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, Syracuse NY

    OK libs. When are you going to ask for a timetable for Afghanistan? You all bought into Obama's 16 month promise for Iraq, so what's his promise for Afghanistan? Hey if you can have a timetable for one, you can for the other.

    February 17, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. No Incumbents 2010

    Perhaps we'll have more luck than the USSR did and the so many other countries who have been defeated in long grueling wars in Afghanistan.

    February 17, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Pro-Dem Independent

    What do you expect from an inexperienced president?

    The MAIN STREAM MEDIA should be alert on what they avocated for.
    Don't think the American people are fools. WE ARE NOT.

    February 17, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. CHANGE we need

    ...and I hope this includes more funding for Sen Feinstein's international meddling! I wonder if Mr Panneta will have suggestions for Mr. Obama's next fine mess.

    February 17, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. PapaLin

    To all you Lib's out there, I want you to close your eyes and go back one year in time. Let's pretend president Bush had sent 17,000 troops into Afghanistan. Do you think you would be giving him the same praise you are President Obama? I am happy we are keeping the fight off our soil and continuing to spread Democracy, so props to you Mr. President. However, I am not happy with the previous administration or the current administration's "stimulus packages. Does anyone find it scary that 85% of the people who signed these bills will be dead before they have to start paying for it? 8 billion dollars to save or create 4 million jobs? That is 200,000 per job. Give me 200,000 and I will create 20 jobs. Just saying. To all you 60+ year olds out there....... Your welcome. I feel horrible for my kids who aren't even born yet who will be the ones helping me pay for this. Well done Ivy League Grads!!!

    February 17, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. Alan

    Oh this is a shock!! I thought Obama opposed our presence in the region. Why aren't the troops home. Why haven't we pulled out of Iraq. We can't afford this! Dadgummit!!

    To all of you that voted for him based on these promises: You got PUNKED!!

    February 17, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. naqib

    Another shattered promise from Bammer... no shocker here

    February 17, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. Cathy

    ok..........mr You have no business in another sovereign country..........get out. let them sort their matters out.

    February 17, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. B

    Oh Cindy, Cindy Shehan I hope you're getting your camping gear together as you did at President Bush's home? Obama will have blood on his hands and killing innocent people. What will all you people against the war do now? Nothing because it's your messiah making the decision.

    February 17, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. David

    @warmonger

    > I guess this is Bush's fault too. So Obama is sending MORE > young americans into harms way. Not exactly what you voted > for, was it???

    Our sending troops into Afghanistan isn't Bush's fault. We sent troops there way back in 2001 and it was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, he took his eyes off the ball and went on the Iraq boondoggle and we've lost much of the opportunity (seven years worth) to get rid of the terrorists in that area. Remember the terrorists that attacked on 9/11 were Saudis trained in Afghanistan.

    President Obama said he would do this during the campaign. Maybe you missed it because you refuse to listen to him. It's exactly what we voted for.

    While I don't like war, I think it's a necessary thing at least in the short term. We, as a nation, need to remember using our military is only part of the solution. In addition, we need to get the leaders and populations of Afghanistan/Pakistan to stop giving support to terrorist organizations. That won't happen at the point of a gun so some serious diplomatic efforts need to happen.

    February 17, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. itbeme

    Rick said "but I thought the Obama ran on bringing them home, another promise broken,"

    actually, President Obama said he would bring them home from Iraq....and actually go after Osama...you know, the guy that is actually responsible for 9/11.....the guy we should have been after all along....the one that bush baby couldn't find so he went to Iraq....

    February 17, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. GiroGeezer, Calif.

    I am sorry... what did you say the "realistic and focused" objective was again?

    February 17, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  13. Jeff from Jersey

    He should bring home as many from Iraq as he sends to Afhanistan.That is where our troops should have stayed in the first place and not chasing down the Bush "legacy"(?) in Iraq.They will also be closer to Pakistan to look for the REAL killer of americans,Bin Laden,and closer to Iran if need be.THAT is where they should be and not where our recent "numbskull-in-chief" depleted our resources.

    February 17, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. Seth

    What a mess the Republican party has become.

