America doubtful over Obama’s Afghan plan
Obama’s plan to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan has been endorsed by some top White House staffers, but many in congress and among the American public remain doubtful.
And just moments after President Obama's announcement, many Americans hit the streets to voice their anger.
They do not believe that it is possible to bring peace and democracy to other people with weapons, and are disappointed to see Obama embracing the war as his own.
And across town the people they elected started turning up the heat on the Obama administration.
“Do we have a new war or do we have an old war under new ownership?” Congressman Gary Ackerman asked.
“In many ways this looks to be a policy that designed by committee with a little something for everybody. For those who want to get out there is a timetable, for those who want to stay in we have a surge. But it may not work very well,” Congressman Jeff Flake said.
“My fear as is the fear with several others is that we could easily get bogged down in an endless war,” Congressman Eliot Engel said.
There were many skeptics in the crowd wondering how things can really change in Afghanistan after 8 years of war, but President Obama’s sidekicks did their best to back him up.
“Where is Osama Bin Laden? How much can we count on our intelligence now, if we can’t capture one guy in eight years?” Eliot Engel asked.
He learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shares his frustration.
“I share your frustration that eight years after the attack that devastated New York has not led to the killing or capturing of bin laden and his principal lieutenants,” the Secretary of State said.
And some of President Obama’s old rivals weren’t going to let his captivating speech smooth over the reality that there is a chance his new strategy might not work.
“Will we withdraw our forces based on the conditions on the ground or based on an arbitrary date, regardless of the conditions on the ground,” Senator John McCain asked.
One of the biggest doubts these congressmen had is how realistic a complete pull out will be by 2011. They wondered if it is possible to send 30,000 more troops to rebuild a country in 18 months. It’s a question that does not seem to have just one answer.
“It's very clear this president has said it the military leadership understands it that this is not open-ended and this is not going to escalate,” admiral Michael Mullen said.
“I have adamantly opposed deadlines, but what the president has announced is not the beginning of a process, not the end of a process,” Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates said.
The efforts of Obama's administration will now be focused on getting the new plans through Congress, selling a plan that many Americans just don't buy.
Hearings on the new Afghan strategy began on Wednesday.