Friday, November 28th, 2014

Mission: Afghanistan

A U.S. soldier greets a child while on patrol in Afghanistan.
A U.S. soldier greets a child while on patrol in Afghanistan.

As a candidate, Barack Obama regularly called the Iraq war a misguided effort in the fight against al-Qaida.

The real enemies were hiding in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said, and finding those enemies would not be easy.

"There are tribes (there) that see borders as nothing more than lines on a map, and governments as forces that come and go," Obama said in a major foreign policy speech in 2007. "There are blood ties deeper than alliances of convenience, and pockets of extremism that follow religion to violence. It's a tough place. But that is no excuse. ... We cannot fail to act because action is hard."

Tonight, President Obama will make a major speech on Afghanistan and how he wants  to pursue a military strategy going forward.

Here at PolitiFact, we're monitoring Obama's campaign promises on Afghanistan . He pledged to take several actions: send two additional brigades to Afghanistan to maintain order, encourage NATO allies to send more forces, and train the Afghan military to take over security. He also said he would increase aid to Pakistan, but make the aid conditional on that country's efforts to fight terrorism.

In March, Obama ordered the additional brigades to Afghanistan , and we rated it a Promise Kept. Congress approved an aid package for Pakistan that included verifications for anti-terrorist effort, so we rated that Promise Kept as well.

His other promises -- more support from NATO , training Afghan forces , and increasing nonmilitary aid -- are all rated In the Works.

For more of our reporting on Afghanistan, you can review all of our factchecks about Afghanistan . In October, we summed up the history of the region in our story, The War in Afghanistan: A simple explanation .