Obama Faces Tough Sell Job on Afghan Policy

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WASHINGTON -- Having finally settled on a strategy for fighting the war in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama now has to sell the plan to the American public.

However, he is already facing opposition from his fellow Democrats.

The marching orders went out from the Oval Office to the Pentagon on Sunday.The first of some 30,000 more troops are expected to deploy within two to three weeks of Tuesday night's presidential address.

It's a part of Obama's war plan to improve the situation in Afghanistan by focusing more on fighting terrorists and less on nation building - not to mention to paving the way for an eventual exit strategy.

"The president will talk about the fact that this is not an open-ended commitment," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

The president started the day with an hour-long video conference call with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss the new strategy and apply pressure on his government to make good on their end of the deal.

Patrick Cronin is a senior director at the Center for a New American Security in Washington D.C.

"He's putting Karzai on the line," Cronin explained. "He knows that President Karzai is going to make or break this campaign."

The latest infusion of American forces will raise the total number of U.S. troops to around 100,000. The plan also relies on additional troops from NATO, with officials reporting Obama asking the alliance for 5,000 to 10,000 troops.

"Without partners that are willing to do stuff in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, no number of American troops can solve all of those problems," Gibbs said.

This is the second military buildup Obama has ordered this year. It's a decision supported by most Republicans, but one that exposes a rift within his own party.

However, liberal Democrats hate the idea of a surge of any kind. Two of the top Democratic lawmakers talking about a war tax to pay for the president's new Afghanistan strategy.

It's almost certain they will take the opportunity to drill Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when the two travel to Capitol Hill Wednesday to promote the president's plan.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.