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August 24th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Time to declare war in Afghanistan a lost cause?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More bad news about the war in Afghanistan. Military commanders say they don't have enough troops and warn that the Taliban is getting stronger and even gaining the upper hand in several parts of country. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, says, "It's serious and it's deteriorating."

Case in point, last week's election, which was only the second in the nation's history. The ballots are still being counted, results are expected tomorrow, but we already know voter turnout was low amid threats of violence. There are reports of voters' fingers being cut off. More than 200 complaints have been filed with The Election Complaints Commission, and one of the candidates is alleging fraud.

History shows a long list of failed foreign incursions into Afghanistan. So the U.S. may be taking a spot behind the Greeks, the British, and the Russians, who have all come before them-and left defeated.

For now, the Obama Administration is waiting for a new report on the situation (due out in two weeks) from the top commander in the region. Regardless of what it says, troop levels by the end of this year are on track to be double the number there at the end of last year.

In March, President Obama ordered an additional 17,000 troops into Afghanistan, but all indications are it's not nearly enough. Meanwhile, public support here at home for a war that is going on eight years is hardly increasing.

Here’s my question to you: Is it time to declare the war in Afghanistan a lost cause and get out?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Harold from Anchorage, Alaska writes:
Not until all opium poppy fields have been sprayed with persistent defoliants; besides poisoning our youth, the drug trade is the primary source of finance for Taliban, in spite of Islamic law against it.

Mikey from Alexandria, Virginia writes:
Having spent 3 tours in Afghanistan I can only say that the aftermath of leaving with our tails between our legs will only make things worse. If you read Osama Bin Laden's declaration of war against the United States, part of what encouraged them was when we left with our tails between our legs from Somalia. If you want to embolden those who wish to kill us no matter what, then sure, why not? After all, most Americans don't have a clue anyways. I'm speaking a different language I'm sure. Nothing to see here, just go back to your mocha lattes, play stations and reality TV. Semper Fi.

Dave from New Hampshire writes:
Yes! The way the terrorists fight a war is to simply bankrupt their opponents. At least Russia was smart enough to realize this and get the hell out!

Evan from Phoenix, Arizona writes:
Jack, We do not have the luxury of simply declaring Afghanistan a loss and pulling up stakes. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban executed history's deadliest attack on American soil and continue to perpetrate acts of violence across the globe. If they were to gain control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal it would be a nightmare come to life. We cannot quit. Adjust our tactics, pursue diplomacy and reconstruction, bring in our allies to help take up the slack, yes; leave Afghanistan to the extremists, never.

Steve from Portsmouth, New Hampshire writes:
Jack, are you crazy? At this point it would be a big mistake to walk away. 9-11 occurred because lawless places like Afghanistan exist where terrorists could train openly. We need to stick it out and finish was Bush started. President Obama did the right thing by sending in more troops but the international community also needs to put a little more skin in the game.

David from Gainesville, Virginia writes:
Absolutely not. Afghanistan was almost completely ignored for years while pursuing Bush’s folly in Iraq. We have only been trying to regain control of the country for a few months. Give it time for our troops to do their job. This is the war that should have been fought from the beginning.


Filed under: Afghanistan • US Military
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. James W. Masters

    are you kidding?, almost a decade in Iraq, thats O.K., but not even a year in afghanistan, actually going after the terrprist who perfomed the 9/11 attacks, is too much, again are you kidding, don't stop until the Telban, is gone. We owe it to those who were lost that day.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  2. Dale

    As a vet of the Vietnam war(conflict). I still have to ask when is enough really "Enough"!
    It appears we are in a "NO WIN" situation. I look at stories about Vietnam today, and I still ask the question. Why was I there?
    Our proud troops will also look back on this war and for the most part
    say. Why was I there.
    Vietnam seems to be doing fine, and so will the Afganistan people. Maybe its time to "Throw in the towel" and bring our troops home with pride for doing a great job.
    POLITICS are so costly!!

    August 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  3. Tracie Goethe

    Only with Obama and the democrats in charge can we expect a war to be a lost cause. Face it, Obama doesn't have the stomach to make things happen. That's why the "lost cause" balloon is being floated.

    I mean, with all the vacations Obama is taking with is family, he can't let a little thing like the war on terror get in his way.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  4. James

    What is the alternative? Should we let it once again become a safe harbor and trainning ground for Bin Laden and his thugs. Do we really need to see the sears tower or some other big american target destroyed along with american lives to realize this is a war we had better win at all costs.

    James
    Edinburgh, Indiana

    August 24, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  5. Mike Armstrong TX.

    No its time to burn that part of Afghanistan where the talibon live off the face of the earth before they do the same to New York or one of our other massive city's this war is not going to end just because we leave.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  6. Denis Duffy

    The war was declared on terror. So here we are fighting tribes in Afghanistan. Should we extend the fight to Pakistan, where the tribal fighters seek refuge?
    This was stupid from the beginning and most countries were smart enough not to get sucked into it.
    Sure shows how stupid American presidents are.

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  7. Dale

    As a vet of the Vietnam war(conflict). I still have to ask when is enough really "Enough"!
    It appears we are in a "NO WIN" situation. I look at stories about Vietnam today, and I still ask the question. Why was I there?
    Our proud troops will also look back on this war and for the most part
    say. Why was I there.
    Vietnam seems to be doing fine, and so will the Afganistan people. Maybe its time to "Throw in the towel" and bring our troops home with pride for doing a great job.
    POLITICS are so costly!!

    Dale
    Fayetteville, N.C.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  8. bobwhite in Kansas

    I'm not sure we should get out of Affganistan but I'm very sure it is time to stop fighting that war or other wars anywhere except at home if invaded. For less cost, both monetary and otherwise, the US could do great things for both its own people and the people of other nations like Affganistan by creating infrastructure (water & power), schools, hospitals & clinics, and farming practices.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  9. C.K. of Colorado

    It was a lost cause from the beginning. When are we going to learn that you can't eliminate these crazy religious fanatics? For every one that dies, two more are recruited, and they keep getting younger and younger. We can't win, so why waste any more of our resources?

    August 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  10. Nora

    Why not. We've only lost hundreds of our best to the wars over there, plus the thousands who have come home in terrible medical conditions. Let's tell them that their efforts didn't mean anything and they can come home with their tails tucked between their legs. Obama wants to placate all the Muslim nations, make nice with all their leaders and this would certainly please them. This is just one more of his nails pounded into our coffin. One more ploy in Obama's agenda for the downfall of this country.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  11. Evan Brown

    Jack,

    We do not have the luxury of simply declaring Afghanistan a loss and pulling up stakes. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban executed history's deadliest attack on American soil and continue to perperate acts of violence across the globe. If they were to gain control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal it would be a nightmare come to life.

    We cannot quit. Adjust our tactics, pursue diplomacy and reconstruction, bring in our allies to help take up the slack, yes; leave Afghanistan to the extremists, never.

    Evan in Phoenix

    August 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  12. Vivian Matt

    It's not a lost cause for Xe and other contractors and other's who are making money on our wars.
    For the rest of us, I think we have finally learned that it's NOT an issue of "getting them over there, before they come here". Come-on, how many times do they think that one will work?
    To those of us who actually "think", we can spread the peace we want more effectively and cheaper by providing education, medical and other HELP, not killing of civilians or occuping their county with our military.
    Here's an idea, lets bring ALL our service folk HOME. Where they belong. Time we stopped thinking of ourselves of know-it-alls who have to police the planet.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  13. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes, Jack, its a lost cause! The Soviets failed in Afghanistan and we have also! Originally Bush said we were in Afghanistan to hunt down terrorists and Bin-Laden, but it has turned into another Vietnam!

    I say..........PLEASE SUPPORT THE TROOPS.......... BRING THEM HOME, STOP THIS SENSELESS WAR!

    August 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  14. Florence

    The Allies failure to eradicate al Qida and the Taliban sympathies in Afghanistan and Pakistan are primarliy due to the Bush Adminstration's refocusing of that conflict to Iraq. The opportunity to crush the enemy as passed. We now face a much harder conflict than would have otherwise been, had we made Afghanistan our primary focus. al Qida and the Taliban are the true enemies of Western Civilization and democratic nations everywhere. We should not allow the failures of the past administration to crush our united effort to bring an end to the madness and hatred of Fundamentalist Islam.

    Jim
    Phoenix, AZ

    August 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  15. Anthony S. Felsovanyi,MD,MACP

    No proof has been presented justifying the loss of lives and treasure in Afganistan

    August 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  16. Jonathan Morgenstein

    This is not eight years into a war. This is two months into us FINALLY taking Afghanistan seriously and beginning to dedicate the resources needed to fight it properly. The Bush administration abandoned Afghanistan long ago and basically de facto helped the Taliban and al Qaeda reconstitute and dig in. Since al Qaeda's mission on earth is to kill as many Americans as possible and they are deeply intertwined with the Taliban, we should probably allow the Obama administration some serious time to actually try and defeat these extremists. Especially since we never fully tried to do so during the previous eight years.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  17. Duop Chak, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Declaring the war as a "lost cause" will put us in a weak position on the world stage. What we can do now in Afghanistan is to use both military and diplomatic channels at the same time.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  18. Ray in Nashville

    Jack,

    We gave up on Afghanistan to go off and pursue the Bush/Cheney war for greed and family redemption. Now our troops are dealing with the results. We shouldn't quit now while we still have a job to do.

    Besides, Pakistan seems to have made great strides against the Taliban which looks to be sending them back over the border into Afghanistan. After pressuring them to take action, it would be sinful to cut and run ourselves.

