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September 7, 2009
How You See It: Withdrawing from Afghanistan

Last week, General Stanley McChyrstal released his long-awaited assessment of the war effort in Afghanistan that reportedly sets up a request to increase the number of U.S. troops there.

Yet a growing chorus of critics in this country, including George F. Will and Nicholas Kristof,  argue that the answer to the conflict in Afghanistan is fewer troops, not more.

In the U.K., an aide to Prime Minister Gordon Brown quit last week in protest of the government’s handling of the war, while activists within Britain’s Labor Party are circulating a motion calling for the withdrawal of British troops.

So we’re asking a provocative question in today’s “How You See It:” Should the U.S. pull its troops out of Afghanistan?

Tell us what you think.

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The mountains in Afghanistan and Pakistan house a giant fortress of bunkers built by the U.S.I believe when Russia and Afghanistan were going at it. Now the Taliban is using the fortress to hide.I feel sorry for the people of Afghanistan but we either have to pullout and wait for the enemy to come out of the mountains,while putting some of our agents in Pakistan.Use drones to get them from Afghanistan.Or grant them their request for more troops.In the mountain areas our kids need help.


If Russia HAD to leave Afganistan, why don’t the Americans get smart. Leave before having to be forced out at GREAT cost.


One of the reasons we’re there is supposedly to catch Osama bin Laden. This may take a decade or more & is not worth it. We should treat him just like we do Ratlo Mladic: as an international
war criminal who, if caught, will be sent post haste to The Hague for trial.


If the concern is that if we left Afghanistan, it will become a hot spot for terrorism because part of the territory is lawless. If so, why are we not worried about Somalia and lack of an effective government? How is Somalia different than Afghanistan?

Let us get out of there and manage the terrorism threat remotely – just like we do it everywhere else in general and Somalia in particular.


We must pull out. We lost before we started, because a Christian nation must support Israel’s bad treatment to the Palestinians. We were stupid to think we could dialog with pissed off Muslems. Yes, that are as backward as hell, but we don’t have any moral high ground to stand on.


Instead of the US/NATO stating they will eradicate the Taliban. We should see to it they have their own place to live out their version of Shari’ah law while protecting those who don’t want them around. By simply sending out this message their ferver will be dampened.

Al-Qaida are no longer in Afghanistan/Pakistan.

I wish WF would address this movement.


Should the U.S. pull out of Afghanistan? Unequivocally no. Have we learned nothing from the War in Iraq or the War on Terror? As a great admirer of Gandhi and lover of peace, I’m opposed to all unnecessary war. Iraq was that w/o a doubt, but regrettably Afghanistan was not. That said, I was for a surge in Iraq before McCain. If you’re bogged down in a military quagmire you might as well do it right, and get it over. We need a major surge in Afghanistan, focused on winning hearts and minds and not killing innocents, the sooner the better. Send fresh troops, not the poor kids in Iraq already giving more than their share. Put them in charge of security, and summarily fire the extavagant contractors that would not know about or allow their debauched mercenaries to replicate Abu Ghraib’s shame, and undermine our efforts there, and w/Muslims everywhere. We literally cannot afford them. The ungodly profit Blackwater made off with could have done a world of good serving people in the region, whose support is imperative. It is weak, shortsighted, irresponsible, and disrespectful to the victims of 9/11 to suggest we cut and run from Afghanistan now. That’s what the enemy counts on us to be. It’s not cost-effective in the long run, and very disloyal to our limited troops to expect them to contain the critical situation on this front. The powers that be, and Americans need to face reality, get the job done, and withdraw w/honor. We owe that to our fallen troops, the ones in the field, the legacy of 9/11, and last but not least the people of Afghanistan.


Soon you will look to the heavens for your keeper

Wrong doers will run for cover and await the inevitable

Just like a chicken to Hawk, Eagle or Owl the Taliban will be drone food


we should extricate ourselves from afghanistan very quickly. even the military admits its unwinable. its another iraq and viet nam. we’re squandering lives and money futilely. our country is bleeding from mistakes by our government. rember rome,france and the soviet union.


America has become the latest empire to fail in Afghanistan. Hubris. We have been puffed up with pride, and thought we could control the world.

So, we fell for the lies about WMD in Iraq, and fell for lies about 9/11. 9/11 was an inside job to get us to go to war ON the Middle East, on Muslims. We should never have gotten in there.

Why are we there, in either Iraq or Afghanistan? Oil, heroin, Israel, geopolitical? It doesn’t matter: Not only should we get out, we should compensate the Afghan people for our war crimes: use of depleted uranium, and attacks on innocent civilians.


