US to send 34,000 more troops to Afghanistan

President Barack Obama vowed to “finish the job” in Afghanistan as he finalizes a decision on deploying tens of thousands of more troops to turn around the war against the Taliban.Amid reports he will authorize 34,000 more US soldiers to take on Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, Obama said he was determined to wipe out the insurgency and would end months of deliberation after Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Obama, accused of dithering on his decision, said he would make it clear “the Afghan people ultimately are going to have to provide for their own security,” and would call on allies in Europe and beyond to help. “After eight years, some of those years in which we did not have, I think, wither the resources or the strategy to get the job done, it is my intention to finish the job,” he said after talks on Tuesday with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. “We are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks. And Afghanistan’s stability is important to that process.

Obama faces a public sharply divided on the war and calls from Democratic allies to set a flexible timetable for withdrawal eight years after US-led forces invaded Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks. “I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we are doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals, that they will be supportive,” he predicted. Obama also said “the whole world” has a responsibility to help the US-led mission in Afghanistan, and his announcement would detail “the obligations of our international partners.” The president has been weighing requests from his Afghan war commander, General Stanley McChrystal, to send up to 40,000 more troops to join 68,000 US troops already there.

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