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. SD,Michigan

    Republican warhawks suddenly turning into fervent peace lovers, ha ha. Obviously a lot of people didn't listen to what the President said during the campaign: responsible withdrowing of all troops from Iraq and intensifying efforts to dismantle Al_Quaeda where it actually IS.
    Afghanistan: war of NECCESITY
    as opposed to GW's
    Iraq: war of (his) CHOICE.

    March 27, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. floridian

    "Kent in Ca"

    The reason President Obama can now concentrate on Afghanistan is because Iraq is now successful, not because he made a campaign promise. And remember all those donkeys who were declaring Iraq "lost", even with the successful surge on-going? Our victory in Iraq is the "reason for the season". Give the previous administration credit for that, no?

    March 27, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Jon in CA

    Obama = WARMONGER!!

    March 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Deb

    Thank you Ed from Dallas. At last someone that knows what is going on before they criticize the President.

    March 27, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Barriett

    And the Obama drones fall inline with thier comments.

    I ask the Obama drones to reflect on thier attitude about Afganistan under the last president. Did they support his efforts in Afganistan? Disparge the troops there? Support Code Pink? Ask yourself why, if you can't find a good reason you changed your opinion you need to come to grips with being a mindless follower an ideologue or a statist.

    Being former military myself, I've got to say that seeing the attacks on our troops by liberials and democrats which were echoed and amplified by the media will not be forgotten by the people who serve in the military.

    March 27, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. JJ12345

    Code Pink should be going crazy right now, but I have not seen them in the news????

    March 27, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Jimmy the Greek

    The dik-less dictator Obama escalates the war in Afghanistan and further buries America in financial debt – promising $$ to Pakistan.

    Obama is doing what Osama hoped to do ... destroy America.

    March 27, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. yuri

    Evidently, talibanization of Pak. territories needs a ton of tackling with tactical weaponry, in tandem with political and economical tacts to trigger a widespread torture of just their idealogies. Anything short of that will be less likely to be lethal to those lunatics in the less well developed areas of the world.

    March 27, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |


    The mission in Afghanistan must be clear, narrowly defined and winnable.

    Now is the time to consult with Secretary of State, National Security Adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Colin Powell. He led us to victory in Iraq's Dessert Storm.

    Get us in ... hit them hard .... then get us out. Do that by 2012 so that Afghanistan is not an issue for Democrats during the election campaign.

    Signed .... a Liberal Democrat

    March 27, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Zach, Arizona

    This is one of the best decisions that President Obama has implemented. I'd hope that all Americans remember what happened on 9/11 where 3,000+ Americans died due to operations based out Afghanistan (Osama Bin Laden). Bush did not perform his job as he promised, but instead invaded another country as a random tangent with no proof of WMD. President Obama in his first term will hunt down and punish those who were responsible for these despicable acts of terror.

    Great plan, it will work.

    March 27, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. William

    Obama proves once again Bush was right all along.

    March 27, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Marc

    Eric in Texas, so you're a clairvoyant, given your statement about Al Qaeda seeking refuge in Iraq if we had went to war in Afghanistan? And a very lame one. WE WENT TO WAR IN AFGHANISTAN! We overthrow the government of that country! It was a war, but Bush wanted to get even with Saddam so... he decided to not go full force against the guys that were behind 911.
    Spin the facts all you want but in the end that's the truth. Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden were in Afghanistan, and he choose to fight Iraq.
    OK, Hussein was everything we can think of him plus some things that we don't dare. But the guys behind 911 were in Afghanistan, and since Bush had NO justifiable reason to go after the man that once had ordered his death, he used 911 to do that. HE USED IT SHAMELESSLY. So we got Hussein out of power, great thing (no irony or sarcasm here), but do you remember how things were in Iraq until the Pentagon finally managed to get all those draft-dodgers in the White House shut-up and let them handle the situation as it should have been from the very beggining? I do.

    March 27, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    How about 1.5 Billion yearly to stop all the traffic coming in through the US borders. We have a war here also. Has Obama forgot that little thing. This is serious. Not just all the drug cartel creeps taking over. The illegals killing our police, raping, carjacking, murders, home invasions ( 100 this last year in Tucson and many in Phoenix) robbery and the list goes on. HELP is needed in the soverign country. Stop some of this nonsense over spending for stupid stuff. Like studing the genes of catfish. Really! those are things that can come when we are secure here. Family first, then others.....

    March 27, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. cabianni

    bunch of warmongering liberals

    March 27, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    In Houston, TX March 27th, 2009 10:15 am ET

    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

    Obama is not a socialist. He is a facist through and through.

    March 27, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. rodlang

    Hey CNN...stop blocking my comments because I critique Obama's war. That is called censorship.

    March 27, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Sam Sixpack

    After we squander our resources, what kind of "friend" will China be then?

    March 27, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    @ William...this proves Bush was right all along?????? Help me out here. Bush INVADED Iraq...they had NOTHING to do with 9-11 old spinmeister buddy. Nothing Bush did militarily after 9-11 was right...nothing!

    March 27, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. arithmetic is liberal

    "Iraq was a success" is a little like "The sky is plaid"

    Neither of them are true. Some would like it to be, but there are only one set of facts. The rest is spin.

    We needed to be focused solely on Afghanistan long ago.
    Republicans may have some short term memory issues, but liberals have been saying that since September 12, and a lot of our ire about Iraq leading up to March 2003 was about how we hadn't finished the job yet.

    March 27, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. anthony

    I think the people who are complaining about Obama sending troops to Afghanistan know that Al Qaeda came from there, not Iraq. It is not as if they had not been told again and again that the people who attacked us on 9/11 came from Afghanistan, not Iraq. They must know. But getting them to admit that Iraq war was a mistake and that the Iraqi people we liberated from Saddam want us out by 2011 (in other words, the Iraqis want to be liberated from us) is too much. You got to feel for the Republicans. They just lost to a guy who had next to no experience, and they don't control any branch of government. All they have left is the power to complain. That is all they have left.

    March 27, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    @ Mary Jo, who said "We have a war here also. Has Obama forgot that little thing. This is serious."

    Pretending that he's only doing the one thing discussed in an article about that one thing is a really ineffective way of convincing people he's not doing a good job.

    March 27, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. James

    I see another "Iraq" war in Afganistan war. or is it contingency operation now?? Let's see how this plays out when the death count goes up and it turns ugly. Doesn't matter what you call it it will be another a disaster.

    March 27, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. liz

    Where are all the war protesters now?
    Maybe they're in line at the recruiting station.

    March 27, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Lotta Muni

    During the 2008 campaign he was going to hit the ground running on day one with a strategy on dealing with Afghanistan.
    Now nearly 3 months later, he's just now coming up with a plan.
    His brilliant plan: SEND MORE TROOPS!!!
    Wow!! This guy is NOTHING LIKE BUSH, IS HE?!?!?!

    March 27, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. jaye

    It's time to get the job done in know, the war Bush started then disregarded so he could start a war in Iraq...a war in Iraq based on lies.
    Anyway, so glad Obama is now in charge of the war machine – now we'll get 'er done.

    March 27, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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