Politics

President Obama Rejects Open-Ended Fight in Afghanistan

President Obama Tuesday night laid out a timeframe for an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to be sent to Afghanistan. The President wants those troops to deploy in the "fastest pace possible" which would be early next year. His overall strategy to combat extremists in Afghanistan includes American forces leaving the country after 18 months. The President told the audience at the United States Military Academy at West Point, "we will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months."

we will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 monthswe will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months.

Critics are concerned with the President's strategy to begin pulling troops out of Afghanistan after a year and a half. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says the President's message sends out "mixed signals by outlining the exit before these troops even get on the ground undermines their ability to succeed." Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander suggests the Obama administration should focus more on the immediate task. The Senator released a statement saying, "an exit strategy should come only after we've achieved success."

The President has previously announced deadlines that he hasn't been able to meet. Shortly after taking office, the President said he would close Guantanamo Bay by the end of 2009 but in an interview with Fox News' Major Garrett last month said, "I'm not going to set an exact date."

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