February 17th, 2009
04:01 PM ET
12 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. Ernie in LA

    Granforchange, if you are a Gran, You were old enough to know better than to vote for him in the first place. We will be spending $10 Billion a month in Afghanistan instead of Iraq. Big difference. Where is the change, Leroy Obama????

    February 17, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Streamwood Bill

    This is why I voted for Barack Obama. I knew that he would turn the U.S. around and get us back to pursuing the real terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.

    I shudder to think what would have happend had John McCain been elected. We would be futiley wasting more troops and material in Bush's phony war on terrorism in Iraq.

    Great move President Obama!

    February 17, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. matt

    i do agree...i wouldnt call it lting, but i would call it fhetoric with plenty of enthusiasm....enthusiasm that hasnt been seen since adolf hitler....it seems americans lied to themselves. CHANGE....what is that....was that word supposed to be synonomous to Redemption. I guess we would have change...but what the people who voted for Obama failed to address is how uncooperative the people who didnt like him would be....i knew republican representatives would act this way....But its all common sense, people were just to mixed up with making history that they didnt take in to consideration how much people can postulate against someone....But i guess it was time for this heavenly oh so beautiful change....what a fairy tale....and all the people that clapped when he said he was going to bring the troops home are acting like now its ok to send more troops to start another war...clap some more because whatever obama does is perfect...just clap it all away....i guess no one realizes that the enemy of an enemy can be a useful friend....what i mean is....maybe everyone should review their history books and realize how america in the "colonial era" defeated great brittain....but just clap....please clap....show us all the democratic way

    February 17, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Both war were right and justified. I'm glad Obama isn't backing down to the terrorists yet. If McCain had won I'm sure all the liberals would be crying "outrage" over escalating another war. Thanks to all our brave troops for fighting the good fight.

    February 17, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Van

    Those who are surprised by this weren't paying attention.

    He CLEARLY said he was going to do this, without being vague about it during the election season. He said he would withdraw troops from the mess that is Iraq, and increase troops in Afghanistan to finish stabilizing the region.

    More Troops will be pulled in than out, but this is of no surprise at all.

    February 17, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  6. Humphrey

    Obama HID this announcement behind the signing of the stimulus because he is a coward and cares too much about pacifying people.

    February 17, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. anthony


    Afghanistan is Bush's war too, only he did not bother to finish it before launching the unnecessary Iraq war. This is too bad because the people who attacked us on 9/11 were based in Afghanistan, not Iraq. They are still there, in case you want to know. The change that Obama promised is that we will fight the people who attacked us, instead of fighting people that we chose to fight for apparently all the wrong reasons. Obama is not against all wars, just the stupid ones.

    February 17, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. dummies!

    granny you ninny! Did you not pay attention to the election? Obama has said all along that he wanted to put more troops in Afghanistan and take troops out of Iraq...we should've never left!

    February 17, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. mike

    Gee, is that a surge you are trying nobama? Good luck with that. Now we can all say bad things about you just like you did for George. It's your war now. How do you like it BO?

    February 17, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. w.l. jones

    We can bring the war to a close within six month if we use our dipomats wisely by assuring the Talban we are not going to give incentive to hate us any more.

    February 17, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  11. Had It

    You idiots

    He's not directing the war. He's going on the Military expert's recommendations.

    Grow up and think with something besides the little head between your legs.

    February 17, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. Charlie in Maine

    The Taliban is our enemy. I wish Congress would declare WAR on those people. Real war with the War effort and sacrifice from eveyone (not just the troops and their families) Let's get Bin Ladin and really liberate Afghanistan from the the Taliban.

    If we had put 1/10th of the money and effort that we wasted in Iraq into Afghanistan Bin Ladin would be dead, the Taliban would have already had their Nurinberg trials and Afghanistan would be West Germany by now.

    February 17, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. American


    Thank you Mr. President!

    February 17, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  14. tennisguypitt

    You people need to stop comparing this to Iraq...

    There's a Huge difference that causes me to support this: Nut-jobs from Afghanistan/Pakistan attacked us. Iraq did not.

    But it's going to take much more than troops. We need to reduce conditions that breed terrorism–poverty, unemployment etc. (feel free to say something that I didn't)–troops alone won't completely end terrorism there.

    February 17, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Sorry no tips for this one Bo. You are all on your own. I'm not sure wether he is even aware of the 'Home grown Jihads"...oi lei ! Don't try to dodge this one like Clinton did in the late 1990s. We are watching every move your administration make like a hawk. Let the game begin. Already feeling the thrill up my legs.

    February 17, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Linda in MS

    Although I hate to see more Americans go to war, I am glad Mr. Obama is keeping his promise to send more troops to Afghanistan.
    He understands the necessity to control the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, stabilze the government and economy of the country. This war has been a forgotten front for the last 8 years.
    Thank you to all of our men and women in uniform, and may you be safe wherever you are.

    February 17, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  17. tisha

    Some of these comments are so funny, I was told by George Bush that Afghanistan was responsible for 9/11 but we ended up there for two weeks then we went after Iraq. So all the negative comments against this what are you really trying to say? That the people responsible for 9/11 should not be held accountable? President Obama said during his campaign that he would send troops to AFG now he is being called a liar. It makes no sense.

    February 17, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Janice

    All of you idiots on this blog who a still obsessed with Iraq, listen up. Iraq had nothing do with 9/11, nothing to do with 9/11, NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11!!! This war was not just at all! Bin Laden is running free today because the other idiot had a personal vendetta (that's the guy that tried to kill my dad) or imagenary WMD. I guess no one else had a friend or relative killed on 9/11 by BIN LADEN WHO IS IN AFGHANISTAN!!!

    February 17, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. tk in IL

    OK, so he waits until today to make this decision in hopes the fanfare and dog and pony show in Boulder over the spending spree will overshadow it?

    Well, at least now we know where that stimulas money will really be going.

    And why is it that he signs a bill to close Guantanamo and let those people go and at the same time toots his horn racing to capture the exact same kind of criminals in Afghanistan? Seems rather contradictory.

    February 17, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. Military member against the war in Iraq

    Troops currently in Iraq slated to come home in the next 16 mos = approx 150,000.

    Proposed troop increase in Afghanistan = approx 30,000

    By my calculation, that means we will have about 120,000 fewer troops in harm's way within the next 16 mos, we will be out of an unjustified war (Iraq), and will be dedicating the appropriate resources to the conflict we should have been attending to since 9/11.

    Sounds to me like we're heading in the right direction. Keep up the good work, Mr. President.

    February 17, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. No Hillary = No Obama

    How long will it take before we start seeing the protests against Obama the way we did toward Bush'sWar? Obama will do what the military tells him to do. I wonder how Obama's ego will handle this – when the crowds start jeering instead of cheering?

    February 17, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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