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article imageObama's Afghanistan announcement sends mixed messages'

By Michael Bearak     Dec 2, 2009 in Politics
President Obama yesterday announced his plan to provide 30,000 additional troops and then promised the United States would withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011.
Digital Journal's Andrew Moran reported yesterday on President Obama's announcement to furnish an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in support of the troops that are already there.
At the same time, he committed to beginning our withdrawal in July of 2011. Republicans have been in support of General Stanley McChrystal and an increase in troops to resolve the war in Afganistan. Democrats at the same time repeatedly have voiced their request for a withdrawl from the region. President Obama make campaign promises to work for bipartisanship, and that was how many Republicans received the President's consideration of additional troops.
The Democrats had threatened to "spank" the president if he deployed more troops. At the same time Republicans offered open arms as this was a sign of bipartisanship by Obama. Originally General Stanley McChrystal had asked for 40,000 troops, and initial reports had the President leaning towards 35,000 when the Democrats threatened to "spank" him.
Now that Obama has made his decision he has to answer to the troops and the reactions of their families. Fox News is reporting, that there is mixed feelings amongst troops and their families concerning the deployment with the attached withdrawal announcement. Many people hope that more soldiers aren't being sent over in vein. The underlying tone is that the troops are being sent without the intention of winning the war but rather just getting the U.S. to the point of complete withdrawal.
Army Pfc. Jeff Williams, an infantryman with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, said he's "more than ready" to go. He said his unit had trained for Iraq, but the deployment was recently called off. The 23-year-old soldier said he'd like to join the fight in Afghanistan, though his parents might have misgivings.
"I'm sure they'd hate it, but that's why I got in -- to fight the fight," Williams said. "The surge worked in Iraq. If we had a surge in Afghanistan, I'm sure it would work too."
If the words of Pfc. Williams are correct and Afghanistan plays out like Iraq, then President Obama can find himself on the happy end of winning the war and getting us out of Afghanistan.
Still, fears exist that the commitment to begin the withdrawal in July of 2011 will weaken our position and leave the job unfinished.
More about Obama, Afghanistan, Troops, Withdrawal, Republicans
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