The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

President to Outline New Way Forward in Afghanistan

Tonight, President Barack Obama will outline his new plan for Afghanistan in a prime time address to America. The address, which will take place at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point starts at 8 p.m. eastern time and will be broadcast on most major television networks.

The Pentagon has indicated that after months of deliberations that the President has decided to send more than 34,000 additional U.S. troops to quell the continuing violence in Afghanistan. The first new unit will consist of Marines who are scheduled to be in-country before Christmas.

AMVETS leaders have supported American action in Afghanistan since 2001 and have urged military leaders to do everything in their power to assure American military success in the region.

However, AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley cautioned that should the Pentagon continue to escalate America's presence overseas, Congress and the Administration must ensure they fund every aspect of the war, including the war-fighters.

"With more of our men and women going into harm's way, it's our responsibility to ensure they're properly cared for when they return home," Kelley said. "This means increased funding for VA and swift passage of the new VA and defense budgets, which are now two months late."

The President has heard sharp criticism over Afghanistan from both sides of the aisle, with liberals urging the President to cut off further escalation and conservatives urging the President to take decisive action to ensure the success of our men and women in uniform.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs indicated that the President hopes to assure his critics that the decision to send more American troops into harm's way eight years into the conflict is the prudent and responsible decision to preserve American interests in the volatile region.

The additional troops are intended to flush out members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda sympathizers in an effort to stabilize Afghanistan and defeat those responsible for attacking the United States on 9/11.

(Photo: U.S. Marines from 3rd Battalion 4th Marine Regiment patrol outside Now Zad, Afghanistan in Nov. 2009. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Daniel M. Moman, released.)

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