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December 2, 2009
Nearly 50% more US troops to escalate Afghanistan war

With his long-awaited announcement on Afghanistan finally out of the way, President Obama now faces the next hurdle — convincing Democrats in Congress and skeptical allies abroad about the wisdom of his plan.

The administration has sent its top guns to Capitol Hill to make the case for a massive troop surge.

Many troops are hopeful that Obama’s plan will help wind down the war.

For more on Afghanistan and what lies ahead, we’re joined by Masood Aziz, who is formerly the second highest ranking diplomat at Afghanistan’s embassy in Washington D.C.

Did President Obama convince you that sending more troops to Afghanistan is necessary?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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To BDupont

Wow, my man! Such an abusive response! Why not simply let someone convey their opinion without clubbing them? Or are you simply “right”?


Please do a story on War-profiteering and let your viewers know which companies and individuals depend on organized terrorism (war) for prophets err profits.

Please indicate to which members of the American Congress, or other countries’ legislative bodies, they donate money, and how much they spend annually on lobbying efforts.

Some obvious examples include Dick Cheney’s Halliburton/KBR, Raytheon, General Electric, IBM, McDonnell-Douglas, Xe/Blackwater, Caci, Titan/L3, Bell/Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, United Technologies, Science Applications International Corporation, CSC/DynCorp, Exxon/Mobil, Unocal, Chevron/Texaco, Bechtel, The Carlyle Group, PNAC, Citigroup, Goldman/Sachs, Yum! Brands, Shell Oil, Occidental Petroleum, British Petroleum, United Defense Industries, Military Professionals Resources Incorporated but the list is undoubtedly longer.


Greetings from a Peacenik (who survived the explosive ‘Sixties) and from Detroit, “where the weak are killed and eaten!” Here are my thoughts:

I am not willing to passively accept President Obama’s decision (under obvious pressure) to send our young relatives abroad (on our dime) to be blown up and/or hooked on drugs (like too many were in Vietnam) just to establish an allegedly “vital” oil pipeline or (ostensibly and worse) as a proportionately self-defeating escalation of Bush’s unimaginative, but official interpretation/reaction re: Bin Laden’s eight-years-gone “911” against Wall Street (once hallowed, but now fallen into disrepute) and against the ambitious,(still) Neo-con-infiltrated Pentagon and, presumably, against George “Oil Man” Bush’s own White House command center (all of which, in retrospect, makes the spectacle that was 911 look more like a rival drug lord’s driveby “message” to a local gang than a justification for a seemingly endless war.)

I can not agree to let our cherished flesh-and-blood attempt in vain, “by the sword,” to address what President Obama called “the corruption of Islam,”..[I think he said something like, “corrupted…to bring about or excuse hate-based violence]..,” in view of the fact that comparable “corruptions” of Christianity and Judaism assure droves on “our?” and on Israel’s side that God approves of their aggressions.

I think that we, the People of the US, need to demand that Congress apply our dwindling resources to our own and humanity’s common fight against ignorance, apathy, entropy and injustice, especially the injustice of economic inequity, because that is the non-violent way to condemn and remove those actions and conditions which spawn hate-based violence, not only abroad, but locally.

Instead of agreeing to fund the dispatch of professional war-makers, our Representatives and Senators could –and ought to– use what’s left of our tax money (now that the fat cat usurors have taken their cuts) to generate and export evidence of good will, on the internet and airways, through media and music and in public gatherings (like economically and culturally integrated public schools) toward the goals of international disarmament, peaceful/diplomatic resolution of conflicts and voluntary adoption of mutually beneficial means to survival.

We who elected President Obama feel strongly that humanity doesn’t need any more embarassing, death-dealing, costly wars! Instead, we need to combat the afore-mentioned enemies of all life with their cancelling opposites: enlightenment, compassion, reconstruction and –to establish justice–enforced regulation/restriction of would-be bullies, both great (for example, corporations) and small (like our lone, domestic terrorists.) Beyond those areas and struggles, however, most Americans don’t want their government engaged in any combat whatsoever –despite the media’s inundating them day in and day out with sports-based invitations to play “WE are okay; but THEY are NOT okay!” We’re not “pumped” to storm anybody’s beaches. Surviving the currently depressed economy is challenging enough for most of us.

We know Afghanistan is poor, too, and our own lack of confidence in financial recovery is easily transferred to skepticism about whether Afghanistan CAN EVER (let alone in 18 months)recruit and support an army large enough to take over the defense of their own turf, allowing our military to leaveon schedule.

There is always a chance that President Obama has some plan he CAN’T reveal, which would take away the risk of our getting mired in over there, but at this time, my duty, as I see it, is to object to the surge and recommend that it not be financed. –And if finding enough constructive work to keep our standing army busy and out of trouble strikes anyone as a problem, Congress could arrange for the troops to help out in cities too strapped for cash to employ enough firefighters or police to keep civilians safe HERE at home.


Mr. Obama’s child like faith in force of arms is a common malady among present and former members of the US senate. My generation had a commander in chief, unfortunately, trained in the senate, LBJ. As with most people who’ve not had the good fortune to be touched by fire in their youth, they talk of war as a holy sacrament and cure all. Armed force should be used as a last resort, not as a political expedient. The pacification of a people by force of arms is like trying to pacify a mental patiant with a ball peen hammer.