    August 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  19. Earl Dukerschein

    Yes, leave. We cannot invade and hold every lawless area in the wold, and that is where the terrorists will make their home. We need to decide in general how to suppress terrorist activity in the various hell-holes of the world. UAVs maybe?

    August 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  20. Ron Lambert

    No, its not time to leave afganistan. However it would be nice if the United nations were to cut the US a fat check for services rendered over ther say to the tune of 2 trillion. Why must we foot the bill. Where are our allies.. Why must our economy be the most heavily taxed when we are stabilizing a region for the benifet of many nations.

    If you want to leave afganistan, then leave. But remember that your condeming those people to a horrid existance of religous theocracy that will grow in our absense and create another series of attacks on us soil.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  21. Ryan

    The "surge" worked in Iraq so why aren't we doing it in Afghanistan?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  22. C.Zewe

    Isn't it about time the United States fights to win a war? If our fighting people are going there, we should go there to win and be given all the equipment and troops to do so. If we are not going to win then we should fold our tents and leave with our tails between our legs just like the Soviets did before us.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  23. Steve, Portsmouth, NH

    Jack, are you crazy? At this point it would be a big mistake to walk away. 9/11 occurred because lawless places like Afghanistan exist where terrorists could train openly. We need to stick it out and finish was Bush started! Obama did the right thing by sending in more troops but the international community also needs to put a little more skin in the game!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  24. Ron Alderson Dallas

    As one of the few NATIVE texans who still doesnt have his head up Dubya's butt and is a Vietnam vet I believe we should send more (enough) troops into harms way and clean out that vipers nest including Pakistani tribal areas, with or without their permission, turn it back over to Afghanis and get the hell out.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  25. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Jack I was in Vietnam in 1968 when the Tet offensive show to the American people that they were being lie to.Afghanistan was a CIA operation when the Russians try to take over ;now we are at war with men who were on our payroll

    August 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  26. Joseph

    Yes, it's time to leave Afghanistan, which produces more than 3/4 of the world's opium, which funds the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Before leaving, we should burn as much of the opium as possible. In fact, maybe we could sell space just downwind from the burning fields. Now that's a real stimulus!

    Joe in Delray Beach, FL

    August 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  27. Dave

    Jack,
    They gave President Bush almost 8 years in Afghanistan and they did nothing. I think we need to give President Obama at least a year then call it a lost cause.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  28. Cedric from Alabama

    Have we learned nothing from Vietnam? How about this: Let the Military do its job, tell the media to shut up and keep to domestic issues, and finally let the Generals decide with is best from their hands on point of view!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  29. heroine worshiper

    Americans have declared every war a lost cause since 1945. It's pathetic. Maybe it's time to give the country back to the Indians. They certainly had a balanced budget & more jobs before US came along.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  30. David

    Absolutely not. Afghanistan was almost completely ignored for years while pursuing Bushs' folly in Iraq. We have only been trying to regain control of the country for a few months. Give it time for our troops to do their job. This is the war that should have been fought from the beginning.

    David
    Gainesville, VA

    August 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  31. Scott Stodden

    I would have to say Jack I dont believe its a lost cause and I dont believe we should get out. I believe and think that the Obama administration has no clue on how to handle this war. Remember Jack when Bush invaded Iraq? We should have went to Afghanistan but now that we're finally there we have to have a clear and direct path about what we're doing there, where we're going over there and how to remove all Taliban strongholds. Its a big country, very mountainous with alot of area or region to cover but this war can be fought and can be one. I believe we should add about 30,000 more troops over there right away or we could very well have disasterous results.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  32. Harold Broker

    We don't have to "declare" anything. Just inform all interested parties that we have been in country long enough and will be pulling all troops out by a specified date in the not too distant future. Then do it with an imediate and sustained withdrawl process. Afghanistan will continue on as they always have without western interference. Let the CIA chase bin Laden if they want to, but stop using our troops as an international police force.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  33. donna marie calix

    yes. let us leave Afghanistan and Iraq. the cultural way of life impedes any humanitarian or wart time solutions. i watched "The Kite Runner" over and over again. it is 98% in Farsi, with English printed at the bottom of the screen (showtime). in 1979 when Russia invaded Afganistan, the comment in the movie was,our country is not kind to invaders. they will leave. i want the USA to leave. We have shown our concern and no matter who says we failed, so be it. Young lives are being lost!!!!!!!
    donna marie calix, monticello, georgia

    August 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  34. B

    I see how it is..we can afford billions of dollars for war but not affordable coverage for American citizens or for those on social security..Pardon my french but screw the war and bring home our boys, seal the borders, and be done with it.Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan...If Obama keeps putting troops in afghanistan then he will suffer come re-election.He is becoming a 1 term president..Our country is so out of control.Remember what Reagon once said, one nation under god..We've even kicked god to the curb..We as a nation cannot sink much further..

    August 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  35. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    Jack from your lips to gods ears!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  36. Keith in Colorado

    Dude, lost cause, get the hell out.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  37. jeff in hawaii

    Jack,

    At the risk of sounding like an unpatriotic American, yes. It's high time we stop spending blood and treasure in countries that don't want us there. With all the talk of deficits it seems to me this might be a good way to begin getting a handle on our finances. Yes, lots of people will scream that by leaving we will open the door for terrorism at home, but I don't believe so. It seems to me the things our Government has been doing quietly are working. Bring our boys and girls home.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  38. Karl from SF, CA

    That train left the station the day we got suckered into the Iraq war. The momentum to get Bin Laden died and the 3,000 dead on 9-11 were no longer important to the Bush administration except to terrorize us Americans. Pre-Iraq there may have been a chance to get Bin Laden and win, but once we changed direction, the chances of being the first to succeed in Afghanistan in history ended. It’s time to wave bye-bye and protect ourselves on this continent.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  39. zoom

    This was may be a lost cause, but it not as useless as the iraq war.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  40. Dawn, Oregon

    I have a haiku for you, Jack, because I'm sure you love haiku... right?

    U.S. needs to learn
    Afghan history lesson:
    armies cannot win there.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  41. Jon from Tempe, Az

    The future of our nation is at stake Jack. We can not give up on Afghanistan. The Taliban supports Al Quaeda. If we let the Taliban have complete control, we will have another 911. I am a liberal pacifist normally and I protested againt the Iraq war with vigor but Afghanistan is different.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  42. Koko, Massachusetts

    Of course it is time to get out; bring every one home and leave the Mid east to their own devices. All we are doing is causing strife and losing American lives. We'll be in a quagmire like Viet Nam if we don't start the exit now. Let every one in the world fight their own wars. We have done enough and gotten nowhere. Pull out.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  43. Ron

    Remember the Powell Doctrine? If we're going into a war, go in with overwhelming force and have a clear exit strategy. We have not gone in with overwhelming force, and if there is an exit strategy I have not heard what it might be.

    0 for 2? Get the heck out of there.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  44. peter benton

    Jack.
    If Alexander the Great couldn't do it , it can't be done.

    Hemet Ca.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  45. Mason T.

    I think that after the 8 years and countless lives we've wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's either time to fully commit to toppling the Taliban and Al Qaida, or to suck it up and leave. We've lost too many men and women in half-heatedly thrown together operations.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  46. Ann C from Nashville

    The war in Afghanistan was over 8 years ago when Bush went to Iraq and pretended to fight the war on terror and the people who attacked us on 9/11. I am ready to get out...have some kind of internatinal peacekeeping mission ..remember Pakistan's nuclear capability. But we cannot undo what Bush did not do. Bring em home!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  47. Christian, Salt Lake City

    I don't see a scenario where we leave Afghanistan and the Taliban doesn't take back the country. Last time I checked, the Taliban wasn't very apologetic about 9/11 and my guess is they'd try to do it again. Reconstruction is clearly hard, but we can't afford not to do it.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  48. Joanne Marr

    Yes, it's far past time to declare the war un-winnable and get the hell out!!!!!
    We can hardly wait for it to happen.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  49. Mike

    Yes, let's pull the plug. We must learn from history, those folks are not going to change. Ultimately they have a right to be idiots, and we can't change that. I don't like putting our soldiers in harms way for no valid purpose.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  50. Dan Awalt

    Get real, Jack! It was "time" years ago! We need to get the heck out ASAP...as in NOW. Let Afghanistan (AND Iraq) go back to the Middle Ages and remain ignorant and backwards. Who cares? That whole toilet was never worth one single American life.
    Dan Awalt
    Bradenton, Florida

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  51. AlexMJ

    Yes , this has been going on too long.Something needs to happen.Threats,Money, and death MUST me solved.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  52. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    We created this mess by turning our heads and going into Iraq. We should clean it up.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  53. Jackie Gillespie

    Hell yes – BUT is it possible to get all girls and women out first. Of course if Americans would give up herion and cocaine that probably help Afganistan more than war.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  54. Allen in Hartwell GA

    AMEN, Jack. Other than to go in, kick butt, and not take names, we should never have stuck around in that country. Iraq was a sink hole, but Afghanistan was and still is a hell-hole. Didn't we learn anything from Russia's expedition there?
    USAF, Master SGT, Retired

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  55. Elizabeth, Clarksville, Tennessee

    Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam all sound the same when it comes to victory. What would be a win in Afghanistan has not been defined much the same as the early days of Iraq. We need to decide what is acceptable, get to that point, and get out with much haste. We are fighting wars that cannot be won and no one else seems to care. Bring the American soldiers home now!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  56. Allan

