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July 20th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How committed are you to U.S. continuing war in Afghanistan?

The war in Afghanistan could soon become a real test for the young Obama administration. The Taliban has posted a video online of a young Idaho solider captured there.

Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl shown here in a video made by his captors, members of the Taliban.

In the video - Bowe Bergdahl is prompted by his captors to beg for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, saying the U.S. is wasting time and lives there. The 23-year-old says he misses his friends and family and is scared he won't be able to go home.

The U.S. has condemned the video as a violation of international law.

Meanwhile - after eight years of war in Afghanistan - a new Gallup poll shows 36 percent of Americans say the U.S. involvement there was a mistake; compared to the 58 percent who say our involvement in Iraq was a mistake. 54 percent of those surveyed say things are going well for the U.S. in Afghanistan.

But public support may not last forever. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says U.S.-led forces must show progress there by next summer; otherwise the American people will believe the war has become un-winnable.

Gates says victory in Afghanistan is a "long-term prospect," and that after the Iraq experience, the American people won't have the stomach for a "long slog" in another conflict: "The troops are tired; the American people are pretty tired."

The U.S. recently sent an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan - after a year that saw a significant increase in extremist attacks against U.S. and NATO troops.

Here's my question to you: How committed are you to the United States continuing the war in Afghanistan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brett from Massachusetts writes:
The decision to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban was perhaps the best decision made by the Bush administration. The Taliban was and still is an official sponsor of terrorism and al Qaeda. We cannot afford to leave Afghanistan to their mercy and give the terrorists their own country to plan out attacks against America and other nations.

Kristoff writes:
We need to bring our troops home from all across the world. The reason extremist groups continue to attack us is because we are in their countries. I guarantee you if one day we woke up and the Chinese were setting up military bases and making their presence known in the U.S. we would respond with some extremist tactics of our own.

Julian from Boston writes:
I only wish the best for Bergdahl and his family. However, I don't think this should deter us from our goals in Afghanistan. The people of that country will remain trapped in poverty and violence as long as the Taliban can enforce its perverted version of Islamic law. Like it or not, we played a huge part in putting them in power and we must now make the commitment to end their oppressive rule.

Oakey from Indiana writes:
How committed? Zero nada, not at all. Revenge for 9-11 would have been getting Osama bin Laden and his gang of religious wackos, not using the attacks to justify a war for oil in Iraq. Engaging in yet another foreign war for the sake of "not losing" is just more of the same... Bring the troops home from Iraq. Bring the troops home from Afghanistan. Use the billions for health care here in the U.S. instead.

Larry writes:
I am truly puzzled as to why Obama chose to recommit to Afghanistan rather than pulling out altogether…It must be the Democrat weenie factor. The Republicans have dominated the propaganda war for so long, portraying themselves as the tough party that doesn't ever back down, and the Dems fall for that nonsense and feel compelled to act tough instead of doing the right thing! Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan now!


Filed under: Afghanistan • United States
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Kerry Florida

    As long as it takes to destroy the group who organized the 9/11 attacks in 2001...Only get it done right this time and don't use 9/11 as a excuse to attack another country...

    July 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  2. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    President Bush did this thing right; declaring nations that harbor terrorists as enemies and reserving the right to track them down regardless of national borders. As long as Al Qaida has a strong presence in Afghanistan, we need to be there lest we fall victim to another 9/11. We should rout terrorists out wherever they are. That includes Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen as well. The trick is to convince the countries of the region that it is in their own best interest to support our efforts.

    July 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  3. Kevin , FL

    Fully commited against any Foreign Foe. I feel for the innocents who have nothing to do with Terrorism, but instead of blaming US, blame the Regime that executed the attacks. Once we had the stomach to Protect Our Nation, now its Political Correctness and me, me, me.

    July 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  4. Janice from Collingswood NJ

    It breaks my heart everytime I hear that there are new deaths to report but the Taliban are brutally cruel people who need to be stopped. It will take some time to get to the point that we were in before Bush decided to side track everything to Iraq. We have to support our troops there.

    July 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  5. Melissa

    I'm fine with it. This is where the army should have been in the first place. Iraq wasn't the United States problem, Afghanistan IS our problem because the Taliban and Al Qaeda are both based there.

    July 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  6. Dr. Jim Farrow

    This is a difficult issue for the United States. It will not be long before US citizen support for this military endeavor wanes to a small minority of us. Let's hope that Mr. Holbrooke and Mr. Obama can work out a successful alternative.

    July 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  7. Peggy in Texas

    I am TOTALLY NOT COMMITTED to ANY war!!!!!!! Haven't we learned anything from Iraq????????? I do not understand a society that doesn't even blink an eye about deficit spending to invade, bomb, kill people and completely overthrow a government yet whines and complains about spending money on health care reform. What does that really say about America???????

    July 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  8. LDR in Central Texas

    We have no choice but to totally destroy all militants hell-bent on destroying us. Iraq was a mistake. Afghanistan is a war that will directly affect our future. It is possible for us to be defeated here at home. The war ensures we are not.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  9. Sarah from Toledo

    Bottom line is this: The war is over when Bin Laden is dead, or is turned over to us.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  10. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    I'm committed...as long as Bush, Cheney and the wealthy elitist families who supported Bush will serve on the front lines. These GOP chicken hawks made the mess, never finished the job and now enjoy a safe area on the sidelines where they can criticize Obama and Democrats. Put their yellow college Republican Chicken Hawks on the front lines of Afghanistan and I'll support the effort.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    July 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  11. Elliot Philadelphia

    I am all for continuing the war in Afghanistan because we were attacked and now we must fight back. When the Japanese bombed us nobody ever thought not to attack them. Why is 9/11 different? We must sieze every opportunity to kill these horrible people because if we don't they will rebuild and attack us again. We are bigger and more powerfull than they are and right now they are our biggest enemy right now and they must be defeated. This is a war we can and should win.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  12. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    The Cheney/Bush bunch went into Afghanistan under the guise of looking for Osama Bin Laden. You can see how successful they were in that endeavor.
    The real reason was so they could build a pipeline from the oil fields of Uzbekistan, through Afghanistan, and down through Pakistan to the coast. But Afghanistan, like Iraq, proved to be a tougher nut to crack than they ever imagined. Bring the troops home from both these fabricated wars, and let’s spend all that money where it is needed to rebuild this country.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  13. Elliot Philadelphia

    I am all for continuing the war in Afghanistan because we were attacked and now we must fight back. When the Japanese bombed us nobody ever thought not to attack them. Why is 9/11 different? We must sieze every opportunity to kill these horrible people because if we don’t they will rebuild and attack us again. We are bigger and more powerfull than they are and right now they are our biggest enemy right now and they must be defeated. This is a war we can and should win.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  14. Peg from NY

    Not very.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  15. lynne from NC

    At first, yes to find bin Laden and bring him to justice. But after the Iraq invasion that was spearheaded by the previous administration geniuses that made the entire region more unstable, no.

    We need to get out of there now as well as the entire Middle East. One can't make people conform to their way of life unless they want to. The Russians found out the hard way.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  16. Ed Tant in Athens, GA

    I say bring the troops home now from both Afghanistan and Iraq. Trillion dollar wars are a drain on an already ailing economy. Let's see a peace dividend, for a change.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  17. david

    " the greatest purveyors of violence in the world is the U.S. government"... if you doubt Dr. King's words, just look at history.... war is wrong...period!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  18. Moish

    Very committed Jack. We'll fight this one to win. As Winston Churchill often times said K.B.O. Keep Buggering On.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    Jack, the war in Afghanistan is the war we should have been fighting in the first place. The problem is not the war but the manner it is being fought. Afghanistan was secondary to Iraq because some guy named Bush had his own personal gripes with Iraq and he listened to not so intelligent intelligence reports and a not so intelligent Warmonger called a VP.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  20. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    I am not commited at all. It is nothing but another opium war. It has nothing to do with capturing Osama, or hindering the Taliban. It is all about profitting from the opium.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    It really doesn't matter which country the troops go to. The war is a religious war, and it is going to be fought, one way or another, in one place or another, by the Islamists, until such time as they either win, or are eliminated. It will be a war of endurance, and resolve, and those who lack the courage or the resolve, will lose.

    There will be no negotiation, there will be no surrender, and there will be few prisoners taken, by the Islamists.

    How we will respond, is a rather big question, as Americans have become soft and have little resolve in the face of adversity. We have not actually set out to win a war since WWII. That is simply not a good track record, for dealing with the war we have now.

    The indicators are that we will face a high level threat within 2 yrs. I do hope we are prepared for that, but I am far from confident. In any case, it is likely that we will lose our coalitions, in the near future, as they too, have little resolve. Then we will be tested, and how we respond will determine not only our future, but that of the free world.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  22. Donna Wisconsin

    i think what really is a core issue is that Reserve Units and National Guard Units who are suppose to protect us here and are being sent there. If there was a draft and the regular military were the ones sent in, people would either be for it or it would end faster. We have not 'given up ' anything for these wars. Americans need to have rationing and a drft and they would end fast!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  23. Carlo

    I'm totally committed to stopping the Taliban and Hunting Al-quida, we should not stop until these two groups are effectivly destroyed. As for Iraq, that was neither here nor there in the context of the attacks in NY. A terrible and constly distraction which we never should have entered into.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  24. Mary

    Not at all, I never have been.
    This is Bush's war, too bad he could take it with him last January.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  25. hank, montreal

    I predict that the U.S. and their allies will win the war in Afghanistan in 2045....make that June 2045. I sure wouldn't want to be too off-the-mark....

    July 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  26. Michael from Ft Hood Texas

    I am a 28 year active duty officer, and I think we should pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan and start taking care of Americans for a change!! Neither one of these wars are serving their intended purpose!!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  27. Bob G

    Jack
    The Russian tried it and they were unsuccessful. They were there 10 years and did not accomplish the mission. They live next door and could get the job done. What are we trying to accomplish. I have not seen a mission statement or and exit strategy. Gitter done or get out!
    Bob G
    Vero Beach, FL.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  28. Gary Bonner, Baltimore, MD

    Jack, tell me again why we are there? I think we invaded because the Taliban government there would not give up Osama Bin Laden. We destroyed the government, killed scores of Taliban officials and installed a new government. Osama is still chillin' somewhere there or in Pakistan and Mullah Omar is just sitting in his cave waiting for us to leave so he can take over again. Like it or not, the Taliban enjoy the popular support of the majority of Afgans. We would have to be willing to kill alot more people in order to stamp out and prevent the resurgence of the Taliban. We are loath to do that; so tell me again, Jack. Why are we there?

