April 2nd, 2009
04:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama, Pentagon differ on whether Afghanistan is 'America's war'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/29/art.obamamouth0329.gi.jpg caption="Obama said of Afghanistan: 'I think it's America's war.'"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - There appears to be a bit of daylight between President Obama and a top Pentagon official on the matter of whether the conflict in Afghanistan is “America’s war.”

After the president unveiled his new strategy to combat extremists in Afghanistan last week, CBS’ Bob Scheiffer asked Obama on his Sunday show: “This has really now become your war, hasn’t it?”

“I think it’s America’s war,” Obama responded. “And it’s the same war that we initiated after 9/11 as a consequence of those attacks on 3,000 Americans who were just going about their daily round. And the focus over the last seven years I think has been lost.”

But in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, Michele Flournoy, the Pentagon’s Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, had a different perspective.

“I want to assure you that we do not think of this as America's war,” Flournoy told committee members. “We think of this, of defeating al Qaeda and dealing with its extremist allies, as an international challenge and an international responsibility. This is a burden that the international community must share.”

Filed under: Afghanistan • President Obama
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