Even before the new troops arrive, Afghans are already concerned about the president's plan to begin a pull out in 18 months time. Many here doubt Afghanistan will be ready to stand on its own by then, reports CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark.
"It could give the Taliban and other elements in this country, the mafia, drug lords and warlords, the impression that if the United States is interested in setting up a timeline and withdrawal is imminent," said Daoud Sultanzoy, a member of the Afghan parliament. "They'll wait it out and that will cause us problems later on."
The new U.S. strategy calls for talks with Taliban members who are willing to lay down their arms. The Taliban today dismissed that suggestion saying the new U.S. strategy will give them an opportunity "to increase their attacks."
But many Afghans feel reconciliation is the only way forward.
"The war cannot be won by fighting," Ahmad Shah, a Kabul resident said through a translator. "You can only win if you start a dialogue."
That dialogue would be backed by a strong U.S.-trained Afghan army which ultimately President Obama hopes will replace U.S. forces.