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A defining moment in Obama's presidency?

The president is set to stress America's commitment to Afghanistan, but many Afghans fear the expected US troop increase will simply lead to more hardship for their countrymen.

Last modified: 1 Dec 2009 01:24
Photo by EPA

As the world waits to find out exactly how many more US troops will be deployed in Afghanistan ... a handful of people all ready know.
 
President Obama’s given the order and begun the phased roll-out of the plans by briefing senior defence officials and civilian advisers
 
The White House says the commander-in-chief will stress the US commitment to Afghanistan is not open ended and will require more effort from Afghan forces too.
 
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said:
 
"This commitment that we are there to partner with the Afghanis to train the Afghan national security forces the army and the police ... so that they can provide security for their country and wage the battle against an unpopular insurgency in their country."
 
Hours ahead of the Obama announcement the British Prime Minister announced plans to up the UK's troop numbers in Afghanistan by 500.
 
"I can confirm that we will move to a new force level of nine and a half thousand.  The extra troops will deploy in early December to thicken the UK troop presence in central Helmand and from late January they will make their transition to the partnering role we envisage for them."
 
In Afghanistan itself many people oppose ANY increase in foreign troop numbers.When the decision on Afghanistan is finally handed down a number of Federal departments in Washington DC will immediately leap into action.
 
One resident of Kandahar said: "The situation in Afghanistan will not be resolved by the military.  We have to learn the lesson which the Russians learned - they could not win and they were defeated."
 
President Obama will spend a large part of his time before the speech briefing foreign leaders and members of Congress on his plans for Afghanistan.
 
Another pointed out that: "If they increase troop numbers they will bomb the houses of innocent people, they will kill more innocent Muslims, they will search more homes and this is going to be a bad disaster for the country."
 
A third said: "I only left my village in Gerish district because of the fighting.  The reality is whenever there was a single attack on the Americans they were destroying the all the village."

First the Pentagon which will be responsible for the actual deployment of the new troops, however many extra there turn out to be.

But also the State Department the hub for diplomatic relations between the United States and its partners in the Afghan conflict.
 
Then there's the Congress which will have to green light funding for the new deployments.
 
Last, there's the White House which will refine President Obama's speech right until the moment he speaks at West point on Tuesday.
 
The President will detail the resource requirements for Afghanistan and the trade-offs that will be necessary to pay for it.
 
When the announcement comes - in many ways it’ll just be the beginning of the process – a troop deployment will still have to be financially supported by a Congress which has voiced increasing scepticism on the U.S. role in Afghanistan.