Update: 8:35 p.m. ET: Obama ends his address saying, "America – we are passing through a time of great trial. And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering."
Update: 8:14 p.m. ET: Obama says, "It is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan."
Update: 8:05 p.m. ET: President Obama begins outlining his strategy for the war in Afghanistan, a strategy he says will bring the war "to a successful conclusion."
Update: 6:36 p.m. ET: 'Common security of the world' is at stake, Obama to tell the United States in a televised address, according to excerpts from the speech.
Update 12:17 p.m. ET: President Barack Obama intends to conclude the Afghanistan war and withdraw most U.S. troops within three years, according to senior administration officials.
Washington (CNN) - President Obama is sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, White House officials tell CNN.
The president will travel to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, for a speech to the nation that is expected to announce his second escalation of U.S. forces in Afghanistan since he came to power in January.
President Obama announced his U.S. troop strategy for Afghanistan in a speech at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. In the speech, Obama explained why the United States is in Afghanistan, its interests there and his decision-making process, in addition to his strategy for a "successful conclusion."
All day, CNN has asked its readers and viewers, how would you define success in Afghanistan?
Reader Paul Marshall writes: "Success in Afghanistan, for the previous administration meant staying as long as possible and giving their cronies no bid contracts and robing the treasury. For Obama success would be getting the hell out." Meanwhile reader Phyllis Sanders says, "Please give our President the support he needs, I know that I will."
What do you think? How do you think the government should define success? How would you define success in Afghanistan?
Or pick up your video camera and share your views for iReport
Editor’s Note: Nasim Fekrat started blogging in 2004 in Afghanistan, where he grew up. On the Afghan Lord blog, he aims to show a complete picture of Afghanistan – not only its problems but also the culture, art, music and life of the country. He is now a student at Dickinson College in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The opinions expressed in this guest blog are solely those of Nasim Fekrat.
After a long debate over increasing troops in Afghanistan, finally, President Obama said that he has decided to send around 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan. Now, deploying 30,000 troops to Afghanistan is a good idea but I’m doubtful that this will work as a long-term strategy to “finish the job.” A long-term strategy to mitigate the violence and end the war in Afghanistan is to train and equip the Afghan National Army. FULL POST
She also spoke to Paul O'Brien of Oxfam America, who stressed that having a quick exit strategy might not be the best approach if Obama wants to gain trust with the Afghans.
"It's important to recognize that we've made a huge promise to Afghans … they are trying to make their mind up around whether to invest in the future that the international community wants for them or to go with the Taliban, who are threatening them."
Andrew Wilder of Tufts University questioned the effectiveness of aid, saying there isn't "much evidence" that it is effective. Instead, he said, "The real answer to the Afghan problem has to be the Afghans themselves, but we can put them in the driver's seat if we do our stuff right. What the security folks can do is create the space for development to happen, and they should focus on what they do well."
Staff Sgt. Gary Hartman will leave for Afghanistan in December - on his seventh tour of duty. He said he'll certainly miss his family during the upcoming holiday season, but focusing at the task at hand is key. "Obviously it stinks a little bit, that you know it's the holiday time, you're gonna be away from family, but I enjoy serving and if I didn't enjoy serving, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing."
This week we will be talking a lot about Afghanistan and the impact of the President’s speech. Having spent a fair amount of time there, including a trip just a couple of months ago, I am always reminded of the human impact of any conflict. I am reminded there are consequences to all those booms and explosions we see on television. I am reminded of the horrific injuries I saw due to IED explosions where young men and women are robbed of their legs, and their lives. I am also reminded of the remarkable sacrifice the doctors, nurses, medics and all the medical personnel make every single day out there. They truly risk their lives to save the lives of others. FULL POST
In March, Afghanistan will become America's longest war, surpassing the one in Vietnam, which cost more than 58,000 American lives. Comparisons to the war in Vietnam are often invoked. But experts say while there are similarities between the two conflicts, there are more differences.