I must admit,I myself had voted for President Obama,..not necessarily because of his political philosophies,for I believed any nominee for president other than the Republican’s (McCain/Palin was more of the same) was a win-win vote for some kind of change being in the best interest of the people,and not necessarily for the pie-in-the-sky rhetoric promised. Unfortunately,(my subjective opinion only) President Obama has never been the great dynamic orator he was cracked up to be by the political pundits of todays “Commercialized Journalist”,period! His speeches were,and still are discreetly plagerized,…methodically truncated,and parsed into a visually-symbolic choreographed montages of minute buncombe. He is no different than his predecessor Bush#43,…both being incapable of selling a new product line,but undeniably “Good” used car salesman. That said,…I’ll focus on the history of great societies (good intentions pave the road to hell),focusing first on the Roman Empire which destroyed itself from within(infighting,and civil strife),and the rampant mismanagement of it’s once great wealth,and (infinite simultaneous wars stetched it’s armies to the breaking point)resouces. Germany during WWll met the same fate (thank God),again simultaneously fighting a two-front war with Europe,and Russia (had it not been for the United States fighting the good war we’d all be speaking German today)which brought about their demise. Next,..we have the USSR(Russia) War with Afghanistan that basically was the achilles- heel that broke the USSR’s back (the USSR army was decimated by alcoholism,heroine addiction,and (PTS) Post-Traumatic Stress)eventually causing it’s break-up,contrary to what the commercilized journalist tell,or want us to believe. Lastly,…it brings me to my final thesis regarding the incessant rallying cry of America’s “Military Complex Machine” once again wrapping inself around the American Flag (how quaint)thrusting America’s precious,and proud youth into multiple theatres of endless wars for the forseeable future (never in my life have I heard of a exit strategy regarding war,..very strange indeed) on borrowed money from a communist country. The near demise of the United States economy,it’s self-standing alone “greenback” hegemony,…it’s once great fiscal house is in crises mode with our leaders arrogant mismanagement of funds,…with dire consequences facing us in the not to soon future if we don’t start thinking rationally as a once great democracy. For the people,and by the people is how America should stand,even if by itsself!


J.W: I too wonder if extra deployments beyond the 30 thousand would help. It might be a simple analogy but did you ever need an extra employee at work and think to yourself – man if I had three extra hands I could wrap this job up so much faster? Our government is no different though and resources have to be carefully managed. Our current President is, at least, from the 21st century school of management unlike some of his predecessors. But we don’t know if the numbers were distorted and Gen. McCrystal’s true estimate was 20 thousand troops needed. The situation in Afghanistan could already be on the brink of too little to late but with the added deployments and clear direction there is still hope for a resolution. I’m sure when our troops are delegated to village sitting and liaison duties with farmers to “win” them over, the utilization of those soldiers is severely diminished. With millions of people out of work in this country could there be an alternative? Offer a hefty bonus, a six month salary equal to a years salary and hire some qualified unemployed Americans to help these villagers manage their farms and organize local governments, under the guidance of the state department and protection of our troops. The Taliban would come out the woodwork knowing everyday Americans are helping the cause. And our soldiers would be relieved to know they could train their rifles on an advancing enemy rather then one that hides in caves. So in the end, everyday Americans gain the value of a cultural exchange with everyday Afghans – something that would have a measurable impact for both countries. And the warring parties get to have their fight. People are put to work, mortgages are paid and local Afghan governments are farms are functioning without the threat of Taliban. Could there be an insurance company patriotic enough to underwrite the policy for everyday citizens willing to teach Afghans how to farm and govern so our soldiers can fight? Where are those good hands and geckos when you need them?


I am not 100 percent convinced that we should increase our presence there. If we must go in with extra troops we should not go in at 40% as we usually do – we need to go in to win. I agree with writer # 61 when she said that we should try to create the kind of country the Afghan people want not what we want the to have – however, having said this we should not allow them to create their country at the expense of our young people’s lives and our money. If we’re going to go in with 30,000 troops and if that is a true (and not manufactured) number to win fine – I highly doubt it though – I think it would be more like 200,000 to 300,000 need to wrap things up and show the Taliban that we intend to win. And, what about Europe and NATO countries contributions of “combat” troops – we always here this or that with the (US and it’s “allies) well Europe has actually more to lose than the US and so does Russia, China and India – all of these countries need to step up to the plate and spill the blood of their young like we in the US are doing. I have watched TV and these arm-chair Generals are always for sending in our soldiers and marines – but it’s not them getting their butts shot off and coming home without legs, arms or a life. So if we’re going to do the job, we need to get on with it and go in to WIN! Jim @ USA


Yes he did but, you can’t always fight a civilised
war, that would be like tieing one arm behind your back and our enemies would love this for they
know that war is hell and if you want to defeat
your enemy you have to cut off its head and any supporters, our enemies are not going for our toe
or pinkies not even an eye their smart, they know, they need our heads.


I understand the security issues posed by extremists. However, given the history of the Afghan area, I am not sure the US and NATO will be able to make a long term difference. Has anyone truly asked the Afghan people their goals for the country? If they do not have the same vision as the US, the plan is doomed to fail. The US needs to support the Afghans to build the kind of country they want, not what the US thinks they should have.


