Obama to announce Afghan policy on Wednesday
“I can confirm that the Afghanistan speech (by the President) would be on Wednesday,” said a senior administration official on condition of anonymity, who is familiar with the decision-making process regarding Afghanistan.
However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted that Obama has not yet made a decision regarding the announcement, although he noted that it is expected soon. “The president is still in the process of finalizing his decision on the pace and scope of the drawdown that will begin in July of 2011,” Carney said.
Carney said the president is still consulting with his national security team and military commanders.
Carney, however, hinted at things to come without giving away many details. “This would be probably that time to review what the mission in Afghanistan was, as the President set out in his announcement on December 1st, 2009 – which is, disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat Al Qaeda, to break the momentum of the Taliban and to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan to allow the Afghan government and the Afghan security forces to begin the process of taking over the security lead in their country,” he said.
“We have made significant progress towards achieving those goals,” he said. “Obviously, the most sensational and significant data point in that progress is the elimination of Osama bin Laden. But, there has been enormous progress in disrupting and dismantling Al Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region beyond and below Osama bin Laden.”
He said there has been significant progress in disrupting the momentum of the Taliban, as well as stabilizing Afghanistan to allow Afghan national security forces to build up, train and prepare for taking over the security lead.
“So [Obama] looks at this decision as a part of a process, of a policy he put in motion in December of 2009. He said at the time that he would begin the drawdown of the surge forces in July of 2011. That will happen; the pace and slope of that will depend on his assessment of how far we have come in achieving the goals that he set out,” Carney said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.