President Bush has announced that U.S. force will remain strong in Iraq under his presidency, despite certain pressures to rather boost the amount of troops in Afghanistan due to the resurgence of the Taliban and the increase in violence. Bush announced that there will be additional troops deployed to Afghanistan. Particularly a Marine battalion that was scheduled to go to Iraq will instead go to Afghanistan in November.
“The mission of these forces will be to work with the Afghan forces to provide security for the Afghan people, protect Afghanistan’s info structure and democratic institutions and help insure access to services like education and health care. They will show the citizens of Afghanistan that the government and its partners will stand with them against the battle against the Taliban and the extremists,” Bush said.
Despite his decision to keep forces in Iraq, Bush also emphasized a moving forward with additional though limited force reductions bringing home 8,000 troops from Iraq within the next several months, and other reductions that will be made within the first half of 2009 if the progress in Iraq continues, however by that point his term will be over.
Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama, a known advocate of pulling troops from Iraq thinks this plan falls short because there are not enough troops, resources or urgency.
However, GOP nominee Senator John McCain says there is a need for more troops in Afghanistan, but, in dealing with the timing and pace of military reductions in Iraq, relies on the advise of U.S. military commanders.