US President Barack Obama said Sunday that his decision to send an additional 30,000 combat troops to Afghanistan was the hardest decision of his presidency.
Speaking on the TV show '60 Minutes', Obama said his speech at the US Military Academy at West Point in New York announcing the deployment on December 1 was the "most emotional speech I've made."
"I was looking out over a group of cadets, some of whom were going to be deployed in Afghanistan," Obama said on the CBS program, "and potentially some might not come back. There is not a speech that I've made that hit me in the gut as much as that speech."
The president rejected criticism that his plan is confusing and contradictory, explaining that at the same time he announced the deployment, he set a date to start withdrawing troops in July 2011.