President Obama has not yet publicly announced his new strategy for Afghanistan, but already there is fierce debate about what is likely to work.
The US leader is expected to announce later today the deployment of an extra 30-40,000 American soldiers to Afghanistan. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs: “I think what’s been done in this process is somewhat unprecedented on the issue of Afghanistan … I think everybody involved made this policy stronger, and I think the American people can be proud of both the process and the decision that the president will announce tonight. This is going to be an international effort. This is not one country or one region of the world’s problems.” Observers say if Obama’s plan is going to work, his administration needs to fix its relationship with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Others want more precise details about a future exit strategy. Boston University International Relations Professor William Keylor said: “The question is, what is the goal? How do you finish this war? When can you announce mission accomplished, and I think that is a big question mark that he’s hopefully going to try to answer in his speech.” Western countries are voicing concern about reports of widespread corruption in Afghanistan and what some say is Karzai’s ineffectiveness. But Afghan politicians say exchanging accusations is not going to defeat the Taliban.