Washington (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement in response to President Obama's speech about Afghanistan:
“Although this decision took far too long and it should not have, I am glad the president will finally provide General McChrystal with the troops he needs. However, tonight’s speech must be the beginning, not the end, of the case President Obama makes to the American people as to why this is, as he said during the campaign, ‘a war we have to win.’ If the president remains committed to this crucial fight, Republicans – and the American people – will stand with him. But sending mixed signals by outlining the exit before these troops even get on the ground undermines their ability to succeed.”
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/01/art.obamawp2.gi.jpg caption="President Barack Obama called Tuesday for Americans to unite in support of the Afghanistan war effort."] WEST POINT, New York (CNN) - President Barack Obama called Tuesday for Americans to unite in support of the Afghanistan war effort.
"It is easy to forget that when this war began, we were united - bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear," Obama said in announcing the deployment of 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
"I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again," he said to applause at the U.S. Military Academy. "I believe with every fiber of my being that we - as Americans - can still come together behind a common purpose."
(CNN) - Multiple Democrats said today that the similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan are eerie.
(CNN) - The U.S. wants to be your partner not your patron.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/01/art.obamawp5.gi.jpg caption="President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he was setting a timetable for the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan to raise pressure for progress."] WEST POINT, New York (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he was setting a timetable for the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan to raise pressure for progress.
In announcing the deployment of 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, Obama said he rejected the option of committing more forces for an undefined mission of nation-building without any deadlines.
"I reject this course because it sets goals that are beyond what we can achieve at a reasonable cost, and what we need to achieve to secure our interests," Obama said. "Furthermore, the absence of a timeframe for transition would deny us any sense of urgency in working with the Afghan government. It must be clear that Afghans will have to take responsibility for their security, and that America has no interest in fighting an endless war in Afghanistan."
(CNN) - Interesting that with the 30,000 new troops President Obama is sending now – coupled with the 21,000 he sent in March – the recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has sent 51,000 troops to Afghanistan in less than one year in office.
Sign of the high stakes of this decision. We've spent a lot of time talking about health care, which is an important issue. But by sending this many young men and women to war Afghanistan may define his presidency.
WEST POINT, New York (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday the Afghanistan war is different than the Vietnam war that divided America in the 1960s and 70s.
"Unlike Vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action," Obama said in announcing the deployment of an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.
"Unlike Vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency," he said. "And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan, and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border."
WEST POINT, New York (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday the United States has no interest in occupying Afghanistan.
Announcing the deployment of 30,000 more U.S. troops to the country, Obama said in a message to Afghanistan: "We have no interest in occupying your country."
"We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens," Obama said. "And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect - to isolate those who destroy; to strengthen those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner, and never your patron."
(CNN) - It is unclear if President Obama's tough words for President Hamid Karzai are enough to reassure skeptical Democrats. Even hawkish Democratic Rep. Jane Harman opposes the president, in large part, because of the corruption problems surrounding the Afghan president.
(CNN) – Big question on "deadline." What happens if the border on the Pakistani side is not under control in 18 months? Does the U.S. still begin to leave Afghanistan?