Obama unveiled his plans in a long-anticipated, high-profile speech broadcast from the US Military Academy at West Point, New York.
"The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 the fastest pace possible so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers," Obama said.
"It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak," he said.
"We must deny al-Qaeda a safe haven," Obama said adding, "We must reverse the Taliban's momentum. ... And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government."
Obama further said, "The increased troops will increase our ability to train competent Afghan security forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans."
According to NATO diplomats, Obama was asking alliance partners in Europe to add 5,000 to 10,000 troops to the separate international force in Afghanistan.