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The plan for Afghanistan

Afghanistan, December 2, 2009

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Sarah Jane Rothenfluch

OPB, Think Out Loud
December, 2009

Listen to the program Here. Mercy Corps' John Stephens begins his interview at 36 minutes and 45 seconds.

President Obama has said he wants to "finish the job" in Afghanistan and he made his plans public with a nationally broadcast speech from West Point on Tuesday night. He announced that he wants to begin withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2011, but in order to get to there 30,000 more troops will need to be deployed over the next six months.

At this point the 162 Engineer Company based in Dallas, Oregon, are in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, preparing for deployment to Afghanistan at the beginning of next year. Their mission will be to make sure roadways are safe for travel. Currently, 70 17 Oregonians are deployed in Afghanistan with Oregon's Air and Army National Guard. And a number of local battalions are on alert, and might be deployed in the future.

That's all on the military level. At the same time, local organizations like MercyCorps are working to improve living conditions for people in Afghanistan. Polls are revealing that many Americans are losing confidence in the way Obama is handling the war. And critics (like Michael Moore) have lined up to comment on the speech President Obama should make.

Is sending more troops the best way to stop Taliban insurgents who are trying to regain control of Afghanistan? Is the Obama Administration moving too quickly — or not quickly enough — with this plan? What affect will increased troop demand have on this state, and on families in it? Would you be willing to fight to end the war in Afghanistan?