    It's time to bring our troops home and defend the U.S. from within. What good does it do to fight the Taliban half way around the world when our borders are wide open to terrorists, drug dealers and illegal immigrants. Our government should protect this nation for a change!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  57. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    It is time to pack up our tents and come home. It is not time for more military men and women to lose their lives in a war we can't win. We've had enough of that. Besides, we need all of our resources focusing on America's economic recovery–and all the issues that connect to it–healthcare and immigration.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  58. Joe Ortlieb

    It is most definitely time to get out of Afganistan. The US should reconsider ALL war games until a proper reason exists. Apparently, chasing Osama has gone to the back burner years ago, so What are we really trying to accomplish? Lets stop being the worlds police.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  59. michael millage, CA

    The war in Afghanistan is reaching a critical stage. We are currently on a slippery slope headed toward a long term commitment and occupation. However, we are fighting this war in a very "American" way. Schools are being built, families are being taught how to grow food instead of the poppy plant, and our men and women are providing hope to people that they do have another choice than to submit to rule by the Taliban. We cannot leave now and remove the best chance this nation has at moving forward. Also, we are battling terrorists in the mountains of Pakistan. Funding has also been put forth to improve schools and quality of life for the citizens in that region. We need our presence to reinforce stability in this region as well. We are not only in a physical war but also a war of ideals for the hearts and minds of these people. Abandoning them now is something we cannot afford to do.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  60. Courtney from Houston

    I have been a firm supporter of our efforts in Afghanistan to route out the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, but I feel, as a realist we have reached the end of the line. We are dealing with a country torn apart by not only terrorist sentiments and efforts at extreme forms of Sharia law, but ethnic strife as well. Although, it would be a shame to waste the progress in freedom there, we may have to plan an exit VERY SOON. My only question, "Where is Osama Bin Laden?"

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  61. Wayne Saint John NB Canada

    Time to realize that it is indeed a lost cause in Afghanistan in the long run for the simple reason that Muslim society in that region simply do not want women to have political or social control over men. This is hard-wired into their brains from an early age. The Al-kaeda stuff is secondary. The best policy for the USA is to bomb the hell out of trouble-making countries and then leave.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  62. Howell from Glendale Heights, Ill

    Get the hell out Jack, these aren't the words I will use. Now that I think about it, yes, get the hell out!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  63. Jose F. Colon

    Dear Jack:

    It is long due for all troops to be home. Staying in Afghanistan is like playing with fire. A lot more lives will be lost. Let's save them!

    José F. Colón
    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  64. sue show low arizona

    Yes, war is a lost cause but not those in harms way. One life lost is too much of a price to pay. Terrorist's are like Hydra's, you cut off one head and two grow back. The last Administration proved that. This Administration is following in the footsteps of the last. When will this idiocy end?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  65. William

    Jack,

    As a former Marine I believe not only should we get out we should get out now. We have lost to many of our citizens over there period

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  66. Elaine

    Time? I say it is past time! Bring all the troops home and put them to work in the good ole' USA until we get our own act together here. Hey, they could help Americans get out of the nightmare and back into the reality of our American dreams, referred to earlier in the day.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  67. Carl

    We can't continue to be the world's policemen. Time to get the hell out of the entire area!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  68. MAJ Douglas Lynch, Student, Command and General Staff College, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

    The views expressed in this blog/comment are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Governement.

    It is not time to declare this war lost. I have not served in Afghanistan, only Iraq, but I do see similarities and the case can be made that we are at or are close to, success in Iraq. The questions you raised and the points made are valid and worth discussion, but I believe this deserves a longer fight. Afghanistan might not prove to be as clean and clear victory as we would like, but this is where we were attacked from on 9/11. As long as our leadership deems it critical to preventing further attacks then we must continue to not only take the fight to the enemy, but also focus more on the Afghan people. I can tell you from my experience of training Brigade Combat Teams in planning exercises prior to their deployment, that we have and continue to increase our emphasis on the people. Here at the Army Staff College as well, the focus on the value of learning and understanding the culture is taught and discussed daily. The amount of experience and knowledge that I see everyday from my peers is amazing. I truly believe that if we put the efforts required from mulitple government agencies and allow our leaders at all levels to get at the core issues, then we could see a dramatic improvement in Afghanistan. We have lost a lot of brave members of our military in this fight, and declaring this a lost war at this time is not the right thing to do.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  69. james in GA

    Afghanistan was once a war of necessity (to pursue bin Laden) while Iraq a war of choice. Now, Obama has mistakenly made Afghanistan a war of choice. We must do an about face, and leave immediately or we will be in this quagmire for years to come. It is a war that cannot be won.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  70. Bruce

    Oh sure, and allow the republicans to leap all over it and call dems the party of cut and run. Then we'll look like Russia did when they tucked their tail and ran off from over there. America needs to be victorious in something since it won't be Iraq. Thanks Bush!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  71. jim Blevins

    It was obvious before we invaded Afghanistan that it was a lost cause. I don't know why Obama ever thought otherwise since in most areas he knows what he is doing. Eisenhower warned against the Military/Industrial complex, but nobody seems to follow that warning. The sooner we get out the better.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  72. Sandy Hughes

    I think it would be great to have Bin Ladin dead and buried but you have to know that they are only going to replace him with some other nut. Bring our boys home to their families and children where they are needed. This war will never end and neither will Iraq's. It is already going to pot since we have drawn back and letting them handle it. Half of the police force is probably Bin Ladin's men.
    Let's get out.

    Sandy
    Guntersville, AL

    August 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  73. Mike in Palm Bay Fl

    Wasn't President Obama Supossed to do that allready?
    Coulda swore he mentioned it several times throughout
    election....

    August 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  74. Catherine

    It is time to pull out. What do we think we can achieve that the British, Greeks, and Russians were unable to accomplish before us? Are we willing to risk another Viet Nam when our country is already internally in crisis? How many lives must be lost before someone realizes this is a no win situation. As for the elections, we are trying to impose a process on a people who culturally have loyalty first to their family, next to their village and lastly to their tribe. Centralized government is a foreign concept they choose not to embrace or support so why are we losing so many American lives for something the locals do not acknowledge as vital? It just does not make any sense.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  75. Peter Popp

    Hi Jack You said it all. ( Get the Hell out ) Peter

    August 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  76. Clint

    Many people in America realize that this war is just meant to be sustained and not won. How can you win when half the time the soldiers don't know who they are fighting? How may lives have to be lost and how may tax payer dollars need to be spent on this un-winnable war?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  77. Guy in New Mexico

    Yes it is time, there is no exit strategy, we are just keeping in power a stooge we have sitted there, who has no authority apart from the city of Kabul, his govermnt has accomplished nothing, and corruption is rampant, by being there the US is feeding the fire. And we need to divert that money to something more useful, like health care .

    August 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  78. Mike of Hot Springs.

    I am an old man who during the Vietnam conflict resigned my USMC commission in 1964 to protest our increasing presence in that country. History finally proved me right. I fought bitterly against our entry into Iraq but we had a another total lapse of common sense and the leadership of a person who had no clue. This time I thought that perhaps Obama had the courage to resist the military but he has failed to see the forrest. There are some words to a folk song of the 60's that are appropriate " When Will We Ever Learn "..

    August 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  79. tony /North Carolina

    As you said Jack , time to get the hell out. Amen. Give the money saved to Senior Citizens on there Social Security.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Ever

    Jack,

    it was a complicated situation to begin with. We aren't fighting a country, we're fighting a group of thugs who can be compared to gang members on a larger scale. Gangs don't have definite strongholds and aren't as organized as governments. Even if Bin Laden were to be killed, so what? It's as foolish as thinking that if we take out the top mafia boss, the mafia will disappear forever.

    What we should be doing is helping future recruits. Build them better schools, infrastructure and make the country safer for the everyday person. That's the simplest and most effective way of keeping a group of thugs from bringing in new recruits.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  81. Dare, Nigeria

    No retreat,no surrender. The war in Afghanistan can only be won by the true characters of the American, and not by the barrels of guns, as was in the bible. Obama almost got it, but he has missed the way.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  82. Skip

    If we have learned ANYTHING from both Irag and Afghanistan (and Vietnam), it is that you can never win an insurgency with conventional warfare. Our troops are doing an outstanding job with the tools and the numbers they have, but there is no 'win' coming despite our valiant efforts. Culturally Afghanistan is so divided, and intrigue and corruption and graft so ingrained, that we will never be able to disengage. Hopefully, our efforts have shown the Afghan people that their theocracy was a poor idea, and that some other form of government is preferable to them (and the world). We should disengage militarily as soon as is practicable, and replace the military presence with NGO's or Peace Corps support to help them rebuild and hopefully prosper.

    Every single American life wasted from now on will be in vain, as inevitably we will pull out with at best a stalemate.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  83. Marjorie

    I think that American patience for a war against an enemy that is both ruthless and lacking in the fundamental values that characterize most civilizations, is shorter than the President may think. After the casualties already incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the idea of spilling more American blood in this part of the world is harder and harder to take. Some progress must be seen very soon, or we should in fact leave.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  84. Lisa, Dublin, Ohio

    Everything our government can do to screw up this country they are doing, with abandon. Now we're supposed to to intercede on behalf of Afghanistan and sacrifice MORE lives, spending even more money? Enough, dammit!

