December 1st, 2009
11:10 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers go on patrol near Sharan, Afghanistan, last week.

U.S. soldiers go on patrol near Sharan, Afghanistan, last week.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and is ordering military officials to get the reinforcements there within six months, White House officials told CNN Tuesday.

The president, whom Republicans had accused of "dithering" over the decision, came to the conclusion that the deployment needs to be accelerated to knock back the Taliban, the officials said.

The push for a speedy deployment surprised some observers, because White House officials who defended Obama's slow pace of coming to a decision had said the Pentagon wouldn't be able to get new troops to Afghanistan that quickly anyway.

Asked to explain that seeming contradiction, a White House official told CNN: "The president is saying this has to happen, so the military will make it happen."

Full story

Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Stacie

    I don't understand why the Obama supporters act shocked about this. He said during the campaign that he would withdraw troops from Iraq and add troops to Afghanistan. This is exactly what he's been doing. Before we all rush to make our comments and shout at each other, let's listen to the president explain his plan.

    December 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Well, he did say during his campaign that he would concentrate more troops in Afganistan didn't he while trying to come up with an EXIT strategy that the Bush people didn't have.

    December 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. scott prato

    This Proves that Obama is just as much a war monger as Bush. We elected Mr. Change to pull us out of the middle east and end these useless imperial wars financed on credit. This country cannot afford to be the world's policeman any more. We voted in President Obama to be the Un-bush, the anti-bush, not a Bush lite. We on the progressive left have been had again!

    December 1, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. Paul from Phoenix

    Hmmmm, I wonder if all the leftist protests will start up (Cindy Sheehan, I am looking in your direction) and follow Obama around like they did Bush.

    There is one simple fact to this deployment, Obama had a chance to end this war. He "dithered" all year, and now he is deploying more troops. ALready this year has seen the largest amount of troop casualties since the war started. This is now fully Obama's war, regardless of the final outcome.

    December 1, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Chad

    This guy sure does take a long time to make a decision.

    December 1, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. Stop the war

    If he insists on doing this then he must introduce a war tax – it is simply unfair that its only military families that have to sacrifice during America's never ending warfare. I think it would be a great idea to reinstate the draft in fairness to troops enduring multiple deployments – but the war machine knows from Vietnam that this arouses the public way too much – they would prefer to continue their evil ways unnoticed.

    December 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Sniffit

    It'll be fun watching the GOP step all over itself in a hypocritical bid to criticize this into oblivion. You're getting what you want you warmongering jerks...more of our young ones off into dangerland to put their lives at just shut up and calm down. It's not like the Taliban is hiding in your bedroom closets....there's no room in there anyway what with all your secret cross-dressing, extramarital affairs, insurance industry bribe money, self-loathing in-denial religion-based homophobia and gun racks.

    December 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Enough

    Ok, so why do we need some prime time interruption to listen to Obama stutter and bumble for an hour "explaining" what we already know. No thanks, I'll watch anything but him.

    December 1, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. phoenix86

    The military asked for 80,000. Obama sends 30,000.

    It's called the Obama Slow Bleed Strategy. I feel sorry for our troops.

    December 1, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I hope the deployment is rapid. The sooner the troops are on the ground, the sooner we'll be able to push the Taliban out of the major provinces. As we all know that IED's are the number killer of American forces. I hope in this strategy there is consideration of adding more EOD personnel.

    December 1, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Can't wait to see how Code Pink reacts to this.

    Better yet, IF Code Pink reacts to this.

    December 1, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Donkey Party

    Wow CNN, you're becoming more right than ever. Allow comments for an Obama story, but bar comments for a Cheney story. Did Rupert Murdoch buy you guys out or what?

    December 1, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    This is the right decision. The best way to get out of Afghanistan and to stay out is to finish the job now.

    Although military success does not usually make for exciting news reporting, watch for it and you will see plenty. Our military just needs the chance and support and they can make this happen.

    December 1, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Peaceful One

    For Shame! The Military Industrial Complex just won't quit profiteering nor will American governments stop helping Big Bidness! Eisenhower (the last decent Republican) warned us about these folks. Saving Face, America, is a terrible trait of Pride! This is a continuation of a Criminal Act – Agression by America. Where is it written that innocents must atone for the sins of others? This disgusts me!

