More troops are headed to Afghanistan as the President battles waning public opinion. President Obama ran on a campaign calling Afghanistan the “right war” to fight. Shortly after taking office he bumped troop levels by 20-thousand, an action UW-Madison political scientist Charles Franklin says had strong public backing, noting 60-percent support last spring for Obama’s handling of the war.
In August the top US commander in the region, General Stanley McChrystal, said 40-thousand more boots are ground are needed to complete the mission. Critics have railed Obama for sitting on the recommendation for several months. Franklin says falling presidential approval ratings on the war preceded this period of decision making. The co-founder of pollster.com says rather it is the dilemma of sending more troops to a war with no end sight or withdrawing military which will lead to a safe haven for terrorism.
On Tuesday, Obama said he intends to “finish the job” in Afghanistan with more details to be announced next week. Insiders say it will involve fewer troops than McChrystal’s request.
The President is also battling opposition from within his own party. Franklin says the idea of troop escalation does not sit well with many Democrats.
Meanwhile this year has been the deadliest for US servicemen and women in the eight year history of the war.
Brian Moon reports (:61)