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On Thanksgiving, Afghanistan Strategy Announcement Looms

Judy Woodruff speaks to a Washington Post reporter about developments in Afghanistan just days before President Obama makes a decision about U.S. strategy there.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And, as Afghans await President Obama's Tuesday speech, I talked earlier today with Washington Post Kabul correspondent Josh Partlow.

    Josh Partlow, thank you very much for talking with us.

    Let me start by asking you, with President Obama's announcement coming up next Tuesday, what are ordinary Afghan people looking for? What do they want out of this announcement?

  • JOSH PARTLOW:

    I think, primarily, they're looking for a better sense of security in the country.

    You know, they're going through a pretty — a very difficult insurgency right now. They want security. They want jobs. You know, I think they want a commitment from the United States that they will be here long-term to — to help them. And, you know, it's a little bit unclear if that will actually happen.

    But, you know, many Afghans are — are afraid of the return of the Taliban. You know, they see the United States government as — as kind of propping up President Karzai's government here. And — and, without them, you know, the — the Taliban might swoop back into power.

    And — and a lot of them are afraid of that. At the same time, I think they don't want, you know, so many more American troops, so this is an — this is an endless occupation, or perceived as such. And, so, there's a lot of nationalism and pride. And they want to be, you know, the drivers of their own destiny here in Afghanistan.

    So, you know, you have conflicting opinions. There are people who want more — more soldiers, in the hopes that that will bring better security. And there are those who want the Afghans to take control of — of their own country.

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