The Islamic world would not care about the lowly Palestinians, except some other religion has invaded them and hurt Moslem pride. However, USA could be on the moral high ground and help them – it does not. For that simple fact, we can never win in Afghanistan. We are picked the wrong side in the Middle East and the fundamentalists just get nutty about it. You can’t fix stupid and you can’t win over folks who get 72 virgins for one stick of dynamite.


It may be necessary, but will it work? I think the greater success in the long run would be to send farm equiptment and wheat seed. I’m really tired of American war involvement in foreign countries.


The United States began making very poor decisions in Afghanistan 25 years ago. Obama is now forced to clean up our own mess. Yes, I believe the situation is now critical, but I do not believe more troops will solve the problem – most certainly not in 18 months. He has short changed himself, and our country.


I didn’t bother listening to President George W. Obama’s speech. His hand-picked political advisers have him repeating the lies of the evil Cheney-Bush bunch. They not only made Osama Bin Laden a rallying figure for Muslim extremists, but also spent a trillion dollars creating a world class terrorist technical college in Iraq, with research facilities including a continued supply of guinea-pig American soldiers to enable perfection of IEDs. That said, recognizing that Iraq was worse than a blunder, and that Cheney-Bush could not have been more helpful if they had been Taliban members, the resulting mess is huge. Al-Qaida has never been a real threat, and would not be elsewhere, as in Somalia. But when allied with the Taliban in Pakistan, with safe haven in Afghanistan, the coercive beheading and limb-chopping tactics enable their control to spread like cancer. Their ultimate goal clearly is to seize Pakistan and its nuclear-armed missiles, subjugate Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the former Soviet Muslim nations -Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Kazak, Tadzhik. Perhaps later Egypt and Muslim Africa, then Turkey and on into Europe. India would be paralyzed, not subdued. The more they can spread out, the less susceptible they will be to Russian or Israeli nuclear countermeasures. Ambitious? Of course. But the momentum of early success paves the road. Remember – Cheney-Bush set this machine in motion. Even as Cheney-Bush will be, Obama would be cursed by history if he turned his (our) back on this threat. Truly he has (we have) no option.


I do not support Obama’s decision to escalate the war. I think this decision represents a misguided political compromise by Obama and one dimensional problem solving. There is no emotional commitment by Obama or the American people to this war. This is because there is no actual evidence that either the Taliban or the Afghanis themselves pose any actual direct threat to US or western security. As for the partnering with Pakistan the way Obama mentioned in his speech on Tuesday, this notion is simply ridiculous. This government is among the most corrupt on the face of the planet. According to Transparency International 2009 data, Pakistan has a CPI (corruption perceptions index) of only 2.4/10 (higher is less corrupt).


To Keolalani:

Ugh. Your delusional rant about “inside thermalite” is beyond despicable. Go back under the rock you crawled out from.


To Keolalani:

WWII was won on relatively short order in large part because of the horrific devastation brought on the civilian populations of Germany and Japan. Surely a former marine should realize that what the Allies did would have been treated as war crimes if the other side had won?

These wars are prolonged and costly for two reasons: first, the US tries hard to not indiscriminately devastate civilian areas. Second, for over 6 long years, US leaders had no credible policy or plans for Afghanistan or Iraq and wasted resources on delusional thinking and lack of governance on the part of civilians like Bremer, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, …

We can only hope that sanity prevails in the White House now, and the fact that Obama has a good rapport with his generals is a good sign.


Only simpletons would compare Obama to Johnson. Vietnam, like Iraq, was a war of choice on a country that did not threaten ANY US interests. These wars were based on American lies.

There is NO comparison between Afghanistan and Vietnam.


As a Marine Corps veteran, I actually think it is a mistake to continue this war, period. We have spent twice the amount of time there as we did in WWII defeating Germany, Japan and Italy across Europe, Africa and the Pacific, yet have achieved no more in tiny Afghanistan by comparison than the Russians during their tenure, or that we did in Vietnam.

This is a DISHONEST “false flag” war. For one, 9/11 was an inside thermalite job, thus our entire presence there predicated upon holding Osama bin Laden as the culprit represents an indescribably tragic affront not merely to the people of Afghanistan, but the entire world, including those who died on 9/11.

There can be NO transparency or integrity in the Obama administration as long as: (1) there is no truth commission around this incident (akin to the truth of the assassination of JFK), and (2) we continue to make war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.

It is long past time that we “wake up” and “stand up” for something beyond political rhetoric and the military-industrial complex that has raped this nation and the world-at-large for so long.

If we are to be radically honest with ourselves, in addition to telling the truth about the above, we will also fess up to the reality that we are the #1 terrorist nation on this planet. We are indeed, a colonialist “bully” thinking we can overtly and covertly mess in the government affairs of other nations to exploit their land and people as our “resource base.”

I am truly “fed up” with the incessant notion that “America is #1”. For one, it is not true on a number of levels, the least of which is our own financial solvency. For another, that adolescent notion “reeks” of male ego. We are acting with no greater wisdom and maturity than a handful of kids on their knees playing war in a sandbox.

