Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The World Reacts to Obama's Afghanistan Plan

AP Photo

Last night the world tuned in to watch President Obama formally announce that an additional 30,000 troops will be sent to aid in the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

"I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan...I do not make this decision lightly. I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake."

The President's decision has been highly anticipated following Bob Woodward's article in The Washington Post on September 21, 2009 that exposed the details of a confidential 66-page report in which top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal suggests that if more troops are not sent overseas, U.S. Military efforts "will likely result in failure."

Check out this collection of responses and opinions about President Obama's announcement from past Connecticut Forum panelists:

Matthew Dowd

"Bottom line: Good speech, lots of eloquence, little lasting political effect. Nine months ago nearly two-thirds of the country approved of President Obama's handling of Afghanistan. Today, a majority of the country disapproves. This speech will make little difference in that measure, in the president's overall approval rating or in the public's will to keep fighting this war. " more

Arianna Huffington

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Mo Rocca

(Via Twitter) "Obama to send 30,002 troops to Afghanistan (congrats, Tareq and Michaele Salahi! This time you're invited.)"

Thomas Friedman

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Richard Holbrooke

“I feel very strongly that Afghanistan is the ultimate test of Nato and the western alliance.”
Arguing that the consequences of failure would be far worse than those suffered by the US following its withdrawal from Vietnam. more

Andrew Sullivan

"I think this strategy is doomed. But then I think any strategy that does not pledge to colonize Afghanistan, pour trillions of dollars into it and stay for a century is doomed. So why do I end up this morning feeling rather similar to my colleague, Jim Fallows, who simply sighs
: 'Well, I hope he's right"?" more

Newt Gingrich

Michael Moore

"President Obama, it's time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, "No, we don't need health care, we don't need jobs, we don't need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, 'cause we don't need them, either." more

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