Unplugged: A Troop Increase to Set Up Withdrawal



CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin cautioned that President Obama's troop increase in Afghanistan may take longer than it did in Iraq on "Washington Unplugged" Tuesday.

"In contrast to the surge in Iraq, where everything happened in five months, Afghanistan is such an undeveloped country that you can't just fly troops in. You've got to build bases for them," Martin told moderator Bob Orr.

Senior administration officials said Tuesday afternoon that President Obama chose a strategy that would get troops into Afghanistan as quickly as possible. They said they expected full deployment by next summer.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Afghanistan

This morning on CBS News' The Early Show, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is not about "nation building."

In his speech this evening, President Obama will stress that the United States is planning to get out of the country, the Washington Post's Michael Shear said on "Unplugged."

The president "will try to assure the American public that this is not an open-ended commitment," Shear said.

Shear said that the message that Mr. Obama will try to get across is "that yes they are building up, but they are building up as a way of accelerating the point of which the U.S. can depart Afghanistan."

Watch the full conversation above.

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.




  • Walt Cronkite

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