    July 20, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  29. Valerie in Raleigh

    We should have never sent American troops into the Middle East. If George Bush and Dick Cheney had acted with intelligence and understanding of the history of the region, we would have never involved our troops in Iraq and now Afghanstan. This area of the world has been involved in tribal warfare for generations and no outside force will ever be able to have these countries act together in peace. This is just another example of the incompetence of eight years of Republican control. By the end of this year, a determination should be made (with Colin Powell present) if this continual action can bring any kind of peace to this area and, if not, we sould pull out and let the people of that region work it out. No more nation building.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  30. Okey from Indy

    How committed? 0, nada, not at all...

    Revenge for 911 would have been getting Osama Bin Laden and his gang of religious wackos, not using the September attack to justify a war for oil in Iraq. Engaging in yet another foreign war for the sake of "not losing" is just more of the same thing the U.S. has been doing since the end of WWII. Bring the troops home from Iraq. Bring the toops home from Afghanistan. Use the billions for health care here in the US instead.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  31. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    As long as it takes to erradicate Al Qaeda and those devoted to terrorism in the West. It is better to have the fight in Afghanistan than NYC. Are we going to pretend 9/11/01 never happened? Are we going to pretend that once we withdraw they will be content with that and call off the jihad? What are you going to tell the famillies and friends of the victims of that day in September? How can you show you have made the country safer and ensure them their loved ones aren't going to be in any more danger?

    July 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  32. calvin

    only if the news and congress stay out. war is a hard mean thing. fight it to win not for the press to harp the killing of childern and woman. the emeny will do that by using them for shield.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  33. Dr. Bill

    Hey Mr. C,

    Riddle me this. Why are our soldiers not being implanted with GPS tracking devices? I know this sounds like a violation of human rights, but if I was back in my combat boots and on battle field I definitely a would not mind having chip implanted in my teeth or behind my ear. Know this sounds like Sci-Fi, but we are in the 21st Century and we should take advantage of the technology to save these young folk's lives. I hate to even imagine how this ordeal ends for that young man – may God be with him and his family. And will someone tell the Pentagon & Congress to stop investing in new furniture and invest in technology to save lives.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  34. James Fazilat

    I am a Afghan American and fled Afghanistan shortly after the Russian invasion that took place in Dec. 1979. The World must forget or deliberately ignore the history of this country's wars against outside powers. The British invaded this country three times and the Russian fought there for about a decade without success. What is the United States and other allies are doing that makes them feel they will win this crazy war. More than 75% of aid to this country falls in the hands of corrupt goverment officials and it is appalling to hear how much corruption exists in this country. Most of the scholars and other noteworthy people that Afghanistan needs now, are living overseas and have no willingness to go back for many reasons. As cruel as it may sound, drop a chemical bomb on Taliban, eradicate them with help of many local warlords, and get out of this country. We are simply wasting our time, money, and sacraficing our troops lives for nothing, of course unless there is some other hidden political motivation for us to be involved there! I would say GET OUT OF THIS MESSY COUNTRY now!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  35. Okey from Indy

    How committed? 0, nada, not at all…

    Revenge for 911 would have been getting Osama Bin Laden and his gang of religious wackos, not using the September attack to justify leaving Afghanistan on the back burner while we go to war for oil in Iraq instead. Engaging in yet another foreign war for the sake of “not losing” is just more of the same thing the U.S. has been doing since the end of WWII. Bring the toops home from Afghanistan. Bring the troops home from Iraq. Use the billions for something positive for a change. Like health care here in the US instead.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  36. PM

    I'm committed to a small force in Afghanistan, participating in the constant tribal warfare that is the historical dynamic in that country, because this would achieve our real goal there: to eat up Taliban resources that would otherwise go to al Qaeda operations in the West.

    I am not committed to a strategy of stabilization in Afghanistan. That strategy (and the accompanying troop buildup) works in Iraq because Iraq has a long history of relative stability – and the Iraqis want that stability restored. This is not the case in tribalist Afghanistan, which has not known real stability in decades.

    I supported the actions in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but now we are biting off a bigger, tougher piece of meat than we can chew.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  37. M. Grasso

    Jack,

    I am commited to winning this war until it we achieved our number 1 goal in going to war in the first place: catching that rat Osama Bin Laden and bringing him to justice.

    It's a shame we got sidetracked for all these years in Iraq because of the Neo-Con's selfish foreign policy.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  38. Mark in Arkansas

    Ask Russia about fighting in Afghanistan... We went there originally to find ONE man. We can't even do that.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  39. Jim Blevins

    About as committed as I am to continue hitting my head with a hammer.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    July 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  40. Susan Frost

    Not in the least. One of the reasons President Obama was elected was to bring our troops home. Yesterday would not be soon enough.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa, AL

    July 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  41. James Fazilat

    How can you implement Democracy in a country that has over 98% of illiterate citizens that were born in war torn country and is armed to the teeth? Read the history and learn your lesson! Whatever we need to accomplish in Afghanistan needs to be done in terms of getting rid of the Talibans, swiftly, effectively, and without a long term U.S. and Nato involvement. This war is not winnable!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  42. Del Bryan

    This war was a deceit, built on lies to serve the narrow interest of a handful of persons at the expense and sacrifices of so many. It is an injustice to this great nation that this deceitful war still continues.
    It is equally important that the truth be established and responsibility be placed at the foot of the persons responsible for these acts of deceit.
    The nation needs to know the truth for reconciliation and healing to take place, and as a nation we must be forever vigilant and not allow a repeat of this shameful behavior.

    Del Bryan

    July 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  43. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    Well, since "George IV" committed us there in 2002/03 and didn't follow up, I guess we should at least finish the job...but is it the Taliban or Bin Laden we should be after?

    July 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  44. Oshoks

    It is not a question of committment, just ask the Russians. The Russians fought in Afghanistan during the cold war at a time when the global media could not monitor their activities and yet they could not acheive their objectives.
    For generations now, Afghanis have been born into wars and thats all they know.
    America's commitment is evedient, the question should be can they achieve their objective. That's the trillion dollar question.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  45. STAN - ILLINOIS

    I guess if we get out of there, the GOP will say we are against them. Remember the Dixie Chicks? The Gop always said you are either for us or against us. That sounds like Russia.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  46. K

    This country has tostop poking her nose in everyone else's business! How would WE react should another country invade US and declare they do not agree with our form of government?? Turnaround is fair play afterall. No country is perfect. We need to take care of business at home.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  47. Peter M

    Very committed. This is a tough job but, it has to be done.

    July 20, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  48. RJ

    Its no different now that we are there, the Russians tried and left in defeat! Do we really think we`ll change those people minds, I highly doubt it! I wander how far Afghanistan would get if they invaded the U.S.? You think we would have learned our lesson in veitnam, but no still pulling same old tricks, we havent learned anything apparently!

    July 20, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  49. Eric from Chicago

    If bankrupting the country is the goal, then yes. Oh wait, we already ARE bankrupt! We never learn from history, remember what happened to Russia there?? Many others as well.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  50. Jon

    The last Westerners to have any success in Afghanistan were Errol Flynn and Clark Gable.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  51. ldavid56

    Not at all–Afghanistan is a money pit and a losing proposition. It bankrupted the Soviet Union. We will never be able to force democracy on an Islamic republic, and Afghanistan is very poor and very tribal. Get the solders out now, provide economic, education and medical aid.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  52. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    We need to get out now! The chance for success in Afghanistan was lost when Bush started a war in Iraq.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  53. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Ironically with the death of Walter Cronkite clips of him telling the nation that in essence the war in Vietnam was not winable. Neither is this "jackpot". While we would all love to see democracy magically transform the Middle East into a Jeffersonian uptopia it simply isn't in the cards. These folks are not ready for nothing except more of the same. The war lords run the country and the best thing we could do is arm them to the teeth and leave Osama, et.al to their tender mercies. Let's bring our kids home. We can't afford the blood and treasure.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  54. carlos marrero from Socorro NM

    We're in there to protect the Afghan people from the Taliban. It's a war we should have made a priority since 2001. Instead we were distracted by Iraq. Unlike the Iraqi war, Afghanistan has clear objectives (the capture of Osama bin Laden and the release of the people from the Taliban.) We now have a chance to do the right thing by Afghanistan.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  55. Dale,,,IOWA

    Its been a long 8+ years but we are finally fighting the correct war, no thanks too the chicken-hawks of the party of no,,.. if we need more troopers lets draft all ex-White House politicians starting with Mission Accomplished himself., send Dark Vader too,,

    July 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  56. mike

    I am a supporter of Obama but I feel he has made a big mistake going into Afghanistan. I was active as a Vietnam proterster and even resigned my commission in the USMC over that issue. I have been strongly opposed to the war in Iraq and wish this country could just start minding our own business. We will lose in that morbid area of the world.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  57. Eric, Flemington, NJ

    Not at all – this is not our war. Have we learned nothing from the experiences of the Soviet Union and Great Britain in this part of the world? If a foreign government requests the presence and assistance of a UN force, that is one thing. It is quite another to "surge" ahead as we are apparently doing in Afghanistan. Have we learned anything at all from our adventure in Iraq?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  58. Marlene,Grand Blanc, MI

    NOT! Thomas Friedman had an opinion piece in the NY Times, saying that we should be in Afghanistan because of the schools the US is building especiallt for girls. While I agree, generally, I think we can still get troops out, and then build schools in humanitarian aid.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  59. ed in ri

    Jack;
    I'm sick and tired of hearing any more "talk" about winning anymore wars!
    Nobody, no country, ever "wins" a war. Everybody involved looses.The only exception that I can think of - Defense contractors and military support corporations 'i.e. Halliburton'.
    Get out of Afganistan and the Middle East, and spend the money and effort to save this country and our planet!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  60. Jerry

    Build up the Afghan Military to defend themselves, help clean out the Taliban, and then get out as soon as possible.

