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Archive for December 1st, 2009|Daily archive page

Marching Orders: Live Blogging Obama’s Afghan Speech.

In Media, Politics, War on December 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm

President Obama is giving a much-awaited announcement on his intentions for the conflict in Afghanistan tonight from Eisenhower Hall at West Point. I am following along with commentary:

The Commander-in-Chief Emerges | 8:03 p.m. To a substantial, sustained, but not striking applause, Obama emerged, waving with a staid smile to a sea of gray-uniformed cadets.

Past is Prologue | 8:11 p.m. He’s just finished summarizing the history of Afghanistan’s relationship to 9/11, our deployment in the region, and how the war in Iraq has withheld resources from it, without placing blame, but acknowledging the controversy of that war.

30-Large | 8:15 p.m. The official number leaked earlier has now come out of his mouth: 30,000 troops will head to Afghanistan by this summer, “the fastest possible pace.”

Three Means Justifying Three Ends  | 8:23 p.m. He hasn’t mentioned any metrics for the outcomes in the speech, but he outlined each of his objectives: to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven, reverse the Taliban’s influence, and strengthen security forces and the sovereign government. The intended means to accomplishing these are a military effort, a civilian surge, and an effective partnership with Pakistan.

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