Obama’s Afghanistan Strategy Announcement

President Obama has stated that he will announce his strategy for Afghanistan on December 1, which will be addressed at West Point. It has been reported on that he will likely announce a troop increase between 30,000 and 35,ooo. While this is less than what Gen. McChrystal requested earlier in his assessment, the major spotlight will probably be his exit strategy. All of which will ignite the debate on everything dealing with how you commit to a troop surge to formulating an exit strategy that will ultimately leave Afghanistan and its people in a better way than befor troops first entered country.

The committing to an increase of troops weighs heavily on previous assessments and studies that were presented to Obama. Most controvercial of these assessments was issued by Gen. McChrystal, which found its way leaked into the hands of the media. This itself has presented a hurdle for the Obama team. The very metrics that got the president elected – the social media powerhouses of Facebook and Twitter – have been the distracting factor in easily formulating a plan for Afghanistan. In what is termed “the war of leaks,” the Obama administration has been faced with numerous leaks of information that has forced them to continuously rewrite their strategy. 

The long-awaited plan from Obama has stirred a great deal of controversy, namely speaking how America would exit the Afghan territory. Whatever the announcement may be, one guarantee by Robert Gibbs, White House spokesman, is that the war will not continue on for “another eight or nine years.” Reportedly, the upcomming announcement will include an exit strategy of “off-ramps,” points starting next June which could adopt a more limited strategy or even a halt of deployments.

The reported “off-ramp” strategy | McClatchy:

  • As it now stands, the plan calls for the deployment over a nine-month period beginning in March of three Army brigades from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y., and a Marine brigade from Camp Lejeune, N.C., for as many as 23,000 additional combat and support troops. In addition, a 7,000-strong division headquarters would be sent to take command of U.S.-led NATO forces in southern Afghanistan — to which the U.S. has long been committed — and 4,000 U.S. military trainers would be dispatched to help accelerate an expansion of the Afghan army and police.
  • “We have to start showing progress within six months on the political side or military side or that’s it,” the U.S. defense official said.
  • It’s “not just how we get people there, but what’s the strategy for getting them out,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

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