    Jerry
    Altoona, Iowa

    July 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  61. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: There needs to be a plan: what goes in must come out. In some countries a physical show of force makes a difference. However, there needs to be an exit strategy. Surveillance planes and other technology will probably make more of an actual impact than thousands of troops. I trust our President, however, I'm keen to hear of the plan to get us out of the middle east.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  62. BRENDAN FEEHAN

    At the commencement of this operation many comments were made regarding the previous military operations in Afghanistan – the difficulty of this operation wasn't underestimated then – it shouldn't be underestimated now, this however isn't an appropriate, relevant or strategic argument to "cut and run now". The US have invested a massive amount in this operation, both financial and human capital, this is very much appreciated internationally.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  63. Bill - St Louis MO

    None at all at this point. Russia's Vietnam was a 10 year nightmare with no winning end in sight. It has become a no-win war, has increased opium production, even catching bin Laden is becoming so distant.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  64. Barbara; Spring Grove, IL

    I truly have mixed feelings. I don't want another war that continues with limited success and no end in sight, but at the same time we cannot afford to let the Taliban and/or Al-Queada gain power. Since these organizations threaten world peace and stability, this should be an effort of many countries, just not the United States. As my 18 year old son has signed up to join the Marines later this year, I realize he may well end up in Afghanistan at some point and I hope and pray our military leaders have a clear and well defined plan to minimize casualties and maximize a successful mission.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  65. James In Idaho

    Jack, We need to be there until we accomplish two things...
    1. Get our boys, Including Bergdahl back safe and sound, and capture those responsible.
    2. Get Osama Bin Laden Alive and put his narrow, sadistic, evil butt on trial.

    Once those two things may be accomplished, we should do our level best to end all drug production there, and any possibility to have it resurface on any significant level, working WITH the Afghani people and its neighbor pakistan, and then get the hell out of dodge.

    Otherwise, we are as much trespassing there as Illegals are here, and we are in Iraq.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  66. Jack Haesly

    Not committed at all. War in Iraq and Afghanistan is basically insanity. Get out of both countries and instigate a single pay government sponsored heath care program instead. People are dying daily in this country by thousands due to no health insurance. This is not a Republican/Democrat issue. The American people, (76%) want universal coverage. get on that band wagon for a change!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  67. C. Martin, Birmingham, AL

    I'm against war. Period. Obviously, no one learned a darned thing from Korea, from Viet Nam. Haven't we had enough NOW after Bush's Folly? A war against people who never harmed us??? The republicans even had normal, sane people thinking Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. Unbelievable. I say get our people out of Iraq and STAY OUT of Afghanistan, Iran, Korea - and wherever else the US feels tempted to stick its hawkish nose. Let's have some peace. Maybe then prosperity will follow.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  68. Keith, Mesa, AZ

    Jack,

    After the years that were wasted, because of old scores to be settled in Iran, the armed forces and the administration are actually setting goals in Afganistan. It will cost lives, money, and we actually may have a debate. Still, this is better for the US, than supporting Herion, and losing a slower but steady amount of servicemen and money with no plan in sight.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  69. S Callahan

    Truthfully, I think the whole world is war weary....but ...
    the question should be Why are we REALLY in Afghanistan? Is it to empower the farmer trying to feed his family? Is it really a hunt for Osama? Is it to quash the Taliban? Regardless, it is a viotale region that has a long history of wars and rumors of wars...and it will, eventually have a grand ending....but I doubt the US will be over there then (it's not in the grand plan).

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  70. Mae Stephens

    It is absolutely essential that Islamic terrorists be denied a base in Afghanistan. In testimony to Congress, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said he believes the war against Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan is "winnable." I hope members of Congress heard what he said next – that substantially more U.S. resources (American lives as well as money) will have to be expended before the war is won. McChrystal obviously believes it will take several years to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists. However, that will require a major commitment from Americans. And as we all know, Americans, with their short attention spans and short-sightedness, no longer make long term commitments to much of anything, even when their very lives depend on it.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  71. Robert in Fayetteville, Ar.

    "To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.' I don't think 'the Founders" ever foresaw that we would engage in a continual state of warfare with one country, let alone two.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  72. Jerry of Muskegon

    There are no good answers in this war. We lose if we stay and if we leave this mess, we could lose if the Taliban, Al Quida takes influence of Pakistan and it's bombs. Pulling out of Afghanistan into Iraq was a stupid, costly, and criminal. Bush/Cheny administration will be defined as the "Dark Ages" of the 21st Centry.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  73. C. Martin, Birmingham, AL

    I am not committed, Jack. But there are those who should be. We have enough trouble with the economy and people who die because they don't have the simplest healthcare available to them. We don't need WAR to add to the drain on our money and the loss of lives. Bush is gone. Cheney thinks he still matters, but he doesn't. It's time to end the Iraq fiasco and add a little peace to the world. Prosperity might even follow.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  74. grammiej

    WAR? What war, it seems we pay more attention to the passing of Michael Jackson than to "war".
    I am an Army mom and have a daughter currently deployed to Afghanistan. She also was deployed to Iraq. She is a Lt in a transportation unit at Bagram.
    I support and am very proud of my daughter's decision to serve our country. I do not support either war but we are in this mess and somehow we need to get out of both of them.
    I am committed to finding solutions and hope we can very soon.
    Judy, Pulaski, TN

    July 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  75. Richard

    Sending American troops into Afghanistan to get bin Laden and the Taliban was one of the few things with which II ever agreed with George W. But when he gave up on that goal in order to show the world that his winkie was bigger than his daddy's in Iraq then the whole objective in Afghanistan ended other than killing off more young American soldiers. If you take a look at photos of the terrain of Afghanistan you can easily see why NO ONE from Alexander the Great through the British Rah and the Soviet Union have never subdued the country. It's time to leave.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  76. Minan59

    Bring the troops home and end the thing. Odds are Osama bin Laden isn't even there. We can't afford to pay for these wars any longer.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  77. Ethan from Florida

    Remember the Soviet invasion. It was the bear trap. Now look at the US, it's the eagle trap. Every time Afghanistan was invaded the natives always found away to take back their country. Even though I like President Obama, this will be his Vietnam. Another unwinneable war.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  78. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I'm not committed at all.Our troops have done enough,bring them home like was promised during the presidential campaign.It doesn't matter where there are they are, have done their fair share!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  79. Aaron Seattle

    I don't know how committed I am to it. I guess I would like to hear the Afghan side of the story and how committed the average citizen is. Regarding this unfortunate soul that found himself captured, and this might be heartless, but he isn't worth it. He isn't a high ranking officer w/ overly valuable intelligence, he knew what the dangers were when joining the military, it would be an absolute waste of resources to go in after one man, if we do respond to Taliban and attempt to negotiate it will only setup the climate for similar situations to occur and only serves to stall the process of getting us out of there as quickly as possible. It's cold, crude, and logical yes but wars like this one are not won on empathy. Sorry, I wish him and his family well, but its one man in tens of thousands.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  80. joseph guidry

    It is time to end this stupid so call war ,it,s nothing but revenge.It,s time to lick our wounds and stop getting our young men and women killed.
    enough is enough!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  81. Gordon, NJ

    We cannot just walk away from the fight against those who attacked us on 9/11. Al qaeda and the Taliban will not just fade quietly into the night. We have no choice but to find a way to stabilize this region, and to replace medieval religious fanaticism with a more modern society.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  82. Jeff Jones from Atlanta, GA

    We shouldn't be committed to CONTINUING the war in Afghanistan, we should stay committed to surgically removing the Taliban and other such radical cancerous groups from wherever they hide and thrive. After that, focus on bolstering up the economies, democratic governments and peoples of places that have been ravaged by these terrorist groups. Peace is ALWAYS cheaper than war.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  83. Jim

    Jack,

    If we don't finish the job in Afghanistan, the Taliban will be back in a wink laying out the welcome mat, once again, to al Quaeda, slaughtering their own people, planning new terrorist adventures and financing it all with fresh poppy fields. Iraq was a mistake from the beginning, but we don't have any choice on this one.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    July 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  84. Bruce Johnson

    The reality is, we cannot afford to maintain the "status-quo" military
    presence anywhere forever. American people are hurting and cannot
    continue to fund everlasting wars. There has to be an end in sight.
    Our economy is in the trash and inflation is sure to follow. How long
    do the American people have to continue to fund wars, bailouts, and
    pork projects that have little or nothing to do with the running of our
    country?

    July 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  85. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Zero, I to the point they can do what they're doing in Iraq and that is to see how may they can blow with IED's, just get our soldiers out of there.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  86. mack from michigan

    I'm not very committed right now Jack, it might help if somebody could explain to me what exactly it is we win if we win, or how exactly we can tell when we've won if we've won. It seems to me if we drive the bad guys into the mountains and put a fence around the mountain that would be a win but hey, I guess I"m just not educated enough to grasp our middle east policy.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  87. j/NJ

    How committed are you to the United States continuing the war in Afghanistan?

    All military commitments have limits, the conflict in Afghanistan is no exception; thus in the absence of a clear military objective carried out within a reasonable time frame, the war effort serves no useful national purpose and should not continue...

    July 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  88. Barbara ,New Port Richey, Florida

    Given the fact that we should have been there after 9/11 instead of going after "the man that tried to kill my daddy" as Bush did, what do you think???>>??

