Troop Deployments to Begin in 2-3 Weeks
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that troop deployments in accordance with President Obama’s new strategy in Afghanistan will be in 2-3 weeks. Gates affirmed that the “goal of the United States in Afghanistan and Pakistan is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaeda and to prevent its return to both countries. The international military effort to stabilize Afghanistan is necessary to achieve this overarching goal.” A failure in Afghanistan, according to Gates, would mean a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and reconstitution of a safe haven for al Qaeda to recruit and plan terrorist operations.
President Obama’s comprehensive new strategy will carry dual goals: the killing or capture of terrorist leaders while also securing populations centers and restoring civilian faith in the Afghan government. General David Petraeus emphasized the need to establish security and stability “so that local individuals don’t have to choose sides to go with the Taliban because they’re threatened or because it’s the only way they can earn a living for their family.”