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. Smart People

    Before the Right wing lashes out with the "I thought he was going to bring the troops home, empty suit, broken promises, worst president, ACORN!!!" nonsense, let me remind everyone that Obama has always said we need to send more troops to Afghanistan. I'm sure most of the repubs will still spread there lies...*cough*...TCM...*cough*...but i thought i would try to set the record straight.

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

    GOPers blabbering about this as though it goes against Obama's campaign promises even though it doesn't...in 3...2...1...

    February 17, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. joey from san diego

    Got to keep on spreading democracy!! Go imperialistic America!! The new world order is still in effect

    February 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. boered1

    Finally we are starting to fight the war we should ahve fought before the idiot bush got us mired in Iraq!


    February 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Marlon Keith Corner

    I am very proud to see that our President is showing his boldness in leading this Country I have an Elite respect and and even higher trust in his ability.

    February 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Patrick

    Where the war was all along.

    February 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Independent Paul

    Wow, interesting that he chose to do this the day he signed the stimulus package.

    I thought he already had this decision made months ago. Why did he wait a month? He has been receiving intelligence briefings since before he was elected.

    February 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Matt in MN

    Keeping in line with EXACTLY what he said he would do during the campaign, I'm impressed... but cue the libs blowing their top in 3...2...1...

    February 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Griff

    The real American Threat? "The Enemy within"..

    February 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Ron

    How will this be PRES. Obama's Iraq. This is bushs mess that Obama has to clean up. What do you expect him to do, pack everyone up and send them home so the idiot republicans can say he destroyed the country.
    CNN stop making up stories so you can keep yourself relevant.

    February 17, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Vietnam Vet

    This is a very large mistake for the President. He is waging this war like the US did in Vietnam – half arse. we had 55,000 + US killed in Vietnam fighting this type of war. If the US was serious about winning in Afghanistan, we would need to send in over 100,000 troops. The Russians had far better logistics (being next door) than the US does, and they had over 100,000 in Afghanistan for over 10 years and could not win.

    Does anyone know the name of the famous afghan freedom fighter who beat back the Russian Ary – with a little help from the US?

    Osama Bin Laden. That was the war that gave Osama Bin Laden his infamous stature in the Muslim World – Thanks to the US arming him and training him.....

    Afghanistan could be President Obama's Vietnam, and his downfall. The afghan government is corrupt to the core; there is no Afghan army, just tribal leaders, and they are all paid through heroin profits, and the US knows this.

    Afghan is not a place where the US needs to be.

    February 17, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Mike

    well if it worked for George Bush...why the hell not?

    I guess the coin landed on heads.....I heard "heads" was the send more troops and tales was do not send more troops....

    from Drudge Report.

    February 17, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Don

    Sending more troops to get the "terrists" [sic] and using taxpayer money to bail out Wall Street and ignore main street...so 'this' is change we can all believe in?

    I don't believe so.

    February 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. peter

    Obama is taking a big gamble,but if he catches bin ladin it would make the gop look very bad

    February 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. PT

    "We're all in this boat, lets all keep it a float!" Ok, now lets all help out. Buy American whatever. Lets get this show on the road and help rather than sit and tear this package up.

    February 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Rita

    Wonder if he will visit the increased troops in Afghanistan after he's down flying to his basketball games?

    February 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Emmanuel

    Waiting for the ignorant people here to call Obama a terrorist. First they abuse him and now they fight him and we all know what happens next, Obama wins! For you unbelievers out there know this, Obama has history on his shoulders as the FIRST AA POTUS and he will do everything to succeed and help Americans so you can all hate him some more.

    February 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. I told you so

    @ YURI and Noah from Chicago

    So when are you two proud liberals going to join the military? You would have second thoughts if it were your butts on the line.

    For those brave men and women going the thoughts and prayers of those who love freedom are with you.

    February 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. rodlang

    Are we going it alone or will Obama get some help from our "Allies". He is supposed to be so popular and beloved throught the world, let's see if the "Allies" put their soldiers in that quaqmire. Afghanistan is 10 times worse than Iraq. The old Soviet Union found that out and had to withdraw in defeat.

    February 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Rick

    God Bless Our Troops, Come Home Soon....

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

    Bankrupt our kids and grandkids, have liers and cheats in your adminstration, hmmmmm is the boss as crooked as the rest of his staff...............his actions prove his worth

    February 17, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Ruby

    don't be so shock! Obama already told the public so during his campaign. Obama is real.

    February 17, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "The Surge" in an unjustified war based on lies in a land where the terrorists weren't located...under a GOPer POTUS who is universally reviled and considered to be dumber than a bag of hammers: GOPers scream yay!

    Troop increase in a justified military operation in a land where the terrorists are located...under a Dem POTUS who is universally considered to be intelligent, thought and pragmatic and who obviously spent a great deal of time listening to the military commanders to inform his decision: GOPers scream nay!

    Keep on diggin guys...your party's grave is almost deep enough.

    February 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Rachel

    I guess that makes it Obama's war now.

    February 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Foreign observer

    Bush failed in Afganistan. Obama intends to succeed. Russia needs a success to get its borders protected against the Taliban.

    February 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. Dave from Canada

    He has no choice but to clean Bush's mess which should have been over by now if Bush hadn't gone into Iraq. That being said, the only people that can help Afganistan are the Afganis themselves.

    February 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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