    July 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  89. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, my boy - it's time to bail. America's seemingly endless committment to the salvation of other countries neeeds to now focus on the salvation of our own. We're losing the treasure of our nation, both in the blood of our service personnel as well as the treasure itself. Enough is enough. It's time to bail and let the world see just it's like without us.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  90. Richard

    The United States funded and armed the anti Soviet forces with little thought of who we were allying ourselves. These"allies" learned well, defeated the Soviets and imposed an ultraconservative Islamic state. That state served as the base for attacks on the US, both at home and abroad. In retaliation, the US military was called upon to topple the Taliban and its guests, al Queda, but was not given the means to defeat them or pacify that country (Apparently, Republican leaders had bigger plans ). The then leadership abandoned Afganistan (withdrawing needed forces) to engage in an offensive war in Iraq. Unfortunately, the military is now asked to fight this fight again . And this time the politicians and the American people should be prepared to complete this dangerous fight to a military and politically sucessful conclusion.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  91. George Jones

    Not committed at all. We went in to Afghanistan supposedly because of 9/11. No Afghans were on the planes, and the story was phony anyway. The real reasons we may never know, but energy, and world domination were certainly involved. Bring the boys home.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  92. charliec

    The tally to the dead in Iraq are estimated to be 1 million people and that doesn't include the ones that go unreported. We have also 4500 dead American soldiers and many more wounded. this war was unjust from the very beginning. waste of money ,waste of time,waste of life all to serve sum special interests of a few individuals. I am For pulling our troops home from overseas duty and pulling our soldiers out from foreign soil such as south korea, japan,australia,iraq,afganstan,etc etc
    With the economic problems that linger on our doorstep, we need to be smart and end this conquest once and for all

    July 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  93. NL from Minneapolis

    Completely committed. As we should have been from 9/12/2001.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  94. Lisa in Shelton

    We didn't go there soon enough to catch Osama Bin Laden; now we've had troops trapped there for too long, fighting a religious war we can't possibly win – and we're no closer to Bin Laden than before. This war is too costly – in lives lost, in money spent, and for our credibility in the world. We need our troops at our own borders!

    July 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  95. Marietta

    Better be committed because that is where the real terrorist master minds of 911 live period. Should of been there a long long time ago full force..no safer because we started the wrong war, in the wrong country, fighting the wrong enemy of 911.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  96. Mickey C.

    We are a bunch of morons. This Afghanistan campaign will go the way of Vietnam and we'll end up getting the boot just like the Soviets.

    Wars will never stop because there's too much profit to be made. They have nothing to do with securing democracy and anyone who believes that is beyond delusional.

    I feel sorry for the kids who go into the military thinking they're helping their country when in fact they're helping the arms makers/dealers fill their coffers. They are being used.

    Rochester, NY

    July 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  97. Muin

    I don't believe U.S faces any threat if they leave things alone in Afghanistan. I don't see the long-term benefit of keeping U.S troops in danger in Afghanistan.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  98. julian

    I only wish the best for pvt Bergdahl and his family. However, I don't think this should deter us from our goals in Afghanistan. The people of that country will remain trapped in poverty and violence as long as the Taliban can enforce their perverted version of Islamic law. Like it or not, we played a huge part in putting them in power and we must now make the commitment to end their oppressive rule.
    Julian
    Boston

    July 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  99. Warren - Detroit

    Given our "war" in Iraq, and speaking to my friends that have been to both Iraq and Afganistan, we CANNOT win these wars, ever.

    Pull out of Iraq, pull out of Afganistan, provide political support, and use elite special forces (and our highly advanced intellegence agencies) to find, and capture Osama Bin Laden, not tens of thousands of troops.

    Quit wasting my money on things that are going to hurt us in the end.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  100. C.K.

    Jack, we need to stop sending in troops. Our presence there hasn't stopped the violence since the day we stepped foot in their country. And sadly, it will continue after we're gone. We should focus on saving lives, and money and taking care of those who have done all they can at this point. Bring home the troops and end the cycle.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  101. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Let's be real honest about the entire aspect of all the wars since WWII. Korea, Viet Nam, The Gulf War, Afhganistan and Iraq is what keeps our economy moving as we build planes, make weapons, bullets, armored vehicles, uniforms, flags, and on and on. History has provided us with a perfect picture of all of these but we ignore it and continue to spend money we borrow from China and even worse get people killed. In the wonderful words of that man Walter, "And That's The Way it Is".

    July 20, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  102. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    The war in Afghanistan was the right war to fight in the first place. Our efforts there were eclipsed by Bush and the Iraq war. For once in our lives, could we just finish the job????? I don't know about you, but I don't want the Taliban knocking on my door telling us my husband has to grow a beard and I have to wear a burka.

    July 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  103. Docb

    Jack,
    Afghanistan is key to the Middle East...Stability and difussing the Taliban-which are prone to go with Al Queada if it is their security at stake- which it is! Pakistan could be neutralized if Iraq and Afghanistan are self governing-of course Karazi is a real problem!

    It will be best to help them instead of doing the Rumsfeld – hit and run!

    If you look at the terrian of the country and know the people, it is an impossible task without the trust needed! It is about survival at the low levels with tribal law!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  104. Kathy

    Please end it and bring the fathers, brothers and sons home for a while they have fought harder then in any war in history. Bring back the draft then the rich will have to serve that will end it.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  105. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I do not see where we have any choice. Things are in such turmoil it would be impossible to pull out anytime soon. We were sent there to
    eliminate terrorism and that we must do. We can only hope it
    doesn't turn out like Iraq where I fear many lives were lost needlessly, as will not be suprised to see Iraq return to their old ways.
    The nonsense we were fed about their "relief" to have America
    there, and were thrilled with their "freedom" was a bunch of
    poppycock.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  106. Remo....Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack,
    Let's bring our folks home, NOW. If anything we should have learned from Russia that going there is a monumental tragedy. We are fighting in an area that goes back centuries in clan, warlords, and territory. To just say that we will bring you democracy is insane. Instead of fighting we should be containing their opium exports and turn off the money flow.
    ..I for one am tired of this waste of American lives and needless casulties. I pray that our troops come home quickly and safely and that we think things through a lot better and honestly next time we send our young men and women into some trumped up war zone.
    ..I'd say Mr. President, if you have any common sense, bring our troops home now!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  107. Nancy, Tennessee

    The 36% got it right, mistake to chase the Taliban over the mountains and in the caves. We should use our resources to enforce our borders and take a lesson from North Korea. If you cross their border, you will do hard time. We need to be tough in a tough world.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  108. Sue

    Wherever we go to war we need to put in the people and equipment to go in, get it done and get out. We are losing too many soldiers both at war and to their post traumatic stress disorder when they get home. If a war must happen don't make our country go through Vietnam again and again. We don't have the stomach for it!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  109. seeksense

    We shouldn't be in the war at all.

    It's yet another Bush/Cheney ... OOPS!

    I am committed to bringing our soldiers home.

    Palm Bay, FL

    July 20, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  110. steve from miami

    not at all .the time to have fought this war was six orseven years ago. the taliban has regrouped and is ready to finish off our country,ala the soviet union.special thanks to our former president and vp for wasting our treasure in an illegal war in iraq. americans indeed are stupid people,bin laden is long dead.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  111. Tim in Texas

    Iraq and Afghanistan shouldn't be compared - there was no reason to go into Iraq. If we pull out of Afghanistan, the Taliban will regain control & Al Queda will have free rein to raise money, train recruits, and plan attacks. That said, Gates is right, wars can't just go on and on with no results. If we can't make discernable progress we need to use our resources in other ways.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  112. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    These are political wars ... history has shown that these conflicts can not be "won". Do not know what the answer is but it is certainly apparent that going off "half cocked" without a plan DOES NOT WORK. Now we are stuck with it & alot of Americans, as well as soldiers from other countries who went in to help us after 9-11, and natives of the countries we have invaded have lost their lives. We can't force our way of life on other cultures who do not wish to follow our way of living. We can encourage civil rights, assist with educational initiatives but at the end of the day, the American middle class is paying for all of it in lives and financial costs.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  113. Hirotomi Takemitsu

    Is this a joke question or what?

    I can't believe any average, normal USA citizen, after the disaster of Iraq would be committed to continue in Afganistan!!!!!!!!!

    Pull out of there too.

    My cousin did 2 tours of Iraq (the sedond time he was "stop-lossed" and hauled back in because he's a linguist and knows Farsi (language of Iran), Arabic, and Pushtu (major language in Pakistan). As well he knows Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Greek and German...so he could communicate with collition troops etc. too.

    But he's seen too much and is against both wars.
    Both were BUSH MISTAKES.

    With regards to these wars, we were BUSHED.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  114. Karl from SF, CA

    It’s time to declare “Mission Accomplished” and leave. Give Pakistan a laundry list of the people we want and what we will pay when they are captured or killed. No more “salary” for non-production. They won’t let us go in and get them, then good-bye. Those people have been fighter for centuries; several attempts have failed to make peace. We can protect ourselves far better from this side of the world then trying to get the bad guys over there. It isn’t going to happen that way.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  115. mary stewart,arlington texas

    i want us out of the middle east...period....i want one good reason why we are there??????get out..it is ultimarely their fight and not ours...enough......get out now .... we had a civil war and we had to fight it....we would have been outraged if another country had come in and tried to fight us in our country...outrageous...i see why they hate us

    July 20, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  116. travelingtrav

    Do we not believe in anything in this country? I am so afraid that our young people are so caught up in MTV fantasy land that they no longer have the understanding as to why we are fighting in this country to begin with. Sooner or later, some one is going to begin the chant of Bring our boys home, then what? Another major conflict five years down the road? No, we finish this, and we take care of the men and women with the determination and will to do so. Those of you that have lost your will or are so caught up with the heart break of it all, I have this, what are you going to do when we are faced with fighting Iran?

    July 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  117. kathy in Oregon

    I'd rather have healthcare than War.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  118. ERIC

    We HAVE to finish the job in Afghanistan. Much like Iraq, the mission is worth the sacrifice but it will take great patience. This thing could last longer than Vietnam and we have to be prepared to accept that.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  119. Cal

    I would bring all of our soldiers home as long as Obama is President.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  120. Patrick

    The war in Afghanistan could chop the heads off of two monsters: the Talibans and Heroin. That's worth fighting......

    July 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  121. Dan McCord

    Until the last terrorist in Afghanistan is dead. We've been there for years, pulling out now would be a mistake and a disgrace to the American Soldiers. We can't leave until the job is done.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  122. Gene Rouse

    The first thing we need to do is burn the poppy fields and break the backs of the drug cartels. Then the Taliban will lose a strong source of funding. Then we should adopt a take no prisoners attitude towards the Taliban.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  123. Dan Weisman

    Out now. It's such a great idea - not - the Russians can't contain themselves in HELPING us get troops there. Given their experience in that hellhole, and continued international rivalry with the U.S.what does that say? Volumes.

