The US President Barack Obama is poised to unveil a new strategy aimed at turning around America’s military campaign in Afghanistan. The review is expected to give extra emphasis to re-construction and civilian projects. With violence at an all time high in Afghanistan, the new policy will also focus on destroying al Qaeda safe havens as the US continues its efforts to roll back the Taliban insurgency.
A further 4,000 US troops will be sent to the region, in addition to the 17,000 already ordered. That brings America’s total contribution to almost 60,000 along with 30,000 other foreign forces. With reports suggesting the UK is also set to boost its 8,000-strong commitment, the US surge will also centre on reconstruction and the training of Afghan security forces. While a leading Taliban commander has already poured scorn on the proposed plan, US officials say the revised strategy will aggressively pursue a regional approach, joining both Afghanistan and Pakistan policy into a single challenge. The West believes Osama bin Laden is being sheltered in hide-outs in tribal areas on the Pakistan-Afghan border. But targeting militants has been a controversial issue, with US robot air strikes angering Pakistan’s government.