March 27th, 2009
09:47 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama announces Afghanistan plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama announced a "comprehensive" new strategy Friday confronting the growing threat in Afghanistan and now Pakistan.

Obama said "situation is increasingly perilous" in the region and 2008 was the deadliest year of the war for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

"It's an international security challenge of the highest order," he said in an address at the executive office building. "The safety of people around the world is at stake."

He called on Congress to pass a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Sens. John Kerry and Richard Lugar authorizing "$1.5 billion in direct support to the Pakistani people every year over the next five years – resources that will build schools, roads, and hospitals, and strengthen Pakistan's democracy."

He is also urging Congress "to pass a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Maria Cantwell, Chris Van Hollen and Peter Hoekstra that creates opportunity zones in the border region to develop the economy and bring hope to places plagued by violence. And we will ask our friends and allies to do their part – including at the donors conference in Tokyo next month."

Filed under: Happening Now
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Another piecemeal approach by Obama.

    March 27, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. obama-mama

    The Dream Team....Go get 'em.

    March 27, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Hank




    March 27, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. Typical White Person

    He called on Congress to p@ss a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Sens. John Kerry and Richard Lugar authorizing "$1.5 billion in direct support to the Pakistani people every year over the next five years – resources that will build schools, roads, and hospitals, and strengthen Pakistan's democracy."

    And how will we make sure this money does not get into the hands of terrorists? So far this administration has not inspired confidence in their ability to oversee the money they spend.

    March 27, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Jerry is this different from what President Bush was doing.??? Things are a little different when you are the guy in the hot seat. Oh, and let's not forget spending another BILLION AND A HALF in Pakistan. Does this guy know how to do anything other than spend our money??

    March 27, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. heather

    What about our schools..or mexicos violence?? Seaping into America.all these years we were fighting the war on terror and it seems that they are still going strong!

    March 27, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Mike Syracuse, NY

    So we'll see if Obama's 'popularity' with the world translates into more international support in Afghanistan. I'm thinking not.

    March 27, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Ed from Dallas

    Pakistan is on the verge of being a failed state. The government there controls less than half of the country. The Bush administration made things worse by supporting the dictator Musharaf. And the worst of all, they have more than 100 nuclear warheads.

    So before you write your ignorat comments, just know that if Pakistan collapses, 9/11 will look like a highway car pileup.

    March 27, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. In Houston, TX

    My lord you naysayers are persistent. You want the president to fail and you want to crush the hopes of your fellow citizens. You completely misrepresent his position on issues and the intent of his plan. And you call him a socialist 🙁 And you don't even know what the word means. If you did, you would realize that police departments, fire departments, taxes, SOCIAL SECURITY...that's all social security

    March 27, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Bipartisan and bipolar

    One thing you can say about peace activist Cindy Sheehan is that she is consistent.

    March 27, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Laverne

    I appreciate the thoughtful and careful way POTUS approached this matter. He has consulted with his national security team, Secretaries Clinton and Gates and the general in over the Afganistan war to come up with a comprehensive plan. At least this time, all things are taken into account and there is a "REAL" strategy. I don't like war and want our troops to come home ASAP, but like he said, we did not ask for the war in Afganistan, but we are committed to finishing it for our people sake and our security. Change is here!

    March 27, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. TMan$

    Nice, so we get to pile more debt on our kids and grand kids to help a bunch of Terrorist... Way to go!

    March 27, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. rafi m. sheikh

    president announced $1.5 billion a financial support to pakistan for fighting the taliban,thats all well and good.But who is going to make sure the money is spent for that particular purpose,My concern is that we have to watch that money is not going in the pocket of mr 10%.

