December 2nd, 2009
08:25 AM ET

Reaction from Afghans and troops in Kabul

What's interesting here is many Afghans don't know what President Obama said - they're not going to know until tonight's evening newscast.

Even the days leading to President Obama's primetime address, I asked Afghans if they're going to watch, and they said no, it's not worth getting up early in the morning to watch because they said they heard the promises before. They have yet to see tangible actions being made.

But many Afghans, if there is a timetable, are afraid at the moment just because the Taliban had time and time again said that they will wait it out, that they will not leave.

And when you talk about the U.S. troops on the ground here in Afghanistan, the majority of them welcome extra troops. They say they need them.

The volatile areas in the south, such as Helmand and Kandahar provinces, are areas that the coalition troops have been in since 2001. These are areas where they couldn't secure and hold because they didn't have the manpower.

Now they're going district to district trying to convince the Afghans that they're here to stay this time. But even now they don't know if they can do that, because there is some sort of a timetable laid out at the moment.

The Marines, the Army and the Canadians there are saying that their biggest problem is they can't convince the Afghans that they're actually here to help them build infrastructure and to help them build a society. And the Taliban keep coming back to those districts and villages and telling them they're here to stay.

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