In sum, Will Durant once warned, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has first destroyed itself from within!”

We had best take heed, for we are seriously dismantling this nation from within!


I support the decision without reservation. This is a sound decision. The short fuse will force the Afghan governments hand, and increased military action will force the Taliban’s hand – both will be forced to negotiate. It will also pressure the Pakistanis to maintain action against Al Qaeda and Taliban.

It is foolish to be sentimental about the devastation caused by war at this juncture – innocent Afghans would suffer much worse if the Americans simply fled. Mr Griesmer simply misses the point – the goal is not to thrust democracy on the Afghans, but rather to leave a relatively stable Afghanistan behind when the US departs.

The mischief was fueled by the US long ago when they helped Pakistan create the Taliban to fight against the Soviets. We are witnessing the fruits of decades of failed US policies that coddled dictators in Pakistan. Too late to back out now.


The “Afghanistanization” of the war seems to be the weakest of many weak links in this latest reimagining of our war strategy. I have every confidence in the ability of our troops, but I have no confidence in the resolve or the ability of the Afghan military. Buckle up folks; We are in for a long, long ride.


Mr A. Manzella: Were you so full of fear and nausea that you neglected to hear the President’s entire speech? The President outlined America’s interest in Afghanistan quite clearly.

“We must deny al Qaeda a safe haven. We must reverse the Taliban’s momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan’s security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan’s future.”

Also Mr. Manzella, you need not be afraid for our brave men and women of the armed forces. Should you one day stand in front of them in opposition, then you would undoubtedly become incontinent and collapse in fear. Try standing behind them, they volunteered for the job and they count on your support. I should know this, my son is a United States Marine who defends your freedom.


NO more war. No more troops to Afghanistan, or anywhere else! Where is your courage President Obama & the fire you had during your campaign?
(Please bring Martin Savage back to broadcast World View}


Barak Obama has turned into another Lyndon Johnson.
How sad.


I voted for President Obama & am very disappointed he is sending more troops to Afghanistan! Mr. Obama ran on the platform of having voted against going to war in Iraq. He has done nothing he promised to
do during his campaign, i.e. bringing the Troops home, closing Gitmo, etc. This is his so-called CHANGE? He is making a big mistake wasting more American lives & money FOR WHAT? GREED! He’ll be out in 1 term.
Terrorism is a global issue. Why then should we continue to carry the major burden of providing soldiers & money that we don’t have? EFK

War is man/woman’s inhumanity to man/woman. Obama will be a 1 term president & everyone will turn around & blame it on the black man.
Surprise he has no courage & is behaving much like Bush. I regret having voted at all.
Terrorism is a world wide problem. Why then should we continue to carry the major burden of providing more soldiers & money?


More unified troops banned together with one goal in mind and the sand box will get so small the Tall One will have no place to hide and so called noncombatants will no longer be able to shelter him

Beat the ground with a stick till the Tall One comes out of his hole and surrenders in the name of Goooooober

The “W” aint here to call the BIG DOGS off no more and it is just a matter of time now, my gut tells me I’ll be seeing you real soon Tall One


I believe we should withdraw troops starting now and train and support multi-lateral special forces to focus on networks of terrorists. We are only making more enemies among the Afghan people with this huge occupation and bombing, waste of resources on corrupt contractors, and increased suffering of women and children who have been even more oppressed under the government of Karzai. This “surge” will increase de-stabilization of a weakly governed, nuclear-armed Pakistan which is our greatest threat.
The Afghan people who are suffering most do not want us there. It seems only the leaders and those benefiting from corruption are profiting. I believe we need to strive to change entirely the face we show the world to one which acts first to address the needs of all its people and foster humane enterprises rather than the military-industrial complex. The latter has dominated all administrations in spite of the grave warnings of Dwight Eisenhower.


You gotta be kiddin’!!
Now the enemy [ you know, the ones that are KILLING our sons and daughters ] know our plans, intentions, strategy and time-table!
Good Move [for the enemy]!
Who tells you what shirt to wear? That’s about as smart as paying the enemy off, ..kinda like it pays to be our enemy and kill us…DUH!!


Interestly enough I was nausiated by the Presidents speech, as was I am afraid the audience of Brave Men and Women. Men and Women who are called opon to defend “our interest”. What interest I ask our enemys are hidding in Pakastain. What is the hidden agenda of the President and the New World Order which he backs. Our President is a Puppet as were the Soviet Puppets, no more no less. The American Poeple are asleep as usual. Yes I too fly the American Flag in front of my home. You are all so ancious to send someone elses Son or Daughter or Father or Mother. I ask why don’t you send yours, not the same brave soldiers who have been involved in this crap over their for over 8 years. Yes over and over again untill they are sent home in a Flag Draped Coffin. Our flag belongs on the front lawn not on caskets of Brave men and Women who are suposedly fighting for American Interests. Someone show me one American Interest in Afganastan just one.