    Dan Weisman
    Del Dios, Ca.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  124. Jim Wolford

    Listen, it's difficult to be in Afghanistan after a long Iraq war. But, if Bush would've gone after the 9/11 terrorists we would've been done. I agree with punishing Al Queda for 9/11.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  125. Kristoff

    We need to be bringing our troops home from all across the world. The reason extremists groups continue to attack us is because we are in their countries. I guarantee you if one day we woke up and the Chinese were setting up military bases and making their presence known in the United States we would respond with some extremists tactics of our own. It is time we finally use the policy of nonintervention that our country was built on and which gave us success in the foreign market.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  126. Brett - Massachusetts

    The decision to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban was perhaps the best decision made by the Bush administration. The Taliban was and still is an official sponsor of terrorism and al-Qaeda. We cannot afford to leave Afghanistan to their mercy and give the terrorists their own country to plan out attacks against America and other nations.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  127. Kelvin, NYC

    Pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately and use the funds saved to set up a reformed health care system, not to mention pay for the continued health care of traumatized soldiers.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  128. Steve from California

    I'm only slightly more committed to the Afghanistan conflict than i am to the Iraq one. Overall I feel that these wars are a waste of time and money, and won't really do anything to improve our security at home.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  129. B. Szakacs

    We shoul get out of Afghanistan now.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  130. Tabitha

    The war in Afghanistan is impossible to win. It is exhausting our nation. Now is the time to save lives, save funds, and save our own country, rather than focusing all of our efforts on saving other countries to no avail. Now is the time to change the amount of troops that are being sent in, drastically increase the amount of troops that are being pulled out, and change our own country for the better!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  131. rayna

    I am not commited at all to the WAR in Afghanistan. Too little too late.
    Get us out of there and bring our young men and women home. Let's spend that money at home where we NEED it.
    Love you Jack you're awesome!!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  132. Mike in St. Paul

    The reason we went into Afghanistan in the first place was because the Taliban was shielding Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, the people responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban allowed al Qaeda to operate in Afghanistan, but it was al Qaeda that brought down the towers; not the Taliban and not Iraq. Now it has been seven years since we have heard about Osama and we do not even hear about al Qaeda anymore. I am not sure when the Taliban became the enemy and not al Qaeda, but I think it was around the time Osama slipped through Tora Bora and Bush said it did not really matter; that there would just be some one else to take his place. The U.S. government has screwed up the war on terror to a point I would not have even thought possible. And now people want to put these bozos in charge of their health care. I really do not understand the American mindset anymore. May God be with Pfc. Bergdahl

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  133. Donald

    I am very committed to the war in Afganistan because this is where we should have been in the first place. 2nd I live in NYC MY HOME! I want Osama caught I want the taliban & Al Qaeda destroyed and your telling me we are tired of looking? The element that knocked out our two front teeth needs to be destroyed at all costs. Send more troops..

    Donald , Queens NY.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  134. rich sottilaro

    Forget about winning in Afghanistan or Iraq!! The last Soviet general to leave Afghanistan in the 80's (with their tails between their legs) said without hesitation the US will not win in Afghanistan and he was totally correct in his statement. How can we win when the puppet government in place is corrupt to the core!! How can we win and what would we have won after we are done. Jack your right the soldiers and the american people are tired of this war going nowhere!! Get out now!! War is never the answer except in the case of stalin and hitler!!

    rich

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  135. Jason, Oakland CA

    Well it's easy for me to say from the comfort of my office that I am committed. I mean at least we're fighting the people who claimed to attack us. I can't beleive that everyone forgot about the whole Bin Laden 9/11 thingy...
    We really need to capture Bin Laden, who is probably not in the caves but in some castle chillin in Saudi Arabia.

    Capture/Kill Bin Laden, bring home the troops.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  136. Jim McD.

    Another failed attempt at nation building that lost site of the initial goal, getting Bin Laden. The Aghans, like the Iraqi's, are the only ones who can bring peace to their countries. We can't force Democracy down countries throats with the barrels of guns. We just went in, we can just leave.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  137. James West

    This seems to be a no win situation. Let's understand this is not a situation create by our current President. He's trying his best to solve an issue that he did not create. A better question is, "would we be asking the same question to a Republican President?"

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  138. PJ

    You put it correctly, Jack. People in this country would have a stomach for a fight against the those that brought the twin towers down, if we didn't have the reminder of Iraq. We should continue our resolve, god bless the troops!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  139. Larry Bill Johnson

    You can't change a Country's way of life in 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years. Imagine China trying to change the United States into a Communist Country. How long would it take them to chage us?

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  140. Vinod Bhardwaj

    This is politics. Obama simply wants to prove that Democrats can be tough on security. We should leave Afghanistan right away.

    Vinod Bhardwaj San Jose

    July 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  141. Robert, TN

    I will vote against a democrat if they don't stop these useless wars and bring everyone home. Until invited along with our allies we should always stay out of everyone else's business.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  142. Dusty Mills, Oregon

    After all the years in Iraq, the loss of our men and women in uniform, the billions of our treasury along with the loss of the Iraqie civilians, I have no stomach for years of the same in Afganistan. This war will cost us the same as Iraq and I don't believe our involvement will change the way Mideasterner's feel about their religious wars. We need to think about our own and spend the billions here at home for a cause that will benefit Americans.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  143. Jack

    Jack enough is enough. 8 Years ago we went into Afghanistan hunting Bin Laden. We are still hunting Bin Laden and don't know for sure where he is. We have not stopped the Taliban because they are even stronger now then they were pre 9-11. Our military when it does finally leave Afghanistan will leave behind all of it's equipment and there is no telling who will get hold of it or what they will do with it. It is time for us to get out and if we must have a presents let it be from unmanned aircraft overhead.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  144. Alice Adams

    I support Obama, but I have come to believe that it's time to pull out of Afghanistan. We are not accomplishing our objective, which I understood was to arrest Bin Laden. We should not be interfering with that country's internal affairs or politics. Those people resent our presence, which they view as interference. We could save many lives and much tax money by returning the troops to their homes.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  145. Jeff

    Seems we should put a plan in place and then periodically review the plan (every 4 to 6 months) to evaluate the success of the plan(not only from the stand of U.S./NATO forces,but also with respect to what the Afghan government is doing regarding to benchmarks on progress. One of the big failures in Iraq was not setting benchmarks and timelines for our forces as well as the Iraqi government. I think Gates and Obama Administration will do the periodic reviews now that we have increased the forces to a point where we have enough to actually clear areas. A big part of the Aghan benchmarks will be getting Government or local forces to hold the land.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  146. AJ from Louisiana

    I was originally strongly committed to this war but I'm certainly starting to have my doubts. We went there to capture Osama, uproot Al-Qaeda and get rid of the Taliban. So far, we have done none of those things. God knows where Osama is right now, the Taliban merely jumped the border into Pakistan and Al Qaeda are still releasing menacing videos. I have my doubts that the continued use of troops in Afghanistan could really get anything done.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  147. Irv Smith

    It's still early in the revised strategy that may lead to a satisfactory outcome. Give it another 6 to 12 months to measure the progress, and if it's failing, then get out altogether.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  148. Esra

    Well Jack, let's ask the soldier who is being held captive how commited we should be? I think he said someting like we're "wasting time and lives there".

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  149. Willie, Jacksonville,FL

    Lets establish a reasonable objective for our military, let them accomplish it and bring them home. We worry too much about offending our enemies. Let's fight this war like it is a war..

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  150. Jim

    Afghanistan presents the same kind of problem that Iraq presented: what is victory? We can never win because there is no government to declare surrender. Our only solution would be a kind of "ethnic cleansing". It's impossible and we shouldn't waste any more resources. Changes in Afghanistan must come from within, and only from within.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  151. Linda in Bisbee Arizona

    We should get out of Afghanistan NOW. I was NEVER committed to going there in the first place. Are the American people finally waking up to the fact that we can't win there, don't belong there, and are only creating more hatred for our soldiers and our country by increasing our presence there? Apparently, captured soldier Beau Bergdahl gets it.
    Bergdahl said: "'Please, please bring us home so that we can be back where we belong and not over here, wasting our time and our lives and our precious life that we could be using back in our own country."

    President Obama would do well to listen to him.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  152. Craig H

    I'm not committed at all, Jack. In fact, you can't beat an ideology and we're just wasting precious financial resources and lives in our vain attempt to do so. If we can't find the intestinal fortitude to stay out of that hornets nest, we could at least adopt a policy of funding an insurgency rather than wasting more American lives. But, that would require thinking on the part of our politicians, and that's just not something they're very good at.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  153. LaDonna, Virginia

    I say we bring our troops home. We are fighting a war that we can't win. I get we are protecting our soil from the Taliban but lets be real we could be fighting this war forever. There will always be people around who breed hate. We should focus on stability in the US...

    July 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  154. Jim - Massachusetts

    Jack, I'm all for the war in Afghanistan but we need to force the Pakistanis to uphold their side of the border. What kind of nation can exist with a "lawless tribal" region? And why aren't we destroying those poppy fields that are financing the Taliban and local warlords and destroying so many lives here in the West? We should implement a scorched earth policy in regards to poppy fields and then issue checks to the farmers to pay double for their crops than what terrorists would pay them. Then pay them and teach them to plant corn and sunflowers and wheat so they can feed their fellow citizens.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  155. SSH

    I think all these efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are a big mistake for us! We have many challenges here at home that need our attention rather than wasting our money and precious young lives in these so called "democracy building" exercises. Lets get rea!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  156. Peg in S Dakota

    VERY committed to supporting our troops and the valuable work they are doing in Afghanistan. I want these young men and women to come home as soon as possible, but I don't want another 9/11, either.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  157. D, New York

    Very committed !!! we have to stay the course. We can't give up. There is a price for freedom. I know its not easy, I've been there. It will be worst if we give up. We have to stay on the offensive or the Taliban will follow us back to our shores. I'm doing it not only for our present generation but for my kids generation. We can't give up.