Pull out or build a permeate base, 6 in one hand ½ dozen in the other

Unmanned US airplanes will rule the country with the accuracy of a roadside remote BOOOM

The difference between the past and today is American compassion, make no mistake many STILL BELIEVE that part of the world would look better as glass

Keep thinking like the Tall One, push another button and see just how brutal and ruthless the day can become

Your day is near Tall One, throw your hands up in the name of Goooooober and free your people

True ignorance is to think the US wants to rule the sand box, ignorance has no value


There is a broad agreement among my friends that we can no longer be the policemen of the world. As a first step we have to get out of Afghanistan and Irak.


The United States must stay in Afghanistan until we have prevailed in eradicating Islamic Terrorists from that nation, end of story. There can be no more defeatist talk of “exit strategies” and other such nonsense.


We should never have gone to war in the first place anywhere including Iraq.
The most revenge we could have taken in the Middle East was simply turn our backs and show them our behind, that would have devastated their economy. No oil from them and no supplies to any Middle East country!
George Bush made a horrible decision by being there and Obama is even worse.
They have been at war for hundreds of years and our presence will not change a thing.
We can not shove Democracy down their throats, it just ain’t going to happen.
Pack our bags and ship out NOW!


We cannot pull out. But we will not win in conventional terms. I appreciated the gentleman’s intent to discuss what is success in Afghanistan tonight, but even he was not honest. Success will only come when a majority of the Afghans WITH WEALTH AND POWER (not just a majority) want a future different from the past and are willing to give up some of their wealth and power for the greater good of Afghanistan, not just their local tribe or village. The prinicipal problem right now is that a majority of those who hold power and wealth simply do not want the future to be any different from the past. They want to hold their power and wealth, they do not want women or young people to have any power or wealth, they do not want a central government to have power or wealth, they do not even want their sons or daughters or wives to have power or wealth if it means they have to give up any of their own. That is simply their mindset and their culture and the Taliban and Al Qaida tell them what they want to hear – no change, only men have power and wealth, only old men make the rules. Thus, the Taliban rule quietly, insidiously, relentlessly and harshly. This will take a long, long time to change.


Afghanistan, “graveyard of empires.” “Who does not remember history is doomed to repeat it.
We went into Afghanistan to capture Osama bin Laden but our foray into Iraq diverted our forces and now Osama isn’t there. So why are we?
We should get out now. Given that “victory” has never been defined, in the words of Sen. George Aiken about Vietnam, “Just declare victory and get out.” NOW!


Let’s get out of Afghanistan. I hate to say it but the average American don’t give a d— about Afghanistan! Given the choice of paying the rent or savings Afghanistan we in the real world would rather pay the rent, live and let live!!!


The question is:should the us pull out of Afghanistan:
the answer can be simple. YES. Why is it so far fetched for the US to mind its business in its geographical world closer to its boundaries? Why can’t the neighboring communities help to balance the “conflict”. [China, India, Pakistan, Iraq] I believe our presence creates a stronger and more formidable “enemy” and showcases the hypocritical foundation of our society. The cost and basis for our involvement is not “sustainable”. We cannot build or rebuild another nation. We have difficulty managing our own.


It will be worst than during Russian time when they left Afghanistan and the world seen the defeat of Russian Military. Taliban became like an african Bees(am african) if Nato leaves there, it will affect not only Asia, Euro,or America but deeply my country Somalia. Please keep Nato militray there as long as it takes and get more support around the world.
Tempe, AZ


YES leave as soon as possible.WHY is the US the only country that has to act like the BULLDOG of war? Their will NEVER be peace.TOO much conflict and EVIL.Get out NOW and save Your OWN country From Going Down THe Tubes !!!


Marvin Weinbaum’s assertion that we stay until the people of Afghanistan feel secure sounds like a bit of dialogue out of the BBC’s MI5 television series. Afghanistan eats empires–as any student of history is perfectly aware. A look at the map of the are should provide a ready explanation for why we are there. Should we need to blitz Iran, our footprints in Iraq and Afghanistan have us neatly positioned. Should the U.S. leave? Of course. Will the U.S. leave? Not any time soon.


Why should our young people, who volunteer to serve in the military, die to maintain Hamid Karzai in office? What are we accomplishing? What do we want to accomplish? We have no business in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.