Outside my house is an American flag. I could fly any other nation’s flag but since United States Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force servicemen and women fought our nation’s enemies to preserve our nation’s liberty – I’ll stick to old glory. And because those servicemen were led by courageous Generals at the direction of the President of the United States, we maintain the right to our freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In defending the United States you defend our Constitution and you and I can continue writing our opinions. I may not agree politically with each sitting President’s position on worldly issues. But I agree it is a tough job that takes extreme sacrifice, dedication and perseverance to perform. I am thankful President Obama did not rush to judgment in deciding to escalate troop deployments to Afghanistan. I am thankful the plan forward with respect to Afghanistan has clear objectives and a timetable to meet those objectives. I am thankful brave servicemen and women are well trained, provided the best equipment,and ready to deploy on short notice – thanks in part to the taxes I pay. The system may not be perfect but the system works. No Taliban planted IEDs outside my house today. I am not forced to speak Pashto or study the Koran. And there are no planes commandeered by al queda targeting nearby buildings. Thank you Mr. President. Thank you men and women of the United States Armed Services.


I generally support President Obama’s policies but I am disheartened at the decision to escalate troop levels in Afghanistan. If winning there means slowing the Taliban’s momentum in 18 months it is not worth the sacrifice in human life and the financial resources it will take. Our military presence there is giving the Taliban a great gift to win over converts to their cause. We need to withdraw our forces and focus on humanitarian efforts to win “hearts and minds”.


First, I congratulate President Obama for his speech that was clear and bold, and approve the difficult decision he had to take after long listening and debate with his advisers and what he knows about Afghanistan. It is not easy to finish up a job that has been mired by lack of all sorts and even neglected previously. I can understand how it is necessary to send more troops to strengthen the units already out on the field and give them more back up. One has tendency to forget the size of Afghanistan and the spreading of the towns and villages. Assuming security in such a place should be a nightmare. But the ultimate solution to the situation in Afghanistan resides in the pacification of that country which means when Americans leave Afghan people will know what live in peace means. I don’t know if that is feasible in a short term within the timing announced or in a long term after that. One certainly has to act upon one’s belief in order to help one own self out rather than sit on the side and ignore responsibility. For that purpose, I would suggest:
1. It is useless to do more of the same if that same was inefficient in the past.
2. You don’t go on tip toe when you face a vast array of problems. You have to deal with them across the board which means you have to foresee and be prepared.
3. Do you know what would make the Afghan people stay, work and live together? That would be peace and which incentive will be a permanent goal for a divided society to want something they never knew?
4. Afghan people need help through human contact and knowledge to find the structure in which they can fit in and work for their livelihood. Americans cannot give them all of that, but they can help them start that foundation and give them the incentive to work for.
For the invasion of Afghanistan to reach its beneficiary outcome, Americans need to get rid of Al Quaida as well as turning Afghanistan into a friendly state which would prevent their hiding in there. But, I guess I went too far in my dreams! Good luck Boys!


Sure, the familiar Voice coming through the airwaves & the Image on my Screen was that of Obama, but this sounded like a typical Bush (BULL) Speech.

Peace, Love & Respect.


One of the main reasons our military forces, together with NATO, are fighting to defeat and pacify the Taliban insurgents is to pave the way for the construction of the TAPI pipeline to transport natural gas and oil from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, to Pakistan and India. Some of it, without a doubt, will be channeled to seaports in Pakistan for transport to European nations, who need to acquire additional sources of natural gas. That fact should explain why US and European nations are involved in Afghanistan as a part of NATO. While several pipelines are being planned for that geographic region, the TAPI pipeline is the main objective of this military venture .


Why are we in Afghanistan? They’re called PIPELINES!

……..To be explicit, one of the main reasons our military forces, together with NATO, are fighting to defeat and pacify the Taliban insurgents is to pave the way for the construction of the TAPI pipeline to transport natural gas and oil from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, to Pakistan and India. Some of it, without a doubt, will be channeled to seaports in Pakistan for transport to European nations, who need to acquire additional sources of natural gas. That fact should explain why European nations are involved in Afghanistan as a part of NATO. While several pipelines are being planned for that geographic region, the TAPI pipeline is the main objective- ………


It almost seems that Obama is trying to spread out military thin. First Iraq, then Afghanistan, then Iran. If he keeps sending our troops out even our National Guard(who is not supposed to leave American soil;in case of a homeland attack) Who is going to be here for us when someone attacks us again? If “Terrorists” see that we might not have enough military over here to defend us, What makes you think it won’t happen again?


I do not want to continue, much less escalate, the war in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, Obama and my own reasoning convinced me that he’s not so much on the right track as on the only real “realistic” track. I reach that conclusion because of two questions I feel must be answered to challenge his solution. The first question is, if not this, then what?

While I have heard a great many criticisms of Obama’s decision, I have heard almost nobody suggest a solid alternative. More common, rather, is a dithering response that runs along the line of “I’m sure glad I don’t have to make this incredibly tough decision.” The few who are brave or honest to bluntly say the US should just pull out and come home either ignore what suffering a resumption of Taliban rule will mean, or dismiss it with the suggestion that oppression and violence is not only inevitable, but a time-honored Afghan tradition. Those who suggest that a remote and very small force will protect against renewed terrorist activities, meanwhile, forget that aerial strikes require on-the-ground intelligence … a scarce commodity in Afghanistan.

There is even less commentary about the second question. That is, what decision might be politically feasible?