    D

    July 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  158. Michael

    While I believe we should be in the war, it is hard to believe that winning in that sole region will bring terrorism against America to an end. What America needs to do is get more in tune with the actual Arab Muslim mindset that fosters this type of animosity towards the West – with the West's embodiment being the United States. While bringing the fight to Afghanistan and Iraq brought more Western attention to these troubled regions, you cannot grade success by how many terrorists you kill, etc. If you think in those terms, this "War" will never be over. The main reason we are losing this "War on Terrorism" is more because there is too much of a culture gap, nothing more. All people in the world wish to live in freedom, but not everybody needs the American form of freedom to be free.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  159. Morrell

    The Russians couldn't defeat the Afgans in ten years. What makes
    us think we can defeat them. They are fighting for a cause. We are
    fighting because the politicians want us to.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  160. Pat

    Jack,
    Our fight has always been in Afghanistan. The problem was us going into Iraq for no reason. I thought we should have gone into Afghanistan on 9/12. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, but Afghanistan and now Pakistan did. I am committed to doing what it takes to get rid of the Taliban and Bin Laden and his followers. I only hope it does not take too long and cost us many more lives. We have already wasted valuable time and resources......not to mention lives on both sides.
    Pat

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  161. John Murphy

    I feel we must destroy the taliban and Bin Laden. I wish I was wrong but unless they are crushed our nation will never feel secure.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  162. Steph

    Very committed. We only lose wars because of the media at home. The enemy hears the fears and know all they have to do is wear us down through our own military. If we pull out without winning, we show we are a weak country. Get real people. The terrorists don't want to hug you, they want you dead. They don't care if you talk nice.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  163. Ticin

    After 9/11, Afghanistan is where our focus was. That where is should have stayed. Iraq was a mistake, and had nothing to do with securing our safety here in America. That was Obama's platform... Iraq was McCane's. Guess who got elected?

    Ticin
    San Diego, CA

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  164. GREGORY Miami Beach, Fl.

    I don't think it should be a question of how committed we are to continue the war in Afghanistan, but of how committed we are to getting off of our addiction to oil. After all it was U.S. policy in the middle east that brought hatred down upon us as we supported one brutal dictatorship after another just so we could secure oil contracts. If we can replace bombs with infrastucture and oil with renewable energy, I don't think we can lose!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  165. Clint

    I am 100% committed to the war in Afghanistan. I don't understand how some Americans can condemn the war taking place when after 9/11, every American was "out for blood." Everyone knew it wouldn't be easy and I think we should stay there for as long as it takes. I believe that if we pulled out now and there was another attack on the US, then those Americans that wanted us out in the first place would then say that we didn't do enough the first time. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  166. Alex from Texas

    Very committed. You have to be or else extremists will see this as a victory for thier cause. We must continue the war or else all those who have died on 9/11 and in Afghanistan will be in vain. We must honor them and thier sacrifice by winning the war in Afghanistan.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  167. Greg

    We cannot get tired of the war in Afghanistan. This is where we should have been fighting all along. Our security from Al Qaeda and its support from the Taliban is dependent upon our resolve to destroy these factions. Unfortunately, the Iraq departure will try our patience greatly. But we must be successful in Adghanistan. We owe it to those who died on 9/11.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  168. Dagoberto Berlanga

    We can't give up when it is getting tough, yes getting tough we are a long way, but we have to STAY THE COURSE. I am verry committed to the war. YES WE CAN.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  169. Eric

    My heart goes out to the soldier and family who was captured by the taliban. This is the reason it makes it much more difficult to just leave! We are there because of the hunt for Bin Laden. We should face the fact that he is dead or Cheney knows where he is. Give em up and bring our boys home.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  170. Jim--Florida

    Jack, we should get out NOW. We have lost enough lives. If this continues we will be doing exactly what happened in Vietnam and Iraq. Loose thousand of lives for no god given reason. These people don't care, dont' like us and we keep giving them whatever they want.
    Our administration just does not get it and they do not care about the American people's opinions.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  171. Vianale

    Our family chooses to discontinue the war in Afghanistan because peace comes by living for the sake of others and not by fighting out battles.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  172. Ross Oklahoma

    Well, if we would have focused on afghanistan, and the guy who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and not a bush driven war in iraq....then maybe it wouldn't be as bad as it is. If we can find saddam hussein in a spider hole, I think we can find osama bin laden.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  173. steve siebert

    Its time to end the wars in the middle east. This government is incapable of looking at the history of this country and what it has done in the middle east for the last 60 years. If any country in this world had done to us or our continent what we have done in the middle east including Afgan. We would be the terrorists now. I support the troops as much as any body could. Bring them home now and take care of our country hear and now!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  174. steve w

    Jack,
    as long as Pakistan does its best to keep foreign fighters on their side of the border and interdicts other foreigners from getting into it I'm for keeping our guys there until theres no struggle left in the Taliban.
    They cannot be allowed to reconstitute again. I'm a Nam vet and this is the one fight we should've been fighting in the first place, not Iraq.
    And make sure Russia doesn't try to meddle by supplying the Taliban with weapons.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  175. Stacey in NC

    Im a veteran & a military wife. My husbands unit went to Iraq from early spring through early winter EVERY YEAR from 2003-2008. Now half of the unit is in Afghanistan for the same 7month stretch. Putting politics aside & getting down to a personal level-I know I dont stand alone or apart from my fellow unit spouses when I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Ive seen too many families torn apart, endure unnecessary hardships & suffer because of these continued, meaningless deployments!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  176. Brian

    Jack,
    I am a former Us.Marine
    I would be committed to a swift and precise attack,that would save countless brother Marines,soldiers,civilian Afgani's etc.
    What I will NOT put up with is a half a*,too many rules(that do not apply to the enemy)engagement that goes on long enough for my 16 yr old son will have to fight!
    I feel for every parent who sends their son or daughter off to a war that seems will never end.
    Brian in Lyndhurst NJ

    July 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  177. Raye

    I am a mother of a US Airman who has been to Iraq 4 times. NO
    I AM NOT COMMITTED TO EITHER THE IRAQI wAR OR THE WAR IN AFGANISTAN!

    Why are we fighting a war in Afganistan? There's nothing there but a bunch of rocks. Show me one natural resource there? That's what other wars have been about!!

    Bring our children HOME!!!!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  178. Dan Wisconsin

    Get out. If Russia couldn't handle it with all thier military might, and being right next door, how can we? What is the objective? introduce democracy, give me a break. Let that area of the world handle thier own problems.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  179. Paul M

    A younger me would say, lets drop nukes and move on.... on all of the middle east. The fighting will never stop.
    Today, ..maybe i was not so naive.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  180. Lisa W.

    Afghanistan ate the British and the Russians for lunch. Our actions in Afghanistan are destabilizing Pakistan. We need to get out of there now.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  181. Shane, Florida

    We need to stop wasting tax dollars on stupid Middle East wars and spend tax money here in the U.S.A. for better healthcare and other programs. Terrorists need to be fought by non-traditional means: cell to cell rather than by traditional invasion.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  182. Michael Jackson

    lets finish it whatever it takes and how long it takes
    signed mike

    July 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  183. Larry Malerba

    I am truly puzzled as to why Obama chose to recommit to Afghanistan rather than pulling out altogether as I am sure most of his supporters would want. It must be the Democrat weenie factor. The Republicans have dominated the propaganda war for so long, portraying themselves as the tough party that doesn't ever back down, and the Dems fall for that nonsense and feel compelled to act tough instead of doing the RIGHT THING! Get out of Iraq AND Afghanistan now!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  184. Barry Cohen - North Las Vegas

    Congressman Ron Paul is absolutely right – we should get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan. They are both no-win situations just like Viet Nam was.

    Ron Paul for President 2012.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  185. Willow, Iowa

    Didn't the Russians go into this area twenty or thirty years ago? They fought these guys in the mountains, etc. then turned around and went home. In my opinion, you are never going to win a war in a tribal area with all of their loyalties and relations, just as the English marching into the colonies could not win against the Americans hiding in the trees, etc. You cannot fight a war in a normal way against people who are fighting in a different way. I have thought for a few years, its time to bring them all home. Its over. We aren't winning anything. And we can drop a bomb into a window 400 miles away, but we cannot find a 6'5" man with a turban. Let's bring our soldiers home, and use them and the National Guard to start working on our homeland security.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  186. Linda in Durham, NC

    I think the govt has wasted enough of our money on wars. WHO died and made the US God and in charge of the world. We have enough problems with the economy and domestic affairs..NO I DO NOT support continued fighting in Afghanistan..the Russians tried and failed...so bring our men back home and lets take care or out country and not worry about the entire worlds problems.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  187. Howard Snevel

    Jack: The Russians live next door to the Aph's and lose a costly war. How does the USA, ETC think they can win? Would they know it if they did win? and for how long would the victory last??

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  188. Don

    It depends on what those who are fighting the west want to do. This may be one small part of a larger war, if they want to continue over time. Otherwise, the US needs to not get involved in solving all world problems. What advantage is there for the US to do so? At times we would be so much better off as a country to not be a world power. But if the east wants to overcome the west, we may have to continue to fight for many years. If it comes to that, we may have to pull the gloves off and win a war. That's what has been missing since WWII, fighting to win at all cost...victory. We are not fighting for them, we fight for us!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  189. Dennis from Seattle

    We shouldn't of been committed to begin with. Its a covert operation that should be dealt with, CIA/ Special Forces. Its like Vietnam. It's their terrain, too large of area to protect. We don't have the Troops and we don't have the man power to secure the area's we have taken. First rule of war, take the ground and keep it. Give it back, and you have what we have now, taking ground and fighting over and over for it. Get out, and let the Special Forces/CIA handle it. And for that deserter, that left his post, no sympathy here. He left his weapon, unit, and gear, in my book that's desertion. I feel sorry for the family he has embarrassed.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  190. Mike

    Finally, we are near Osama Bin Laden & Al Quaida, I say let`s bring the National Guard and Reserves Home. And let The Regular Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines finish the Job. This is My Thought crazy as it may be.. , Mike -Cold War Veteran

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  191. Jason from California

    When you ask that question, you have to ask what is the price of freedom? As a Korean-American, I can't imagine my life or any free Korean's lives if the US didn't supress N. Korea agression. If we don't committed to insure stability and the operatunity for the Afganie population to enjoy the right that we all have, we will never see the potental of what they may become. We already have seen what life would be for the Afganie's under Taliban rule, do you really want to subjugate them back into that life?

