At a joint press conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday, US President Barack Obama promised to unveil his much-anticipated decision on US involvement in Afghanistan “shortly”.
AFP - US President Barack Obama promised Tuesday he would unveil his decision "shortly" on whether to escalate the war in Afghanistan and pledged: "It is my intention to finish the job."
"I will be making an announcement to the American people about how we intend to move forward. I will be doing so shortly," Obama said during a joint public appearance at the White House with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Obama vowed to give the US public, sharply divided over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, a "clear rationale" for his decision and predicted Americans would be "supportive."
"After eight years, some of those years in which we did not have, I think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done, it is my intention to finish the job," he said.
"It is in our strategic interests, in our national security interest, to make sure that Al-Qqaeda and its extremist allies cannot operate effectively in those areas. We are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks."
Obama said Afghanistan's "stability" was critical to Washington's goals but made no mention of building a democracy where the Islamist Taliban militia ruled until ousted by US-led forces after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
The US president also said he would spell out "the obligations of our international partners in this process" and said ultimately Afghans "are going to have to provide for their own security."
"So we'll be discussing that process whereby Afghan security forces are properly trained and equipped to do the job," said Obama.
Amid news reports that he may announce the plan in a prime-time Tuesday speech, Obama said he would speak out after Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday but gave no clear indication on timing.
Date created : 2009-11-24