Political realities both at home and abroad sharply limit real answers to this question. Any solution Obama might have proposed was certain to draw a firestorm of criticism. My own view, however, is that he carefully charted a course of compromise that may actually be politically possible. That is the positive side. The negative side is that his decision is such a compromise that it will leave many on both the right and left unsatisfied.

I am, in fact, among those who are not satisfied. Nevertheless, in general terms I simply do not see another solution that makes sense in the broader context of all important issues faced by our nation. It may not be a “good” decision, but I do believe the general direction of the President’s decision makes more sense than any other I have heard.




The US won the Cold War. As a result the whole of Eastern Europe and the ex-Soviet Union have been “freed” to modernise and develope their societies. In a similar way we must win the current war against religious extremism and tyranny and free up those parts of the world so that they can begin development. I cannot understand how anyone can support a scenario that would allow Afghanistan to sink back to the days of Taliban control.


Yes, I am convinced. I believe the President is doing the only thing he can do, given the history of the past 8 years. Continuing the staus quo is not an option, neither is packing up and leaving Afghanistan in the face of increasing Taliban aggression. Let us not forget that the Taliban government harbored Al Qaeda and will do the same once they take over the country. I believe th President adequately pointed out the danger of allowing radicals to dominate in Pakistan as well, and clearly said that Afghanistan and Pakistan issues are interrelated.


I have heard all this before and someone should look at history. It will be a total waste of our country scarce resources, money and lives and the result will be the same over the long term. They haven’t changed in over 2000 years.


I also wanted to add that I have serious doubts about Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s government. Karzai does nothing about the corruption or the opium trade. Maybe his brother is giving him handouts out of his profits. Pakistan’s ISI has been working against us every since it was created. Why would we trust them to deal with the Taliban or al-Qaida, when more than likely, the ISI supports them monetarily? E148, using the fight ’em there idealogy, we should be in Saudi Arabia right now. 9 hijackers were from there. Did anyone else notice Mr. O inferred that terrorism knows no boundaries and we must combat them? That says to me that Afghanistan is one of the many terrorism stops we are going to be making around the world (one example: he cited Somalia).


Mr. Obama did not convince me on Afghanistan. He left me with more questions than answers. He cited cost per year as $30 billion, yet did not say how we were going to pay for it. This is his second escalation of troops since he has been in office. I question him, his staff, and our head military general. Wouldn’t this suggest that the military underestimated the enemy or maybe incompetence? We should have used Cheney’s CIA deathsquads. That would have been more appropriate than over 100,000 young people fighting for someone else’s freedom. By 2029, our interest payments on our debt will exceed $700 billion dollars. Do we need to spend more money on more war? That money should be used to build infrastructure or schools. Best way to fight terrorism is to educate the people.


I completely disagree with Obama’s policy on Afghanistan. We should leave Afghanistan now! It is not worth our sacrifice and the further ruining of our economy.
We should pursue a policy which uses our superior technology and intelligence surveillance to protect our homeland and not be sacrificing our young men and women in outdated war persuits pursuits.


Yes the president did convince me we need to send more troops to Afghanistan, but I also did not think all the ‘patriotic, America will defend all’ conclusion was necessary or necessarily true. I don’t know how keen I am on putting up a timeline that we will start withdrawal in 2011 but regardless we can’t continually expect the troops and commanders to do more with less. The terrorist threat needs to be eliminated, and we are finally focusing on a country with a higher population of terrorists and desperate people looking for a way to survive. The next hurdle will be eliminating corruption greed in their government, which could be hard given the level of corruption and greed in many of our own sectors.


If the Afghan military, government, and police force cannot step up to the task to slowly take over control from the U.S. Army then the president will have to make these troop increases. As to the current troop increase, this was the right decision by the president, but now the BIG task is to implement and use this troop increase in the right and make a strategy that helps decrease terrorist presence in Afghanistan, and maybe the troop increase could also be used to train new and current personnel in the Afghan army and police force.


The Taliban would have turned over Bin Laden if we could have proved that he had anything to do with 9/11. Bin Laden is not even wanted by the FBI for 9/11. There is no proof. Going to Afghanistan was another lie.

19 terrorists hijacked 4 airplanes. Yeah right. At least 6 of them were found alive some time after 9/11. They were not dead. There were no Arabic names on any of the passenger lists for any of those planes. If any were on the planes wold you not think that their names would have been on the lists?

The 4th airplane was probably shot down not crashed into the ground by the passengers to avoid a hit in Washington. How could they know they were hijacked and know what they were planning on doing?

The Taliban fights us because we are there, there for 8 years.

So far as him seeing 18 returning dead warriors. Actually only one gave permission for him to be there, not anywhere near all 18 parents/spouses. Most of them did not want him there.

Obama is lying as Bush did.

Occupation by us too.

Pakistan falling into violence.

Is this the domino theory? Just as Vietnam was mistakenly invaded by us because of that theory?

It is another Vietnam.

We were not attacked from Afghanistan!!!! Where is the proof? A new 9/11 commission is needed to really pin down who did what when? One not headed by a confidant of Condoleezza Rice.

I am not convinced Mr. Barrack Hussein Obama.

Former President Eisenhower also said beware of Military Industrial Complex!!!

When will you close Gitmo? You did not say.