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  192. Steve ( The General )

    Bring our troops home from everywhere, every base. We need to
    rumble right here on our turf, on our streets. We need the advantage
    for awhile. Let the hunters hunt.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  193. Rick Morris

    As an Army veteran, I'm totally committed, especially if the overall goal is to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden; remember the promise President Obama made during his campaign that he would have Bin Laden within 6 months if he were elected as President?

    July 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  194. David

    We need to set a two year window of activity in Afghanistan and then pull out all troops by the fall of 2012. By then the Afghan and Pakistani militaries can take over the security of their countries with only military equipment aid and humanitarian help from the US and its allies in the United Nations.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  195. Josh T

    Well Jack, it depends if we "win" or not. If winning means riding throgh the streets with parades and all the people cheering, then no we should end this war. If winning means being able to stop, or at least slow down the Taliban, then I would say yes I would be commited to continue the war. We owe it to the Afgan people who have put up with this war to try to make their lives safer and better.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  196. joan in Pittsburgh

    The attack on 9/11 was launched from Afganistan. Bin Lauden had his homebase in Afganistan. We did get rid of the Taliban from Afganistan but could not finish the job because Cowboy George wanted to go to Iraq for some reason. However we needed to stay in Afganistan to continue the fight and to try to bring some improvement to the living conditions. It will be tough now, because the Taliban has had time to gain more strength. If we leave Afganistan it will become another training ground and for national security we need to stay.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  197. Ed McWilliams

    Jack

    Smart people learn from their mistakes! Really smart people learn from the mistakes of others. Russia left Afghanistan knowing
    they were in an unwinnable situation. The longer this US military action goes on, the more the American people are going to realize
    that Russia made the correct decision in getting out of there. The taliban and these terrorists have a whole lot of one thing the American people don,t, Patience

    July 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  198. Matt Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Jack,

    Fully committed. We can win in Afghanistan, we just need to abandon the Karzai experiment. Most Americans are for a needed war with few casualties, the problem becomes seeing it though to the end once it starts to get messy. Can you imagine the state of the world, if we'd have called it a day at the Hedgerows in France or at the Battle of the Bulge? We give up, and we have to go back or we'll suffer extremism throughout the world. I'd rather keep Americans in danger at war than keep them in danger via terrorism.

    Matt,

    Minneapolis, MN

    July 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  199. George E. Michael

    What's happening in Afghanistan is a war, people. Casualties will be on both sides. The Taliban is a terrorist group and they must be eliminated. America must stay the cause

    July 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  200. Ed Rand

    After 9/11 I said Afghanistan should become our 51st state and nothing has happened to change my mind. Afghanistan always should have been our main priority.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  201. D, New York

    Kristoff, "nonintervention" did not help us on 911. I see that you have already forgotten the fallen innocent. It's not a perfect world anymore. We have to engage the enemy and stay on the offensive. If you are too scared then.......never mind.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  202. robert rey, from Fresno, Calif.

    Not too committed. I think this will be Obama's Vietnam if we stay in there for another 3 years. As long as we allow the Taliban to sneek back into Pakistan, we will never win. My son just got back from Afganistan and he feels the same way. Unless we do a "Cambodia" invasion like Nixon did, we are just sitting ducks. Lets plan to get out before we lose more of our young soldiers.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  203. Steve Alderman

    Because our government neglected Afghanistan for 5 years does not make the cause today worthless. Ridding the world of the Taliban's violent members and the reasons for their terrorism is very much worthwhile. My hope is that our current administration and Gen McChristal have the wisdom to put that conflict back on the right track...and that the American people and media can obtain the patience to support this necessary conflict.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  204. Ed

    President Obama's plan for Afghanistan seemed ay first like a change of strategy. It sounded like a switch to a counter terrorist strategy – capture or kill the terrorists but don't seek to control territory or politics. But now it seems to be the same old counter insurgency strategy as before – control the territory and the politics and kill anyone who gets in the way. I'm not enthused.

    By the way I agree with you that it is disgraceful, aside from being against the Geneva convention, to display prisoners to the public in humiliating circumstances.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  205. Robert in PA

    Preface: although I am a lifelong Democrat, my father was active duty USN for 30 years; I was active duty USN for 10 years; my son is a Marine, and currently in Iraq with the National Guard. First, we owe a duty to Afghanistan - we supported and encouraged their war with the USSR; the mujahadeen were essentially our clients. We actively invaded the country and destroyed the pre-existing government. And we have meddled in Pakistani politics for decades, effecting the Afghan situation. Secondly, the Taliban protected and supported al Queda, and continue to do so. Thirdly, Afghanistan has a history of being a major supplier of illicit drugs to the world, including America, and that financed both the Taliban and al Queda. My son is likely to be one of the young lives at risk in Afghanistan when he finally leaves Iraq. With that said, YES, we need to be there until the Taliban is definitively defeated, a stable government is in control throughout the country, the economy is at least functional, and al Queda is absent within their borders. I understand that that may take years, even decades. So be it. We have a moral obligation and it is time as a country that we not turn our back on such because we are weary.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  206. Rob Kole

    Jack the Russians could not win there when they were there for 10 years. What makes anyone think we can win?

    Especially when most of our troops are "burnt out" from multiple deployements.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  207. Michael, Portland Oregon

    Jack,

    The answer is a resounding NOT AT ALL! Afghanistan is not and has not been a country in any real way that can be considered a functional state. The US needs to get out and let the Afghanis get their own house in order. The US can always do what was done at the beginning of this mess and conduct a clean-out mission if taliban or al quaida groups become a threat again. This is a much more effective use of our advantages in technology and fire power. We can not win, nor should we try, a gorilla action in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  208. Linda E. Blanchard

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I like President Obama, but George H. Bush started the Iraq War and it has been so many years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan already.

    No, I'm not dedicated to continuing this war much longer. If we ever find Osama BinLaden , I'm all for a Fair Trial and whatever.

    Linda E. Blanchard

    July 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  209. Ellen Nicholson

    If the U.S. finds that opposing the fanatically inspired Taliban costs us too many Anerican and allied lives without finding and stopping Osama Bin Laden, and the war developes into a prolonged, frustrating unsuccesful result, Goodbye. I have a very specially trained grandson who may be schedules to be sent tere. God forbis we whould lose him or any other fine young person. We'll have to find a different way to deal with these Islamic madmen

    July 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  210. dot

    It seems pretty late for the US to be screaming (now) about violations of international law & the Geneva Convention after 8 years of saying it/we did not have to obey them.

    I feel sorry for the kid who will have to bear the brunt of our cowboy diplomacy.

    Napalm the opium fields and get out of afghanistan

    July 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  211. Ron Bevins

    We can't afford to be there very long. But we don't want that place to be a breeding ground for terrorists. It's a dilema. I say give it 5 years. If we can't fix it 5 years, it will never be fixed. We are paying the lion's share to go after the bad guys. The rest of the world is giving token support. If we took the money we are spending there and used it to make our country and embassies more difficult to damage, that would be an alternative. Pay the Afganistan farmers not to grow opium. Or buy the opium from them. Beef up the CIA and go after the bad guys everywhere. Obama is smart. He'll figure it out..

    July 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  212. Sylvia Rodriguez

    I am against the war in Afganistan. It's a waste of time.Obama is destroying our country.Most people thought Iraq was going to be the last of these stupids war. Why do we have to police the world??And everybody thought Bush was bad. I think I am not going to vote anymore for Presidents in the future. I sure didn't vote for OBAMA!!!!! Some change he's making.We almost have the whole Clinton administration running the country. And I didn't vote for him either.LOL!!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  213. BHill

    My heart goes out to every man and woman in the military - those already in active duty overseas; and those not yet overseas, for they are subject to go. However, I feel this Administration is doing what they have to do to protect our country from further terrorist attacks. It has always seemed suspicious to me that Saddam Hussein could be tracked down and caught, but Osama bin Laten cannot be found. This does not seem logical. Was there a different motive involved? I think the so-called polls are either inaccurate, or the American people have their heads in the sand. By the way, I wish someone would explain who is being polled. After over sixty years of voting, I have never been included in a poll, nor have I ever talked with anyone who has. Do we live on the wrong side of the tracks? Personally, I feel we have little choice but to try to get the Taliban and insurgents. President Obama took on a raw deal, and is doing better than his predecessor.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  214. Michael From Manorville

    Watching the video of that US Marine is not only heart breaking but also makes me incredibly angry. What makes me just as angry is remembering the cousin I lost in the towers. The US MUST not allow Al Qaeda to defeat us, no matter where in the world they hide. Al Qaeda is probably one of the most determined enemies the US has ever experienced and we must not allow them to ever believe that we as a nation do not stand behind our troops or will ever lose the resolve to the absolute need to win this war. You must look at history and remember the absolute resolve this nation had during WWII. That same resolve as well as thebelief that this war is just and necessary must be the continued cornerstone to the United States position. We must stand together as we did on 9/12 2001 until this enemy is no longer a threat to our freedom.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  215. Maxie Stolze

    Hi Jack,

    While trying to finish what you think might have been ones father's business nearly always is a bad idea, fighting the ideological base of human denial in Pakistan and Afghanistan is nothing but the right thing to do, and beneath the attraction of american life style and the human desire for peace that american politics adresses, there also has to be the military component. In my opinion it shouldn't be our business to clean up the soviet mess, but the taliban have established the facts and if they prey killing they shall be killed.

    Maxie Stolze, Billings MT, now Berlin, Germany

    July 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  216. David in GA

    Get out ASAP!

    Go after Bin Ladin if you can find him but don't make the same mistake the Russia's did.

