Obama Has Faith in his Afghan Strategy
WASHINGTON: Defending his Afghanistan’s strategy, which he asserted has been successful so far, US President Barack Obama on Monday said the US would continue a significant presence in the region for the years to come.“We’re going to continue to have significant interest in the region for years to come,” said Obama told a joint news conference with his Spanish counterpart.
The president defended his Afghan policy in view of the criticism from his former defense secretary Robert Gates, whose book hit the stalls on Tuesday.“Gates did an outstanding job for me as secretary of defense. As he notes, he and I and the rest of my national security team came up with a strategy for Afghanistan that was the right strategy and we are continuing to execute,” Obama said.
He went on to say: “Whenever you’ve got men and women that you are sending into harm’s way after having already made enormous investments of blood and treasure in another country, then part of your job as Commander-in-Chief is to sweat the details on it and to recognize that there’s enormous sacrifices that are being made, and you’re constantly asking yourselves questions about how you can improve the strategy,” said the US President.
He said the good news was that because of that strategy that they came up with, by the end of this year, they would have completed combat operations in Afghanistan. “We are in a position to continue to assist the Afghan people in making sure that they have a stable country that is working on behalf of the Afghan people and that it is a good partner with us,” he noted.
Obama said he has unwavering confidence in his troops and their performance in some of the most difficult situations imaginable. “That job is not yet done. And I do think it’s important for Americans to recognize that we still have young men and women in harm’s way, along with coalition partners who are continuing to make sacrifices, and we need to see this job all the way through,” he said.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said since Obama adopted it and moved forward his Afghan policy, the US had made enormous progress towards the very clear objectives that the President laid out and which were very much at the heart and very much for the purpose of refining a mission and strategy in Afghanistan. (PAN)