Obama sends 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan

16:07, December 02, 2009      

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U.S. President Barack Obama said he will deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in the first part of 2010, in his prime time address in the United States Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday night.

The first batch of additional troops will arrive by Christmas and the overall buildup will be completed by next summer, "the fastest pace possible."

He said the troops will "break the Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months," by targeting the insurgency and securing key population centers, and increasing training to Afghan security forces.

The additional troops are part of a military effort to create the conditions for a transition, Obama said, arguing the Afghan war is not "another Vietnam." He said maintaining the current troop level in Afghanistan will only maintain a status quo in which the United States muddles through, and permit it to deteriorate slowly.

However, Obama said he will reject goals that cannot be achieved at a reasonable cost, and what is needed to be achieved to secure the United States' interest, saying his country has no interest in fighting an endless war in Afghanistan, and the Afghans will have to take responsibility for their security.

Explaining his lack of interest in being responsible for Afghanistan's security forever, Obama said the United States is still emerging from an economic crisis, and the nation he's most interested in building is his own.

Obama also said the days of "providing a blank check" to Afghanistan is over, saying his government will support Afghan ministries, governors and local leaders who combat corruption and deliver for the people.

Source: Xinhua
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