After much debate between President Obama and top military leaders, the Commander in Chief has decided not to pull American soldiers out of Afghanistan, the N&O reports. Whether or not Obama will approve an increase in troops, as requested by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is left to be determined.
“Obama may take weeks to decide whether to add more troops, but the idea of pulling out isn’t on the table” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Obama’s decision to continue forward in Afghanistan has a direct effect on the many military residents and families of North Carolina. Home to two of the military’s leading bases, the Marines’ Camp Lejeune and the Army’s Fort Bragg, North Carolina troops make up nearly 17,000 men and women on the ground in Afghanistan. Representing about one-fourth of the total military presence in the war-stricken country, North Carolina based troops are clearly affected by the President’s recent decision.
His decision highlights the tension between “candidate Obama” and President Obama. As a presidential candidate, Obama denounced the war in Iraq and vowed to send two more brigades to Afghanistan-about 7,000 combat troops (the majority based in North Carolina). Obama has fulfilled his campaign promise but has taken troop deployment a step further, sending 21,000 troops to Afghanistan in March. Obama is left with a major decision: maintain troop levels or increase, yet again, the amount of troops deployed to a country torn apart by the Taliban. As America watches the War hit its ninth year, active military families are still waiting for concrete answers.