    Are we going to end up funding that war? Of course we are. But that's where it should end. If we were able to fund Afghanistan to the point of ridding themselves of the Soviets in 88/89 we can do it again and aid them against the Taliban. And that's the whole point. Let them do it.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  85. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    We never lost a battle in Viet-Nam but lost the war after more than 10 years of fighting and the same outcome will occur in Afghanistan. Unless our government wants to redefine "winning", as it is attempting to do in Iraq, then we should declare victory immediately and simply leave. I voted for President Obama because of the promises he made but so far I'm not seeing what I had hoped to happen.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  86. Pat Arsenault

    Hi Jack,

    I think that the politicians are at it again, they are trying to fight a limited war, that is to have a pit bull and try to keep it on a leash. An impressive scare tactic, but if you want REAL results, LET THE DAM DOG OFF THE LEASH. They tried to fight a limited war in Viet-Nam
    and apparently they haven't learned a dam thing. Tell our generals to WIN THE WAR AND THEN DON'T MAKE CONTACT WITH THE TALIBAN AGAIN TILL THEY BEG MERCY. Our troops can do it, just keep the politicians out of the loop.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  87. Angie

    No! The Afghan war is Not a lost cause. The Afghan war was a Neglected war under the Bush and Cheney administration, who put everything into looking for weapons of mass distruction in Iraq.
    The Afghan war purpose was to get those responsible for 9/11.
    But instead the Bush and Cheney administration Abandon Our Number One Goal. And so here we after waiting for 8 years later to go back in full force.
    Ofcourse everything is now topsy turvey. That is what happens when you do Not finish the job in the First Place.
    We need to finish what we started, or the Afghan people will end up suffering worse than what they were before we went in after 9/11.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  88. george

    the answer is yes if we are going to keep going this alone jack.

    cnn just a few days ago showed troops handing out pencils and pens.
    what we need is an international coalition to go take the country and hand out laptops,cable television and wallmarts.
    these people are hundreds of years behinde the mark and are being ruled by huns that dont want the masses moving up the intelectual ladder.
    they dont need tropps they need an education and if american troops are going to be the ones to bring it to them we are going to need alot more than we have there now.
    my qustion is why are we doing this alone?
    george
    chester,ct.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  89. Matt

    Yes. We need to get out of Afghanistan. It is a lost cause. The Russians wasted an entire decard there. We would be able to afford health care for all American citizens if we brought our troops home from both Afghanistan and Iraq. It's time to put an end to the Military Industrial Complex.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  90. Steve Frater

    Jack,
    Afganistan is a cesspool but if we wave the white flag and decamp, it'll be seen as a total victory for Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
    Sadly, it is a cesspool but one we must keep there and not have it remerge here a la 9/11.

    If you think terrorists were encouraged by the freed Libyan, if we tuck tail in Kabul it'll be open season worldwide on our way of life. Remember the terrorist training camps? They'll be overflowing with jihadists hell bent on our destruction. We should fight a high tech war and keep our boys as safe as possible, but we can't quit this fight and ever sleep well again in our own beds.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  91. Ken in NC

    After considerable thought as to the level of developement of Afghanistan, I think one last effort should be given. We should send in our Special Forces Team of Bush/Cheney. If you look at how they minipulated Americans over an 8 year period and how they have us at each others throats now, consider that they could accomplish the same in Afghanistan is a year or less.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  92. Inno

    I personally believe that declaring the war in Afghanistan a failure would be a tremendous mistake, the Taliban are far to great a threat to be allowed "off the hook" until the Taliban has been neutralised and Al Qaeda destroyed we must continue to fight not just for the betterment of the Afghan people quality of life, but to better secure the national security of our great nation. If we let them of the hook we risk thousands of US civilians lifes from the threat of another Al Qaeda orchestrated attack, losing even more credibility around the world, and worse we risk legitimizing the Taliban and allowing them to retake Afghanistan and most likely they will acquire WMDs.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  93. donna poulnot

    It is time we get out of Afghanistan. The needs in that country are beyond our nation's pocktbook to address. Pres. Karsai has had many years to accomplish progress for his people but instead has squandered the money with rampant corruption. How should we reward that GET OUT. Our soldiers lives are too precious to be loss there. Limited attacks on taliban terrorists that cause a threat to U.S. mainland should be addressed but democracy for Afghanistan is too far fetched. Donna Poulnot Snellville, GA

    August 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  94. John Swanagon

    Let me start by saying that the situation in Afghanistan is completely George.W. Bush's fault. He recklessly took us to Iraq, dropped the ball, and destabilized an entire region. At this point, I think it is time to change how we fight the war on terrorism. We need to stop fighting with a large "marked" force and instead fight with elite units that can blend with local populations and go after the bad guys. Enough already. We need to stop using our armed forces to protect other countries. If we keep that up, we will NEVER leave Afghanistan and we will NEVER leave Iraq. That is unacceptable not to mention outright too expensive, both in terms of human life and money. There are always going to be bad guys. But, it is how we fight the bad guys that will dictate whether we win or not. Stop the madness.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  95. george in MD

    jack!
    yes , bring the troops back home and give them money that would have been spent on the war anyway as a stimulus, just as( money for clank's) it would be a money spent in this country...that's would be good debt.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  96. Kim

    As a wife of a of soldier serving in Afghanistan I would say no. If we leave now that means that all of the hard work that these soldiers did was for nothing. Since the troop build up in January things have been getting better. Give it some time. Let them do their job and not declare anything over. They have just started to make progress even if no one hears about it. If we were to pull out that means that all of the soldiers who have lost their life was for nothing. I don't want that to happen. They deserve to be honored for what they have sacrificed for us.
    Proud Army Wife from the 10th Mountain Division

    August 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  97. Bob in Texas

    Absolutely it's time for the US to get out of that God-forsaken place.
    Some really wise men have voiced a lot of concern for Obama and the country since his decision to send more troops there. I don't see how anyone could justify going there – I realize Pakistan has a nuclear weapon, and they share a common border, but deal with Pakistan if and when it's necessary.

    America needs to get the monkey off its back – you talk about heroin or cocaine addiction – this one we have is way yonder worse (war) !!

    Bob in texas

    August 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  98. Herb Slate

    I voted for Presidnet Obama, and support him on every one of his programs..except his Afghanistan policy. He might lose the battle for wide-spread health reform and still get my vote in 2012, but if he doesn't get out of a war so similar to Bush's Iraq, I will not vote for him. I would never vote for a Republican, but I will sit 2012 out, or vote for a anti-war candidate if one can get enough support to run. Robert Kennedy did it 40 years ago and hopefully someone will step up who can make President Obama end the war NOW!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  99. Gary Meixell

    Jack, this sounds like 1968 again, same political party, different country. Are the Democrats losing their backbone, will they accept defeat and allow a Taliban Nation to eventually have nuclear weapons. Are they prepared to tell the American Service Members that their service in Afghanistan was wasted. As a Vietnam Veteran, this is sounding like the same old record. I only hope that the Democrats can march and carry a weapon, because I'm not sending my kids.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Allan Hanson Placerville,Ca

    It is way past time. we should not have invaded it in the first place. We could have gotten Osama without invading it.. As we know now Osama had nothing to do with our invading Afganistan, it was merely an excuse.
    What do we do now? The only thing we can do now is retreat, the sooner the better. There will never be a better time.
    The same is true of Iraq.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  101. mike-sey

    Time for the draft, Jack? If nobody is prepared toput the amount of effort needed into this venture, then we all should get out, and stop pretending we're smarter, more noble, better and richerthan the Russians because maybe we aren't..
    Ottawa, Canada.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  102. Mark Foran (Miramichi N.B. Canada)

    Its quite simple jack, American forces are situated in Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran is surrounded and the U.S. currently enjoys a very firm foothold within the region, why give up such a strong geographical dominance.
    The U.S. should not consider leaving but truly finishing. Send over a coalition of U.S, British and Canadian troops, everything we've got and end these battles once and for all. Insure American dominance in the region and begin to develop the bases and infrastructure needed to run the board.
    We can not be afraid to be a little ruthless Jack, its for the greater good.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  103. P.Campbell

    As you alluded to already, Afghanistan has been targeted many times. They will not cave in to any outside force. We aided them in their fight against the Russians and now we are the invaders? Why?
    The Taliban? Al Qaida? Are we to believe that we can conquer their hatred of us by killing members of their groups? Are we to believe that more "collateral damage" will make us more friends? Are we going to switch missions and now label it a war on drugs? Send in Monsanto to make a bundle switching their Opium out for corn plants?
    I guess this war, like most, is just beyond my comprehension.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  104. mark

    We should stay in Afganistan until all the terrorists are killed if it takes 100 years.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  105. anne

    Jack, you know it isn't that simple. First, we would be handing over Afghanistan to the Taliban, and then on it goes to Pakistan and the bomb.

    The UN thought this war was worth it. Let the generals who have no ulterior motives to want to continue this war, lead it and give them what they need. We are not weaker than they are. Just as in Vietnam, we never use our full power because we are so afraid of public opinion.

    If will be our (the people's) fault if we lose because we don't see the bigger picture.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  106. Mary Ann Clark

    YES !! I feel this war between the different factions will go on forever with or without our help. Its time to bring out men home and let them fight between themselves.

    I feel that we should concentrate more on helping to keep out the
    Taliban and other terrorists out of our own country and other countries that need our help. Places where we are invited in to help, not bust in and start fighting liking we did on Irac.

