March 27th, 2009
09:29 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama to send 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, officials say

 President Obama is expected to announce new strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday.

President Obama is expected to announce new strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan on Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama plans to send another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan along with hundreds of civilian specialists in an effort to confront what he considers "the central challenge facing [that] country," senior administration officials said Thursday.

The president also will call on Congress to pass a bill that triples U.S. aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year over five years, the officials said.

Obama is expected to announce new strategies for both countries Friday.

The troops, which are in addition to the 17,000 the president announced earlier would be sent to Afghanistan, will be charged with training and building the Afghan army and police force. The plans include doubling the army's ranks to 135,000 and the police force to 80,000 by 2011, the officials said.

Listen: CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser discusses the politics of the president's new plan with CNN Radio's Bill Caiaccio

Full story


Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Typical White Person

    "The president also will call on Congress to p@ss a bill that triples U.S. aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year over five years, the officials said."

    Now where are all the liberals who were demanding we stop spending money on the Middle East when Bush was in office...

    Here come the hypocrits calling this move by Obama as "smart" and "engaging"...

    March 27, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. independent in CO

    No more wars. No more foreign intervention. 😦

    March 27, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Larry

    This president throws our money at everything--this can not be our only solution,where does this administration think the money comes from ??

    March 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. nichelle alexander

    wasnt obama against war??/

    March 27, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. janet

    he is senting money were? what about the USA there are some of us that are liveing on SS that gets less a month then Obama and the Washington big shots get in a day what about giveing us a break,

    March 27, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Brian Crooks

    I just hope they establish clear bench marks and actually act on them if they're not being met, unlike Bush in Iraq, who just ignored missed bench marks. I hope this works.

    March 27, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Scott AZ

    Let's see...4,000 plus 17,000 equals 21,000 troops that Obama is sending to Afgahnistan, which is what the headline ought to read. Good to see that he can also find another 1.6 billion of our taxes to give away overseas, you should wonder how many jobs that money could have created here?

    March 27, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. ran

    Finally doing what should have been done instead of going to Iraq.This war could have been over with if our leaders were to have done what President Obama is doing now.

    March 27, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Shooky

    This is a good move, the troop surge was a good move in Iraq when Bush did it. I guess Obama stands corrected. It will be interesting to see how the 'end the wars regardless of outcome' crowd responds. They'll probably say they love the additional troop idea since if they disagree with Obama on anything their heads would explode.

    But I guess I should stop referring to the war as a 'war' since the administration renamed 'The War on Terror' to 'The Overseas Contigency Operation' and renamed 'Terrorism' to 'Man-Caused Disasters'. As lame as it sounds, it's 100% fact. I guess the administration was afraid of hurting the terrorists feelings.

    March 27, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. obama-mama

    nichelle alexander March 27th, 2009 9:42 am ET

    wasnt obama against war??/
    ******************************************************
    He sure was against war but he was dealt a hand with WAR in it.
    Abruptly end the war in Afghanistan and we will be ducking for cover.

    March 27, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Vietnam Veteran

    How do you spell Afghanistan? V-I-E-T-N-A-M 🙂

    When we fist started pouring troops into Vietnam, we call them advisors, trainers, and coordinators. 58,000 lost American lives later, we abruptly ran for our lives and evacuated Vietnam.

    Nobody can win a military war in Afghanistan. Hannibal could not do it. Alexander the Great could not do it. The Mighty Russian Army with 100,000 troops and with easy land access into the country, could not do it after 10 long years of bloody fighting. The US will NEVER prevail. Our history in this country is atrocious.

    The US aided with weapons, money, and training a great Muslim freedom fighter defeat the Russians, thereby launching him as a Muslim hero. His name – Osama Bin Laden.

    The country's current President is corrupt and survives only because he lets the tribal war lords keep their lucrative heroin industry, the largest in the world. Those heroin profits flow to the Taliban, and ultimately to Al Quaeda.

    Obama needs to read the historical tea leaves and get our 60,000 troops put (yes, 60,000 and counting). When the US body bags start to come home from Afghanistan, perhaps the Obamabots will begin to realize that this is a bad place for US troops to be waging war. The enemy is everywhere and nowhere in the war lord / Taliban / Heroin run territory

    March 27, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. karen-Phoenix

    They need farmers, ag people who know how to develop their lands instead of grow popies. President Obama understands this! Amazing!! This should have been done 6 years ago instead of invading Iraq!! Thank you President Obama and your team. Sounds a little like "Peace Corps" prospects!! Love It!!! America can be a GOOD Nation again!!

    March 27, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Brad, WA

    This is smart but will piss off a lot of independants and republicans. But as a loyal democrat, I must admit spending is almost as bad as Bush. But we are spending on good things rather than spending just because we can like republicans always do.

    March 27, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. Mike Syracuse, NY

    @Vietnam Veteran, you may want to check your history books. Hannibal never got within 1000 miles of Afghanistan. Prior to our invasion, Afghanistan was used as a safe haven for the Taliban and Al Queda. heck they ran the country. So if we leave, your plan to stop it from happening again is what?

    March 27, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. MD

    I just watched the President's announcement and while I disagree with being at war with any nation, for the first time in a very long time, I got some understanding about the mission. Unfortunately we will be stuck in this particular war for a while but at least now our military can focus on the real enemy.

    As for the money, it was already being spent in Iraq and kept out the previous adminstrations budget, falsely making our economy look more stable then it was.

