Afghan civilians are skeptical of the strategy introduced by PresidentBarack Obama in a speech at West Point. A quick man-on-the-streetsurvey by Al Jazeera shows that Afghans believe that their country’sissues must be dealt with from within in concert with Islamic nationsthat they feel they can trust. A Taliban spokesman commented that moretroops will just mean a bigger target. David Chater reports for AlJazeera.
After much anticipation, President Barack Obama has released his newAfghanistan strategy to the public. In a speech at the United StatesMilitary Academy at West Point, Obama rolled out his plan for a 30,000troop increase and plans for a 2011 pull out.
The New York Times’ David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shieldsdiscuss President Obama’s speech at West Point with NewsHour’s JimLehrer. Brooks says that Obama was reserved in his speech and presentsa war that is unique from past conflicts. Shields agrees and says thatthe choice of venue made the president’s words all the more somber.
British conservative leader David Cameron clashes with Prime MinisterGordon Brown over troop commitment in Afghanistan. Cameron asked Brownpointedly when he expected there to be a decrease in British troops inAfghanistan. Brown responded by saying that he expected the balance ofcoalition forces and Afghan forces to shift in 2011.
Gyumri, Armenia’s once wealthy second city has fallen into disrepairand the prospect of an open border with Turkey could be what it needsto be revived. Gyumri is one of many cities plagued by the choices theywill have to make should a border agreement be signed by Armenia andTurkey. On one hand, citizens welcome the economic benefits of an openborder, while on the other they find it difficult to forget themassacre of more than one million Armenians in 1915 at the hands of theTurks.
The International Court of Justice will determine the legality ofKosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence. However, popular opinionin Belgrade has already cast a verdict on the matter. Al Jazeera’sMatthew Collin reports from Belgrade where Serbians openly disapproveof the move toward Kosovar independence.