    Mary Ann Clark
    Sun City, Ca.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  107. MichiganAndy

    The Afghan war was a lost cause when the first bomb was dropped on Baghdad. On that day we gave up the moral high ground that was thrust under our feet on 9/11 and justified our comitting the most immoral act; waging war. I said then we had just lost the war on terror. We also lost all trust with the free world, and thanks to Bush we as a nation compromised our founding principles by torturing prisoners and by spying on our own people for simply protesting the war. Now we lack the will to persue justice in our own country, and until the criminals in the Bush Administration, including Bush and Cheney, who used the constitution as toilet paper are put in jail, or even put up against the wall and shot for treason (anyone say Valerie Plame?), how can we be justified in persuing justice in a foreign land?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  108. Robert Chicago

    Yea, lets give the terrorists an entire country as a base for their operations. Great idea, Jack.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  109. bob carlin

    no one has the guts to heed general/president's Eisenhower's warning about the Military/Industrial Complex. Thats what it all comes down to Jack. Sad really sad Bob

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  110. Dale,,,IOWA

    If you would take one half the money that is spent in Afghanistan on war, and provide clean living conditions such as ,,water, food, shelter, a new farming system, irriganion for crops, so the people become human again, you would have less conflicts,, you win the hearts and minds by being a good neighbor

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  111. Michael

    I think what the American people need to know is that both of these wars while malicious and awful are wars built on Ameria's own past mistakes. Saddam Hussein should have been defeated and captured during the gulf war instead of letting a genocidal dictator continue to sell us oil at a cheap price and Sept 11th 2001's Afghanistan was the result of the U.S. choosing to not support the war torn nation after the Soviet invasion and instead increasing arms sales to the rest of the world. However the most important factor is the U.S.A.'s ability to protect innocent lives in the Middle East and create fledgling democracies that will hopefully one day flourish.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    If the United States really want to win the war in Afghanistan, they need to do 2 things, get our troops out of Iraq, and bring back the Draft. And if they can't do the latter, they need to get the hell out of there.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  113. Max

    Jack
    We should never have gone there in the first place, it was never a war on terrorist ,we went there to build an oil pipeline which would run Thur Afganistan, Pakistan and India, and all the oil is to sold to Europe. Every President has sold us a bill of goods saying how great it will be for us, like the all Volunteer army that won't let you out ,so only the poor and middle class will serve while the sons of the people who start these wars for profits stay safe and sound at home.
    max Royersford, pa.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  114. Barbara DuQuin

    George Santayana Quote:Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. ... We should leave Afghanistan, as safely as possible, and exercise our influence in the Middle East at the negotiation table or UN. I cannot imagine the pain of being the parent of a serviceman or woman lost in that morass of ill-advised interference perpetrated on the American people by lies and dissemination. It is a travesty!
    Barbara
    Canterbury, NH

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  115. Dionigi

    I'm pretty up to date on current domestic and foreign affairs, probably moreso that the average joe schmo from middle America, but honestly I have to say that I do not understand the dynamic of the "War in Afghanistan." I'm aware that the nation is a harborer of Al Qa'ida freedom fighters/terrorists, but I'm having a hard time understanding why did we initially invade Iraq and not Afghanistan. Why is Afghanistan gaining so much attention only now in 2009? Is that where the Weapons of Mass Desruction are, seeing that we made a mistake and they weren't in fact in Iraq? Is this where Osam Bin Laden is hideing? Why is there an apperent need to send more troops into Afghanistan, has Iraq stabalized so much that we're diverting our attention to Afghanistan now?

    Miami, FL

    August 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  116. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    Let's think back: Osama Bin Laden took credit for 9/11 and we invaded Afghanistan to apprehend a murderer. In order to do that, we had to topple their government. Almost every American at the time demanded we go arrest Bin Laden. It was unpatriotic to say otherwise.

    Granted, we still haven't found Osama and our war has spread to Iraq, but we should NOT turn our back on the people of Afghanistan now that they need us to preserve democracy.

    Jack, you're brave and you provoke intelligent debate through thoughtful insight. My respect...

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  117. Jim Waters

    Jack, Afghanistan has been known for centuries as "the graveyard of empires." It has some of the planet's worst terrain and toughest fighters. No invasion has ever been successful. The Russians came closest with their helicopters, but then the U.S. supplied the Afghans with Stinger shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles, and they stopped the Russians cold. Thousands of those missiles are still there. Harry Truman said, "The only thing new under the sun is the history you don't know." He was right!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  118. Don Mussman

    Your right get the hell out of Afghanistan, in my opinion its a never ending situation.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  119. michael hernandez

    unlike many truly great americans who will post from beautiful places such as texas, kansas, missouri, ohio, and oklahoma and other states who produce a major share of our fighting troops I am from brooklyn ny a place known for its warriors both in the army and in the civilian world you spent some time here jack and even if you wont vouch for us your reporting style will attest 2 the toughness of the denizens of this city, brooklyn is also right across the river from lower manhattan, i woke up for school and watched the birth of a new world as a skyscraper burned like a matchstick, and the ashes of the buildings and the souls inside sprinkled on the parked cars and houses and bbqs and everything else in my neighborhood. there was an scent of smoke in the air for weeks after that I cant describe to you I have never smelled it before or since so I believe I have a viable opinion on this matter, unfortunately the bush administration let al qaeda off the ropes in 2003 and now finding bin laden and winning the war requires so much backtracking I fear that america may be "cutting its nose to spite its face" bin laden wanted this country dead and im not sure i can see our nation continuing to spend money it doesnt have on a war that historically hasnt been won since alexander of macedonia, however I do not make the decisions so keeping those ashes in mind if we do continue in afghanistan I hope this administration learns from the mistake of the previous one and knocks al qaedas teeth in when theyre on the ropes this time

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  120. Mikey J.

    Jack,
    Having spent 3 tours in Afghanistan I can only say that the aftermath of leaving with our tails between our legs will only make things worse. If you read Osama Bin Laden's declaration of war against the United States, part of what encouraged them was when we left with our tails between our legs from Somalia. If you want to embolden those who wish to kill us no matter what, then sure, why not? After all, most Americans don't have a clue anyways. I'm speaking a different language I'm sure. Nothing to see here, just go back to your mocha lattes, playstations and reality TV.

    Semper Fi,

    -Mikey J. (Alexandria, VA)

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  121. Ruth Wakefield

    No – we have to stop getting into wars then declaring them a lost cause. It is time to win one. If it was worth going there then it's worth winning and it is awful for the morale of our troops over there dying and watching their buddies die to quit without victory. I'm a child of the Vietnam era and this practice of fighting "half-wars" started in Korea. Look where that is now. As for Vietnam, well 58,000 odd body bags kind of said all that needed to be said on that one. Afghanistan is the country we should have gone to in a massive way right after 911. It's also a country where we do have a hope to win the minds and hearts of it's people if they're not being terrorized. Let's do what we should have done – get out of Iraq, and put all our resources with the Afghanis. That also means getting our media behind this fight since they heavily influence the feelings of the American people. Iraq was wrong and I said it loudly to anyone who would listen but Afghanistan should have been our choice – after all it was where Bin Laden was.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  122. Manuel Pasadena, Maryland

    The fact that the Bush administration waged war on the wrong country and dragged it longer then any war should of last, it should not effect Obama administration and its efforts in trying to "fix" the war. If we fail here it will only give those evil minded more power to do more destruction. I don't believe its time to throw in the towel just yet. This war is not for selfish reasons but for the good of humanity and if we bail out now the risk will greatly increase and cast fear in us all just the way "they" had originally planned.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  123. Houston, TX

    America needs to finish the war with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Let the military strategist and fight the war and let the politicians try to work things out diplomatically. Eight years is too long to just walk away.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  124. Jonathan from New York

    No. Surrender is NEVER a Option and we as Americans don't cut a run like the bleeding heart liberals of this country. Afghanistan can be won if we use Tactics and Strategy instead of more of a brute force and think strategically where to place our outposts instead of where the most brute force would be needed. Additional troops wont hurt in this case as long as we think and use strategy.

    Reason we've lost so many in this war (And in Iraq as well) is we fail to think strategically and use terrain and things around us to our advantage just like the enemy does. Sticking an outpost in a valley that's overlooked by mountains isn't an idea of thinking strategically. (Afghanistan)

    August 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  125. al in delaware

    That picture that you posted on the internet looked a lot like could have been take 40 years ago in Vietnam. I hope the results will be better.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  126. Rob

    Yes!! Both the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are "revenge" wars!!
    Revenge never has been a solution nor brings back any of the 9/11 deceased people.!!!
    The total stupidity is that another 4200 americans died plus 100's more in Afghanistan!! Let alone the human cost and the billions spent and still being spent. Does this make this country any safer? No exactly the opposite!! Americans have to learn that revenge is never the solution!! Both the people living in Iraq nor Afghanistan did attack the U.S. Bin Laden's clan did that not a poor farmer in Afghanistan who now gets a rocket on his farm. The U.S. is on the wrong track!!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  127. Ed

    Yes- It's Vietnam all over again. If it gets so bad over there that free countrys of the world are endangered then our friends from around the world who value freedom should be happy to help solve the problem.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  128. Drew Tyson

    Jack, the Chinese and the Russians got their butts handed to 'em in Afghanistan, and now the U.S. This is another black hole we've been sucked into by great intentions and divine (but blind) morality from our presidents. We can no longer travel the globe trying to eradicate the bad guys. Who appointed us "World Cops?" I say get out now and concentrate on the problems at home (to include securing our borders, cities and airlines). By the way, Afghanistan should be a job for the United Nations, but unfortunately the UN is useless.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  129. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    Yes Jack it is a lost cause we aught to know by now that Muslim nations that has been ruled by dictatorships for decades can not simply become a democracy. It takes the whole of a nation to want to be ruled by the people but when you have warlords and people who would kill for power there will never be a real democracy to rule Islamic extremist. So we should get out before the warlords there take up sides with the Taliban and we are cornered in every direction. We should just use drone attacks like we do in Pakistan to take out their leaders who wish to kill for power over their people!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  130. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    Yes Jack–Those people fight all the time.I think they enjoy it.We need to just get out and put all the service men on the borders and airports .Don't let them in to good old USA.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  131. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Jack,
    This is no time to declare this war a lost cause. We as Americans need to remember that 3000 of our citizens were killed by the Taliban – hosting Al – Qaeda operatives on September 11, 2001. What we should have done was implement a police action through the CIA rather than embarking on a full scale war. The minute we leave, the Taliban and Al – Qaeda will be running Afghanistan again and launching attacks at us and our interests all over the world. I understand some people are now calling for an end to this war I never supported to begin with including most of my liberal brethren, however, I think some of the people calling for an end now are the same ones who says let stay there until we get the job done under President Bush. Deos this mean they're the only ones who can take this country to war?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  132. Philip, St. Augustine, FL