    February 17, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. Vietnam Vet71

    TO VIETNAM VET:

    If Obama gets pulled into Afghanistan, and fails to execute a real war, this will be his Vietnam, and his undoing. Bad idea

    You sir have selected memory–we were pulled into Afghanistan by the previous administration. I say we win it and get out!

    I was on my second tour in Vietnam when Henry Kissinger negotiated the Paris Peace Accord–knew it wouldn't work before the ink dried. By my estimate Nixon lost the war.

    February 17, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. comedyguy

    Thank Goodness McCain didn't win the elections because he'd drain all the money in our pocket and make many people lose their jobs all i can say is monsters like Bush dont deserve to have such a big responsibility

    February 17, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. A tired American

    At last it appears that our mission in Afghanistan will be what it was supposed to be in the first place – get Bin Laden and punish those responsible for Sep. 11, 2001. We never needed to try to establish a US-like "democracy" anywhere by military force. If the people want it we won't have to ram it down their throats.

    February 17, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Granforchange

    THIS IS NOT THE CHANGE WE WERE LOOKING FOR..!! THIS IS A OUTRAGE, TODAY IN MADISON WISCONSIN 3,000 NATIONAL GUARD WERE DEPLOYED, THE LARGEST EVER IN THIS STATE! I AM A PEACE ACTIVIST, MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER, AND I WILL BE TAKING PART IN DEMONSTRATIONS !!! THIS WAS SNEAKY AND UNCALLED FOR, AND THE PRESIDENT LIED TO ALL OF US WHO VOTED FOR HIM.. SHAME ON YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA, I HOPE YOU HAVE SPEECHES WRITTEN OUT TO TELL THE FAMILIES AND MOTHERS OF THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHEN THEY ARE KILLED, FOR WHAT????? ANGRY GRAN FOR CHANGE IN WISCONSIN

    February 17, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. comedyguy

    One thing i do know about Afghani troops is they're brave and fierce fighters-they are not afraid to die

    February 17, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. Schnarfe

    GO OBAMA! YEAH! Seriously, I am happy to see that the president is taking responsibility and acting on an urgent and important matter. To all the neocons who claimed that Obama is "weak on national security," I see he has a plan to fight people who had an actual connection to those Islamic terrorists who actually attacked us on 09/11/01.

    February 17, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Stu-Florida

    @Granforchange...
    hello... hello...
    Did you not hear President Obama say during his campaigns that we would start pulling troops FROM Iraq and start putting them where we should have been in the first place. AFGANISTAN!
    We have to get a handle on this al Quida and all of the crazies that go along with them. Afganistan is where the battles should have been. Getting the scum that ambushed our city, our country and it's people.

    Get a grip Grannie... I love peace as much as anyone, but we must stop Bin Laden... NOW

    February 17, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. B.H.

    Here we go again folks, didn‘t we learn anything from watching the Russians get there butts kicked in Afganistan! It is a Black hole, and could be Obama’s biggest problem. We are broke, and can’t even take care of our own country.

    February 17, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. Granforchange

    RE BIN LADEN.. HE HAS LONG BEEN DEAD AND GONE.. THIS IS ABOUT THE US TRYING TO CONROL AND DICTATE , PLAIN AND SIMPLE, IF WE WOULD JUST LET THESE POOR PEOPLE WORK IT OUT AMONG THEMSELVES AND COME TO SOME MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING... CODE PINK IS ALIVE AND WELL, I SHOULD KNOW I AM A PROUD MEMBER AND NEXT MONTH WE ARE HAVING A MAJOR DEMONSTRATION AT THE PENTAGON, BELIEVE YOU ME, ANTIWAR ACTIVIST ARE NOT TAKING THIS TOO WELL, AND WE WILL BE HEARD, !! HOPE THAT ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS, GRAN FOR CHANGE MADISON WISCONSIN

    February 17, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Di

    We need to thank NATO for their support. (LOL) The US has for years for them to send more troops.
    WE SHALL NEVER FORGET!!

    February 17, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  25. ROC

    Obama needs to consult with world leaders on a comprehensive strategy and everyone needs to step up and contribute.

    Thank you for the service and sacrifice of our troops.

    February 17, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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