Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama to Call For Economic Aid for Afghanistan Region

Obama will outline his plan for the region tomorrow.
NPR: President Obama will outline his new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Friday in an effort to regain the initiative in the faltering Afghan war.

The president is expected to announce that he'll send an additional 4,000 American troops to Afghanistan to act as advisors and trainers for the Afghan security forces. That's in addition to the 17,000 extra troops he has already ordered to be in place this year. The advisors and trainers will help with an effort by American commanders to double the size of the Afghan military by 2011.

The president's plan also is expected to call for hundreds more civilian experts to help build Afghanistan's economy, infrastructure and civil society. The idea there is to combat the Taliban insurgency by showing Afghans that the government can offer them a better life.
Republican respresentative Pete Hoekstra tweets:
Pres outlines revised Afghan/Pak straegy tomorrow.Got briefed in Intell todayThere's nothing easy about this.
From Marc Ambinder:
President Barack Obama's new posture toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, to be unveiled tomorrow, codifies for the first time Iran's role in regional diplomacy, emphasizes counterterrorism as the primary mission of U.S. policy, and includes a multi-modal surge of civilians and economic aid to both countries.

According to people who have been briefed on the results of the policy review, Obama plans to emphasize results-driven cooperation with both countries. He will endorse a Senate bill, authored by Sens. John Kerry and Richard Lugar, that would condition a significant increase in aid to Pakistan on measurable improvements in Pakistan's internal efforts to combat terrorism. (President Obama and Vice President Biden were cosponsors of the bill in the Senate.)

In seeking to reassure Americans that help to Pakistan is contingent on internal reforms, he plans to stress that Americans will work with those in both countries who demonstratively seek peace and reconciliation. read the rest