Local reaction to Obama's Afghanistan decision - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local reaction to Obama's Afghanistan decision

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - On Thursday, President Obama announced more U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan fro an extended period of time. 

President Obama said it is necessary to keep troops in Afghanistan to prevent future attacks. 

Reaction to the president's announcement was mixed in San Diego. President Obama said the security situation in Afghanistan is just too fragile, and keeping thousands of U.S. troops there  through most of 2016 is essential for the long-term stability of the country. 

"Afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be," said President Obama. 

According to the president, the troops are necessary because the mission will continue to be counter-terrorism and training of Afghan forces. 

There are currently about 10,000 American troops, and President Obama initially planned to leave about 1,000, but now, he said, it's too soon for the U.S. to draw down the numbers. 

"My approach is to assess the situation on the ground, figure out what is working, figure out what is not working, make adjustments if necessary," he said. 

The announcement was disappointing to some in San Diego. 

"I think it's unfair there are people who have not seen their families for very long. It's unfair to keep them there and not let them come home to their families," said Shelby Peterson. 

Navy veteran Shelby Peterson said, thought it may be a crucial step for the mission, she knows firsthand how difficult the news is for families. 

"I just know that while I was on deployment the only thing that kept me going was the deadline. We only have this many more months before I get to see family, and before I get to go home," she said. 

Some San Diegans, like Cindy Lakin, agree with the president's decision to keep troops in Afghanistan. 

Lakin said keeping U.S. forces there longer means the Afghan people will eventually be able to defend their own land. 

"I think he's finally learning from experience. What happened in Iraq (is) we left a vacuum there. He doesn't want the same thing to happen in Afghanistan. So I would say it's one of the more headier moves he's made," she said.  

The revised strategy would eventually drop the number of troops to 5,500 by the end of 2016, and into early 2017. 

Republicans criticized the president's plan by saying it odes not go far enough, and that even larger numbers are necessary to remain there longer. 

President Obama said American forces will be stationed at key bases. 

Administration officials told CBS News it is estimated that the revised strategy will cost about $15 billion, that is $5 billion more than previously estimated. 

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