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North Texans Await President's Afghanistan Speech

By BJ Austin

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-873435.mp3

Dallas, TX – The President tonight announces his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. One local political scientist says Mr. Obama needs to be very persuasive. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

SMU political scientist Cal Jillson says the President must be clear in his conviction that more troops and additional years in Afghanistan will leave be worth it: leaving a more stable government defended by Afghan forces who can deny the Taliban and make the region and the U.S. safer.

Jillson says he's not sure the American public will buy it. He says the "honeymoon" is clearly over for the president.

Jillson: For the first six months of his presidency he could point to Texas and say Bush did it. But I think it no longer resonates with the American public. Barack Obama has been president for nearly a year. If there are problems, they're his problems to solve.

Hadi Jawad, with the Dallas Peace Center, was part of a downtown Dallas vigil last night - calling for Barack Obama to change his mind on a troop surge.

Jawad: President Obama was elected on a peace platform. He promised us he was a peace candidate. And to see him escalate this war in Afghanistan is heartbreaking.

In his speech tonight, President Obama is expected to stress he has an exit strategy that goes along with the troop build up.