Mixed reactions to US troop surge

08:10, December 03, 2009      

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The world's media and vested-interest holders have mixed views toward the troop-adding plan announced by US President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

The Washington Post's editorial heartily endorsed the troop escalation as "both correct and courageous: correct because it is the only way to prevent a defeat that would endanger this country and its vital interests; and courageous because (Obama) is embarking on a difficult and costly mission that is opposed by a large part of his own party."

The editorial said, "the muted response from key Democratic congressional leaders and the skepticism from Republicans about an exit strategy signaled that the president faces a stiff fight to sell the policy."

The deployment of 30,000 more troops is a victory for proponents of the buildup within the US military, who say it will breathe new life into a flagging eight-year-old war that would have ended in defeat otherwise.

"Obama sent more troops because the security situation in Afghanistan is getting severely worse," said Yuan Peng, director of the Department of American Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. "An immediate retreat would tag the US with failure."

But Obama did not give General Stanley McChrystal, the top US and NATO commander on the ground, all of the 40,000 troops he sought.

"Obama made the deployment with a conditional offer that the US will retreat all its troops by the end of 2011, since he has seen the risks," Yuan said.

Nicknamed "the Tomb of Empires," mountainous, arid and landlocked Afghanistan has foiled invasion attempts by Britain and the Soviet Union.

Obama, in his speech Tuesday, demanded success more quickly, calling for US forces to start pulling out in mid-2011.

"The outcome of additional troops is still a wait-and-see situation," Ni Feng, director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. "Obama was too optimistic at the very beginning."

Source:Global Times
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