Locals Veterans Have Mixed Reaction to Afghan Troop Surge

President orders 30,000 additional troops into Afghanistan to help end war

As President Obama announced Tuesday that the nation would be sending 30,000 additional troops into Afghanistan to strengthen the war effort and return control of the country to its leaders in 2011, local vets, families and politicians voiced their concern.

"I want to hear that the war is going to be over," said Dave Barth.

Barth, an Afghanistan war veteran who served two tours of duty, feels a larger deployment will just equate to more flag-draped coffins returning to Dover Air Force Base without weakening al-Qaeda.

"My first deployment…I think there were three casualties, my second deployment our unit had nearly 50 casualties," Barth said. "I know a lot of these soldiers, they're not fully prepared to be going over to Afghanistan."

He's not alone.

Democrats like Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter say it doesn't make sense to fight in a country where no one has succeeded in the past. He points out that al-Qaeda can move their operations to other countries like Yemen and Somalia during the surge.

In Delaware, the Hatten family is divided over the president's tough decision. Their son Jomarr is serving his second tour on the ground in Afghanistan and are worried the deployment will send him for a third.

"I was kinda disappointed that he was sending another 30,000 troops," Darlene Hatton said. "But I realize that we're at a point of no return."

For her husband Derek, Mr. Obama's address helped to ease his uncertainty about the highly anticipated surge.

"He actually explained to us, the reasoning behind his decision and how he arrived at that decision," Derek said.

His support is what the White House and lawmakers like Sen. John McCain and Rep. Joe Sestak are searching for.

Sestak commanded an aircraft carrier battle group in Afghanistan before being elected to Congress. He says he supports the increase, but is against the finite 2011 exit.

Regardless of how big of a surge and when the war will end, Dave Barth wants Americans to remember that we are fighting two wars.

"I can actually remember a point -- my first time coming home for leave from Afghanistan -- there was a man at the airport who thought I came home from Iraq and said 'Oh you coming home from Iraq?' and I said 'No, Afghanistan' and he goes 'We're over there?'"

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