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

    @ Jerry, who asked So….how is this different from what President Bush was doing.??? "

    It's EXTREMELY different. Bush basically sent a few token troops to Afghanistan, then turned all his focused attention to Iraq and finishing his daddy's war. He ignored the need for appropriate diplomatic dialogue with Pakistan and Afghanistan and the need to use the tools available to us, such as aid money, to secure the support of Pakistan's government and its public, instead choosing to hypocritically support a military dictatorship that was won by coup, despite all the evidence suggesting that it was Pakistan's military, if anything, that had secret ties to extremists in the region.

    Keep pretending buddy. You guys NEVER cease to amaze.

    March 27, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. core in ohio

    Being a military vet and informed on the need of civilian efforts (medical, agricultural, education, economic, government accountability) in a fragile country...I found his plan to be very promising given the horrific conditions in the region. I also trust the primary team very much (Clinton, Gates, Petreus, Holbrook). Given the forces against us and our allies….I find this plan and the willingness to adjust if need be as a huge step in the right direction, especially since we can not afford a failed Pakistan.

    March 27, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Ghost

    Hmmm, not real big on the Pakistan part. 1st off, helping one group in the midst of turmoil usually ticks off another group. But then again, I ain't really up on Pakistan.

    But still, unless this is absolutely necessary to stabilize the region or whatever, I would frown on spending another nickle over there.

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

    Funny how that works, when Bush wanted to do something like this, he was despised, fought with and critisized by politicians, media freaks and the liberal socoalists, when the paper god Obuma does it, it is good for the country, liberalism, what a terrible disease.

    March 27, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. karen

    President Obama I voted for you to spend money in America-on schools, roads and hospitals etc.not to send billions of dollars to Pakistan to build their schools, roads and hospital etc. I am heart broken from your poor planning and John Kerry also. I voted for him also.PLease put a freese on foriegn spending take care of your own country first. America should be spending money in other countries only in natural disaters not on building infrastructure in other countries.

    March 27, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. The black Spider

    To Jerry

    He knows how to spend money in order to protect your butt from being killed by terrorists unlike his predecessor who wasted money in Irak in pursuit of Big Oil contract for his family.

    March 27, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Party Crasher

    So far I've seen nothing but haters posting to this string. I wonder if the lives of our American soldiers is important to the complainers on this board. Do we as citizens want to watch our Service members sit over there and dodge bullets and bombs or do we want our Government to use all of its resources to someday bring our troops home. Think about it, the Afgan War can't be won just on military might. Other tools have to be used, you just can't use a hammer to fix everthing.

    March 27, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Travis In Colorado

    Does this mean the money we give to Pakistan will be given as bonuses to senior officials as well? What about our own people? And isn't Pakistan the enemy of our ally, Israel? So he's sending more troops to Afghanistan, giving money to countries that we don't have, and how is Obama ANY different from Bush? Obama is a liar, that is how he's different.

    March 27, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. 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 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. kd

    The first thing to do (and the first mistake not to make) is to take away the bribes being paid to our enemies, part of 'the surge' strategy. Over $300 million a month was going to Shiite militia in Iraq to NOT fight. Gee, wonder where that money is going. Another Bush blunder and an incredibly dangerous one. A gamble to try and save face and get another Republican in office. Obama cannot make the same mistake.

    Obama needs to listen to the military experts who are more and more urging a covert counter-strike force rather than battalions of soldiers. We could shove all our forces in their and things will never change. But if we can possibly use small surgical strike forces to target insurgents then we'd at least be making some impact.

    March 27, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. khif

    How do you guys think that a war Bush started and Obama is cleaning up, is his fault?

    March 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  25. Debra

    How quickly the naysayers forget their 'hero' Bush who left Afghanistan when it could have been turned around; when the hot spots in Pakistan were not yet built. So after billions of dollars in a place that had nothing to do with the killing of Americans, they now criticize this President who DOES want to stop the safe haven for those who actually did America harm. Please, either get a brain or stop your noise. Those of us who elected this President, and those who NOW support him at the 60+ rate, want him to succeed and want this country to succeed. We are tired of your lame voices, the party of "no" and "know nothings". You are blight on this country.

    March 27, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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