The United States is a militaristic imperial power with over 700 military bases and missions throughout the world to safeguard our corporate plunderers. The military-industrial complex, which President Eisenhower warned against, is now in its ascendancy. Our economy is significantly driven by the suppliers to the ‘masters-of-war’and a military career is the only hope for the young underclass. Obama and Bush obsequiesly defer to officers like MacCrystal who have spent their lives never saying no to authority and steeped in the myths of American exceptionalism and echoing the motto of the Wermacht – Gott Mitt Uns. American affluence has been subsidized by the misery of the third world kept in check by our military. General Smedley Butler, commandant of the marine corps in the 20’s and thirty’s summed it up in his famous statement about the marines being used in Latin America to protect the corporations. He said: “We could have given tips to Al Capone!” Please read ‘The Sorrows of Empire’ by Chalmers Johnson and then respond to the question about getting the hell out of Afghanistan.


I think a draw down of troop levels is a good start.
I really don’t know enough about the issues to say for sure though, I did hear that we are protecting civilians there now, which is good.


Support is growing on the part of thinking Americans to withdraw from Afghanistan, where the mission is not well focused. Why didn’t we learn our lesson in Vietnam, where an unclear mission and zealous American hubris cost dearly in lives and treasure. The U.S. will never succeed if seen as occupiers; we’ve done this too many times in our history now. Interesting that both the political left and right are coming forward with this position.


yes, the American should leave afghanistan because the afghanistan does not worth a young American to loose his life. Taliban are not great fighter, they are hiding in caves like rat and put roadside bomb. if they are good fighter they should fight face to face. they are punch idiot ,coward. barbic


When Obama was a candidate and said, I want to move the war from Iraq to Afghanistan, he meant not, from killing Iraqi to killing Taliban. He meant to catch Osama and destroy Al-Qaeda. His administration knows the difference between Al-Qaeda and Taliban. Taliban are foot solders and fighting is their job because their is no other by doing they can support their families. They fought for us as Mojahideen and now they fight against us as Taliban. They have been doing this for centuries because the land, they live on don’t have the resources to support them. The Taliban need help and we are the best who can do that, we should do it.

The West can not bring peace to Afghanistan ourselves. We, the West, should ask the Russians and the Chinese to help us bring peace in Afghanistan as they did fighting terrorists. We need their cooperation and not opposition.

WE have to let the Afghans know that we are there NOT as OCCUPIERS but to help them. To do this and not just say it,
(1) We have to help the Afghans elect their local and provincial leaders. Let the Afghans decide who is an Afghan and who is not. No foreigner should force the Afghans who their leader is.
(2) Since the world is in crises and every country has financial problem and has hard time to donate. They should donate what they have and one of the local Afghan community needs. The donor should contact the locality directly.
(3) Once these local and provincial leaders establish, then the Afghans should elect their national leaders and the president should be elected with some peace in the country. The Afghans should be given the same right as any other nationality that their president be an Afghan.

Why does Afghanistan need a powerful army? Who are they fighting? We need to help people to fight their enemy and be a part of the civilized world. An occupied people with no belongs has meaningless life and do crazy things. Let us make the Afghans to have a meaningful life and be our friends, like Mojahideen, and not our foes, as Taliban.


Yes. we should make pulling out a matter of primary focus. History has shown us the futility of trying to force our political system and influence on other nations. In Vi-et Nam, Cambodia and Iraq we have repeatedly been shown that we cannot ever Militarily force a” Pax Americana” or even Democracy upon the world. What we reap is a “A pox on America”, for all the wasted lives of our brave sons and daughters…


A date, probably 18 months hence, should be set for our withdrawal, so the “locals” can take charge of their destination and possibly get financial aid from other countries to assist them – we have local problems that need these men and precious little appreciation for being there – a date must be set or we will never get out…..


It is time to get out of Afghanistan. The troops could be used to shore up our homeland security and the money used to help our own American citizens. We have so many homeless and so many without health care coverage in this country, just think how many U.S. citizens could be helped. Also we could use the money to pay down the National Debt. Let’s not forget Education in this country. Education is taking huge cuts. We need to invest in OUR future. The previous administration squandered the moment when we might have had an impact in Afghanistan by starting another war in Iraq. We can not recapture that moment.


Yes, American kids are dying in Afghanistan to protect a population unable or unwilling to protect its people. Their culture is not free and their people are repressed. Their women are second class citizens who must hide themselves and can be flogged in public if they dare bare even an ankle.

The US could remain in that country for a thousand years and still the Afghan culture will remain one of the world’s most primitive and repressive. Do you want to send your son or daughter to die over there?