    We have a responsibility to the people of Afghanistan. We helped them to defeat the Russians so many years ago, but pulled out and refused to give them the aid they needed to rebuild their country thereafter. With most of the adults killed from war, the young Afghans were left with no schools and few responsible leaders. By leaving them helpless, The United States gave the drug lords the chance they had been praying for. That is, the chance to recruit an army to carry out their extremist views. We helped to create the Taliban, so we must help bring it to an end.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  133. Gregory

    The old saying you can't polish a t–d is true here. If we leave Afghanistan, Osama Bin Laden will become a hero in the eyes of every terrorist around the world. He beat the Russians, who were just power hungry and if we leave then he will have beat us who he slapped in the face during 9/11. Can't cut and run on this one.
    A lot of valuable time was wasted in Iraq but too many fools were busy following a fool (Bush and Chaney). No country has ever won a two front war in history. But we will have to win this one or be shamed for life or accept terriosim as a way of living.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  134. Steve

    Yes Jack, It's time to get (the hell) out of there. We couldn't win Viet Nam but it seems everybody got over it. It's time for this country to swallow its pride and bring our troops home. Maybe there would be a lot less terror if we would quit being the "bully on the block." After all, how often do the swedes get terror-bombed???

    August 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  135. Lillemor Welch

    Yes, let's get out of Afganistan and let them fight each other another 3000 years!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  136. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Good question, Jack. The kneejerk reactions will be two: get out now, and stay until the job is done. The problem is that our goals there are changing, and until we formulate what those goals really are, there is no one answer that is correct.

    As a military vet myself, I do not want to see more of our most precious American resources (the lives of our military) wasted. However, the country does still possess strategic and essential resources for terrorism that can affect our lives yet again. As part of the general population, we are not fully aware of all the military, economic, and political ramifications of either course of action and so we cannot truly determine what the correct course is. The problem is that we are also having a crisis of confidence in both political leadership and military leadership to make those choices.

    Which is a long and convoluted way of saying that I am wise enough to admit I don’t know.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  137. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Bill Maher was correct, the American people are stupid or at least our politicians are. We elect these idiots and they get us in a war mostly for political reasons and reward their lobbyist buddies in the defense industry and contractors with large contracts worth billions, and we send our young soldiers over there to get killed while they make millions of dollars at the cost of our soldiers. Yes we need to get the hell out of there and let them simple minded jerks over there kill each other. One last parting message to them would be if they come over here and kill one american we'll make a sand pile out of that entire region.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  138. ed schleker

    Hi jack looks like we should carpet bomb the places were the
    taliban hids out - put troops in places to secure safety for the people
    and use air to kill taliban as they move into the vilgs. winning is not
    possible –

    August 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  139. Matt

    Yes. We need to get out of Afghanistan. It is a lost cause. The Russians wasted an entire decade there. We would be able to afford health care for all American citizens if we brought our troops home from both Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s time to put an end to the Military Industrial Complex.

    Matt- CT

    August 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  140. Steve

    Jack: You would think that with the other countries that had tried and failed in the past, and the past record that the Americans had in Vietnam which was guerrilla warfare,why would they possible think that they could "win in Afghanistan? To get out right now is not really possible,but to get out on the President,s promise before being elected is the right thing to do.The President has got to deliver on this promise or else.I would think the president would like to get re-elected for a second term.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  141. vern-anaheim,ca

    yes leave now if not sooner.getting involved in this war was a hugh mistake ,great britian and russia could not win there and we cant either.how many soliders are we going to have to lose before obama says get out of there.president bush got us into this mess and president obama must get us out immediatly

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  142. mark pribble Anna il.

    Yes we should go. The whole world should be involved in this, these terrorist go after almost every country in the world, why is it always the United States that has to fix the problems and pay the bills this is a world wide problem not just ours.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  143. Russ

    The US and NATO presence in Afghanistan is a legitimate response to the act of war on 9/11. By that measure it has always differed from the war in Iraq. The war in Iraq caused the US to "take its eyes off the ball", even though it became a magnet for jihadists, so efforts in Afghanistan have been prolonged. With the US presence in Iraq winding down jihadists are once again focused on Afgahnistan, as evidenced by the recent increase in violence. History is against anyone who invades Afghanistan, but it is better that we continue to fight the war on the enemy's turf than to allow them to return it to ours.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  144. Mary

    We need to get out and expend our resources at home defending ourselves through stepped up efforts of our intelligence sources and well as better enforcement at our borders and ports of entry. We need to also chase all illegals home and follow up on those who get visas to enter and then stay. We botched up our chance at getting BL because our "leaders" at the time thought we should use home grown militia to guide us to him. They kept us away from him. Which is probably what they were supposed to do. After all GB was in bed with the Saudis where BL came from.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  145. Neel Lakhanpal

    Yes,Yes, and Yes! We don't need to and shouldn't stay in Afghanistan. Why are we giving away so many innocent lives...to no avail? This is a problem that the Afghan nation needs to deal with on its own. The US should not be meddling in the affairs of Afghanistan, let alone other countries. Plus, all of the money we're spending on this war is drilling an even bigger whole in the economy. Obama should be thinking about this before he starts to consider spending billions on Health Care reform.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  146. chRLES MCLAUGHLIN

    We have lost almost twice as many troops in the two wars as were killed on 9/1. Yes, bring them home before too many more are killed.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  147. reggie from roanoke

    Jack,
    No. We should stamp out all terrorist and terrorist suppliers. These people have a twisted sense of westerners and will stop at nothing to kill us all.Get them first.
    where are the terrorist tranining? where are they getting their supplies. is that so hard to find. after all, they have no military bases. no headquarters. who the hell is supplying them? Lets also get the suppliers and the terrorist all at once. Dont you think the CIA knows the answer?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  148. A-ron

    Why in the world would we do that Jack!? With our military stretched thin, stationed half way around the world, many troops having been deployed 2-3 even 4 times already, and a government in debt up to its eyeballs... we are on top of our game, there is no quitting now! You're just talking silly.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  149. Steven Crump

    Unfortunatly the afgan war has been a lost cause since we went in there seven years ago even if we get OBL al-oaeda an the taliban it's not going to change the fact that we lost over three thousand on 9/11 it's not going to change the fact that al-qaeda has been franchise gloably. It don't stop crips and blood when U.S. court system killed Crips founder Tookies Williams Its not going to make a different around the world if we caught OBL..........

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  150. Alan from Riverdale NY

    If George Bush and Dick Cheney hadn't taken their eye off the ball and diverted our troops to fight a war in Iraq for greed, we might have destroyed Al Quaida by now.

    We can not walk away from the fight with Al Quaida and the Taliban. This is not Viet Nam. The North Vietnamese simply wanted us to go home. Al Quaida as you remember attacked us on our soil on September 11, 2001 and will be making every effort to do it again.

    In this war, we must stay the course. Afghanistan is not about Oil and greed, it is about our National security.

    Alan
    Riverdale NY

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  151. Mark Foran (Miramichi N.B. Canada)

    Well Jack the fact of the matter is that Iran, Pakistan and North Korea are the greatest threats to peace. For the life of me I can not see the logic in rounding up the troops and bringing them home now. The U.S. is very well situated on their continents, in their back yards. Why give back home field advantage?
    Why not send in everything we've got, take control once and for all and begin to set up shop?
    Lets keep the fighting away from our shores and establish a beach head exactly where we are.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  152. Tyson

    Jack, You cant fight religious fanatics who wont come out and fight like men! We need to secure our borders and wake up, this is no longer America, i am ashamed of american politicans who only care about counting votes.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  153. Annie, Atlanta

    Of course it is. But rightwing warmongers will beat their chests and shriek that Democrats cut and run and make us unsafe, and main stream media will gladly help them pass their message along, all for the sake of war profiteers. Is this what quagmire means?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  154. Sam Bennett

    After ignoring Afghanistan in favor of an optional and pointless war in Iraq for six years, it should be no surprise that it is more difficult. Now that we are finally actually fighting the war there instead if just hold the cities and letting the countryside go, especially in the South, we are going to take more casualties. That's the cost of Baby Bush's neglect and hubris. We don't need another Viet Nam where we half ass fight a war for years and then cut and run without ever doing what is necessary to win.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  155. Brian Smith PhD

    Let us face the facts Jack…. The ONLY interest we had in Afghanistan was Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Thick headedness in Washington DC has miserably failed at capturing bin Laden using conventional war methods. Sadly conventional war methods only sufficed to butt into domestic problems in Afghanistan locking us into yet another fiasco not unlike the Iraq and Vietnam wars. How stupid could we be to let a cowboy president wage a conventional war where there was no reasonable need for a war? :Let's pull out and stay out.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  156. Stephanie from Charlottesville VA

    If it is true that significant numbers of people have been hurt or killed due to this election, I believe the country is not ready for democracy. And yes, we should get out now, because there is nothing we can do, militarily, to pull the country into the 20th, much less the 21st, century. I do not want one more of our wonderful young soldiers dying for this purpose.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  157. Nick Altebrando

