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19 November 2017 10:34 (South Africa)

Obama promises Afghan troops plan, but first a Thanksgiving holiday

Barack Obama insists Americans will support the troops' mission in Afghanistan, once the implications of losing this war become clear. He expects to spell out his strategic plan and decision on further troop deployments (following a marathon of debate within the administration over the past several months following the US commander in  Afghanistan's secret but highly publicized proposal for more troops) next Tuesday in an address to the nation on TV. The war in Afghanistan has now run for over eight years.
Explaining his impending decision, Obama said yesterday at his press conference with the Indian president that, "I intend to finish the job," he said. This reassuring if somewhat contradictory signal ? that by adding troops he can speed the United States toward an exit ? is just the first of a set of tricky messages Mr. Obama will have to deliver as he rolls out his strategy publicly. He will be delivering multiple messages to multiple audiences: voters at home, allies, the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the extremists who are the enemy. Military officials are telling the media that they expect a new troop deployment of more than 30,000 troops, and one that could bring the cost above $75 billion annually. For more, information, read AP and the New York Times

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