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The Obama Administration: December 1-16, 2009

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This article is the twenty-second in a continuing series chronicling the unfolding history of the Obama Administration. The writer's opinions are not offered, leaving the readers to arrive at their own conclusions.

"As Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan." Barack Obama, President of the United States of America__December 1, 2009

Day312/Dec1st/Tuesday: The President met with Nobel Laureates and their families in the Oval Office of the White House.

The President spoke with Pakistani President Asif Zardari by telephone. Source

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the Oval Office.

The President and Vice President Joe Biden met with Congressional Leadership in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to discuss the Obama Administration's strategy in Afghanistan.

The President gave an Address to the Nation from the Eisenhower Hall Theatre, United States Military Academy at West Point, West Point, New York on decisions he made on the "way forward" in the war in Afghanistan and related approaches in Pakistan. Among the President's remarks:

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"As Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan."

"Because this is an international effort, I've asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we're confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan. And now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility -- what's at stake is the security of our allies, and the common security of the world."

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.

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