The United States has a new strategy for Afghanistan that will focus on beefing up the Afghan security forces, with a so-called ‘civilian surge’ to give re-construction and development projects a major push. 4,000 extra US troops will be sent to train the Afghan military, on top of 17,000 President Obama has already ordered in.
Administration officials gave a preview of Obama’s announcement which comes with violence in Afghanistan at a peak. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said: “The president asked the team here at the White House, and within his administration, to conduct a review and to base that review, not simply on a strategy for one country and one place – but for the first time (to) take a regional approach to the problem.” Officials believe Osama bin Laden is being protected at hide-outs in tribal areas on the Pakistani border where they are plotting renewed attacks on the US and its allies. The new strategy aims to destroy al-Qaeda’s support network militarily, while aggressively pursuing regional diplomacy.