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Obama to Propose Funds for Afghanistan, Harder Line in Pakistan


In a speech Wednesday in Washington, Sen. Barack Obama will support more military aid for Afghanistan. (AP).

Sen. Barack Obama will propose deploying two additional U.S brigades to Afghanistan in a speech Wednesday mapping out his approach to combating terrorism, an adviser said.

Following up on his vigorous debate with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton over how to handle leaders of hostile states, Obama will "talk forthrightly" about the need to take action across the border in Pakistan if United States intelligence officials believe they have actionable intelligence about terrorist activity.

Administration officials have said in recent weeks that they reserve the right to act unilaterally against al-Qaeda and the Taliban inside Pakistan, something that has strained relations with Islamabad.

The speech at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington will be prefaced with an introduction by Lee Hamilton -- who was vice chairman of the 9/11 commission -- and appears designed to help build Obama's credentials on foreign policy. It also comes at a time when he is being pressed by Clinton and her surrogates on his readiness to perform on the world stage.

Nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks brought foreign terrorism to US soil, Obama intends to underscore what he argues is one of President Bush's greatest failings -- his inability to capture Osama bin Laden -- by proposing higher troop levels in the region. He will also propose doubling US military aid to Afghanistan and putting restrictions in military aid to Pakistan, making it conditional on keeping ungoverned regions, particularly Waziristan, under tight control, the adviser said. The adviser declined to release other details of the speech.

--Anne E. Kornblut

Posted at 4:56 PM ET on Jul 31, 2007  | Category:  Barack Obama
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You all are talking as if we're going to be in iraq forever. Obama wants to get out of iraq and focus on going after AL-QUEDA, not invading pakistan. He doesn want to start a war with pakistan, pakistan doent support Al-Queda. He slimply wants to attack Bin-Laden and his men, where ever they are. If they're in Afganistan then he will get them there, if they're on the pakistan border then he'll get them there.

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 1, 2007 5:50 PM

bs i mon, you miss the point. "the need to take action across the border in Pakistan" means invasion, if you are Pakistani and not an egocentric American. Unless you believe in Nixonspeak, as Jonakallgren suggests.

Posted by: drjane2005 | August 1, 2007 3:15 PM

So - now when the war is failing in both Iraq and Afghanistan we need to get involved in another country. Substitute Iraq for Vietnam and Pakistan for Cambodia and you might think it is Nixon running for president.

Posted by: Jonakallgren | August 1, 2007 2:45 PM

drjane2005- I think you miss the point. The goal is not to invade Pakistan, it is to ferret out al Qaida, which has moved from Afghanistan to Pakistan. If you consult the National Intelligence Estimate released recently, you'll see that al Qaida has 'regenerated' itself and is now as strong as it was in 2001 - and based in Waziristan, which is in the mtns between Pakistan & Afghanistan. Sen Obama is talking about putting the focus back on al Qaida leadership & their bases in that area, whereas the Bush plan has focused on Iraq. The piece above doesn't address where the troops will come from, or what the Senator's plans are for Iraq, but I, for one, applaud the effort to return focus on the people that attacked us. Unfortunately, that doesn't solve the Iraq problem, which still requires some leadership.

Posted by: bsimon | August 1, 2007 12:35 PM

Are you kidding! Doesn't he know that Pakistan has a "real" army and air force and nuclear weapons? What does he expect them to do when we invade their national sovereignty?
Talk about Bush/Cheney thinking!! He better dance out of this one fast or Hillary/Bill will be serving this up forever.

Posted by: drjane2005 | August 1, 2007 12:23 PM

Bill Clinton coming out for Hillary to defend her against Barack is a sure sign that Hillary cannot win without Bill. What's more, most people who support Hillary for President think they're getting Bill back. Not so!!! I, for one, believe that after being voted in to office, Hillary CERTAILY would NOT turn over power to Bill Clinton. I call Hillary "the evil one." (I STILL love Bill Clinton.) Lastly, Hillary got exactly what she deserved from Barack -- she had been attacking him every chance she got, which bothered me a lot because that's democrat against democrat (we can't have that). But it was obvious to me that all she was doing was just saying the opposite of whatever Barack said, AND SHE WAS WRONG THIS TIME!!! We don't need anymore "closed door" presidents!!! If Hillary wants to shut out the rest of the world, she can do that now, from where she is right now! We don't need "closed door politics" coming out of the White House ever again!

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 1, 2007 12:05 PM

Bill Clinton coming out for Hillary to defend her against Barack is a sure sign that Hillary cannot win without Bill. What's more, most people who support Hillary for President think they're getting Bill back. Not so!!! I, for one, believe that after being voted in to office, Hillary CERTAILY would NOT turn over power to Bill Clinton. I call Hillary "the evil one." (I STILL love Bill Clinton.) Lastly, Hillary got exactly what she deserved from Barack -- she had been attacking him every chance she got, which bothered me a lot because that's democrat against democrat (we can't have that). But it was obvious to me that all she was doing was just saying the opposite of whatever Barack said, AND SHE WAS WRONG THIS TIME!!! We don't need anymore "closed door" presidents!!! If Hillary wants to shut out the rest of the world, she can do that now, from where she is right now! We don't need "closed door politics" coming out of the White House ever again!

