U.S. President Barack Obama expounded on his Afghan war strategy, which was announced March 27, 2009, in a March 29, 2009, appearance on the American television program Face the Nation, hosted by CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. See “Transcript: Obama On "Face The Nation."
Observers such as GlobalPost correspondent C.M. Sennott suggest that the Afghan war, initiated by President George W. Bush after al-Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S, has become “Obama’s War.” However, Mr. Obama told Mr. Schieffer: “I think it’s America’s War." Here’s the exchange:
CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer: Mr. President, thank you for joining us. This economic crisis has been so severe that it has literally pushed all the other issues off the television, out of the newspapers. But as - when you outlined your program for Afghanistan and the new strategy, it really underlined in the starkest terms that we may not be talking about these serious issues, but there are some very serious things going on out there. So I'd like to start there -
President Obama: Please.
Schieffer: - if I could. This is a hugely ambitious plan. 22,000 more troops. You're gonna increase spending by 60 percent. You said in your announcement we must defeat
President Obama: Right.
Schieffer: This has really now become your war, hasn't it?
President Obama: I think it's America's war. And it's the same war that we initiated after 9/11 as a consequence of those attacks on 3,000 Americans who were just going about their daily round. And the focus over the last seven years I think has been lost.
What we want to do is to refocus attention on al Qaeda. We are going to root out their networks, their bases. We are gonna make sure that they cannot attack U.S. citizens, U.S. soil, U.S. interests, and our allies' interests around the world.
Mr. Obama said, “In order for us to do that, we have to ensure that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan can serve as a safe haven for al Qaeda. And, unfortunately, over the last several years what we've seen is, essentially, al Qaeda moving several miles from Afghanistan to Pakistan but effectively still able to project their violence and, and hateful ideologies out into the world