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23 August 2017 10:06 (South Africa)

Obama’s Afghanistan speech: More troops, no endless, open-ended commitment

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

us soldiers in afghanistan

Barack Obama told the US (and the world) that America is sending 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan and the first new Marine boots will be on the ground as early as Christmas - and all new forces will be on station by summer 2010. But the American troops will begin returning within the next 19 months. In a speech at the West Point army military academy that was broadcast prime-time throughout America, Obama sold his Afghan strategy to an increasingly sceptical public by pairing it with a specific “exit strategy”. Obama threaded his way between several dilemmas: congressional support for the war is mostly Republican, not his own party’s; the war’s new costs fly in the face of efforts to deal with the federal deficit and the cost of health care reform; the new troop levels will also need support from increasingly reluctant NATO allies; and a difference of opinion as to whether the US goal is defeating the Taliban insurgents or ending Al Qaeda’s ability to harm Americans.  And there is growing concern that a continued connection to the Hamid Karzai regime ties America to a corrupt, incompetent, inefficient Afghan government Read The Daily Maverick analysis later today for more.

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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