Feb. 17, 2009
"While I welcome today's announcement, I hope it is just the first step in a new comprehensive approach to Afghanistan. A major change in course is long overdue."
Senator John McCain, in a statement on President Obama's announcement of plans to send 17,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan by the spring
During the presidential campaign, Afghanistan was an issue both candidates found some agreement on they each thought more resources needed to be devoted there in order to succeed. McCain quickly sends out a statement backing his former nemesis's decision to send more troops, while still sounding skeptical of the plan overall. Obama says there's "no more solemn duty as President" than deciding to put U.S. armed forces in harm's way. 8,000 Marines are expected to go first, followed by about 4,000 Army troops and 5,000 support forces.
Meanwhile, the President heads out to Denver to sign his $787 billion recovery package into law, framing it as something that will "set our economy on a firmer foundation," though admitting he wouldn't pretend that it "marks the end of our economic problems."