November 12, 2009
Controversy rages over Afghanistan troop levels, corruption

President Obama is weighing his options in Afghanistan, but a major voice of dissent has emerged that challenges General Stanley McChrystal’s request for another 40,000 troops.

For more on the emerging U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, Daljit Dhaliwal talks with Marvin Weinbaum, a scholar at the Middle East Institute and a former State Department analyst on Afghanistan.

Weinbaum discusses what he sees as the most important strategic focus in Afghanistan and an assessment of Ambassador Karl Eikenberry’s recently leaked comments calling for fewer troops.

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There is another issue that permeates just about any conversation surrounding troop levels — the perception and the reality of widespread corruption in Afghanistan. Jonah Hull of Al Jazeera English reports on the perceptions of corruption from inside Afghanistan.

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Comments

10 comments

#10

Instead of using white phosphorus, cluster bombs and CIA/military drones we should be bombing them with Qur’anic verses, such as this one, “Do not kill yourselves, truly God is Merciful to you” (4:29). Many Hadith account Muhammad as saying that by whatever means you kill yourself by, you will be forever repeatedly killing yourself by the same means in hell.

We should be mocking their cowardly suicide bombers, telling them that if they were truly sincere and want us to hear their grievances they should be using self immolation instead of bombing other Muslims.

Sort of defeats the Hadith sayings, but things like this could be done.

“He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people.” (5:32)

#9

Why is it that the good old US of A, (home of the brave), has gone to war against poor nations (or small) only? Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, ETC. Joe

#8

The appropriate US troop level in Afghanistan is zero. A few warmongers profit while the average US citizen is taxed over generations. Only the sheep are slaughtered.

#7

I hope all men in this world who fight in faraway lands go back home to their own lands. My President Obama, a Nobel Peace Winner, knows America must leave the God-forsaken Mid East. Obama is a man of peace not war. Nothing good will come of this War. this war is an abomination to all civilized peoples.

#6

100 armed and completely mobile troops can do more when scattered in the wind

Terrorists have no home, are not bound by weapons, transport and useless support items like cafeterias

100 troops with real time satellite support and a watchful eye on the form of a drone, blackbird or B1 with the right weaponry and the ability to react on the spot with whatever force is needed

Take out any that show the wrong support

The people would rather be in the earliest period of time in human culture living in mud huts with their only modern tool a loaded gun ?

No need to change their desire only eliminate the US threat and that means you eliminate the martyr where it stands before it self destructs

Look up Tall One and see the true ruler of your land, a pilot less drone that will put all on knees and head in sand begging for leniency

Remember the words Tall One you will need them soon

#5

I hope as time goes by, Obama can get some spine and lead his people and become a leader worthy of the country he represents. Obama represented change and hope. Ah, the hope is gone now and the change looks like it was a dream too.
Candidates are not Presidents and cynicism is beginning to gel again.

#4

Will Obama’s committment to Afghanistan be determined by what happens in Obamas trip to China? I guess Obama doesn’t care what the Europeans think. Lets face it, the Europeans and NATO are for all practical purposes useless. China is more helpful I guess.

#3

I think Obama is acting like a typical indecisive inexperienced egghead. Has Obama and his flipflopping ways indirectly pitted some diplomats against army generals now? I wonder what people outside of America think? I am curious what defense ministers in NATO countries think. Is Obama determining what he thinks is the proper American foreign policy by what happens with his domestic policies? Is the Obama Administration sadly becoming a failed one already??????

#2

The US occupation of Afghanistan is one of deciding just how long we want to stay and continue to have our troops killed in a ‘war’ that will go on until we finally decide to leave. In the end, it is the Afghan’s country, as it always has been. When we sent in our ‘posse’ to find Ben Laden, no one believed or wished to engage in nation building. Our presence has done more to destabilize the country than ever what the Taliban has done. Worse, our presence is destabilizing Pakistan at the same time. The Taliban may be odious and repressive, but they are not ‘terrorists’ bent on the destruction of the West. We did not go to war to save Afghanistan from their own repression. Karzai has done a very poor job. We could have picked better, but corruption seeks its own level. At least if we left, the Taliban would help rid the world of the opium glut.
U.S. out of Afghanistan now!

#1

Wow, after just watching WorldFocus tonight, I am more than amazed at Karzai’s brazeness and defiance that the US is “stuck” with him whether we like it our not. I think he’s a con man and haven’t liked him at all. He is not going to clean up the corruption, being the kingpin himself. I say bring our troops home and forget the whole “democracy to Afganistan.” Not going to happen. Plus, I don’t think the tribes even want a democracy. Otherwise, the Afganis would be turning taliban in by the dozens, by the hundreds. The fact that they hide them and protect them tells all. They are in every village and play dumb.

We have plenty of infrastructure work to be done in the US and the NATO countries have the same in theirs. The money saved from warring would indeed pay off our debt. I read somewhere that it costs like a billion dollars per day for us to be in Afganistan!!! In a few years, we’d have no national debt, our young men would here at home contributing to our economic stability and with their wives and children. And for the women in the miltary, they’d be here contributing to the economy of our country and home with their husbands and family. All NATO and UN troops should pull out too. It’s over, over there.

In the same vane as Reagan said to Russia “Bring that wall down” I ask Obama with the same urgency bring our troops home!!!

I think it’s time the Pakistan army be responsible for themselves too. They’ve stood by watching our guys die in their country, guns in hand and doing nothing to protect anyone or anything. Only recently have they entered the frey and are actually helping. I saw on an international news program last night, that a proposal for that situation is US troops in Pakistan surrounding Pakistan’s nuclear areas and protecting them if the taliban start to infultrate into the regions. Otherwise, Pakistan is to take care of themselves too.

I have a question, where do these countries get off at having us fight all their battles??? If they all want to keep fighting their thousands year tribal warfar with each other, fine, the US and the other forces get out now and leave them to it. If they all kill and blow themselves up enough, maybe one day, someone — one of THEM — will say enough is enough and they will stop the warring themselves. Their peace can only come from themselves.

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