    David in GA

    July 20, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  217. Shirley

    It does not really matter how committed the people are to the US involvement in Afghanistan, the bottom line here is "never get involved in a land war in Asia", especially Afghanistan, good examples here are the Brits, the Russians and if he could comment Alexander the Great.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  218. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    When will our government ever come to it's senses and realize that it doesn't matter whether it's Afganistan, Iraq, Pakistan or any other Islamic country, these people love to fight each other and that's all they desire. I feel so sorry for every American family that loses a loved one over there, just so politicians can have their ego trip.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  219. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    The British and the Russians were super powers when they went in Afghanistan but did not leave as super powers. How many 9/11 extremists came from Afghanistan? It look like another Vietnam to me, and by the way who is going pay for this war ? Bring back the draft and see how long these wars would last.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  220. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I am very committed to continuing the war in afghanistan. I would like to eventually like to see a free country based on democratic ideas. If that comes true it would mean a major change in the region and might mean an end to extremists in that portion of the world – a great imorovement over what we currently have.. To achieve this goal I am willing to even have my taxes increased, if necessary and am ready to commit enough of our military to accomplish the mission. While the Republicans got us into this mess the Democrats are going to have to finish the job. And yes I would have no problem if Cheney and Bush were drafted to help out with this mission as long as the job gets done and done well.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  221. Luis Rodrigues

    If two teams are playing football (or any other game), and one of the teams is forced to follow the rules while the other team is free to play with no rulles what-so-ever, who do you think is going to win the game?
    The point is: How can the U.S. win a war under Geneva Conventions rules while the terrorists are free to fight and kill as they please.
    For as much as I hate this uggly thought, unfortunately, although not recommended, it seems to be the sad reality.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  222. Jane - WI

    I'm waiting to see the nightly casualty reports which the media reported with such glee when GeorgeBush was in office. Chris Matthews went on and on about each "milestone" of the number of soldiers being killed. Now that Barack obama is in charge, those nightly death tallies have stopped on the nightly news as well as on many cable channels.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  223. Quint

    Totally! We must continue the fight before it spreads any further. This is war, not some simple police action. Find your guts and dig in for the long battle.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  224. Shirley Brockport, NY

    We are in it whether we like it or not. Why does the military think we can use anything less than a surge in Afghanistan when it was required in Iraq? Especially because the Taliban and Bin Laden are hiding in the mountain range along Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  225. Brian

    Jack,

    I'm a liberal and generally against war, but in this case we have to finish what we started. Iraq was a stupid mistake and a distraction from the real point of the War on Terror – to permanently disable the network of terrorists that created people like the 9/11 hijackers and Osama Bin Laden. Once he's dead and we are confident a new regime has taken hold of Afghanistan, we can leave.

    Brian Rich
    Boise, Idaho

    July 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  226. Josh T, Cary NC

    Well Jack, it depends if we “win” or not. If winning means riding throgh the streets with parades and all the people cheering, then no we should end this war. If winning means being able to stop, or at least slow down the Taliban, then I would say yes I would be commited to continue the war. We owe it to the Afgan people who have put up with this war to try to make their lives safer and better.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  227. Brian Smith PhD

    Oh come on Jack. You know why we went to Afghanistan? The clown in the Whitehouse and his puppeteer, Dick Cheney, had to make a grand stand after 9-eleven. They were supposed to get bin Laden. What did they get, the Taliban.
    So no kidding the American people are getting tired.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  228. Murphy Larry

    When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor nobody asked how committed the American people were. Now it is a sign of the times to give up at the first shot ! I guess Osama just said bomb the World Trade Center the American people are not committed.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  229. Valerie Sieh

    Jack, we need to make Afganistan the next state in the USA. We give Israel 9 Billion a year so we need to be even handed. Let's go all out in Afganistan and make them truly free, not just another substandard 3td world country. We need the good PR!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  230. Joseph La Camera

    Dear Jack: We do need to help the Afgans. We droped the ball on this one in 03. Now is the time to get it right. The Afgans can build their own country, but we can help them by building their army and security forces.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  231. Jered

    NO! We should GET OUT! How can you fight people who hide in a crowd of innocent people with bombs strapped to their chest? How many more innocent people (from both sides) have to die? Enough pointing fingers. Lets just leave..

    July 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  232. bob ales

    I don't support either war we're involved in. I think we should load all the troops up and bring them home. The savings could pay for health care,education,medicare and a variety of other programs that are NEEDED! Please don't get me started,I have many other comments.
    Thanks,Bob in Terrell Tx.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  233. Jim Kilarski

    We should get out of afghanistan unless they start the draft again,this way eveybody get to fight for his country; but than the war will have to come to a end, just like back in the 60,s, thank God for the draft and good old college demonstration

    July 20, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  234. ben stockton, calif

    we maybe sadly mistaken if were think we will win in afganistan.. the russian army tried it with negative results.. all were doing is spilling more american blood and our national debt skyrockets.. obama has his hands full with what to do..bush with iracq obama with afganistan..then we have north korea looming in the background.. i dont think obama knew what he was up against.. all this can bring on an ulcer with all the stress...i hope he has people around him that can suggest sensible answers .. not an adminisration full of yes men BEN

    July 20, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  235. Will E.

    The Russians lived right next door and could drive to work in thier war with Afganistan and they gave up. the people us and everyting we stand for but will appear friendly for our handouts. Being in RVN 68-69 it's they just want to be left alone after years of uphevel. Will, FL Semper Fi

    July 20, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  236. The Broker.

    Can you imagine a balance of power going into India's favor. It would tell Iran ro shut up. It would tell Russia to shut up. It wouuld tell China to shut up. And Europe with all their imigrants could cope for many years to come. Today, your all fighting each other..

    July 20, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  237. Yvonne

    Jack, I am convinced that it is time for us to bring our troops home and let the people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq solve their problems. i think wer have more than enough problems of our own. Simply pulling out of the wars would in the Middle East would allow us to put billions back into our economy to be spent on the needs of the USA. We have too many people living in this country draining our economy, and last, but not least adding to our budget deficit by the overwhelming cost of a war where our troops are not wanted or appreciated. Too many men and women have died needlessly in the wars in the Middle East. There is absolutely no reason for our troops to be there. It is impossible to win a war against people that want to die to become a martyr. It is an incomprehensible waste of life and money that we so badly need in the US at this time. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW! One final thing, it is absoluely rediculous that our troops are convicted of committing war crimes for waterboarding to try and get helpful information to protect themselves, their comrads and our country. Our troops have never beheaded anyone. You cannot win an unconventional war when you are restricted to using only conventional war tactics. WAKE UP AMERICA AND BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!

    July 20, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  238. Joe Patty

    When you have a son, a son-in-law and a brother serving in both wars, I have about all the commitment I can give. I will supply the beans and the bullets as long as it takes. It does not matter if I am for or against the war. What matters is protecting my children and grandchildren. We Americans have short memories. If we were not keeping most of these radicals busy on their own turf, where do you think they would be spreading there love?

    My father joined the US Navy at the beginning of 1942. He served in most of the major pacific battles. A whole world was at war. Yet, my son has served more time in a combat zone than my father and we are just in two countries? Where is George Patton when you need him?

    July 20, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  239. A. C. in Texas

    Tim in Texas July 20th, 2009 6:05 pm ET

    Iraq and Afghanistan shouldn’t be compared — there was no reason to go into Iraq. If we pull out of Afghanistan, the Taliban will regain control & Al Queda will have free rein to raise money, train recruits, and plan attacks. That said, Gates is right, wars can’t just go on and on with no results. If we can’t make discernable progress we need to use our resources in other ways.

    SOME OF US TEXANS CAN STILL THINK.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  240. Orlando Walker

    The decision to invade afghanistan was the worse decision of the Bush Administration. The 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia and just because they were using a patch of dirt in afghanistan doesn't mean we should have overthrown that countries government.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  241. Virgil Lloyd Jr.

    Dear Jack,
    I wondered as I read about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if the rest of the Al Quaeda people have ever seen one of our lovely movies made by (your favorite war movie maker and mine, Tom Hanks), called Charlie Wilson's War.... Watch it and then make your own ideas and comments.... And WE want the RUSSIANS to be on this page with US. I wonder what manner of aid and assistance THEY are giving Al Quaeda as a thank you gift for what WE did to them when they were occupying Afghanistan.. Does boggle the mind sometimes, how things do come back around.
    Have a great day,
    Virgil Lloyd Jr.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  242. Crystal

    I like most would prefer to think the world is full of love and peace but guess what "thats is not the real world". In our efforts to be free many men and women have been lost; to keep us people here at home free from invaders and possible threats we need to prevent them from even occuring. We as a country have lost our position in the world and we must gain it back. We need to STOP starting battles and never finising them. "Finish what you started!" ring a bell anyone? Our men and women are doing good not just for our country but for the world. If our men and women thought that we should back out then why do they continue to re-enlist? They like others see the bigger picture; if we back out now, there is no telling how strong the terrorist groups will become? We need to bring their dealths to justice by finishing what we started! It is now or later! In addtition, if we decide to bring our troops home, they will have nothing to look forward to becides being around family. We have no jobs, what will they do if they are not protecting us?

    July 20, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  243. Matthew Victor

    We are once again becoming mired in another war that is ultimately, and sadly, UNWINNABLE. If only we'd look to history, we would all realize how pointless our presence in Afghanistan is.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  244. Ben Dover

    cant we all just get along.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  245. david Nisinson

    When the Bush administration focused on Iraq rather than Afghanistan
    they had ulterior political motives. Unfortunately, they wasted men,
    money, resources and international political capital in the wrong place.
    The question is, now that we are in this weak position in Afghanistan what will it take to salvage the situation? Unfortunately, it will probably take more money, lives and time than we are now willing or able to commit. We hope that we can change things there for the better but it is by no means certain. We hope that Bush,et al did not waste our limited window of opportunity.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  246. Joe Mercado

    Dear Jack:

    The Afghanistan war is a wasted time. That war will never be won. Remember the Russian invasion? The same situation is in Irak. As
    soon the troops live, They will be killing each other. Those Taliban
    fighters don't care if they die in the struggle., due to their religious believes and primitive minds. They will be relentless to give up. No matter how many of them get killed.

    Joe Mercado

    July 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  247. joe

    any elected 'representative" that votes for war should have to go fight it along with the kids they send to do their bidding so some military contractor can make money! like Hitler, they seduce these people with symbols and rally around the flag boys propaganda! american people should follow Poland's example and have solidarity to stop all this madness! without our tax dollars as collateral this empire will end.

    July 20, 2009 at 6:59 pm |