President Lays Out Afghanistan Strategy

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WASHINGTON - Today a suicide bomber's violent attack killed dozens of Muslims as they attended Friday prayers in a Pakistani mosque.

It highlighted terrorists are just as active there as in Afghanistan, and if they're not defeated in both countries, the terror for the world will go on.

That was one of President Obama's key points, Friday, as he laid out his overall strategy for the Afghan war.

Click play for more analysis on the president's plan on Afghanistan with CBN News International Correspondent Gary Lane, following Paul Strand's report.

"Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the U.S. homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan," he said. "And if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban or allows al Qaeda to go unchallenged, that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can."

In Afghanistan, the commander in chief reported he will add 4,000 more troops to the 17,000 new ones he's already committed to send.

He'll also ask thousands more American civilians to go to Afghanistan to help rebuild and retool the war-battered country.

One main target for reform is agriculture, because so many Afghan farmers feel they can survive only by growing the poppies that become the world's heroin. That heroin then helps finance the terrorists of the volatile region.

As for Pakistan, Obama wants the U.S. to offer the country a $7.5 billion bribe to get behind his goal to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the al Qaeda network. If the Pakistanis don't agree, Obama hinted that someone will do the job.

"Pakistan must demonstrate its commitment to rooting out al Qaeda and the violent extremists within its borders," the president said. "We will insist that action be taken, one way or another, when we have intelligence about high-level terrorist targets."

It appears Obama, who's been so anxious to get America out of Iraq, is willing to plunge much deeper into the war in Afghanistan and its border region with Pakistan.

"The world cannot afford the price that will come due if Afghanistan slides back into chaos or al Qaeda operates unchecked," he explained.

Obama also signalled he's willing to work with more moderate elements in the Taliban to defeat the radical elements.

Looking for a way out even as he moves more people and money in, Obama said the 4,000 new troops he's now committing will all be used to train Afghan security forces so they can eventually take over the fight themselves.

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CBN News
Paul Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Senior Washington Correspondent

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