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March 31, 2009
Posted: 1957 GMT

CNN Correspondent Atia Abawi

AfghanistanNearly eight years in and the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating drastically.  And it seems that President Barack Obama agrees, laying out a new strategy and focus on the war and the region.  But to the Afghan people these are just more promises after seven years of broken promises.   
 
Afghans have lived through three decades of war, for many that is all they know.  It is about survival in a land of destruction.  Many joining the ranks of insurgent groups just so they can put food on the table.  And these are some of the people that Obama would like to reach out to.
 
"There is an uncompromising core of the Taliban. They must be met with force, and they must be defeated," Obama said, "But there are also those who have taken up arms because of coercion, or simply for a price. These Afghans must have the option to choose a different course."
 
President Obama is also calling for a larger civilian force to help rebuild the country.  This is a necessity in a nation where time seems to have stopped in 1979 during the starts of the Soviet invasion.  The country is currently rife with corruption that seems to stem from the highest levels of their government.  
 
"We need agricultural specialists and educators; engineers and lawyers. That is how we can help the Afghan government serve its people, and develop an economy that isn't dominated by illicit drugs," Obama outlined.
 
And a key factor will be to train the Afghan Forces, Obama promising 4,000 military trainees on top of the 17,000 combat troops he had already approved earlier in the year.
 
The Afghan National Army (ANA) has been a seeming success story in Afghanistan, slowly gaining support from the Afghan people. But the Afghan National Police (ANP) a failure in the eyes of the people.  Some Afghans are forced to turn to the Taliban for protection because threats they receive from the police and corrupt government officials.  
 
But the seeming success story of the ANA hitting a sour point just hours before President Obama's televised address.  A soldier from the Afghan National Army shot at four coalition service members in Northern Afghanistan, killing two.  
 
If this is considered one of the successes, today's incident proves there is a long way to go to stabilize Afghanistan.

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Rui Durão   April 1st, 2009 7:49 am ET

Hi there Mrs. Gorani...
Love the show! I watch it every time I can, here at Maputo, Mozambique.
Just wanted to let you know that the RSS feeder link is not working. I keep getting the error url: http://rss.cnn.com/rss/edition_idesk.rss

Cheers

Debbie   April 2nd, 2009 9:31 pm ET

Hello,
More troops going over to fight, WOW! When will it end? If America would just come home from over in the Middle East, these terrorists groups would have no reason to fight then, would they? I would be very upset if I had a loved one over there fighting, and for what! I just hope none of my grand children will ever have to go and fight in other countries. I hope there is never a draft for them to have to worry about and will not encourage them to enlist either. They can fight for their country just as easy here as over seas somewhere. It is a waste of money and life, for our young people.

Mary   June 21st, 2009 4:32 pm ET

Atia,

Thank you for all that you do in order to share frontline stories in Afghanistan. Would love to hear more about your personal and professional experiences in Afghanistan. Are you an Afghan American who feels inclined to do what you can to get the real stories out there? What do you say to other people like you who might want to go over to Afghanistan if given the opportunity to help in some way?

Thank you in advance for your response. Keep up the good work!

Vivian Bramall   May 4th, 2011 8:14 pm ET

We have murdered a murderer. I am thankful we are all equal at the foot of the cross of Christ. I hope Bin L. was facing Mecca when they slipped him into the sea, because if Mecca is what he longed for, I hope he got it.

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