Yes we are there for occupation. We are building airbases in Iraq and possibly in Afghanistan. Eight years is an occupation.

More Fluff from this President.

He does not want discussion or opposition to his word! It is our right and responsibility to question things and not to follow blindly.


I don’t understand why we wage a 20th century war against 21st century terrorism. Why can’t we use targeted attacks on very specific enemy locations?
Wouldn’t that be more effective and less complicated than invading another country with tanks and armies? That being said, I am not sure that peace will come to the Mideast in my lifetime regardless of any action we take.


Obama has just become a four year president. I am lost at this egomania that seems to possess the men when they become president of the U.S.especially the one’s with no military experience.


This appears to be more of the same failed Bush policies. At least this President is more articulate and is better able to read from the teleprompter.

History demonstrates that once United States troops occupy a country following a war, they never seem to leave. For example, Germany and Korea.

Who is going to pay for this? What happens when the PRC decides not to buy any more of our debt?


Who thinks this policy is realistic.

The media has no cred. Obama has no cred.

Public opinion is overwhelming on this and the media and the President are blind to the truth.

Why don’t you report the truth, report about all the protesting going on in the U.S. today. Report about the majority of the people who supported Obama in the election who are disillusioned. Report about the truth for a change.


Twenty years from now the people of Afghanistan will be living with their ipods in the 17th century, riding donkeys, selling opium and US scrap metal. Americans will be mourning their dead along side their Viet-nam dead and be getting ready to invade another non-Christian country with the same mind-setted fools to lead them. We will now wait until the mob is bored of it all and the fighting children are brought back to the US. Hohum! History repeated for the uneducated.


One huge part of the war solution is missing: The Psychological Warfare Element. Our troops are fighting with their hands tied in self defense. Our “Enemy”, ???? !!, has engineered this through misapplying Western cultured inspired organizations such as our Media, Internet, The Geneva Convention, The Hague, United nations, The Human Rights, etc., while using propaganda and terror on their own people.—- As an eighty-two year old, I could write a book on Psychological Warfare, since I lived under Hitler’s occupation by master propagandist/psychologist dr. Joseph Goebles and terror police chief SS Heinrich Himmler. I am not suggesting that we be like them, but they did not handcuff their own soldiers, and Hitler kept internal order, so Germany was defeated largely by external forces, which we do not have to deal with here, but which our military is trained for.—Would a courageous journalist, please step up to the plate, and explain to the West WHO or WHAT our Real Enemy is, and the necessary Psychological War details we have to do ? It is tricky because the West proclaim to be Political Correct. The present course is a disaster for both the US and Europe. N. Sorensen


My question…How can Obama continually put blame on Bush for what he himself is continuing and escalating???? At least Bush had an emotional reason for wanting to go after them…Obama got elected for his promise of lowering taxes for the middle class and poor, health care for most everyone and above all REMOVING the soldiers from the war and insisted that this would be done within the first year he would be in office PLUS close the Cubian prison. BUT when Mccain said this was not realistic to Obama and that Obama did not have the experience to make a good judgement call on this-Most accused McCain of being another Bush -I guess Obama may have realized it isn’t as easy as one would think sitting in the oval office….STOP holding the last administration accountable for the past and START holding this administration accountable for the present!!!!! If the past is an excuse for the present lets all not forget that the muslims invaded the christains all the way to france- maybe Bush was continuing the work of Charles the Hammer. The point of that is you can not use the past to excuse the present decisions….Every man needs to be accountable for his word and decisions…to blame someone else for a decision you made is a cowards way out…


President Obama sadly has allowed the generals to dictate to him our future will continue to glorify war into the 21st century. Afghanistan could never be a threat as Iraq could never be. Media hype and rogue empires within empires. Do unto other as you would have them do to you. Perhaps the Afghans can have a one payer health plan paid for by us. Sad; sorry Mr. President no courage on your part but the soldiers you’ll send will surely need it. We are a lost people. This money and energy can be better spent elsewhere. There is no History only crimes. The United States of amnesia.


President Obama has made a terrible mistake. What increased American military involvement will produce is increased resistance. People will flow into the loose collection roughly called ‘taliban’ by way of driving out what will be perceived as foreign aggression. Not that the ‘taliban’ will hold together or have an easier time than anyone else in governing Afghanistan. A better strategy was to foment division between Al-Qaeda and Afghanistan — not hard to do since Al-Qaeda doesn’t have a significant presence in Afghanistan. Instead, Americans are driving the two together. A “segmentary” society can only unite against a common enemy. That enemy is the United States.


It’s a no brainer! The problem is that we are sick of war and had we been fighting this war for the past 8 years which was the right war instead of fighting the war that lined the pockets of the last administration and their friends we would be done with war and a trillion dollars richer.

Now I said what Obama stopped short of saying and everyone knows.