    It's overwhelming to watch everything that's going on. I can't even imagine what it's like to have all of these messes resting on one's shoulders. I pray for health and strength to all who are trying to help correct the multitude of issues we face.

    March 27, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. Faye

    Vietnam Veteran- I can understand you pain, but this is a war that was created before Obama took office. Now what he is trying to do is put a timeline on the war so that we can keep track of how our money is spent helping them keep us safe also. Remember that we are in Iraq and Afghanistan training these people to defend themselves. Ben Laden is not in Iraq he is in Afghanistan and we are still sending and building in the wrong place. Shift the count to Afghanistan and lets see how long it will take to help them clean up their act so we can come home, but in Iraq Bush never put a timeline or seek to see how we were doing in help them fight their war.

    Give the President some credit for doing his homework before he cam in office. Remember only 3 months with a lot of great pain and Bush had 8 years and we didn't have any gains.

    Let's be fair to President Obama like you were to President Bush, both deserve some credit for trying to solve this mess.

    March 27, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. digger

    Well it looks like if and when this is over, obama and his people can be charged with war crimes. You people keep stating you want Bush charged so why not obama?

    March 27, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. Sniffit

    @ Typical White Person, who asked "Now where are all the liberals who were demanding we stop spending money on the Middle East when Bush was in office…"

    YOu can mischaracterize our criticism of Bush all you want pal. We didn't want to be spending the money in IRAQ, because we knew that we should've been focusing solely on AFGHANISTAN. Sure, some probably wanted us not to be involved in any war-like activities (there will always be that group), but most recognized that there was a distinction with a difference and were not arguing in general that we should not be in the Middle East. Either you don't understand the distinction or you're a liar for purposefully mischaracterizing the argument to set up a straw man to knock down. Choose one.

    March 27, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. gt

    get out of this mess now , nothing but a sink hole of trouble and heart ache

    March 27, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    I want to see the liberal outrage when we receive reports of civilian deaths as a result of Mr. Obama's escalation of hostilities.

    March 27, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  21. Jeffrey in Georgia

    Again, may I remind everyone that this has always been the plan. Obama is not anti-war, he's anti-war-in-Iraq. He thinks the Iraq war is wasteful (and he's right).

    I think this is ridiculous to do now, with the economy as it is. The deficit is being run up. Sure, we knew this would happen when we elected him, but that doesn't make it a good thing. They're talking about an ever-increasing national debt, moving up exponentially until it hits 82 percent of GDP. We need to start cutting wasteful spending, and American overseas military ops that really have nothing to do with national security are as wasteful as you get.

    Maybe Afghanistan is useful, since it might help us get Bin Laden. But the rest need to go. We're still occupying Germany, for crying out loud.

    March 27, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Eric in Texas

    Vietnam Veteran March 27th, 2009 10:09 am ET

    How do you spell Afghanistan? V-I-E-T-N-A-M

    When we fist started pouring troops into Vietnam, we call them advisors, trainers, and coordinators. 58,000 lost American lives later, we abruptly ran for our lives and evacuated Vietnam.

    Nobody can win a military war in Afghanistan. Hannibal could not do it. Alexander the Great could not do it. The Mighty Russian Army with 100,000 troops and with easy land access into the country, could not do it after 10 long years of bloody fighting. The US will NEVER prevail. Our history in this country is atrocious.

    The US aided with weapons, money, and training a great Muslim freedom fighter defeat the Russians, thereby launching him as a Muslim hero. His name – Osama Bin Laden.

    The country's current President is corrupt and survives only because he lets the tribal war lords keep their lucrative heroin industry, the largest in the world. Those heroin profits flow to the Taliban, and ultimately to Al Quaeda.

    Obama needs to read the historical tea leaves and get our 60,000 troops put (yes, 60,000 and counting). When the US body bags start to come home from Afghanistan, perhaps the Obamabots will begin to realize that this is a bad place for US troops to be waging war. The enemy is everywhere and nowhere in the war lord / Taliban / Heroin run territory
    ______________________________________________________

    Thank you for your service, and very well said!

    March 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. joe smith

    you know the defence industry doesn't care, republican administration, democratic administration, just make war somewhere, and if you don't do it, we'll send our operatives in to create a situation; and the poor hard working American people will foot the bill again; maybe this country does need a tea party..

    March 27, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. Chipster

    To Vietnam Veteran:

    Vietnam didn't harbor terrorists who attacked our country. May I remind you that the current president had no choice. He inherited this war and the one in Iraq – a nation that did NOT attack us. Not only did Iraq not attack us but they did not harbor Al Qaeda, despite efforts by the previous administration to make such claims – one of what we now know were many false claims. At a cost of billions of dollars per month, that war is largely responsible for the financial mess we're in as well. The body bags have been coming home from both wars for quite some time now but the previous administration didn't allow them to be seen. When you start actually seeing them, it's because this president doesn't plan to hide the cost from us.

    March 27, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  25. John from LA

    @ Vietnam Vet-EXCELLENT POINTS MADE!!!-Too bad the Obamabots like Obama Mama-will FOREVER SAY THIS WAS THE HAND HE WAS DELT-How much longer can he use that one????? Here in LA he's getting the to be know for what our mayor has done for the past five years-Throw EVERYTHING at the wall and Hope that something will stick-BO-Concentrate on ONE thing-the ECONOMY-and stop trying to prove to your BOTS that you can multi-task-a very OVER USED word these days!

    NO WAR EVER!!!!!

    Remember Bots-It's OK to disagree with your President!

    March 27, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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