Video: Obama vows to ‘finish the job’ in Afghanistan

  1. Closed captioning of: Obama vows to ‘finish the job’ in Afghanistan

    >>> in other news out of the white house , president obama says he is ready to finish the job in afghanistan and he will reveal the nation's new strategy there next week. nbc's chief correspondent jim miklaszewski has more.

    >> reporter: he is still looking at numbers and while they won't get the combat numbers they wanted, it's a strategy they can work with and will more importantly work. in a news conference alongside india's prime minister, president obama officially declared afghanistan his war, while taking a not-so-subtle shot at the bush administration .

    >> after eight years, some of those years in which we did not have, i think, either the resources or the strategy to get the job done, it is my intention to finish the job.

    >> reporter: although commanding general stan mcchrystal wanted 40,000 additional forces, military officials say he's now satisfied with the 32,000 to 34,000 the president's willing to give him.

    >> 34,000 will be a tremendous jolt of energy to the armed forces on the ground.

    >> reporter: the additional troops will indirectly come out of iraq. three army combat brigades set to leave there early next year will not be replaced and three other army brigades that would have replaced them will now be sent to afghanistan instead. it's already sparked a fierce political battle.

    >> i don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops.

    >> reporter: the president's own democrats think the wealthy should have to pay a war tax to foot the bill.

    >> seems to me, if the society wants to fight this war, then it ought to pay for it so that we don't destroy our ability to reform our own economy.

    >> reporter: but the president's new strategy does include significant benchmarks and more compromise for the military. commanders initially argued, it could take three to five years to train enough afghan security forces so they could take over the fight and american troops could come home. the president wants it done sooner, in two to three years.

    >> i do think it's good we're talking specifics, because the american people deserve some sense of how long the mission might last. but any effort to be precise is not realistic.

    >> reporter: the pentagon and military did prevail on one critical issue, an exit strategy . president obama will not set a specific timetable or deadline for the withdrawal of american forces . even at that, former vice president dick cheney again accused president obama of dithering.

    >> it's not one of these deals where you can just sit there and delay and delay and delay and think you're going to make a better decision.

    >> reporter: the president, however, is confident once he delivers the details of his new strategy, the american people will support it. but will the president level with the american people ? in the short-term, this new strategy will mean more intensive combat, more u.s. casualties. and even after the shooting stops, there could still be significant numbers of american troops in afghanistan for another ten years, meredith.

    >> all right, mik, thank you very much. it is 7:0

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