President Obama Outlines Afghan Strategy

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is telling the nation tonight that he's sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, even as he vows that U.S. forces will start coming home in July of 2011.

The escalation is supposed to be completed by next summer -- quicker than originally planned. And it's aimed at reversing the significant gains by the Taliban since Obama took office 10 months ago.

There will also be an emphasis on speedier training of Afghan police and soldiers in preparation for an eventual U.S. pullout.

The speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., follows three months of deliberations.

And it comes as a new survey by the Gallup organization suggests that only 35 percent of Americans now approve of Obama's handling of the war.

Obama's plan is already being met with skepticism in Congress, where some liberal Democrats are threatening to try to block funding for the troop increase. And Republicans say setting a timetable for a withdrawal will demonstrate weakness.

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