Obama widens al-Qaida war, calls cause essential and just

US President Barack Obama on Friday made clear that it will take more troops and more time for the United States and its allies to regain control of the war in Afghanistan. As he winds down an Iraq conflict he considered a blunder, Obama is widening the war in Afghanistan, and calling the cause essential and just. At stake in taking on the al-Qaida terrorist network in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Nothing less, Obama says, than "the safety of people around the world." Obama launched a fresh effort by sending in 4,000 more troops, hundreds of civilians and increased aid for a war that has lasted more than seven years and still has no end in sight. The president also promised intensive diplomacy with Pakistan and Afghanistan and an unprecedented world outreach for help. "I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future," Obama said. "That's the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just."