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 1, 2007 12:05 PM

Obama speech is a diSplay of hypocracy !!
The "liberal - left" leadership of the Democratic party and its news madia has spent almost 7 years condeming the Bush adm. decision of "war" agaist terrorism and, dictatorships involved in genocide of
its citizens, with unilateral military action in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Now that these liberals must campaign, and get support of the American voters, they have to again resort to a favorite Democratic strategy and "flip flop" on their position.
Obama now advocates tha same action as the Bush adm... He and the liberals OWE BUSH A BIG APOLOGY !!!
foreign policy

Posted by: jhutt123 | August 1, 2007 11:33 AM

Obama speech is a diSplay of hypocracy !!
The "liberal - left" leadership of the Democratic party and its news madia has spent almost 7 years condeming the Bush adm. decision of "war" agaist terrorism and, dictatorships involved in genocide of
its citizens, with unilateral military action in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Now that these liberals must campaign, and get support of the American voters, they have to again resort to a favorite Democratic strategy and "flip flop" on their position.
Obama now advocates tha same action as the Bush adm... He and the liberals OWE BUSH A BIG APOLOGY !!!
foreign policy

Posted by: jhutt123 | August 1, 2007 11:33 AM

Not the brightest idea around, is it?

"We've destabilized Iraq and Afghanistan, let's destabilize Pakistan next!"

Really, there should be some concept of not creating new enemies in order to win elections.

Posted by: Observer2700 | August 1, 2007 11:04 AM

While I like Obama's ideas about returning the focus to Afghanistan, opening the door about invading Pakistan is worrying. I'm sure Obama doesn't have plans of a regime change there, but the idea of opening up yet another front in this war is concerning. It would put additional strain on our military, even if we pulled completely out of Iraq before something like this would happen. Fortunately, Obama has attached some caveats to his proposal: he's giving Musharef (ugh, I know I misspelled the name-- sorry) a chance to work with the United States on terrorism. And, unlike Bush and his administration, I don't think Obama is hoping to start a war.

Posted by: ChristineS1 | August 1, 2007 10:50 AM

So Obama would run away from Iraq and launch a new adventure in Pakistan? What a fool. Mr Obama should pay more attention to why US military power has failed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: jaduboy | August 1, 2007 9:56 AM

I believe this is a bold and good approach to our problems. What I like about Obama is that he gives a sober but thoughtful look into our issues. He seems to have good judgment and would bring a new calm but tried and true aggressive view along with thoughtful implementation towards our major issues. He also is surrounding himself with people I also trust. I believe Obama would be strong on the war on terror and would advance true diplomacy and America's true ideals. What he brings to the table the business community as well as the common man should be excited about. Guts - the ability to exert effort for the accomplishment of a task and to push towards the end result. He also brings, "Hope" being a desire with anticipation of things unseen but longed for. "Hope" also fights back because if its not preserved we loose what has made us great, the desire to be better than ourselves.

Marcellus W.D. Crews

Posted by: crews2me | August 1, 2007 9:29 AM

Well, here comes Obama. Talk about the carrot, or speaking softly and carrying a big stick.
This is a big part of it. He is on target in warning international thugs. He reminds one of Colin Powell's approach, of first using open forthright and frank communication with international counterparts and adversaries to establish the moarl frameworks for peaceful resolution or to sustain short and overwhelming deployments of force if required to achieve specific ends.
Now we know why Mr. Obama is not afraid to talk with dictators and so do they. As a candidate he is already performing a selfless Executive service to the nation, by putting some iron teeth in Mr. Bush's unfortunate mush mouth in speaking about a real war on terrorist and truly pursuing the bad guys, wherever.

Posted by: empireport | August 1, 2007 8:11 AM

Hillary had an idea? When? Her "ideas" are usually scripted by her consultants.

Obama is a brave guy. He's going to the Reagan building to speak of GWB's failures and his own foreign policy vision. The contrast should be striking.

It's time to focus on the problem, which is in the mountains of Pakistan, not Baghdad.

Posted by: bilweeler | August 1, 2007 7:24 AM

this is not in any way, shape, or form hillary's idea. she is probably involved somehow, maybe the author of some supportive legislation to back this up but she didnt start this. if she did, believe me she would not stop talking about it to the press, she would be giving the speech, not him. Obama is serious about going after Al Qaueda and doesnt want to wait until he is sworn in to do so.

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 1, 2007 1:29 AM

Wha? This is Hillary's idea?

Posted by: zyl1298 | July 31, 2007 10:43 PM

Ha, this is so funny. What an absolute phony. This is Hillary's idea I think. She is laying the ground work to get Pakistani and US troops to go into Pakistan to get Bin Laden. And, of course, he's giving the speech at the Ronald Reagan Building.

Posted by: hbp1 | July 31, 2007 10:40 PM

Iraq was a distraction that should have never been authorized by Clinton and co.

Now, let the real leaders bring us back to the battle we should have focused on.

How can someone look at the number of people dead in Iraq and forgive Hillary Clinton for voting for the war? Edwards has apologized remorsely for his mistake, but Hillary remains as arrogant and heartless as she was when she voted yes.

Posted by: zrarieh | July 31, 2007 8:32 PM

can't wait to hear this speech. perhaps obama is hitting his stride. he obviously is relishing the fallout from the dust-up. clinton wants to move on, while he wants to "continue the discussion".

Posted by: fourgirlsoneboy | July 31, 2007 6:51 PM

can't wait to hear this speech. perhaps obama is hitting his stride. he obviously is relishing the fallout from the dust-up. clinton wants to move on, while he wants to "continue the discussion".

Posted by: fourgirlsoneboy | July 31, 2007 6:50 PM

It's about time that Afghanistan gets more attention. Iraq is all we ever hear.

Posted by: barrypatricia | July 31, 2007 6:22 PM

I am impressed with his approach to solving problem. I think it is time to start fighting in a right battle field.

Posted by: gbuze007 | July 31, 2007 6:12 PM

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