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Obama facing hard choices on Afghanistan war plans

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"As public support for the Afghanistan war erodes"

How can this be?

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I think public support is about the same, but now the Republicans sense that this is an issue where they can diminish Obama's popular base, so we'll see more and more folks in the media, especially on Fox news and conservative Internet sites, saying that we don't need more troops. We'll see Republicans will obstruct the funding at every point. The support for more troops on the left is not strong, but I don't think it has changed.

I may be wrong about this but let's watch over the next few months and see what happens.

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I agree Farmboy.

As for those plans, I just hope someone making the plans remembers how long the Russians were there and exactly where their tale was when they left.

Taka

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Oh oh, I can sense some flip flop coming any day now.

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No surprise. Looking at Afghanistan's history the only surprise is that anybody would have wanted to invade again. Many tried and were smashed or couldn't control the country. Among others the Persions tried. The English tried twice and left humiliated. The Russians - ditto. All of them with superior numbers and weaponry than the locals. Just a matter of time till the US and its allies get out of there too.

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"We'll see Republicans will obstruct the funding at every point. "

Democrats have a super majority in Congress.Blaming Repubs won't work, I'm afraid.

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What is it with the US military and force levels. Within the US military there was a fair bit of criticism regarding the fact that too few troops were deployed in the initial stages of the Iraq Campaign, the argument goes that Rumsfeld and Bush tried to do the job with too few troops. More recently, the US came to realize that there were too few troops in Afghanistan, and it has subsequently increased the numbers there. Reading this article, however, there are still too few grunts on the ground, but General McCrystal is going to be asked to downplay this issue (I hate it when politicians start second-guessing their field commanders). What ever happened to the old adage of "Shock and Awe." Of course, the domestic political environment is such that large numbers of US casualties will not be tolerated, however, you cannot have it both ways. If the Taliban is to be countered and the Afghan government supported, then there have to be boots on the ground.

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But, he added, “this is the war we’re in.”

That's the crux of it. If it is a really a war and the Americans believe that it is essential to fight then they have to commit everything they have got and be prepared for the tens of thousands of casualties. Don't expect the Europeans or Japanese to help you, for us the political will is not there.

Otherwise, just go home. Or it will just go on like this for decades.

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Obama soon may face two equally unattractive choices: increase U.S. troops levels to beat back a resilient enemy, or stick with the 68,000 already committed and risk the political fallout if that’s not enough.

what about something earlier which said he looked to learn from Vietnam war? if he really learn(anything at all) from Vietnam, he would have one easy choices to make which is leave them alone.

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What is it with the US military and force levels.

Yes, I don't know what's up with that. I certainly wouldn't like to set up our troops with too few people and not enough, or poor quality, equipment.

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Democrats have a super majority in Congress.Blaming Repubs won't work, I'm afraid.

So will you go on record saying that Republicans will support the war and make sure all funding for it will be passed smoothly? Obstructing funding is certainly possible, even with a super majority, as both Democrats and Republicans have proven. You might lose in the end, but you can postpone things easily.

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The Russians deployed almost 110,000 troups in Afghanistan. They had a huge strategic and logistical advantage considering the proximity of the location and being able to walk in overland. They still couldn't control the place. When will the US ever learn?

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This is almost like a new war that Obama has to win. First we went in and we started to make a difference. Then we pulled most of the troops out and sent them to Iraq. Now we're looking at the same war we first went into. We've given most everything back to the Taliban thatg we had taken.

The Taliban has had time to rebuilt their forces and gather new recruits.

We will ultimately have to increase the forces. I just hope they do it before too long and get results. < :-)

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The Democrat Left is nearing the point of giving up on Afghanistan. This puts President Obama in a bad position. During and since he election campaign, Obama has touted Afghanistan as the legit war that should be fought and won. Will he surrender when the Pelosi wing of the party throws in the towel? Unfortunately, he probably will. Stay the course President Obama.

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President Obama repeatedly declared on the campaign trail that Afghanistan was the right war. I trust him to keep is word. Why would he lie to us?

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this is the war we’re in

Watch for Obama to recalibrate his words on this issue, too.

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The US has no choice but to stay and fight in South Central Asia because that's where Bin Laden is. So much is made of 9/11 that unless Bin Laden leaves the area, the US can't let him re-establish in Afghanistan at least without facing judicial punishment. It's like Pearl Harbor.

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The bottom line is that we are in Afghanistan and there are severe consequences if we leave.

The Taliban will return to power and will be an ongoing danger to the west. Their alignment now with Arab fundamentalists is likely to make the region a haven for terrorists.

We are still there because Bush's policy was an utter failure. Had we focused upon the security of Afghanistan rather than the invasion of Iraq, the Taliban would have been routed and the people given the necessary security and support to invest in a different future.

Staying with inadequate forces is equal to losing the conflict. We need to work with Pakistan and make wiping out the radical branches of the Taliban our mission. In the mean time we need to engage the more moderate Taliban and work towards integrating them into the Afghan mainstream.

We must assure proper and fair elections. Afghans need a leader they feel is their choice to move forward.
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"Then we pulled most of the troops out and sent them to Iraq"

We did not. We kept the troops in liberated Afghanistan while liberating yet another country.

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I wish he would declare what the end goal was first? The right war? Explain please. Killing all the Taliban is not practical, the average Afghan that wants an income becomes a Taliban as needed. The Taliban "surrendering"? Yea, right, they are more an ideology than an entity. Making Afghanistan safe and secure? Sure, not in anyones lifetime what with the present just kill em all and lets prop up the corrupt Afghan government policy. Stopping illegal drug trade? Sure, when it makes up 70% of the GDP? Not likely.......... So, hate to say it, but looks like it is time to bring our troops home.....

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A military presence will probably always be required in Afghanistan. The Taliban isn't an enemy with a structure that can surrender, and the country overall doesn't have any real central authority that all people will recognize with or without the Taliaban or the US. Eliminating the Taliban from Afghanistan is like eliminating terrorists from Palestine. Even if the government agrees to a peace deal it can't guarantee that others won't act on their own.

It can't be "conquered," but it can probably be set up in a way where some central body can continue to fight the spread of the Taliban over time. It's probably going to have to be a joint effort by the Afghans, the US, and Europe. Technology allows terrorists to cause more damage with fewer people, so they can never be given any kind of safe haven. They can't be eliminated, but they can be limited in their ability to strike. In the end that's probably the best the world can hope to do in Afghanistan or anywhere terrorists operate.

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"Waist deep and sinking down in the Big Dusty"...Obama's gonna deeply regret even trying to prop up a corrupt guy like Karzai...but then where would the CIA get their drug money for their slush funds and secret prisons so they can round up anybody that looks cross-eyed and torture them? This a continuing disaster but there are more private contractors than troops now and they certainly love to profits they make. that's right--more private contractors than troops and growing every day... $$$$$

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