But he added that he doesn't think the mission of his forces will be to wipe out the Taliban, more to turn the Afghans away from joining them. "If we can improve basic elements of life like freedom of movement, like rule of law, like local government, then often the reasons that a local Taliban fighter joins are taken away," he said.
"So in fact we don't want to wipe out Taliban fighters, what we want to do is convince Taliban fighters. Now there are some Taliban that are probably very difficult to convince, very hardcore ideologues, or people with certain agenda but the vast majority do not in my assessment fall into that category."
In his address McChrystal acknowledges that the winning over of Afghan "hearts and minds" is a major part of his counter-insurgency strategy.
"The challenge in counter-insurgency again is in people's minds. There is a strict military aspect. There are force ratios…but mostly it's in people's minds," he said.
"So our task ahead is to take the additional forces we've got and to partner with the Afghans to convince both the Afghan government and Afghan security forces so they have the confidence to do this but also to convince the insurgents that they cannot do this and they lose the people to contest and control. And then most importantly, to convince the people in the middle that the government's going to be able to do this."
American soldiers ABC News spoke to in Afghanistan also welcomed the president's speech, and the 30,000 more troops.
"We're encouraged because more troops only means more people to help advise the Afghans and to get them where they need to be so that ultimately we can all go home." Sargeant Rob Brooks said.
"It's been long awaited. We do need it here. We are overworked and under staffed," Eric Wood, a staff sergeant for Platoon Sergeant for Security Forces told us, clearly relieved by the news.
Still, questions remain about how quickly Afghan security forces will be ready to assume a leading role.
"It's essential that we give them all the tools that they need to be successful. So they will be able to stand on their own," Chief Master Sgt. David R. Henry said.
Afghans were similarly concerned about the state of their army, "if they want Afghanistan to stand on its feet they should concentrate on Afghan National Army because currently the equipments of ANA aren't that good," Mohammed Amin, a student from Kabul University, told ABC News, "with this equipment they are not even able to fight the Taliban."
Some were also upbeat about the announcement, "if they are coming to bring security and help the people of Afghanistan it is very good for all I agree with extra troops." 21 year old Hafizullah Haikalyar said.
The Taliban issued its own reaction through a spokesman today, not surprisingly condemning Obama's plan, saying it is 'no solution for Afghanistan.'