Washington, Feb 18: President Barack Obama has approved sending 12,000 combat troops and 5,000 supporting troops to Afghanistan. This is Obama's first major military decision as commander-in-chief to tackle an intensifying insurgency, the White House said on Tuesday, Feb 17.
"This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires," Obama said in a statement.
"I do it today mindful that the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan demands urgent attention and swift action."
The combat units are the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, based out of Camp Lejeune, N C, and the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Lewis, Washington, the Defense Department announced Tuesday, Feb 17.
“Approximately 5,000 additional troops to support these combat forces will receive deployment orders at a later date," a DOD news release said.
The extra troops are needed to combat a 'deteriorating situation in Afghanistan,' where the Taliban are resurgent and al-Qaeda is able to operate from safe havens in Pakistan, Obama said in Tuesday"s statement.
Apart from American troops, there are also some 30,000 troops from NATO nations who are attempting to stablize Afghanistan.
"There is no more solemn duty as president than the decision to deploy our armed forces into harm's way," Obama said.