Obama Expected to Increase Troops in Afghanistan

November 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
President Obama presided over his first State Dinner Tuesday night. It proved to be a night off for the president amid his laundry list of problems from Afghanistan to the economy. Hosting his first state dinner at the White House Wednesday, President Obama, on the surface, didn't look like a man weighed down by what-could-end up being the most important decision of his presidency.

"My intention to finish the job."

That job is Afghanistan, where the Commander-In-Chief is expected to send 30,000 more U.S. troops. The mission: not nation-building, but to hunt down Al Qaeda.

"W we are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks."

The latest ABC News/Washington Post Poll reveals the public is turning against the president's handling of the war, with 48% expressing disapproval, 45% expressing approval.

He will announce the escalation in an address to the nation Tuesday night from the West Point Military Academy.

ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos said, "It's tricky because he's going to make the argument that we need to send more troops now to get out more quickly. That's what people really want to hear."

How to pay for the new strategy, estimated at roughly $1-million dollars per troop per year, is also a growing concern.

Mr. Obama will have to reach out to Republicans, who oppose him on health care, for authorization of the extra funds.

Some democrats want a war tax "I think that would be a stated purpose of adding some additional income tax to the upper brackets; folks earning more than $200,000 or $250,000," said Senator Carl Levin (D) Michigan.

The president's address Tuesday night is expected to last between 30 and 40 minutes.


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