By Andrew Berry, Dec 3, 2009 10:56 AM
President Obama has announced a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, and it involves an increase of 30,000 American soldiers over a six month period in addition to the 70,000 presently deployed. The goal is eventually to have Afghan forces take responsibility for their own security in certain regions. This will be achieved through hastened training of Afghan forces and focusing on security for heavily populated areas. Meanwhile, the US government will work on gaining the support of key religious figures and members of the local government in their efforts to thwart Al-Qaeda and turn the tide of the war.
Washington has stressed that this is not an open-ended strategy. This is all supposed to happen in a three year period to allow for the eventual withdrawal of US troops before the end of 2012. In his speech in the Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday, President Obama rejected claims that his new strategy will result in another prolonged war similar to the one we experienced in Vietnam. This, he believes, “depends on a false reading of history.”
Have we really learned our lesson?