    Has anyone in the government heard of the fall of the Roman Empire? Well , they better do some reading because we are experiencing a 2,000 yr old reply right now ...Nick Altebrando ...Montoursville ,PA

    August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  158. Ted Hunt

    I totally agree with you Jack. We will never win. Our Government will never learn. We continue to get involved where we shouldn't be and know we're goiing to loose, just like Vietnam and Korea. And Americans keep electing the same old people.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  159. Rey, Montreal

    Jack,

    As much as I love the US, will anyone stand up and tell the nation, especially the right wing, the US has never, that's right, never succeeded in establishing a democracy in a foreign country in the 22 armed conflicts it has been involved in on foreign soil since WWII. Tell that to McCain and company. Only dictatorships or facsimiles like Karzai have risen from those costly interventions. Check the files Jack, you can't proove me wrong. But it seems half of the gun happy Americans will always think they can change the world. Remember : Democracy, by definition of the word itself, comes from the people; it is never imposed by will. Afganistan has a 1000-year old mentality in all aspects; the West is talking to 5% of the population. No wonder the talibans win when talking to 95%, whether the US likes it or not. In ten years Russia did not succeed against donkey driven carts and sling shots; what makes one think the US can do better.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  160. Tom Bolticoff

    In a word, "YES". If we add up all the money we have spent exporting democracy, we would have more than enough to pay for Health Care.
    Interesting how no one protested all the money and lives we spent in Irag and Afghanistan, but go way beyond civil when we try and care for our own citizens.. Exporting democracy does not work.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  161. Jerry

    Yes! Jack Yes, There was a time to get Bin Laden and that was 8 years ago. That time is over. Bring our men and women home, and if we want Bin Laden, stop giving money to Pakistan and send in Special undercover forces. Jerry/ Iowa

    August 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  162. Murphy LARRY

    We just don't get it. The terrorists want to destroy our way of life. This war ain't no Vietnam. We could bring home all our troops and the terrorists will still take it to us. Until the American people understand what this war is all about then we will win. This is not Conservative versus Liberals. The terrorists want to kill us all.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  163. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I don't think the military training manual details when a war is a lost cause or when to get out. It appears the Generals on the ground are doing a good job making decision based poor decisions that were made for them and it should be left to them to make the final call.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  164. Jack S.

    We don't need any more of our boys killed anywhere in this world! I was in the U.S. Marines in the late 50's and I am as patriotic as the next person, BUT time has proven to me that we don't need to have our sons and daughters killed or maimed to try to right a wrong. A much better use of our troops would be to bring them ALL back home to strengthen OUR borders, ports, and airports to prevent any more attacks. The UN should be the World's Court.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  165. Jon Hart

    Public Opinion... is that really what you want to be guiding your foreign policy. The same public opinion that for the past two weeks has questioned the possiblity of death panels, as if it is a reall possibility. America get a grip, leave the politicians and diplomats to sort out foreign issues... go back to watching Football and catching up on the altest celebrity gossip.

    Stay till the jobs done, you owe it to the majority of the Afghan people who support you.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  166. George in Texas

    Jack:
    The main problem is that the Pentagon is programmed to think in terms of Pakistani army as an ally. Thus, USA spends billions on arming an army that has no intention or capability of sharing our values and goals. For Pakistani army Afghanistan is a golden opportunity to extort from USA weapons and aids that it wants to use to annihilate the Indians, not the Taliban nor the Al Quaida who are actually Pakistani army's allies of longstanding. If Pres Obama had the right vision and boldness, he would de-nuke Pakistan and bring India with its vast army squarely in the middle to manage Afghanistan. India has longstanding great relations with Russia and the India-Russia partnership can shut-off the Chinese from muddying up the water. It is really that simple, for both India and Russia are willing to free up the area of terrorists who have been mainly aided by Pakistan all along. A re-thinking and re-orientation post USSR would do the trick.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  167. Willow, Iowa

    Its no longer the idea of "get them over there, before we have to fight them in the streets over here." They said that about the Communists in Vietnam. If we didn't fight them over there, the "Red Tide" would cover the world. Come on. It didn't then and it won't now. We need to pull our guys back home. Let the Afghani and Pakistani people work it out amongst themselves.

    I still say, "The American satellites can find anything anywhere in the world, how come they can't find a 6'5" guy with a turban in the middle of Pakistan or Afghanistan?"

    August 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  168. ben stockton, calif

    at present we are in a no win situation in afganistan. a good red army never succeded in winning there,,.all we are doing spending more money, killing and maiming more of our men there. let fix the miriad of problems we have here instead of there. i question obamas wisdom of continuing a war there.have him concentrate on health care immigration reform and other things that need fixing here .. bring the troops home, station them all along our borders, and stem the flow of illegal drugs and if they happen to injure or kill a drug smuggler, dont treat them like we did to compeon and ramos

    August 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  169. Gerard Lynn Rifenburg

    The old Soviet Union fought in Afghanistan for a long time before that war contributed to the demise of their country. The cost of our involvement is already adding to our deficit which could eventually lead to our demise. I say get out now!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  170. Sam in Florida

    The way to defeat Al Quaeda is for the countries they reside in to do something about it..
    Just to kill Bin Laden is not going to bring this conflict to an end.
    When we went into Iraq, we lost our window of opportunity.
    It's time to protect the homeland and bring everyone back home.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  171. Jim Michigan

    It is definately time to bring our troops home, bring them home before the Obama administration sends special prosecutors after the troops like they are doing the CIA. If Holder finds out that our soldiers did not read the Taliban their Miranda rights we will have a lot of patriots coming home and straight to prison.

    We as a nation should never put our intelligence or military personnel in a position in which a new administration can come in partially release selective secret memos that support one position and hide the rest so that they can go after a previous administration.

    It is time for these liberal nuts to put the uniform on, join the CIA and go out and show the rest of us just how the job should be done. Will they do? Obviously not, it is too easy to sit back and enjoy the fruits of a democracy that requires others to defend it on their behalf – this administration obviously detest America and is dead set on destroying it from the inside. I am disgusted by this decision and this administration – by the way I did vote for Obama, not again, never again!!!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  172. Albert K.. L.A, CA

    Hell N\o! After the Russians left Afghanistan in 1988, al Qaeda set up camp and we got bombed on 9/11/01. The reason the Taliban is getting stronger now is because Bush wrongly focused on Iraq rather than our enemies – the Taliban and al Qaeda. President Obama has only had seven months in office yet he has focused his sights on the real enemy who lives in Afghanistan. We have too much to loose to not give the man a chance.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  173. John in Texas

    We were in Afghanistan too long after the first day. Bring our young people home before another one can be hurt or dies.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  174. carl larson

    If it takes as long to train the Afgan military to police themselves as it has taken to train the Iraqi forces, we will be be there until hell freezes over. !!!!

    Carl from Florida

    August 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  175. Jerome Coster

    I think that Bush, like so many other things, screwed up Afghanistan. Going to Iraq was a strategic blunder of colossal magnitude. My brother served in Operation Desert Storm, and I am just glad we had a President with some sense back then.

    That said. We cannot leave Afghanistan now. The terrorists who attacked us came from there. The Pakistanis are not very trustworthy allies. What do we do when we get out, any case ? The Afghan government is a myth. It controls parts of Kabul and a few provincial capitals. The people who will take it over will be one of the rag tag groups we call Taliban. Expect Pakistanis to take it over like the good old times ? I do not think so.

    Taliban + AQ + Pakistan's nukes – the next 9-11 will not be a pretty one in comparison.

    Iran has a massive influence in the southwest. They will be glad to start influencing things. We will end up with two terror factories instead of one – one Pakistan ISI influenced Sunni, and the other Iran RG influenced Shia.

    We simply do not have a choice. We not only have to stay there, but rapidly move our 160,000 hostages out of Iraq into this theater, where they can actually be useful. Obama took the right first step with the additional 17,000 troops. We need ten times that. I hope he goes totally gangbusters on this problem.

    I am a conservative who did not support the Iraq blunder (or vote for that idiot in 2004). So, save the comments.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  176. Duane L Billington

    We can not achieve our objectives in Afghanistan if we fight using conventional tactics and weapons. The support of the American people for this war on terrorism in Afghanistan will be lost if the Obama administration does educate our citizens as to our objectives.

    We developed tactical weapons to stop a Russian invasion of Europe. If we are not willing to use these or similar weapons in our arsenal.

    The decision to drop the bombs on Japan saved American lives. We need to do something similar with tactical weapons in Afghanistan or get the hell out..

    August 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  177. Gary In Lexington

    Jack, it is time to come home. The minute we entered Iraq, we lost the support of many Afghan's, many Muslims and most of the rest of the world. Had we focused soley on Afghanistan, we would not have the mess we currently have there AND in Pakistan. The current situation is just another bad example of Bush's obsession with Iraq. Had we put all of our energy and strength into defeating the Taliban, al Qaeda and capturing or killing Bin Laden, we would in all likelyhood, have succeeded on at least two of those fronts, if not all three. I would also like to say, the flakes that make up worthless NATO, are a big factor. Thank you NATO, for your complete lack of support, you are a bunch of cowards!
    Gary,
    Lexington,KY

    August 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  178. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, Look at a map these two wars are about Iran . You Know Your Surrounded! Jack From Nice Ca.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  179. Mit Kumar

    Giving up in Afghanistan will not have the same outcome as in Vietnam. It will be suicidal. It will give afree run to Taliban to set
    up training camps for suicide bombers & other varieties of terrorists.

    It is neccessary to evolve a winning strategy, especially taking care of
    epicenter of terrorism in Pakistan & controlling their handlers in ISI.