It’s time to leave Afghanistan now and take care of our soldiers, our own people and our own

It’s time to stop wasting lives and money in a mistaken war that does nothing to improve our security here at home!


I haven’t heard anywhere that our soldiers are aware of the various cultures of that country, and how can we support them or protect them without that knowledge. I realize that we have good intentions but more is required. Lastly we keep hearing of the corruption of the leaders we support, and I do feel these reports are true, especially about the president of Afganistan who was originally picked by President Bush as a fellow oil man.


Waves on the Ocean
ever stop
Ebbs and Tides…
Rollings and Swellings?

upon Lands and Seas
be prevented
from occuring?
Turbulent one day
the Scenery may be
Calm the next…

When Night comes…

Does anyone remember
what is Above?

Can the Stars above be counted?
Can the Galaxies be numbered?

(above the changing daily Opinions
of lifelong Beliefs),
truly, know…
why any of us were Born into
this Ocean of Reasoning…
this Life…
live and die
(often Many Times…
the Apparent Final Transition
at Life’s End…

the Ocean’s (Apparent) “Other Shore”?

Pragmatic Questions, to be sure…
which could go on and on…

Read between these Lines
while you read…
while studying
and contemplating
the True Nature
What Lives and Endures
Behind the Lines
and, sometimes…
at the Front Lines


Yes. To leave now would essentially establish another unstable region with ramifications to be felt throughout the world. Support must be provided to establish a civil Afghan society, and then we leave.


Like it or not the quagmire is there. We need to stay until an educational system is set up that allows the people to see the injustice of the Taliban’s archaic rules of behavior. The people must feel enlightened in more modern views of the world such as women’s rights and feel protected to express them.


Yes, end the war NOW!! We have wasted too many lives, way too much money, and a Democracy is not likely to result as the resent elections are a total farse. We are disgraced by our U.S. Embassy staff acting the way they have. In my view this war is nothing but the continuation of the Opium Wars, the objective is for cash for CIA Black Op funds.


Do not repeat the same mistake and stupidity of the previous administration. stop the evil war and save Innocent lives on all fronts including US solders. This war will never be in the advantage of the Americans. Get out now before its too late.


People often see History, short term. I am against a LONG TERM COMMITMENT ; i.e., with ground troops. But, let’s give Cmdr. McCristal a chance. Remember the Iraq change in policy “Surge”. Another year. protect our troops and the civilians, build the Afghans, and then let us see. So–Mid 2010. Then Review expeditiously.


Yes. Didn’t we just go through this with Iraq?




I think we should spend the money that we are spending on a military force on creating jobs for Afghani people. Imagine the good that could be done rather than incident after incident of civilian deaths in air attacks. If we ‘defeat’ the Taliban in Afhanistan they will relocate some other place and we will have to shift the military to a different location. It is a never ending proposition for war. The military-industrial complex might like it but it it is a depressing prospect for everyone else.


Haste makes waste. Finish what has been started. Leaving now when you have a minnie “Battle of the Bulge” from the locally despised Taliban and Al Qaeda will not make you more safe. Real war is not a video game that is finished in a convinient time frame. Their support is not going to last forever, and neither are their leaders.


The west has a clear interest in making it impossible, or at least much harder, for the Taliban to attack again from Afghanistan. It does not have an interest in pacifying all of the country, nor the capability to do so. Therefore, we should help to secure Kabul and the Bagram airbase and offer air support from that base to Afghan forces throughout the country. That, I suggest, should be the limit of our commitment.


Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Useless. Get out now. -A U.S. Army Veteran


After the Tall One surrenders in the name of Goooooober real time intelligence from a drone or unmanned air plane can take the place of the solder on the ground

Conspire with the Taliban and be found in the form of little bitts of Taliban nothingness

Look at life like a chicken in constant fear of the hungry Eagle, Hawk or Owl

Taliban will be drone food


yes, the best sugggestion is to withdraw from Afghanistan. this war will result for American people to lose their lives. these people do not desreve one solider to lose his live for punch of thugs. Islam idealogy created a people with hatered mentality. they believe for the holy war.these people does not deserve the help they got from USA. economic help will not chage the hatered for the west


It is a quagmire, period. General wisdom in the 1990’s was that at least the Taliban brought popular stability to a war fratured country. The same could hold true again if we do disengage, as the Soviets did, leaving a vacuum in popular leadership. Al Qaeda would then be able to operate openly once again fostering further Islamic Radicalism around the world.


Alexander the Great, the British, and the Russians have all lost themselves in Afghanistan. We don’t have to do that to ourselves, too.

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