where to hide and where to fight.
    This is a war that we can't win.

    PS. this all can from a 13yr. old guy
    This is going to be Obama's Vietnam

    February 17, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. MisterX

    Yes, Obama CAN just walk out of those countries. Yes he CAN! But he won't because he's a good friend of G. Bush. So much so, that he was often seen hugging him. I don't believe bin Laden did the 911 attacks anyway, because he's practically just a goat-herder. HOWEVER, I'd believe that a leader with access to the CIA could carry out such a complex attack and make it LOOK like a goat-herder did it.

    February 17, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Scott

    Vegas, that is for declaration of war. The Marine Corps serves as the President's "personal armada" and the president can do with them as he pleases. Added to that the "Declaration of War" clause in the Constitution is a reference to a "Total War" which we have not had since World War II (mostly b/c of Nuclear Weapons). Although you are right about 60 days, it doesn't quite mean the obvious. Sorry to break it to you, but if you want to read more about it, and the details of why, send me an email (TheEzTM@gmail.com), and I will give you a blow by blow history of how "Declaration of War" really became a near obsolete measure in our Constitution.

    February 17, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. pete

    When is his plan to pull them out? Conditions on the ground should not matter, we want to know a date certain now. I know all you liberal dolts will back me on this, just as you required a date certain to pull out of Iraq.

    Thank God for Bush. He ignored you, and made the right decision.

    February 17, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Gene

    I don't know why people are criticizing this decision... Obama has stated that he wanted to increase troops in Afghanistan since the first day he announced that he was running for president, and has never wavered on that statement.

    Now he does what he says he's going to do and all these people with apparent selective hearing are screaming that he's going against his word to bring the troops home.

    He vowed to withdraw from Iraq, and to go after Bin Laden in Afghanistan... and he's doing exactly what he promised.

    February 17, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. TjayeInLA

    Good. That is where we should have been fighting anyway. THEY are the ones who attacked us, NOT Iraq.

    February 17, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. thomas

    Why don't we send a division of experimental stealth combat-ready anti-insurgent automatons instead?

    February 17, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Let's make sure this doesn't turn into another Viet Nam. One was more than enough!

    February 17, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. kayla

    venoms, that is all you have spewing from your mouths

    February 17, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Griff

    Polannski. Those boots were made for Walking?

    February 17, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. F. THOMAS CAIN

    WE CANNOT WIN ANYWHERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. WHENEVER
    WE LEAVE, THE TERRORISTS WILL FILL THE VOID. THEY HAVE PATIENCE, WE DO NOT. WE NEVER LEARN FROM HISTORY.
    THE ANSWER IN THE 21ST CENTURY IS STAY OUT OF OTHER PEOPLES BUSINESS UNTIL IF AFFECTS WORLD OR NATIONAL SECURITY AND THEN TAKE CARE OF IT FROM 50, OOO FEET WITH OVERWHELMING FORCE. WHEN WE LOST THE ABILITY TO FIGHT WARS BY ANY AND ALL MEANS, WE LOST THE ABILITY TO WIN.
    WE HAVE BECOME A JOKE TO NATIONS THAT HAVE NOT LOST THAT ABILITY!!!!!!!!!

    February 17, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Promises fulfilled!

    President Obama is doing everything he promised! Help to middle income families, energy independence, accountability, transparency-recovery.gov, fighting the terroist where they are...etc. OBAMA is the man!

    February 17, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Billy Jack

    Armies exist because politicians fail at their jobs, plain and simple. The blind and naive thought that no one wishes us ill will is foolish and ends up getting innocent people killed. On the other hand when when people, groups, or governments disagree we or other countries, groups, or people get attacked.

    We sit here on these message boards and rip those who disagree with us, i.e. Liberals vs. Conservatives with hateful words and in the same token find in hard to believe that people with polar opposite views of life 8000 miles apart want to kill each other.

    I guess Plato was right "only the dead have seen the end of war."

    February 17, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. KLS

    We should NOT have "cut and run" in the first place!! Our government should have stayed focused on the people who attacked us on 9/11. Instead the U.S. isn't any safer, Bin Laden is still out there, the Taliban is even stronger and we have spent BILLIONS in Iraq while our nation's economy went down the toilet.

    February 17, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Hammer

    Obama waged a campained that had Bush as a warmonger. That Bush had caused America to be hated by all foreign nations. That Bush had caused the death of American lives for an unjust cause. He charged that Bush dragged the American economy down to the depression with the cost of war.
    Obama said he would bring American troops home.
    Just another lie.

    February 17, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Franklin

    The United States has become a paper tiger. It is incapable of waging total all out war, because it wants to be loved by other nations.
    I wager that even if we were attacked again by a nuclear device or biological agents, and we knew where it came from, we would use conventional tactics and weapons and sacrifice our soldiers and marines rather than use the low yield nuclear weapons we continue to fund and warehouse but never use.

    February 17, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. "Change"...troops changing from Iraq to Afghanistan!!

    FINALLY.......all you Obama fans are realizing he is nothing but another sorry politician who lied to get into office and do things HIS way........not YOUR way!!!

    I LOVE IT.............bunch of idiots who thought Obama was "different".

    February 17, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. R

    The only difference with Obama and the other candidates then was that he was just talk. He inspires, but can't deliver. We expected increase troops in all other candidates except him. I didn't fall for it. I only voted for him because I think he would be better than any Republicans.

    February 17, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Voter

    CHANGE??? Is this what you call CHANGE, Mr. Obama?

    February 17, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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