Day Fourtynine: 1 December 2009

It’s December! We put up decorations in the 6-man (boypack common room) and Tully and I took our Christmas Card picture, which will be mailed to Olive Ave tomorrow. Today I also worked out, went to class, did my landry and read an awesome article on the Cleveland Clinic in newsweek. It is especially cool because both Sam and Steph’s fathers work with the Cleveland clinic. Tomorrow is ‘Hoidaypalooza’, a big christmas season kickoff event that my committee in student government is putting on. Finally, it turns out I am coming home on the 18th because I have no finals on friday. One day sooner, win!!!

The big news today was a presidential address. Declaring “our security is at stake,” President Barack Obama ordered an additional 30,000 U.S. troops into the long war in Afghanistan Tuesday night, nearly tripling the force he inherited as commander in chief. He promised an impatient public he would begin bringing units home in 18 months. The buildup to about 100,000 troops will begin almost immediately, the first Marines will be in place by Christmas, and will cost $30 billion for the first year alone. In his prime-time speech at the U.S. Military Academy, the president told the nation his new policy was designed to “bring this war to a successful conclusion,” though he made no mention of defeating Taliban insurgents or capturing al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.However, critics and fact-checkers have argues already that Obama’s speech did not always match the reality on the ground in Afghanistan, and that the president raised expectations that may be hard to meet when he told Americans his troop increase in Afghanistan will accelerate the training of that country’s own forces and be accompanied by more help from allies.

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