WASHINGTON (CN) - The
The surge, beginning in two to three weeks, will reinforce the 71,000 American troops already in
"I do not make this decision lightly. I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force," Obama said, addressing cadets at
He also cautioned that the withdrawal planned to begin in 18 months is open to changes depending on the situation in
"The absence of a time frame for transition would deny us any sense of urgency in working with the Afghan government," he said in defending his controversial decision. "It must be clear that Afghans will have to take responsibility for their security, and that
The new approach - which Obama said will cost $30 billion over the course of next year - is controversial, with liberals hesitant to throw more money and soldiers at the war, and conservatives riled over what some see as a shortfall and delay of the troop increase.
Obama addressed some broad concerns about his decision. To those who draw parallels between
To others who suggest that the
And he challenged calls for greater American involvement. "As President, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our interests," he said.
Obama reminded the watching world, "This is not just
He gave special attention to nuclear armed
Then, looking directly into the camera, he addressed Afghanis and the Muslim world. "Unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination," Obama said. "Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation's resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours."
State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where they are expected to defend the new
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