    December 1, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rep. Janice Schakowsky, D-Illinois, a longtime Obama ally who now worries Afghanistan will become what she calls another quagmire

    It's been a quagmire. We should've been in there not Iraq. Iraq has sapped the funding and the initial impact we could've had in Afghanistan. The job now needs to be completed, or at the very least this mission needs to be given whatever it requires to claim our best effort. It's almost like coming into the middle of a college course that someone else dropped: trying to piece it together to at least pass the course. You're not going to get an A in this class that's for sure. The initial effort was put forth by someone that felt that a 'C' was a perfectly acceptable grade. Now here comes the 'A' student taking over where the 'C' student dropped the class. Good luck Mr. President. I see nothing but frustration coming from this.

    December 1, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Retired US Army Officer-Kansas

    With regards to the claim of "dithering", I must disagree. The Presidents approach has been balanced, reasoned and thoughtful. He has not dictated foreign policy nor matters that place American soldiers in harms way charging in as a bull in the china shop, nor has he committed troops through knee jerk reactions. The failure to finish one war before crashing off to the next have come home to a weary nation and a fragile military. Perhaps now we can refocuse on what we hope to accomplish in Afganistan abd provide our military with the resources that they need to accomplish it.

    December 1, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. seebofubar

    It should be 30,100 more to replace the 100 soldiers that died because our Bafoon in Chief was wallowing in indecision. Impeach him now, save our country!

    December 1, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. Carlos

    What a pitiful excuse for a cic this clown is, he's finding out that promises are easier to make than they are to keep in the real world.

    December 1, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. SocialismBad

    Of course they need to hurry now because this idiot of a President WASTED 3 months because he didn't want to alienate his base during the healthcare debate. He was TOLD by the General the next 12 months was critical and he WASTED 25% of that time. And now the military needs to quickly put Afghanistan back together before the 2010 elections.

    I guess this is what we get when we elect somebody with NO EXPERIENCE! I can't believe we are STUCK with this Obamatross for 3 more years. We're doomed!

    December 1, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. REG in AZ

    This is the war that was under control and the country that was secure, which (according to Bush-Cheney) allowed the moving of resources to Iraq (the falsely justified war that greatly benefited Special Interests and a select few). Now exactly where should the criticisms be placed?

    December 1, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Florence

    Dear President Obama, Afghanis are inherently violent people. These people are wretched and brutal just like their land. You can find the most dangerous and poisonous snakes in the most dry and barren lands. People, animal and vegetation mostly resemble the land they are living in.
    Why do you think Bin Laden picked Afghanistan? He knew very well what these people allegiance is to.
    During the Shah’s era, they used to come to Iran to work. They used to cut the throat of their employer and their families in the middle of the night in order to steal a few bucks from them. Your country trained Mujahidins in Afghanistan and now you have to fight them. These people you are training today will go back to that same hole they crawled from and become tyrants in their own towns and villages. Please don’t teach them these skills.

    December 1, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Mike in MN

    Obama's liberal base will be mad as hell on this one. He will try to calm them down with exit dates. I support the decision but am just thrilled that Obama will take severe heat from the left on this. That is justice. When Bush made the right decision to deploy the surge in Iraq, Obama opposed it, said it would not work and would make things worse, used it as a political point in his campaign. Obama was wrong and he is now making the same decision that Bush did. Beautiful justice.
    And what took so long? Now that he took his time he wants the militiary to hurry up the deployment? He stalled for political reasons and now our troops have to pay the price. White House says "The president is saying this has to happen, so the military will make it happen." Can't get more arragant then that.

    December 1, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Johnnyreb1863

    I am of the belief that the United States wins wars when two things happen. First, you have to have the support of our citizens. When I say support, I don't mean that we merely hang a flag on our homes and repeat "God bless our troops" on Facebook and Twitter. While these are important acts of patriotism, public support of an American war need only look to the WW2 generation for a commitment to total and complete victory. The second factor is a White House administration who is willing to commit fully to the war effort by supplying our military commanders whatever they require to win the war. Everyone wants a quick victory, and rightfully so, but that WILL NOT HAPPEN unless the Obama administration commits totally to finish the job, even if we have to sacrifice a few things here at home. Thats how my grandparents did it, and this country can benefit from that brand of wisdom.

    December 1, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |