President Barack Obama announced significant additional military and civilian resources for Afghanistan and significant additional civilian resources for Pakistan during a public address last night at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. Noting that the goal of stabilizing Afghanistan and the region is in the common interests of the international community, the President stressed that success will require a sustained international political, diplomatic and economic commitment. The U.S. consulted extensively with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, regional countries, ISAF allies and partners and other interested parties as part of its review process, and the President’s decision has been informed by these international consultations.
The President emphasized that the international military mission in Afghanistan will be narrow, time-limited, and clearly defined. U.S. and international forces from 43 other nations will accelerate and expand training of the Afghan National Security Forces, so that the Afghans can take the lead in securing their own country consistent with the vision outlined by President Karzai in his inaugural address. In addition, the President outlined significant civilian resources and improved coordination of assistance to build Afghan capacity and improve life for the Afghan people. Regarding Pakistan, the President called for efforts that will enhance the Pakistani government’s capacity to address the immediate needs of the Pakistani people, facilitate sustainable economic growth, and build on its success against militants. The President announced the core U.S. goal on March 27, 2009, and it has not changed: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and to prevent their return to either Afghanistan or Pakistan in the future.
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