Afghan war decision toughest of presidency: Obama

Experience of attending ceremonies for fallen soldiers have marked Obama.

Washington: US President Barack Obama has said that his decision to pour 30,000 more US troops into the war in Afghanistan was the most difficult of his presidency so far.

The newly-crowned Nobel laureate told CBS yesterday that the experience of attending ceremonies for fallen soldiers returning home in coffins or visiting scarred veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had deeply marked him.

"There is nothing more profound. And it is a solemn obligation on the part of me as commander in chief to get those decisions right," he said.

Just days before he was awarded the Nobel peace prize and after months of deliberations, Obama unveiled his new Afghan strategy in a speech to cadets in the prestigious West Point academy.

"That was actually probably the most emotional speech that I`ve made, in terms of how I felt about it. Because I was looking out over a group of cadets, some of whom were going to be deployed in Afghanistan. And potentially some might not come back," Obama said.

"There is not a speech that I`ve made that hit me in the gut as much as that speech."

Asked on CBS `60 Minutes` if the decision to pour more troops into Afghanistan was the toughest yet of his young presidency, he replied: "Absolutely."

PTI

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