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. vet in texas

    How do all you non-supporters of this think the "Surge" in Iraq was successful?!

    March 27, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Marsha

    Best US President in my lifetime...some of you could learn something from him if you pay attention...stop shooting first and asking questions later....

    March 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. ray ray

    STOP sending money we DON'T HAVE to countries that hate America!!

    Good lord... where is THIS $7.5 Billion ($1.5 B x 5 years) going to come from?????

    March 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Glennis

    Well, here we go. Another slide into a failed war. Afghanistan has beaten better men than Obama.

    March 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. thetruth

    part of the reason the situation in AF-PAC is so perrilous & tenuous is becaues in that part of the world the culture is not at all static, it is very dynamic. Meaning Taliban, Al-Queada, Packistan govt, Afghanistan govt have melted, inter-mingelled and intermarried into one people. Basically all four factions for the purpose of this discussion are the same. So its difficult to fight this enemy with just bullets...a multi pronged diplomatic approach is needed to secure the peace, which might be undo-able. Something Bush never respected or learned about their culture. Youd think that all the time he spent with Prince Bandahr & the Saudi royals...that hed learn more about that region of the world.

    March 27, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. sandy

    I hope this government knows what it's doing. I just hate to see more of our soldiers die for what seems like an endless war that is not against the people but is against ideologys. Other countries have tried this and failed miserably. I like our President and I trust him,but I have reservations about this.

    March 27, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Ed

    What ever happened to all the European support that Obama was going to get by "not going it alone" and having better relations with our "allies". Other then Britain which may send an additional 2,000 troops to Afghanistan, no other European ally has offered to provide more troops, No European Country has offered any additional sustantial financial aid to Pakistan or Afghanistan. Dispite this Obama new era of international cooperation, the U.S. still provides the vast majority of troops and money. No to mention that Afghanistan is a United Nations operation and the UN has also been useless in getting additional troops or money. Dispite all the hype and "change" the U.S. for the most part is still "going it alone" and Obama is still following the same "battle" plan that the Bush administration followed. Of course if Bush wanted to send more troops into Afghanistan he would have been beat up by the ant-war groups, media and the liberal democrats without end. When Obama does it it is justified war and justified expense. Strange how reality changes based on who you supported for president.

    Also it is impossible to buy muslim "friends" – they will gladly take your money but still hate and try to kill you as they have been taught to do since they were children. As with all radical fanatics, muslim fanatics will not go away until they are killed. You cannot talk them or buy them to death.

    March 27, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  8. Just thinking...

    If neighbor, the former Soviet Union ( and it's military), could not achieve victory in Afghanistan in, what, seven years (remember that war) what makes one think that we can...

    March 27, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. former obama supporter,now a libertarian

    iraq war, afghanistan war, war on terror ,and civil war [war on drugs]. we have been in a constant state of war , since vietnam. and this President thinks its funny and a joke. i should have stuck with the libertarian party. at least Bill Barr wouldn't being making 'funnies' about a war on our own country. he would have ended them all. dems and repubs are all the same, and both are responsible for the state of our affairs.

    March 27, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Joe in NJ

    "$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"

    How is giving money to Pakistan going to help the situation in Afghanistan? Sounds more like a bribe to me. We'll give you this money if you help us with the Taliban. And is building some roads really going to strengthen Pakistan's democracy? Pakistan is becoming a country with increasing internal conflict. Do we really want to get ourselves involved in another mess?

    March 27, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Alex

    Great- more money and lives wasted on a lost cause. Afghanistan/Packistan are the new Iraq. How much are we going to throw away there?

    Obama is going to spend us into oblivion.

    March 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. LISA

    Great work Mr. President. The Sane Americans are behind you 100%.
    Don't listen to the Republicans or the miss informed Americans.
    It takes a lot to retrain them from the Bush days. But hopefully they will get there by 2010. Keep up the good work!

    March 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Sam Sixpack

    We'll pull out out Afghanistan when China tells us to.

    March 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  14. Objective Citizen

    We have to decide as a country if we want to remain the superpower of the world. If we do, then we have to do what it takes to keep world in peace.

    @ Ed in Dallas... I agree with your analysis...

    So, lets support Obama on this. We elected him the leader of the free world. Let him do his work.

    March 27, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Mike in Fairfax

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

    Theodore Roosevelt

    March 27, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. LRW

    Wow..... I never thought I would see this.... Liberal Warmongers .....

    A very scarey picture developing here...... Our mighty Armies being led to battle by limp wristed Libs. Vietnam, Part II

    March 27, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. JC

    I have a better idea for Mid-East foreign policy: Get out of there...let the Israelis handle it, and advise all these countries who harbor terroists...keep your loony fringe under control or we nuke any country that allows its terrorists to come here and attack us.

    March 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Deborah, Bronx

    May I ask why is our President 'following' Bush's footstep – War?? Didn't we, the American people, throw Bush OUT for this reason?? 'Hunting Down' & 'Fighting the Taliban' just sound so eeriely familiar. We have been at this War so long, WASTing our Money on Countries that hate us, Why, Why, why do we STILL CONTINUE on this path. Maybe I'm niave but, I personally feel we should DROP ALL OF THEM once and for all!! – Afganistan, Pakistan etc, BRING HOME our Troops IMMEDIATELY and give these countries NOT ONE CENT MORE!! I'm abit Dissapointed.

    March 27, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Rick


    Once again you are showing your total ignorance with your comments. You said "Bush basically sent a few token troops to Afghanistan, then turned all his focused attention to Iraq and finishing his daddy's war."

    The "token troops" that you refer to was a strategic decision to send special forces to work with the local tribal leaders in fighting the Taliban. That decision was an overwhelming success as tens of thousands of Taliban fighters were killed and run from the country. The regrouping and return of enemy fighters was inevitable, especially after our victory in Iraq. Thank goodness Bush persisted in securing victory in Iraq and didn't listen to defeatists such as John Murtha and Barack Obama or the number of enemy fighters would be 10 times the number there are now. Now it's up to Obama to listen to his military generals and secure victory in Afghanistan to deal our enemy the follow-up punch to Iraq.

    March 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Support the President

    All of us – including Obama non-supporters like me – must rally behind the President here.

    March 27, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Obama Victim

    change?? only 3 years and 9 months to go

    March 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    Mr. President I'm a VERY strong supporter of yours. But we should NOT be commiting billions of dollars for some third world country. Go in, get Al-Quaida and the peeps who brought us 9/11 and get out. We need the $$$ here to help us more than we need to help them!

    March 27, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    So Obama is going to send an additional 4000 Troops to train the 75,000 man Afgan Army. Do we not have enough trainers there now? We need combat Troops to do the job of the military to quote Patton, "Your job is not to die for your country, your job is to make the other SOB die for his!" Oh, I forgot you left wingers would not know what it is to have to go to battle since you do not volunteer to go into the military let alone in a combat arms field.

    March 27, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. shoegazer

    You reap what you sow...........

    March 27, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    When a simple 'Yes" or 'No' question is asked on this topic and not a single answer is received in over 2 hours, you know that Rohm Emmanuel's talking points email this morning to all you liberal hacks didn't include it.


    March 27, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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