This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Last updated at 16:23 BST, Wednesday, 07 October 2009

Obama not reducing Afghan troops

Summary

7 October 2009

President Obama has announced that he will not be removing or reducing troop numbers in Afghanistan. However it is not clear if he intends to increase the number of troops either, as the top general in Afghanistan wants.

Reporter:
Mark Mardell

US soldiers during a patrol outside Bagram airbase

US soldiers during a patrol outside Bagram airbase

Listen

Click to hear the report:

Report

The President is making it clear that leaving Afghanistan is not an option, it's not on the table. According to one White House source, he told the meeting that he wouldn't shrink the number of troops in Afghanistan or opt for a strategy of merely targeting al-Qaeda leaders. But he wouldn't be drawn on the military request for more troops.

There appears to be a frustration that the review of strategy has sometimes been portrayed in black-and-white terms of a massive increase or reduction of troop numbers.

President Obama told the group made up of the most senior Republican and Democrat senators and congressmen that his assessment would be "rigorous and deliberate". But it's going on too long for some Republicans and members of the President's own party are dubious about committing more resources and military personnel to a conflict where there is no end in sight. The word 'Vietnam' is heard more and more on Capitol Hill.

The President was certainly right when he said his final decision wouldn't make everyone in the room, or the country, happy.

Mark Mardell, BBC News, Washington

Listen

Click to hear the vocabulary:

Vocabulary

is not an option, it's not on the table

is not going to be discussed or considered

according to one White House source

as stated by someone who works inside the government and has government information

shrink

decrease or make smaller

opt for a strategy of merely targeting al Qaeda leaders

decide to follow a plan of directing their attention only to the people controlling al Qaeda

wouldn't be drawn

refused to be persuaded to discuss or reveal his plans

black-and-white terms

simple concepts which are easy to understand

made up of

consisting of

rigorous and deliberate

carefully considered

dubious about committing more resources and military personnel

doubtful of promising money, soldiers and time

no end in sight

be a solution or outcome to the situation in the near future

  1. Home
  2. Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation
  3. Words in the News
  4. Obama not reducing Afghan troops