Tonights commentator is not of the calibar I am used to on World Focus. He borders on rudeness.
Obama has made a horrible mistake. I guess the mind set of the Military- industrial COMPLEX still thrives. A repeat of Vietnam. The poor kids and famolies that are going to Suffer and the USA taxpayer that pays the bill. I voted for Obama , what a disappointment and mistake. At least I knew what Mccain would do. TRAGIC


The president could sell ice in Antartica, so I don’t listen to him. I wait to see if he does what he says, to see if it works.


obama’s speech was steriotyped rendition of same ole tone retoric, he has finally made his bed and must lie in it ! he has no ability to make such a momentous a decision as this, he and his advisors are opting on issues that are defined by american jews and israel’s common enemy,muslims all are the priime foe of jews , any action that is detrimental to muslims is promoted by american jews ,, they lead the public’s defilation of arabs and muslims credibility, collectively no group should be condemed, yet american jews hod license to make stigma synominous with muslims in general, americans jews (lieberman) work hard to use american might as defender of a stolen land, given to jews by god as his choose people, christians see the bible as their guide to acknowledge jews supreemely entitled to gods favour over all gods children…….


So the Pied Piper turns out to be just another politician afraid of the 2010 elections.
We should leave Afghanistan with all due haste. It is not worth our sacrifice.
Maintain a strong offshore presence to the whole area and start a draft for public service at home.


We are deeply disappointed that President Obama has made this tragic decision. It ends the great promise of his presidency. It is such a huge mistake that we can only mourn at how misguided he is. We feared this during the campaign but had hoped he would know better once he was in office. It is a fool’s errand.


I very much agree with The Neohumanist (above). This war is as much about the military-industrial complex in the U.S. as it is about fundamentalism or Palestine. Read up on The Family, an American fringe Christian fundamentalist group which has spawned a new generation of exploiters of war and human misery. Its founder is the father of the founder and CEO of Blackwater, now renamed Xe Services to avoid publicity and possible war-crime repercussions. Obama’s speech cannot be seen as anything but a capitulation to the dark, wealthy and corrupt powers who are steering our nation on the wrong course.


Obama is the brightest and the most honest President we have had for decades.
I am not thrilled with sending more troops into a country which has a history of violence and resistance of change; however, I trust the President’s decision.
If he falls behind with promises…..he will not achieve a second term.
He is a good man, brilliant and caring.


Yes, he did convince me that it is necessary. Now if we can combine the Marine/special forces units both U.S and international forces and focus them like we did in Iraq and kick butt and degrade al-quieda and the taliban. Next we need most of the other forces for training and policing.


I’m still not convinced that the Afghanistan government can be trusted and that to put the lives of our men and women in uniform “on the line”, President Obama will have to do a lot more convincing than what he did in his speech on 12-1-09.


Yes, he convinced me. I thought it was a good, clear presentation of the issues and basic plan.


Absolutely not,he is as headstrong as his predecessor Bush#43,…terrible mistake. Why is war the easy way out with our world leaders today (no questions asked,just bomb away as in Iraq)? Whatever happened to a dialogue with the powers to be, America to high,and mighty not to negotiate with the Afghanistan Warlords,or God-Forbid the indigenous Taliban. Something has gone terribly,terribly wrong,…


I hate to say this, but the USA must take on a realistic view and policy on Gaza and the West Bank before fighting Afgan fundamentalist can make any sense. I am sorry to say that delusions dominated the minds of USA citizens in the Vietnam years and delusions dominate the minds of USA citizens now. Killing folks you hate for their violent acts against USA does not necessarily help the future of the USA. The world is bigger that Islam or USA, etc. The world must be treated with the right moral outlook. Life must be supported and helped. War is not the answer, unless it is a war to support and help in a real way. For example, Palestine needs to be helped. If we do not see this, then drama of ignorance and narrow interests will keep writing the depressing pages of history.


I voted for, helped fund and campaign for Obama, but he has not convinced me more militarism is the answer.

Using chemical warfare is a violation of human rights. It’s apparent Obama’s still using white phosphorus in Afghanistan. Why would I listen to a war criminal?

Karzai legalized rape, his regime put up to thousands of people in canisters, pumped some of them full of bullets for breathe holes and then buried them, and it’s basically known that he and his bros are drug lords.

We were giving millions to the Taliban for their war on drugs right up until 9/11 and then we took them out of power. The next people in power would be the drug lords.

Like Malalai Joya (the bravest woman in Afghanistan) has said. they’re a photocopy of the Taliban, the same donkey different saddle. it’s fundamentalist war lords on each side.

The Afghan people do not want us there. like Gandhi said, “people would rather be ruled by a tyrant of their own country than a foreign one (or one backed by foreigners)”.

Until the US does something to dampen jihadi fervor we’re going to see an increase in terrorism. Some of their grievances are legitimate and even if they’re not we must know our adversaries mind set. The more ideologies we understand, from any culture or peoples, the better.

Exploding white phosphorus over villages, using cluster bombs and stealthy drones isn’t going to buy democracy.

We created a civil war in this country. People only side with who they think will be able to protect them and their family the best, so people take US money and train with US forces and then are looked at as committing the greatest treason–bringing a foreign presence to kill one’s own countrymen.

“the greatest purveyor of violence today – my own government.” – Rev. & Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I like how in his speech Obama said we aren’t trying to dominate the world. do the principles of “full-spectrum dominance”, “space superiority”, or the fact that 177 nations (except the US, Israel abstains from voting) are for the PAROS resolution mean nothing to him?


Sending more troops to Afghanistan will only push out militants to Pakistan and create more problems there. The troop surge is not a good idea.

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