President Obama laid out the government's new strategy for Afghanistan today, declaring that the US must “disrupt, defeat, and dismantle” al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Obama will send another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan, on top of the 17,000 already approved. He also announced plans to work with regional powers, including Iran, to contain the threat emanating from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
Should its government fall, Afghanistan “will be a base for terrorists who want to kill us,” Obama said, vowing to “use all elements of our national power,” to prevent that. Aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan will, for the first time, be linked to performance benchmarks. He placed special emphasis on Pakistan, saying that it “needs our help” to fight the terrorists.