Obama: Decision Nearing on Afghanistan

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WASHINGTON -- President Obama will announce the results of his long-awaited study of what to do about Afghanistan, the White House said Tuesday.

The word came after the president met Monday with his war council.
   
But at a news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday, Obama he laid out why he believes America can't just walk away from the war in Afghanistan. 
 
"It is in our strategic interests, in our national security interests to make sure that al Qaeda and its extremist allies cannot operate effectively in those areas," he said. "We are going to dismantle and degrade their capabilities and ultimately dismantle and destroy their networks. And Afghanistan's stability is important to that process."
 
One of the biggest questions is whether he'll give Afghan theater commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal the extra 40,000 troops he's asked for.   White House watchers predict it'll be more like 34-thousand.
    
But at a cost of roughly $1 million per soldier in Afghanistan, that's still a huge investment for what some are calling an unwinnable war.

It's such a high cost, several politicians are proposing Americans feel the pain of it by being taxed for it with a special war tax.
 
"If this war is important enough to fight, it's important enough to pay for it," Rep. David Obey, D-Wisc., said.
 
"I think that would be a stated purpose of adding some additional income tax to the upper brackets, folks earning more than $200,000 or $250,000," Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. added.
 
On NBC's "Meet the Press" this Sunday, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. weighed in.

"I don't know of another time in our history when we went to war and didn't pay for it," Lieberman said. "That's part of why we have the enormous debt that we have now: 12 trillion dollars today, predicted to add nine trillion dollars in the next 10 years."
 
But at his joint news conference, Obama said he's confident Americans will support his decision to stay and fight in Afghanistan when he fully lays out his goals and rationale. 

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Paul Strand

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As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.