Obama declares US must push harder against Taliban, al-Qaida

WASHINGTON (AP) - Vowing to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" al-Qaida's network, President Barack Obama is ordering another 4,000 military troops into Afghanistan.

Those troops come on top of the 17,000 additional forces he announced he was sending just a few weeks ago.

Obama says the infusion of troops is designed to bolster the Afghan army, because if the government "falls to the Taliban or allows al-Qaida to go unchallenged," Afghanistan will again become a base for terrorists.

The plan takes aim at terrorist havens in Pakistan, where Obama says al-Qaida is plotting new attacks on the U.S.

In announcing the new strategy, Obama described the situation in the region as "increasingly perilous" and challenged both the Pakistani and Afghan governments to show more results.

Plans also include sending hundreds of civilian personnel to Afghanistan.

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