On Tuesday evening, US President Barack Obama will finally announce his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan. After months of deliberation, the president is expected to announce an escalation of US presence across the Durand Line by more than 30,000 troops. This represents a 50 per cent increase over the 68,000 troops already fighting in Afghanistan.
Speaking at the US Military Academy at West Point, Obama will emphasise that the goal of the troop surge is to stabilise Afghanistan and help build and train the country’s military and police forces.
In the US, and especially within the Democratic party, there are many critics of Obama’s decision. They say that the war has become too costly – it costs US$ 1 million, per soldier, per year – that military casualties are increasing, and that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is too marred by accusations of corruption to prove a viable ally against the Taliban.
A recent poll by USA Today/Gallup shows that 57 per cent of Democrats favour beginning a withdrawal from Afghanistan, while 72 per cent of Republicans back the troop increase.
What do you think of Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan? Do you think a bolstered US presence will help win the war against terrorism? How will this decision impact the political and security situation in Pakistan?
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