    Pakistan will stop getting money from us if Taliban is controlled. How they can be serious about stopping them?
    If we are worried about casualties we must remember the toll in one
    9/11. Terrorism must be eliminated from world at any cost. We must
    try to seek cooperation from all countries of the world for this.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  180. Keith in CA

    Perhaps a better question is "Why are we there?" Richard Nixon wrote a book titled "No More Vietnams". I wish someone in Washington would read it.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  181. Glenton from LA

    Jack,

    We've got to remember: this was the country that gave safe haven to Osama while he planned the 9/11 attacks. If we leave it in the disarray that it's in now, we should fully expect 10 more to rise up in his place in the coming years.

    To win this war, we've got to improve it in three areas: in military power, economically, and in social conditions for women.

    Yes, we've got to increase our military capacity in the country, but we must also make the country a stable economic environment that will give young people a place where they can make a decent living. Also we've got to create an environment where women are given equal rights. We all know that women are the backbone to any successfull country. Afghanistan is no different.

    Our country has already experienced one Vietnam. Let's not make it two.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  182. Ben Katz

    The purpose for the war in Afghanistan is to safeguard American lives and interests by attacking those who would wish to do us or our allies harm. Some people have grown tired of this war, and should be reminded of the time when planes were crashing into buildings and bombs were being set off in subways. We have been successful in preventing any such attacks only because we have taken the fight from off our streets and moved it onto Afghani soil. Until our enemies have all been killed, none of us will be safe. So why when things seem to have gotten rougher have some people lost their resolve? Our enemies clearly have not!!! War Sucks, but loosing is not an option...

    August 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  183. Marv

    It is time to get out of Afghanistan. We do not understand a Holy war and should not have ever gone into Iraq or Afghanistan. If there is truly a good reason to go into either country then our Arab friends should have done it for us. Marv, Oxnard, CA

    August 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  184. John, Fort Collins,CO

    This is all so sad for the Afghans, most especially the women, but the truth is we Americans, like the USSR before us, are way over our heads being involved in their country. It is time for the "west" to let them sort this horror show out for themselves. I have read all the heart-rendering "Kite" books, but I can't see how we can really help. The dicotomy is this, having been in the Army, I feel even a greater need to care for our own troops.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  185. Kevin

    It is possible that America may never win a war again!

    You no longer fight to win...you talk about leaving, not winning. Some of your commanders insist on rules of engagement that favour the enemy and jeapardize the lives of American soldiers.

    You encourage bureaucratic morons to change the vocabulary of confrontation e.g. "human caused disaster".

    You allow politicians like Pelosi to condemn American institutions like the CIA and foster naive relations with serious threats like Syria (remember her ludicrous vist during the Bush administration and Israel's subsequent bombing of their nuclear facility).

    You spend more time condemning how the war is fought and those who fight it than condemning your enemy (or should I say "human who doesn't like you and wants to kill you").

    You want to appear moralistic – but morality won't win a war!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  186. Phyllis G Williams

    AFGHANISTAN WAR
    God is the same yesterday, today, and forever – Hebrews 13: 8. The Scriptures tell of hundreds of times especially in Kings and Chronicles when the Lord of Hosts delivered the people from Wars e.g.
    1st Chronicles 11: 14b ; 2nd Samuel 23: 12. If we cry to God for deliverance in Afghanistan, etc. God will answer if we believe His promise– Matthew 21: 22.
    (I had a personal experience of that recently (smile)

    August 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  187. Patti Erickson

    this entire situation is to me just sad. Thanks to George Bush we were dragged into a phony and costly war in Iraq-when it was known as far back as Pres Clinton that Afghanistan was the breeding ground and home of Bin Laden. It seemed that Iraq was chosen as the "evil doer" because they were "easier" for Bush to shove down our throats.
    As is always said==hindsight is 20/20. If the US had focused on the real problem 7 years ago I think we wouldn't be looking at the mess we now see in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hohum....anyone with a brain knows that. Should we get out? I think we should. But CAN we get out? I don't think so. But it seems to me that we should not just dribble troops or air support in. We should make a concerted effort to take care of the problems and get the hell out. I guess I'm saying set an unpublished timeline–then if nothing has changed-leave proudly. Knowing that we tried. We would be in good company–going back to Greece I believe. Then (selfishly, I admit) we can work more forcefully on our own problems here at home that have a better chance of being solved. P.S tell everyone to get off Obama's case–he has 8 years of Bush/Cheney crap to clean out!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  188. David Shapiro

    I have seen no credible proof that any of our military interventions,where the U.S. has not been directly challenged with an invasion force or rocket capable of reaching U.S. shores,have paid off.I have heard President,general,Republican Dwight Eisenhower warn decades ago about what he called the military industrial Congressional complex.Since then we have invaded Grenada,Panama,Cuba and have through our CIA assassinated leaders in Chile,Guatamala,etc. whose leadership aimed to serve the broadest base of populace.Meanwhile our health care system, our educational system, our police and fire systems,our transportation and other infrastuctues,etc. suffer for lack of public funds.Getting out of Afghanistan would be a major step in directing our money to critical areas within the U.S.,immediately.This will also be a beginning in ending a belief in young muslims that blowing up U.S. soldiers and civilians is a just cause.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  189. Fran of Huntington, NY

    Jack this is a tough one. Do we quit and weaken our standing in the world. Not to mention the feelings of the soldiers who put their life in danger each day, only for their government to say we quit. And yet we have to ask ourselves what is winning and is winning even possible? Sometimes you dig a hole so deep it's impossible to get out of.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  190. Duane L Billington

    We can not achieve our objectives in Afghanistan if we fight using conventional tactics and weapons. We developed tactical weapons to defeat a Russian invasion of Europe. If we are not willing to use these or similar weapons in our arsenal we need to get the heck out.

    Obama needs to remind our citizens of why we are in Afghanistan; Get the job done using tactical weapons with minimum exposure to loss of American lives; Get the job done and get the heck out.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  191. nancy

    Afghanistan is a lost cause. The only thing that will be accomplished is to lose a million of our troops. And then what? We are not even sure who the bad guys are. These people don't want our way of life. Let's just go home and not look back!!

    August 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  192. Aaron

    @ James,

    You asked in your post, What the alternative?

    "Do we really need to see the sears tower or some other big american target destroyed along with american lives to realize this is a war we had better win at all costs." ?

    ****Maybe we should stop trying the fix the reception on the TV by working on the kitchen sink *****

    In other words, no matter how much we tinker with the sink the reception on the TV is not going to get better. Moral of the story, we are going about it all wrong and focused on the wrong thing to prevent another terrorist attack and protecting America' s "Homeland" from the focus of more terrorists campaigns.

    *** We should remember to focus on the problem- working on the sink is not going solve the problem with the TV reception.

    I'll let the big brain people in the Pentagon and the White House figure out what I am saying- because they are failing miserably in all categories, philosophically and strategically.

    Do they even review the histories of past conflicts?

    August 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  193. wendell evans

    No Jack,not a declared lost cause lets. Lets keep the truth out of this. Why not a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED ceremony. Then bring them home double time quick. W. Evans Grovetown Ga.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  194. Fred

    Jack,

    Have you ever heard about winning a war with nicety and humanitarianism. Unless we change our war strategy in addition to getting rid of the incompetent Iranian introduced President, the war with those Barbarians is only a lost cause.

    Democracy in Afghanistan is only a Joke, first defeat the Taliban, then think about a democracy, Jeffersonian anyone!!!

    Fred

    August 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  195. Brian from Denver

    Jack, military historians and others have compared Iraq to Vietnam. But Afghanistan seems far more comparable to Vietnam than any other foreign battlefield we've invaded in the last quarter-century– guerilla warfare, inhospitable rural terrain, a tenacious indigenous enemy, and a population that is either suspicious of or downright hostile to our presence. If the U.S. were Rome back in the day, we could crucify as many locals as we needed to for them to turn the insurgents over to us. Then, once those insurgents were found, we'd cut off their hands and crucify a few more as a warning to never take up arms against us again. Then, we'd set up a permanent armed garrison in-country, using brutal fear tactics to pacify the local population, and ship opium profits back to the U.S. to help fund the war effort. That could work. It worked for Rome. But those days are over.

    Truth is, we never should have abandoned our concerted pursuit of Bin Laden to invade Iraq. But we did, and that opportunity was lost. Now we're trying to make it a do-over. It don't work like that.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  196. Peter Gatliff

    As long as KBR,Whitewater and 100 other contractors keep draining our treasury,the war wil last for years.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  197. Nico Luttrell

    Absolutely not. Afghanistan should be the front line of the War on Terror. I think people forget that the War on Terror started in Afghanistan then shifted to Iraq when our O so intelligent Bush administration found weapons of mass destruction. The was was started in Afghanistan and it should end in Afghanistan or wherever else Osama Bin Laden may be. That was supposed to be the goal of this war, not a mere second ambition.

    SIU, Carbondale, Illinois

    August 24, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  198. chris

    you know jack Afganistan has been invaded by Alexander the Great the russians( 19th century), the soviets, the british. You know they all failed and left the country thrying to forget what happened. What makes us think we can achieve what thousands of conquers have failed at.

    August 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  199. Calvin Hunter

    Just do arial sprays of poppy fields and the Taliban inside Afganistan will run out of money. If we shut down the flow of cash then all other things will follow including the end of the war.

    August 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  200. Larry from Fayetteville, NC

    This war unlike Iraq is worth the good fight, if its one thing the people of America need to understand is that this IS the home of the 9/11 terrorist. We need to totally leave Iraq and concentrate our efforts in Afghanistan!

    August 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm |