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October 1st, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Fair to troops in Afghanistan for Obama to delay decision?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

This is just wrong. The White House says it will take President Obama several weeks to decide on the future course of action in Afghanistan... but U.S. troops on the ground need help now.

Consider this - 43 troops have died in Afghanistan in the month since General Stanley McChrystal asked for more troops - saying without them the operation will fail.

In fact - September was the deadliest month for American troops since the war began 8 years ago. That's eight years ago, in case you've lost track. And compared to 2 years ago - the number of U.S. troops killed by roadside bombs is up 400 percent.

President Obama's decision is being complicated by the fact that his own people can't agree on what to do next... Top military commanders back the call for more troops. McChrystal is believed to want to add up to 40,000 troops to the current U.S. force of 68,000.

But other key officials, like the national security adviser and the vice president appear to be less supportive. Of course they're not fighting the war. The generals are.

There is an old expression about either doing something or getting off the pot that applies here. Either get our troops the reinforcements the commanders say they need to win or get them the hell out of there.

Maybe President Obama should have stayed home and focused on the war instead of trekking off to Europe on a taxpayer-funded mini-holiday to lobby for Chicago to get the Olympics.

Here’s my question to you: Is it fair to the troops on the ground in Afghanistan for Pres. Obama to delay his decision for weeks?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

G. writes:
When will the politicians ever learn? When a commander-in-chief commits American troops to armed conflict, he has an absolute obligation to support those troops with everything necessary to win the conflict as quickly as possible and with a minimum loss of life. Dawdling for weeks discussing a 'new' strategy while American troops are dying is obscene.

Jules from New York writes:
We rushed into Vietnam and Iraq based on the advice of the generals. Pres. Obama needs to take as much time as he needs before deciding to risk more lives and tax dollars. Bush responded quickly but not thoughtfully and look at the results in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Alex (major in US Army) writes:
The record casualties are due to us taking the fight to the Taliban before winter so fairness is not the issue. We can reduce the tempo of our operations until additional troops arrive. And they won't arrive tomorrow even with an instant decision. I prefer a president who deliberates over a decision instead of going with his gut. Ultimately, I hope the president listens to the generals and the additional troops are there by spring to take the fight to the enemy since it will be months before they arrive.

Sandra (mom of a Marine who will deploy next year) writes:
Jack, It's not only unfair, but wrong.

Hal writes:
Jack, You should know that Obama is delaying his decision because he doesn't want it to blow up the health care reform debate on Capitol Hill. The GOP can't wait to change the message from health care since they have nothing to offer, other than more of the same. DUH!

Babs from Pa. writes:
Our president has a history of voting "present" in situations where he did not want to take a stand. As commander-in-chief, “present” is no longer an option, period. Core principles and a steady moral compass are needed to be a leader, soaring rhetoric and governing by polls are just not cutting it.

Scott from Aberdeen, Maryland writes:
Delay, yes, but maybe not for weeks. The troops are the ones getting killed. It’s time to do your homework and make up your mind.


Filed under: Afghanistan • President Barack Obama
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    The only "fair" thing for the troops on the ground, is to bring them home and re-deploy them on our southeren borders so they can protect their own country instead of someone else's. It is just beyond comprehension that our so-called leaders keep throwing American lives away to serve their own selfish agendas.

    October 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  2. jerry

    The American soldier volunteers to risk his life for the Commander-in-Chief because they realize this man, through an election, represents the will of the American people. I believe this President is feeling the weight of his responsibilities and is trying to make a decision that will be the best for our country. But it is time to decide! There should not be a single death, without that soldier and his family knowing why.

    October 1, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Kelly in Atlanta

    Not only is it fair, it is necessary. Why would you send in troops without a directive? He promised a room full of troops on national t.v. that he would not send them into harms way without an absolute reason, and I believe he is keeping that promise.

    October 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  4. Jan from NJ

    I understand that Obama is very cerebral, needs to hear all sides and takes it to heart when he has to put people in harms way BUT our troops are sitting ducks right now. Just like police, they need "backup".
    More troops are also needed to protect the contractors needed to rebuild Afganistan. I pray that Obama makes the right decision no matter how long it takes him to do it.

    October 1, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  5. Remo, in beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    Jack, leave the war to the professionals and keep the president and his bunch out of it. It'a apparent that he'd rather screw around with the Olympics than work on a "promised" solution to the war.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  6. Lou from North Carolina

    Well I live within a stones throw from Fort Bragg where everything seems to begin and end. Why don't we do what he said he would do. Bring them home, get them well, see if us footing the whole bill is productive, and then re-evaluate what we really want to do. This whole thing could turn around if we would get out of hostile Muslim countries. What have they done for us? Oil ????

    October 1, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  7. Ken Deminick

    Any meaningful decision has been delayed by the previous administration for years. They took their eye off Afghanistan when they went into Iraq all those years ago. Is it fair to ask yet another question that attempts to shift the blame to Obama? Is it Jack?

    October 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  8. Eugene

    Hell no it's not far. American heroes are dying, in the field of battle, while the Commander N Chief runs off, on a tax funded trip to Europe, with Oprah. A nation at war needs a leader with guts, integrity and determination. We do not have one in Obama and the troops know it.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  9. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    No its not fair.
    That would be like someone going to the Olympics in Chicago and upon arrival he gets his brains bashed in with a two by four. Someone calls for help by dialing 911 and gets put on hold.
    This kind of thinking will get us all killed.

    October 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  10. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack

    How do you win a war against an opponent that has no flag. All the energy of Bin Laden is derived from foreign trade. Money acumulated on the so called world market. Established by the good ole USA. Send in the death merchants from Wall Street who buy, sell, and trade in the sweat shops around the world under the security of people who make thirty dollars a day. Truly disgusting, know wonder they hate us so

    October 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  11. Jackie in Dallas

    Jack,
    It isn’t “fair” for them to be there at all. However, life, war, and politics aren’t fair.

    I believe that President Obama is being thoughtful, listening to multiple views and attempting to untie the Gordian Knot that has become Afghanistan. The first thing he should decide is what our real mission is there, now. Then, and only then, can he decide what steps should be taken to accomplish it. Personally, I’m hoping he listens to Vice President Biden in this situation. His is the most realistic view, in my opinion, of what we can accomplish, and with the most limited resources.

    October 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  12. Brett

    No, it's not fair to them. But neither is it fair for them to be there without a clearly defined mission. The same thing that is happening in Afghanistan happened in Vietnam – mission creep. Face it, we went in to Afghanistan for revenge, supposedly to root out Al-qaeda. Then the mission evolved to keeping the Taliban from harboring Al-qaeda, which has been accomplished, since they moved to Pakistan. Now the mission seems to be nation-building, making Afghanistan into a democracy and telling them who, and who won't be ruling them. Are we never going to learn from our past mistakes? Was Vietnam not a mistake? Afghanistan is shaping up to be the same thing!

    October 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  13. t-mac

    end the war now!! Bring home Troops!

    October 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  14. Donald in CA

    I would rather Obama take his time and get it right then make a hasty decision and get it wrong. Cheney and Bush scared the people into letting them make hasty decisions and look what it got us. I think some of Obama's critics deserve another round of Cheney/Bush.

    October 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  15. Jim/NC

    I totally agree with your assessment, Jack. It's time to fish or cut bait. The president, Micelle and Oprah are talking about building mulit-billion dollar venues in Chicago that will almost always lose money, when we have our finest men and women losing their lives almost every day in Afghanistan. Where is the logic? I'm dumbfounded!

    October 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  16. freddie Gavin

    Was it fair for President Bush to send American troops to their demise in Iraq?

    Freddie Gavin
    Augusta, Ga. Vet

    October 1, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  17. Mike of NC

    Sorry America...time to wake up to the REAL Democrats who say they want Afgans to build up thier army and at the same time, cut nearly a billion dollars off the Afgan allocation. They are not serious about defending this country or standing firmly with our allies. Just like the Chief in Charge....actions speak louder that words.

    October 1, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  18. dennis from penndel,pa

    it is not fair to the troops, maybe the president should spend more time in washington at the job he was elected to do., then globe trotting to get the olympics for chicago{who cares} or going around the country pitching a heath care plan no-one wants. and his staff wonders why his ratings keep dropping, at least reagan was a movie star prior to being president! the troops should be pulled out of there and we should let that country implode with the badness that exsists in that part of the world. why fight a war under manned. we can't win this war and how can you fight a war where you can't always find out who the enemy is?

    October 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  19. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    Jack, you seem to think that it makes a difference. A few weeks will not cure what is wrong in Afganistan. Neither will tens of thousands of more troops. The right answer: get the hell out. We cannot save the radical Muslims from themselves. Look what happened to the USSR when it tried. The wealth of this once mighty nation should not be poured down the rathole of the Middle East. They have the resources to save themselves without us.

    October 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  20. Claire, Melbourne FL

    Hello Jack,

    I would think it's fair to really give a lot of thought to devise the best strategy for our troops. Unlike the Bush administration who thought very little about who they sent over and why. They never gave it much thought at all and look at the disaster they created and the huge loss of life on the part of the Iraqi people and our servicemen and women, not to mention the horrific injuries sustained by our troops.

    Not to mention the lack of care and money Bush gave to the injured when they came back home. How many committed suicide for lack of care. Remember the disgraceful conditions in one of the hospitals near Washington?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  21. Carola-Cartersville GA

    No, it is wrong to put this decision on hold for any reason. We are talking about human lives that are lost every day. Our troops needs should be first on the table. We need to get them whatever they need whether it is more troops or more equipment. If we cannot back up our troops with what they need to be successful then we need to bring them home.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  22. john ... marlton, nj

    Is it fair to have any troops in Afghanistan ?? Why are we there.. What half baked "policy strategist" conceived that being in Afghanistan was in the best interest of the USA.

    Does anyone realize we are fighting the same people we supported when they battled the Soviets way back when. We must of used the same idiot "policy strategists" then and know these strategists are trying to "fix" the problem they created !!!

    Get real, who is legitimizing the war in Afghanistan? . ..Obama grow a pair and pull the troops out of Afghanastan !!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  23. Janet E. Powell

    President Obama is not procrastinating re. more troops in Iraq. He is at the top of the 10% of American citizens with superior I.Q.s and weighs every issue before he takes action. He is fabulous at multi-tasking. He listens to the experts on war strategy and I feel sure he is taking notes and weighing every word. Thank God! John McCain almost didn't graduate from The Naval Academy because of foolish behavior and poor grades. If he had become president, many, many more America's finest young men would be gone. He showed impatience and criticism of President Obama, today, because he has not hurried and put more young men in harm's way! I am sure McCain would fail an essay test on strategy in war. He forgets a pilot does not have experience in that dept.
    Janet Powell from Hawaii

    October 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  24. Sonia in Missouri

    The fact of the matter is, it isn't going to matter if there are more troops or not. Guerrilla Warfare is all about a few barely trained soldiers being able to stand up against an army, and more troops will do little except send more recruits into the Taliban's arms. We do need a new strategy, and a new one should should be made as quickly as possible. As for whether it is fair for the soldiers, they signed up for the army, they knew what they were getting into. Though we should try to preserve their lives, when it comes down to it, it just doesn't matter as much as winning this war does.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  25. lori, mi

    Come on Jack....We've been there NINE years now, a few weeks of thoughtful, intelligent discourse regarding strategies isn't going to make much difference, just hopefully, whatever strategy comes out of this, will enable the U.S. to withdraw our troops quicker. Had the previous administration focused on Al Queda instead of invading Iraq, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I'm still waiting for our media to quit bashing everything our President tries to accomplish. I'm really disappointed in you, you're buying into the garbage spewed by a few fanatics.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  26. Karl from SF, CA

    Nine years ago we went into Afghanistan to get Bin Laden without a clue of what winning or losing looked like otherwise. Bin Laden is still on the loose and that situation did not improve but only worsened with the shift to Iraq. Now it is time to finally look at this entire situation and decide where we want to go with it. No one has ever won in Afghanistan and it would appear that the people we went in to get are really in Pakistan or elsewhere. It was unfair to send our troops in without a plan to win in the first place and it is still unfair to continue without a constructive plan to win or get out. Let’s take our time and get it right this time before it’s another nine years of disaster. Can you say Viet Nam?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  27. jeff in hawaii

    Jack,

    Yes it is. General McChrystal was recently quoted as saying "We are going to need a fundamentally different approach" in Afghanistan. How is the President going to form this approach if he doesn't take time to learn all the facts? We've seen the results in the past few years what rushing to judgement can lead to.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  28. Scott from Milwaukee

    Given no facts, (other than your commentary, Jack) I would have to say no...it is not fair. However, God gave me a brain, and a firm belief that the President is doing the right thing by making sure he gets it right. Maybe he should send 60,00, or 10,000? Whos knows? But to have a kneejerk reaction because a bunch of rightwing hooligans says he should jump is goofy. That would make him a fool and not a pres.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  29. amanda whiting

    By the way we should remember its soldiers like my cousin Molly and her husband who are risking thier lives for us. I love you Molly

    October 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  30. Alex in Seattle

    The record casualties are due to us taking the fight to the Taliban before winter so fairness is not the issue. We can reduce the tempo of our operations until additional troops arrive. And they won't arrive tomorrow even with an instant decision. I prefer a president who deliberates over a decision instead of going with his gut. Ultimately, I hope the president listens to the generals and the additional troops are there by spring to take the fight to the enemy since it will be months before they arrive.

    Major Alex, US Army

    October 1, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  31. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Many complain that Obama is not taking enough time to tackle the complicated issues. In this most important issue it is far better to un-complicate the many facets of this problem before action is taken. If not it will do our troops more harm than good.

    What is truly unfair to our troops, and all of us civilians, is the inaction of all the other countries in the free world. What would happen if every civilized country who condemn terrorism put aside the politics and rhetoric and each were to send 40,000 troops to Afghanistan? As a Viet Nam combat veteran under the same delusions of world peace and unity I know what could happen.

    Like then, if all countries were to commit and unite, the war would be over in a weekend.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  32. Sandy - San Antonio

    Jack,

    I look at it another way!

    My question is – was it fair to the troops to be sent to Iraq based on a lie, and to lose their lives, lose limbs, get substandard medical care if they were lucky enough to make it back? Don't forget, we were supposed to be in Afghanistan (which the previous admin. forgot) to catch the monster who attacked us; but, which GW Bush "didn't think was impt. to catch" – if you don't believe that quote, just chk. your old tapes from a few yrs. ago!

    I say, if Pres. Obama takes extra time, it will be worth it to make the right decision, unlike his predecessor who rushed to invade a country who had nothing to do with 9/11, and then let the REAL culprit go so then he could organize, and train new recruits!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  33. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Comparing the War in Afghanistan to the U.S. Civil War, it seems the leadership roles have been reversed. During the Civil War it was President Lincoln who was continually prodding the generals to take action; now we have our generals in Ahghanisan pushing President Obama to get off the dime. Since his picture is now on the five dollar bill, Lincoln's view is probably correct: no decision is a decision in-and-of-itself; and is almost always the worst one.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  34. Dianne

    America jumps into war to easily. Afhganistan has tried to be won by other countries who had to leave. I understand that former President Bush took three months to send more soldiers to Iraq. For once let us completely analyize this war. We cannot win freedom for others who are not willing to liberate their own country no matter the security to America. We engage in war to easily and the rhetoric for war. That is why other high tech nations have true benefits for their citizens like national health care instead of using their tax money and creating more deficit for war.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  35. Rick

    There are no easy answers to this war. There is no "shock and awe" - just a long and complicated strategy. I suspect that the troops on the ground live much more day to day. Some extra time to "get it right" is more important than hurrying and getting it wrong. If we had waited for the correct intelligence for Iraq, we might not even be having his discussion because our troops might have finished the business in Afghanistan instead of being diverted to a mistaken war.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  36. C. Ramirez

    I am a veteran of Afghanistan. I have friends who did not make it back. We have been forgotten for 8 going on 9 years what is it to wait another 2 weeks. We are not the forgotten war, we are the war of convenience. The war that is convenient for one political party to use us to attack the other.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  37. Maureen Mather

    How many troops did the Russians have in Afghanistan? How many troops did we have in Vietnam? I think it is imperative to take the time to decide on a strategy that can actually help us. We don't have the power to make every thing swell for the Afghans. And how do we know how many troops would have been killed if those extra troops were in place? We don't.

    Maureen Mather
    Quathiaski Cove, B. C.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  38. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    It is a no win war.I think we should get out and tell all the middle eastern people to stay over ther and don't let them in the U S A.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  39. Bob In Florida

    Hey Jack...McCrystal is the SAME GUY who LIED about the death of Tillman. McCrystal falsified the record to give a Silver Star to Tillman (who was more honroable than McCrystal). McCrystal screwed up more than seven investigations to help George Bush's political reputation.

    As you said yourself, the Afghanistan war has been gogin on for EIGHT YEARS, will a several week delay REALLY do any harm??? If you are so worried about the number of troop deaths....might I direct you to the DAILY, MONTHLY, YEARLY war deaths in Viet Nam for fifteen years. Each death is tragic to be sure, but the deaths are NOT severe in Afghanistan.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  40. Linda

    It is easy to ask a question that is really a veiled criticizm, Jack. We hired Obama because we trust him to make good decisions based on more information then we (that also means you) have. You don't rush decisions of such high impact...

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  41. David - Las Vegas

    If you want a thorough and actually thought out plan then yes they must wait. If they don't and we just send out troops without any thought then what are we left with a war with no strategy and you see what has left us. These heroes need our full support including a clear mission and not just the throwing them into a war zone as numbers.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  42. Dave Maxfield

    Jack, the easiest thing to do would be to send more troops now, and put off the strategic decisions until later. However, you should know by now that it is easier to get into a war than to get out of one. What would really be fair to our troops, and those of us back home, is to come up with a clear idea of realistic goals. Then, and only then, can you decide the amount of force, and timetable needed to accomplish them. Without that, we don't know if were involved in counter terrorism, counter insurgency, nation building, or just looking after our strategic interests. And without knowing the desired outcome we are just squandering time, money and lives.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  43. BWise

    Do you ever get the feeling that Obama never makes a decision?
    He sets in and listens and then he DELEGATES, and moves
    on to the next problem.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  44. Rod Lahay

    Jimmy Carter had no backbone when the 144 were held captive in Iran – by then, a young lieutenant named Ahmadeenajad – and now Jimmy wants the USA to NOT use threats when talks will again fail?

    Stay home Jimmy – grow peanuts – the only thing you really know how to do!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  45. Mike in St. Louis

    I was wondering where the commentators where on this one. Yes weeks is too long and shows a lack of leadership or urgency in protecting our troops. We ARE fighting a WAR for goodness sake.

    We've been in Afghanistan for 8 years. Does the White House want this to go on for another 8 years? "**it" or get off the pot." And don't take weeks to decide.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  46. Katrina

    Jack, I see the frustration in waiting for the administrations decision to get all "their ducks in a row". But the troop levels will be maintained & this is a delicate decision. I see no reason why we shouldn't give the president tthe necessary & reasonable amount of time to make the RIGHT choice.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  47. Dianne

    Jack, less people were being killed in Afghanistan because the war was concentrated in Iraq. Now the direct attention is on Afghanistan which is one reason more troops are being killed there. Notice that less troops are being killed in Iraq.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  48. Mark

    Jack you said it best 8 years. 8 years ago a Conservative Administration was in office. Our New Commander in Chief thinks before he acts. The American people like this. Why send more troops in harms way off of instinct?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  49. Nancy, Tennessee

    Our troops deserve more troops to help or they need to be redeployed. There may be valid reasons why President Obama will not commit to sending more troops at this time, but he needs to do some explaining. It's time for him to stop making trips to Africa, Denmark, France and every other place on the map he has a whim to visit. His office is the Oval Office not a reclining seat on a 747. He needs to take the time to sit down with his advisors and learn more about what is happening to this country and make decisions based on the facts. Americans want to hear what will win this war in order to get our troops out of the hills of Afghanistan.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  50. Femi from CT

    One of the simple way of effective leadership is to rather be slow, sure and efficient than fast and uncertain like former President G. Bush.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  51. Jess

    Yes it is absolutely unfair that soldiers are stuck in Afghanistan waiting for more decisions on exactly what the U.S. mission should be. You are right John! They have been waiting for 8 years now because the last president made plans far too quickly. We are in a horrible situation because of rushed misguided judgments, how about we try proper and deliberate planning for once?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  52. Alex Porter

    While it might not seem to be the quickest way to make a decision, it is fair. Would it be better for our troops to act on a rushed, flawed decision made in a matter of days, or a well reasoned, comprehensive plan that takes into account all the factors that must go into thinking about Afghanistan? With Gen. McChrystal stating that he wouldn't accept a scaled down version of his recent troop request, at this point it seems to be all or nothing, options that should not be considered with haste.

    Alex Porter
    Albany, NY

    October 1, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  53. James in Vancouver, Canada

    I live in Vancouver and have witnessed over a billion dollars of cost overruns. And the politicians here haven't finished increasing the bill. The troops in Afghanistan are more important than a sporting event that would only put Chicago in debt, rather than benefiting them. Obama needs to make a decision now. Olympics come and go every 4 years, but every soldier has only one chance to live.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  54. George

    Of course it's okay Jack. The issues in Afghanistan are complex. Our troops have been there for 8 years already, as you pointed out. A couple of more weeks isn't going matter. Our troops can handle it. I'd rather have a President who makes a cautious, well thought out strategic decision than a the type of "gut instinct" tactical type like our last one made. We all know where that got us.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  55. LT

    Jack,

    What a stupid question! The troops in Afghanistan were neglected for almost 8 years under the previous administration while they focused on Iraq and every other thing under the sun. We finally have a President that thinks and considers all of the relevant information before he makes such a critical decision and now we would prefer a process like we had before where decisions were made by spitting on a finger and holding it up in the air! This just proves that this country is still recovering from having a cowboy in the Oval Office!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  56. Everett (Kentucky)

    I think he should make it now. What decision is needed anyways either send them what they need or get them out. Why leave them there with not enough personnel to do the job they was sent there to do.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  57. Tim in Texas

    No, Jack, 'this' is not wrong. You are wrong. The troops will not be deployed until January no matter what decision is made. Getting the strategy right is how you win. Maybe if we had thought about it a little longer, we wouldn't have gone into Iraq. And maybe after making that initial mistake, if we had thought about a little longer, we would have changed our strategy to win sooner. If nothing else making Karzi sweat a little about whether we're going to be there supporting his corrupt government is a good thing. Maybe it will give us a bit more leverage in forcing the little weasel to clean up his act.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  58. John in Texas

    It has been said "...either lead, follow or Get Out of the Way." I don't believe subjecting our brave troops in the field to an additional two to three weeks, waiting for a 'decision', qualifies for any of these and is an unacceptable approach.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  59. marvinj

    Jack ten years in the active army.... Through all gulf coflicts. I was a U.S. soldier doing the will of the commander and chief no matter his political affiliation. Do they give us equipment as fast as want never. Do we have enough personell rarely... But they are our leaders Let the President and his staff think it through we've had enough cowboy git'er done now mentality...... Death is unfortunate yes i've seen first hand.... But trusting the leadership has resulted more saved lives...

    Thank you, Sir

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  60. Dawn (Portland, Oregon)

    We had a "decider" who made rash decisions without all the facts, and look where it landed us. I find it interesting that people like you, Jack, are talking about winning, but the actual report doesn't. It does not say that with additional troops we will win, only that without them we will probably lose. Doesn't that glaring omission merit some serious consideration about what we are doing there? Maybe even a change in strategy or goals, before putting 40,000 more of our people in harm's way? The President should take the time and advice he needs to make the right decision instead of the knee jerk one.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  61. Errol Marquis

    Send Arnold Sczwartzneger he is equal to 500 troops

    October 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  62. Mr.EvilOne

    Obama needs to have his head examined! How many troops will die because of his inability to make a command decision! Is this just another senate vote? "Present". Who have we elected America?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  63. Scott from New York

    Jack....I think it is very wise for President Obama to deliberate on such a pivotal decision. Strategy needs to be reevaluated continuously depending on the facts in the war arena. I applaud him for not making hasty decisions. However, don't mistaken this for waffling or inaction. That won't be acceptable either. Give him a few weeks if that is what's needed! This decision is too big to just "wing it."

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  64. mpahl

    Obama should focus on the real issues-life and death for our troops. He should put all his time and energy on the Afhganistan war and what our military needs. But then why are we surprised when he chooses fluff (the olympics) over substance (the military)? He has always shown his disdain for the US and her military. His recent behavior drives that truth home once again. Shameful!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  65. Jean Templeton

    My one and only lovely son, age 24 and a 2nd LT. in the US marines is right now, sailing with his platoon towards their first deployment in Afghanistan. When I heard that President Obama was planning to delay his decisions on what to do in Afghanistan, my first reaction was "then please, stop this so-called war and bring home all our beloved children until you DO figure out what to do.!" How can any parent live with the pain of possibly loosing their child to a conflict or battle in a foreign land that our government doesn't even know yet why we are there or what we plan to do with all our forces over there? Didn't we learn anything from studying the mistakes of Vietnam? Jean Templeton

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  66. Levi

    President Obama is very intelligent, hence does not jump because a general request for troop increase. He is reviewing the request and would make the right decision when it is made. Sending more troops to Afghanistan without adequate thought and planning would only bring more body bags home. Give this president the time to make the decision that would be safe for our troops. He does not want to make the mistakes the former president George W. Bush did.

    Levi,

    Killeen, Texas

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  67. Mark Porter

    The only way to "win" in Afghanistan is to occupy the country forever. The US taxpayers can't afford that and I am quite sure a majority don't want that.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  68. Rafael, Hawaii

    Jack, It is in fact wrong that troops have to wait weeks to receive help but troops in Afghanistan have been waiting for eight years already. I served in both Afghanistan and Iraq and honestly because of the type of terrain in Afghanistan more outposts are needed. I have strong feelings that I served in Afghanistan rather than Iraq, the latter was just escorting pipeline workers while in Afghanistan we searched for Taliban.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  69. W C Schmidt

    I don't remember voting for General McChrystal to run foreign policy - Might he be wrong?? You're asking the proverbial query (have you stopped beating your wife?) that has no correct answer!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  70. Michael Rieck

    Finally, something with an easy answer. The answer is "no."

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  71. Kathy

    Given the track record of Afghanistan with regard to foreign armies, President Obama could do a lot worse that proceed with care and deliberation. Where we screwed up there was almost a decade ago...a few weeks of consideration can't hurt. With regard to the trip to lobby on behalf of Chicago, Ill, USA getting the Olympics, aren't the heads of state of the other contenders going to this meeting, too? If he didn't go, I figure somebody else would get it and that would be used against Obama, too. And you know, Jack, he isn't working a literal hands-on job. He can work on pressing issues while on a plane.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  72. Franklin

    Its a big decision and I trust that he is making it as fast as he can. I think the president is aware of the stats and probably knows a little more about it than we do. And the last time the Olympics were in the United States, the economy got a shot of testosterone. It was a smart move.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  73. Ryan

    No Jack, its not. Just like it was not fair to our troops in Iraq waiting for an exit strategy from the Bush administration that never came. Remember Obama inherited two wars, not just one. Bush had seven years to deal with Afghanistan, but he let the men who attacked us on 9/11 get away while slowly letting the country fall back to the enemies. But now we have to jump all over Obama because he has not delivered in nine months? That is not fair either, Jack.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  74. Jeff Johnston

    Sending in another 40,000 troops without serious and thoughtful discourse would be the wrong thing to do. It sounds like something Pres. Bush would have done. The country voted for Obama because we wanted a president who thinks with his head and not just his gut. I imagine that the obviously corrupt election that just occurred in Afghanistan has a lot to do with delaying this decision. By the way Jack, who in the hell has ever won a war in Afghanistan?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  75. Ian D. Pfaff

    Jack,

    As an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran and Obama supporter I feel that this decision is deplorable. It sickens me to know end to know that my fellow brothers and sisters in uniform are being left high and dry because our Commander in Chief refuses to listen to military professionals on the ground. This is a perfect example of a politician worried about the prospects of re-election in the future by avoiding tough decisions in the present. While Obama contemplates a politically safe move, more troops will die. Our generals (who are not elected) have asked for support. Why not give it to them? This is the problem we run into by not having elected officials with military experience or with the experience of breaking a sweat, turning a wrench, to earn a living. What have we become?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  76. kristi

    What is the mission? Have we lost focus? I don't think that it is fair that the commanders are asking for what they need, and are not getting it, especially when we have what they need. If the USA was unable to provide the personnel or logistical support that would be another discussion. We should do whatever it takes to get this theatre resolved. There is a long history in the region of protracted battles and we should be mindful of that and resolving this conflict as soon as possible.
    Berlin Heights, OH

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  77. catmomtx

    Give me a break Mr. Cafferty. If President Obama had a knee jerk reaction and just sent a significant number of troop immediately people would be complaining that he acted to fast. How about him taking the time to think this through and come up with a strategy, something our previous President never did. Where are the troops coming from? How are we going to pay for it? According to Republicans, we can't afford to do anything let alone pay to escalate the war in Afghanistan. Everyone keeps talking about this being a quagmire, another Viet Nam. Here you have a President who is taking his time to make a well rounded decision and people have a fit.

    By the way, a one day trip to Copenhagen to try and secure the Olympics for THE UNITED STATES is not going to make a difference with Afghanistan any way.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  78. Annabelle Hills

    Hooray, Jack! With a grandson in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, I applaud your editorial on this issue. Our sons and daughters are not only putting their lives on the line but doing it while living in deplorable conditions. The president of the United States should make them his top priority. This country needs honest, upright, conscientious individuals making its decisions. How do we get them in office instead of politicians?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  79. nikki

    Jack too bad you are president....seriously I strongly believe Obama is just being more methodical than most presidents have done in the past. So i say if it takes a minute to think a minute about sacrificing more lives so be it. I know he does not want to juggle with peoples lives.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  80. justme

    First, stating that Joe Biden is not sensitive to troop issues when his son just returned from Iraq is just plain insensitive Jack. Second, a lot of Americans do not want to get bogged down in another war, where winning is a diffuse concept. So criticism is easy Jack, especially when you don't have to take the responsibility for the decisions.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  81. Brian

    No it is not fair. As commander-in-chief, Obama must understand that the lives of many around the world are based on his decisions, including our brave troops. It is irresponsible of him to delay such an important decision that he himself had said many times during his campaign was top priority. It seems the Olympics are more important to our president than American & Afghani citizens' lives...

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  82. Larry

    I believe continual delay will result in an unacceptable rise in casualities. Delaying the decision will delay the support our troops both deserve and need. Our troops need to know that their leadership and their nation stands behind the sacrifice made by them for us. Will delaying action be a strong show of support? I think not.

    L

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  83. MAJ J. Price

    I am a MAJ in the Reserves getting ready for my third deployment. I think that the National Command Authority should take the time it needs to fully debate the issue, analyze courses of action and come to a decision. Once the decision is made stick with it. If we are going all in, then let's go all in and commit the resources needed to fight this war. We need a national discussion so that the American people know what's at stake and what it's going to cost. If we stay it will be for a LONG TIME and will cost a LOT OF MONEY!!!! What Soldiers like myself are sick of is deploying time and time again while the rest of America is not called on to make any sacrifices. Less than 1% of the American population is fighting this war, Soldiers and their families who are left behind to hold households together while Soldiers are deployed. What sacrifice is the rest of America making

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  84. SS in VA

    Jack: While I understand your argument, this is not a simple decision that Obama needs to take. He is not delaying the decision for wrong reasons. The Afghan war is front and center on his mind. Careful deliberation will increase the chances that the decision is the right one. Going to Copenhagen is not delaying the decision.....come on, you know better! Typically, after such a presentation from the general, there will be follow-up questions and research....and the decision will come.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  85. Jo from Perrysburg, Ohio

    No, it is not fair. Obama should listen to his military advisors who are or have been on the ground in Afghanistan, not his VP or Nat'l Security Advisor – both of whom are comfortably ensconced in D.C. and don't have a clue.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  86. NESCAFE

    Personally Jack, I would tell the friendly's to get out on U.S. provided Transport planes and those that stay would be in jeopardy when I drop the biggest bomb I could find in the middle of Afghanastan and Pakistan and dare anybody to mess with the hole it created!!! Aren't you glad I am not the President?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  87. peg spry

    Yes, President Obama should go to Copenhagen on behalf of Chicago/ the US in regard to getting the Olympics which means jobs and money coming into the U.S. Remember the Los Angeles Olympics? A money raiser for all!! I know I was there. Who is so naive as to think that because the President if out of the country he is not "in touch" with all issues, including Afghanistan. Peg

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  88. rico

    yes its fair..... I rather he wait and discuss the situation in afghanistan more.... maybe General Stanley McChrystal dont need more troops.. maybe he need to re-position the troop he have

    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  89. jim shelton

    I am surprised at you. you are sounding likelou dobbs and rush linbaugh. secretary of defence gates said bush was allowed to and took three months to decide on the surge troops in Irac. give Obama the same courteousy, please. Obama may have gone to Europe for one day, but bush went to the olympics in china for 3 days while we were stuck in two wars and the economy was going into the tank.
    Don't under-estimate the powers of an efficient president. You ever hear of multi-tasking?(well maybe not so much the last 8 years)>

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  90. Gwen Caranchini

    Let's see Jack, Obama inherited two wars, an economy tinkering on another great depression. Then there is the health care mess, two elections in the mideast that defy any realitym a leader who is hiding a nuclear armament program, and now you think taking a "few weeks" to sort out the AFgan mess is too long? I think it is refreshing that we have a president willing to "think on something" before acting. O, and by the way, Obama is spending 6 hours in Copenhagen to bring jobs to the Chicago area. I don't consider that some "taxpayer boondogle". Where were you when Bush spent four long days on tax payer dollars in Bejing just watching the olympics?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  91. Liza Ft. Campbell, KY

    Jack, the Generals don't fight our wars the soldiers under them do. My husband is getting ready to go on a third deployment with soldiers going on their fifth. The army is breaking and the Generals want more troops. Where are they going to get them from? Maybe the same place they are getting the money for this.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  92. ken

    Obama is the commander in chief so it is fair. The troops volunteered remember. modify this

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  93. JudiB

    Absolutely no one wants our brave men and women in jeopardy...but to hype this past month's increase in casualties by comparing it to years past is at the very least disengenuous!!!! We had all but abandoned Afghanistan since we went into Iraq, and have only been actively there in recent months!

    If Obama immediately sent in new troups, you'd all be screaming how he's not deliberating enough before making such a critical decision. No doubt he's also weighing differing strategies and decisions based on who ACTUALLY winds up with victor in the Afghan election. The leader of the country certainly has an impact on what Obama feels might or might not be necessary.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  94. Lisa

    Yes, because he and the all post commanders have to figure out which which troops have been back and train for the terrain of Afghanistan. You can't just send troops in without proper training for that type of terrain. Piss poor planning cause lives. So let him and his general plan accordingly.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  95. John from Waterbury

    One goes to Docters for medical problems, accountants for financial problems, etc. So when a General gives you advice on a military matter why does one have to think about it? Either give them what they need to fight the war properly or pull them out. Those are American men and women over there. We don't send them off half cocked and then take several weeks to decide whether to give them the logistics the situation demands. If Obamas daughters were older and fighting over there would he hesitate then? I'm becoming very disappointed in this administration.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  96. Mike Nussear

    Jack, you couldn't be more right and know right isn't yoyur favorite direction.

    This is pure politics, they are going to take two weeks to stick their political fingers in the air and see which way the votes are blowing for 2010 and 2012.

    Shame on them.....

    Phoenix, AZ

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  97. Bill

    It's wrong to delay this very important decision. Obama is not fighting in this war but has Generals who are. They are on the ground and make very thoughtful and careful recommendations. I hope our President will listen and take action sooner than later.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  98. Evan

    Jack i believe that pres. Obama should of focused on our troops in afghanistan first than healthcare that is getting nowhere. I think he should stop acting like a rockstar and start concentrating on things that matter most like our troops. My advice to him Generals and soldiers have more knowledge than any politician in Washington has including him. Give our troops what they need.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  99. Jim

    Yes, it is.... Additionally, why are we, the tax payers paying for his wife to fly there on a seperate flight?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  100. Nancy

    NO! Once again this shows an inexperienced President who cannot make vital decisions on his own. He is relying on the wrong people to give him the information required. HIS generals, you know-the ones in charge of the troops there-are the ones he needs to listen to, not some bureaucratic hack. IF HE will not make a decision to send more troops then make the decision to bring ALL the troops home.
    Then the Taliban can plan without any interruptions how to destroy the USA.
    God Bless our troops.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  101. Ian in DC

    As an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran and Obama supporter I feel that this decision is deplorable. It sickens me to no end to know that my fellow brothers and sisters in uniform are being left high and dry because our Commander in Chief refuses to listen to military professionals on the ground. This is a perfect example of a politician worried about the prospects of re-election in the future by avoiding tough decisions in the present. While Obama contemplates a politically safe move, more troops will die. Our generals (who are not elected) have asked for support. Why not give it to them? This is the problem we run into by not having elected officials with military experience or with the experience of breaking a sweat, turning a wrench, to earn a living. What have we become?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  102. Billy Johnson

    My wife has been to Iraq and has volunteered to go to Afghanistan in a civilian capacity. My brother, an army solider, was in Iraq for a year as a part of the initial invasion. He is now on his second tour in Afghanistan. As a person with family members that have served and are still serving over there I can say that when the country directs them to battle then the check book needs to be pulled out and an unlimited credit line established. When you go to war then you go in with overwhelming force and with the best equipment available. War is not something you do on the cheap and it is not something you try to micromanage from the Washington. We have great leaders and soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan and we should be giving them what they ask for and need.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  103. Jeanne Meadows from Virginia

    Jack,
    As a Mother of a 101rst Infantry soldier who has been deployed to Iraq and now is getting ready to go to Afghanistan, and another son who is a Marine, I am apalled at the fact the President Obama thinks that going to pitch the Olympics for Chicago is more important then the lives our our brave men and women. President Obama needs to make a decisive decision on Afghanistan.The campaign is over, he needs to get into a leadership mode for a change we can believe in!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  104. james

    Yes, to your question. The Defense Secretary has said it would take months to get the troops that have been requested to arrive. Troops deaths have gone up since General Stanley McChrystal took his post. Yet, you do not question his management. Why, because he's a general?
    Good management requires strategy not the over the top reactions you need to hype your ratings.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  105. Herbert Martinez

    In my humble opinion, President Obama needs a compass. He's a smooth talker, not question about that. Although, he's not good a setting priorities up.
    He rather should stay at home addressing real issues as economy, creating jobs, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rather than going to Europe quite often.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  106. Babs in PA

    Our president has a history of voting "present" in situations where he did not want to take a stand. As CIC, "present" is no longer an option, period. Core principles and a steady moral compass are needed to be a leader, soaring rhetoric and governing by polls are just not cutting it.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  107. Max

    Jack, at what point do we "win" this thing? Please define "win".

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  108. CPT Samuel Arnett

    I am an officer in the Army and I fully support our President. Everything moves slowly and deliberately in the military. If past leaders would have evaulated the sum of complexities we may be in a better military situation today. The military will accomplish any mission that is asked of us, we only ask that the decision and subsequent stragedy be reached by educated and interested leaders. I believe Barack Obama is both. A few weeks more to gather needed insight is not a setback. We would love 100,000 more troops to complete the mission and come home, however – it is one man's decision.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  109. virgene

    Perhaps a few of the presidents own relatives, brothers, nephews, nieces or brothers even, should be sent to Irag to fight.. bet he would act on the needs of the military men and women then. His slow actions are despicable.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  110. Zach

    Why in the world wouldn't Obama allow more troops. Right now we are fighting a organized enemy with less than half the troops we had in Iraq. If Obama wants to win he needs to quit fighting with a hand tied behind his back

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  111. Richard

    There's a price to pay for hegemony and imperialism and it's always the conscripts or the foolish young volunteers that pay it on behalf of the fat cats.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  112. Curtis, Udall, KS

    It's not fair to the troops, it's not fair to the tax-paying American people, and it's not fair to the people in Afghanistan that want freedom. How can a president that was in such a rush to pass the Stimulus, a pork-ridden budget, and now health care reform justify dragging his feet when our soldiers' lives are at stake?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  113. Joe

    It is great to have a President who takes some time to think through a serious decision like sending more troops into harm's way, even if it takes a couple of weeks. If the previous President had done that, maybe we would not have lost so many troops in Iraq. Taking time to think through a serious decision like this, can in the long run, only be in the best interest of the troops who are already there and certainly, in the supreme interest of those who may be sent in later. The easy decision would be to do whatever the Generals want, but please remember, the decision for war or peace is supposed to rest with our cvilian leadership.

    Menasha, Wisconsin

    October 1, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  114. Daryl Miles

    Tell me Jack. How easy would it be for YOU to decide to send your child into a war? Perhaps you would find it easier, if the if the soldiers you send have no names,family's and visions other than the all knowing soothsayer Gen. I KNOW IT ALL.
    Quick decision's are what got us here in the first place!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  115. Oliver Bush

    Hello Jack

    I am amazed to hear that our Generals need more troops in Afghanistan, Where were they in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008? What about the Billions of dollars spent on defeating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban since 2001? Where are the intelligence reports that could predicted the current situation long before we got to this point? I think president Obama is correct in discussing the situation and trying to get the real picture in Afghanistan before he put the lives of our men and women in danger and I salute him for that.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  116. Jerry Clarke

    I think Obama should stay at the White House to straighten out the mess he has created.He has thrown so much at the wall and nothing has stuck.If he ever loses his teleprompter we are all lost.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  117. Bryan - Ft. Worth

    Taking weeks to make an important decision is a refreshing change for the Executive branch. I hope it continues.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  118. Jesse

    The generals want 40,000 more - why not 150,000 like the Russians had - and even that amount won't secure a country that has never had and never will have a real government infrastructure - keeping a presence and an eye on Al Queda is what is needed to protect our interests - NOT taking over a country to just sacrafice more lives under a war hawk mentality - when will we ever learn?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  119. Christopher Anjorin

    What would be unfair and damaging to the troops would be if Obama made a rash decision on the question of troop deployment that proved to be wrong

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  120. Annie, Atlanta

    Seriously, Jack, we’re talking 1 day here, and I bet he has his Blackberry. This sounds like a right wing talking point. I'd like to see him think this thing through and do the right thing for our troops. Their lives depend on it.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  121. Ken in NC

    Jack, Air Force-1 has a couple of phones on it so he can communicate from there. It was designed for him to be able to run the government from that plane. Some people are just upset and scared because they have not seen a President that could walk and chew gum at the same time. They haven't seen a President that works for a living in the last 8 years.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  122. Maurice

    No it's not fair and I think it's time for the US troops to come back home to protect the homeland from total disintegrating, because of the financial crisis that has weakened the economic and social fabric of the United States.

    Should the dollar collapse tomorrow because of the reckless policies of the Fed, while the military is outside fighting bogus and shadow enemies of the United States, this will leave the country defenseless, and a good prey to the forces inside and outside the country to destroy it. Open your eyes this is what this war on Terror is all about! Al Quaida, Bin Laden... You get it!

    Maurice

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  123. Cheryl, cocoa,fl

    Jack, this is not the change i believed in when I cast my vote. This is just a continuation of the same old political shenanigans. Ron Paul was right.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  124. Gary

    I voted for and am a strong supporter of Obama, but am disappointed on this issue. He said politics would not play a part, that he would listen only to the commanders on the ground. It seems politics now are playing a big part, he seems reluctant to increase troop strength regardless of the military recommendations. The sad thing with Afghanistan is everything is being affected by the nation's war fatigue because we made the great mistake of going into Iraq rather than concentrating our resources upon the country from which we were actually attacked. We let Bin Laden and all his army go free when we had them cornered at Torra Borra because we were reserving our troops and resources for a trumped up war against Iraq. By going in, we created a moral obligation to Afghanistan, regardless of our failed policies. I wonder how Americans will feel if the Taliban come back and execute people for having a movie CD or music video, begin again the nightly execution of women in the soccer stadium of mothers for the crime of teaching their duaghters to read, wiping out whole villages for carrying on traditional wedding ceremonies with actual music and dance.

    Gary

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  125. Chris from PA

    Well, I guess one could look at this two ways; first if our leadership is examining all options and developing a plan of action, then it is fair. Second, if our leadership is just shirking their duty then no.

    As much as I want our troops home, I realize that we must stay there in Afghanistan. If only to act as a second front for the Taliban/Al-Qaida group while Pakistan continues to kick their butts (of course we should be doing the same). If we leave, the T/A group will topple the Pakistani government and then we are all screwed–the Terrorists finally get their nukes.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  126. Ay, Atlanta GA

    I wonder why the decision to send in more troops will have to be delayed for some weeks. The President said that he trusts the decision of General McChrystal who said he needs more troops. We shouldn't play politics with this war. We should initiate action now. The Vice President and the Defence Secretary are not the ones at the war front . I wonder why the President would teeter on this.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  127. M.A. Hughes

    Jack, the military always wants more be it troops, weapons or funds. Pres. Obama and his advisers should look at every angle carefully. I personally would like to see more drones used and fewer men.
    And, where was this outrage when we sent troops to Iraq 8 years ago without flak vests and other protective devices?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  128. Jill Ragheb

    I understand the military's desire to increase our troops -this is the way the military operatews – more troops more troops, etc., and we will 'win'. Let us look at history and what we have should have learned from invasions of Afghanistan.
    This is not a country that is amenable to foreign occupancy. More civilian lives are being lost and yes, the populace probably doesn't want extremists in control. However, the U.S. cannot force a democratic system on this particular country. Again, we should look at the reasons why we are in Afghanistan. We have lost track of the intent of the occupancy. I fully support American assistance in developing the infrastructure of this country and working with the Afghan people – not working 'at' them.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  129. Mark

    To those of you saying that Obama "needs to take his time and get it right"...he has only spoken with the commanding General in the region ONCE since taking office. Inexcusable. The Generals study what "right" is as far as troop levels are concerned.

    Obama never served, how will him "thinking about it longer" allow him to make a better decision than the combatant commander who says more troops are needed ASAP.

    He needs to be meeting with Gen McChrystal and Gen Petraeus instead of galavanting around Europe lobbying for the Olympics. He is the Commander-in-Chief, not Olympics lobbyist.

    CPT, US Army

    October 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  130. Marc

    Jack, you've clearly fallen for a Republican talking point hook, line and sinker. This country's leadership has been hastily making war for too long. This is an important decision - one which President Obama should seriously consider before coming to a conclusion - not just rush into it because his political opponents have made it a talking point.

    Marc
    San Jose, CA

    October 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  131. Steve

    It's not about being fair Jack. It's about being doing what's right. The President has to make sure before he commits more troops to this war that the mandate is clear. He authorized quickly the addition of 20,000 troops a few months ago by request of the Generals on the ground and now they are asking for more 40,000 more. So it's only "fair" for the President to take his time along with his cabinet and make sure that any additional force increase has a clear goal and mission and not just rush into making another cry from the Generals.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  132. steve

    Why cant our polititions rely on our generals to do there jobs as professionals. We need to follow their request at once. Our elected officials do not know everything. They need to work for the people they were elected to REPRESENT!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  133. Mel in ATL

    Jack.
    every since he has become president. he is not allowed to talk to other presidents, go on vacation, his friends are judged and the crazy list goes on, Hell President bush went on vacation and
    then after that went to the olympics, laughing back like he did not
    have a care in the world. Jack this is one of those times that the
    president is able to do more then one thing at a time. He can work
    on the airplane jack. This is a man that gets up and goes to work everyday. he is not on vacation, like you know who Jack, Please
    let the man go get the olympics

    October 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  134. Chuck Anschutz

    It's Obama's style to actually THINK about a problem before implementing a solution. And when it comes to war, we shouldn't mind waiting a few days for such an important decision. This war isn't going to be won or lost this weekend.

    So give this president a little room to breath, and let him go sell Chicago to the Olympics. Believe it or not,, such a boost to our economy would be helpful also. Stand back and watch him walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Chuck
    Bridgton, Maine

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  135. Brian

    What exactly is the mission? What city are we taking? You know if there was a clear defined goal, this conflict would have been over long ago.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  136. Kobi

    This is a great question to stir up the emotions of every great American citizen in support of the troops.

    In my opinion, Bob Gates, Secretary of Defense answered it best Sunday on State of the Union, "it took [Bob and] the Bush administration 3 months to debate on whether to send more troops in for the surge in Iraq", and if memory serves me correct, that war was much more violent than Afghanistan is, filled with sectarian violence, but we're winning there because of deliberative strategic planning.

    It's been what two weeks debating Afghanistan, maybe, give the President a break.

    Lastly, we couldn't even begin to move additional units to Afghanistan until January 2010 earliest, not October 2009, according to Secretary Gates.

    Kobi
    Atascocita, TX

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  137. Arny l.

    Greetings: My input about more troops for Afganistan is we should not be rushing to send more troops to Afganistan. This war has been going for about eight years, i think we do need new strategy before sending our man and women in harms way.We need to stop believing in the old ways. I think it doesn't matter how many troops we sent to Afganistan would not stop the war without a new strategy.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  138. Paul Hutchins

    It makes me wonder which side Obama is on. Seeing a delay in sending troops needed to back up those already there is unthinkable.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  139. Nonie

    Oh come on Jack, get real! You speak as though the president is the only person in on making this decission. The war strategy must take a lot of people's input. I'm sure the 2 weeks isn't just because he wants to "think" about it. This is not an X-Box decission. This is a real war. Decissions have reprocutions. Let's hope he gets all the info he needs before making such a serious decission.
    Meanwhile, what is wrong with the president going abroad to pitch Chicago? What an economic boon it would be to have the olympics in Chicago! All the other heads of state were going to the meetings, why not Obama? It just might work for America! Wouldn't that be great?! We could use the business, you know?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  140. Adam

    If the president decided today, tomorrow or two weeks from now the troops on ground will not be effected immediately. Waiting to figure out what he should do is probably the best idea; but hey someone is going to fault him no matter what. Maybe we can go to the Olympics after another tour in the sand!
    -Close to the Army, Kentucky

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  141. HV Shivadas

    While it would be great to have an immediate solution, I think it is better for President Obama to take whatever time is necessary to insure that the right course of action is taken. To rush a decision that results in greater loss of troops would be a tragedy.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  142. jim

    I don't remember the Media or the Conservative talk radio hosts complaining about the Bush tax paid vacation to Bejing in 2008 while our troops were dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  143. LPeters

    The original goal of the attack on Afghanistan was to disrupt support for Al Qaeda (AQ) and find and kill bin Laden and his troops. Since the Taliban were the ones who enabled AQ to operate freely, our troops had to defeat them and move them out of power to get access to bin Laden etc. We disrupted the Taliban, but the Bush admin got sidetracked with Iraq and let AQ slip into Pakistan. The Bush admin further dropped the ball (what's new) and suddenly we were nation-building. The US Generals now in place developed a strategy in support of the existing Bush nation-building agenda. Prez Obama is simply asking whether we've moved into scope-creep and whether we need to re-evaluate plans based on our original goal. I agree with him. We have no need to be in Afghanistan for another 8 years, or 4 years. Get bin Laden and his top leaders and get out. Citizens of Afghanistan have recovered from war many times before, they can do it again. With us or without us.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  144. Robert

    America is struggling with many domestic problems. Most of which are getting worse. We remain in a war in Iraq where we should have never been involved. The war has created a financial burden our children's children;s will have to pay. We, without learning a thing, are now contemplating increasing our commitment in Afganistan. I think the leaders of this great country have all gone crazy. No one seems to be focused on ending this madness. We have major problems with Iran, North Korea, and others. We condemned Bush for sitting for several minutes after learning of the 9/11 attack. Yet we now are expected to accept Obama going to sell Chicago, while our men and women are dying in themilitary service of our country. GET OUR PEOPLE HOME NOW.. Who the hell do these leaders think is paying the bills for all this misspent wisdom..

    October 1, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  145. martins

    Jack you Americans are funny at times..if the president delays it becomes a problem..and if he respond immediately you are critized him for beeing hasty..reccession has made you americans nuts...I hate your politics

    NIGERIA

    October 1, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  146. Pamela Torres

    Obama should stay home and take care of our troops.
    He should stop going all over the world spending our hard earned
    tax dollars.
    He is only putting us more in dept.
    Maybe he should spend some of his $400,000 we pay him yearly
    on his trips.
    Does he ever spend his own wages for anything?
    By the time he is out of office,he will be quite wealthy,won't he?
    I live in Las Vegas,Nv and we are having it rough out here,thanks to his comments.
    We want him to leave our health care alone also,we do not want
    to be socialist couuntry owned by the government.
    It is getting really scary in this country.
    Never thought i would live to see this mess we have.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  147. Allister , Freeport New York

    Our tax-payer funded Air Force One aircraft, (since the beginning of time) has been fully equipped to conduct White house business as well as command a war if necessary. Don't think for one minute that our President is NOT in touch with Pentagon officials, CIA, or White House staff.He has 24/7 access to secret phones,computers, traveling staff, and chefs. Are we suggesting that our Presidents should become the White House telephone receptionists? Sitting there waiting for phone calls to discuss issues? This President can walk and chew gum at the same time. People must remember, where ever Air Force One lands...the white House is there.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  148. George

    As a Afghanistan war vet, my brothers need help. The president needs to send more troops soon. However, what is Afghanistan doing to help? I have never seen a more corrupted government. If we are going to send more troops to stablize Afghanistan, what is Afghanistan going to do to stablize their government. And right now they cannot even decide on who is the next president.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  149. Richard California

    Everyone wants an answer now now now. Give the president a break already. I do believe it is time for us to get the hell out of there and pursue Osama with other methods because using our traditional army over there has not given us any results in 8 years. As far as Obama going to fight for us to get the olympics while he's got other matters to deal with? Well its nice to see a president out and about dealing with multiple issues instead of watching our former president walk around his ranch all day.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  150. Marie

    Afghanistan was abandoned almost six years ago when the former president decided he needed to avenge his father more than the 3000 victims of 9/11. Now all of a sudden we are expected to jump in with feet before we have decided the right course? Please get real and lobby to get it right before we escalate this mess.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  151. Steve

    JacK

    The President need to either need to LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY. But I guess going to Denmark is getting out of the way after all.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  152. Eric Steven - Sykesville, MD

    Of course it's not fair. Why are we even pondering this question. When a general on the ground says that more troops are needed to achieve victory, chances are he's right. I say either send more troops, or bring the one's already there home. Stop putting our troop's lives at risk because of your uncertainty.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  153. Chris

    Not only is the delay unfair, but an innovative approach to helping these people would be to pull out the troops and send someone in who is good at diplomacy -- how about our smooth talking President or our Secretary of State? Now that would certainly stop the bad guys wouldn't it?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  154. Lisa, Copperas Cove, TX

    General McCrystal needs to be remove from command because you don't tell the enemy your troop level and what you're lacking. If you have 100 troops you let the enemy believe that you have 10,000.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  155. Jeneen Sparkis

    I believe that if the olympic games were moved to the United States, it would create untold numbers of jobs getting ready for it. For the troops, I believe that a good leader would have good people under him/her that should be capable of making the decision as to more troops or pull out, if allowed to make that decision. We need to quit blaming and start listening and then do something.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  156. will

    Yes it's fair. He's not the General he's the President of the United States. He has more decisions to make for our country than the General. He need the time to make a decision that will affect all americans future rather then the pockets of Bush, Chaney and the rest of the Bush regime that rushed into Irac, murdered their president and blamed it on a mad man that's in the mountains of Pakistan (Bin Laden). If he dosen't fight for the Olympics to come to the United States, he's considered weak, unconcerned President. Let him fight for the Olympics, let him have the time that's needed so we can win the fight over there.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  157. Armando

    Jack,

    Isn't there enough hate and war in the world that we need to perpetuate the same thing at home with our "Own" President. I applaud the President for going on a short peaceful mission to promote the United States for the Olympics. ...at least we know the cause, beginning and the end of this mission.

    Armando

    October 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  158. Ann Gailar

    Totally unfair–maybe some of the troops could meet the President in Copenhagen to talk!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  159. Mark Ryan

    I think everyone should embrace the fact that their elected President is willing to delay his decision for weeks. It would be ignorant to expect an immediate calculation on the situation, considering all the factors we know and don't know. I think all judgment, of the President over-investing himself, should desist until such claims can be proven by clear evidence of breakdown in his performance. Until such things happen, I think President Obama should be applauded for his accomplishments thus far, and his vision of America's future.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  160. Charlie J

    I believe that the President is perfectly within his rights to take his time and thoroughly assess this situation. Secretary Gates a Republican said Obama is one of the most analytical oriented President in the whitehouse. Prior to US there were other super powers who have tried to be sucessful in Afghanistan i.e. Russia and they failed miserably. Afghanistan is not his war, its not his mess... he should cut our losses, save our troops. Use the cost savings of this stupid war and use those proceeds to improve our security infrastructure here in the US aginst the war against terroism.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  161. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack,
    First of all, as a retired USAF NCO and a Vietnam vet who dodged bullets while Nixon courted Communists China, I support our troops no mater where or why.
    Having said that, this country sat back for seven years while the last administration played politics with the troops. It is not now our place to question what the current administration is doing. The troops on the ground will get by, and hopefully Obama and his advisers will come up with the best game plan.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  162. Sheryl

    I believe it was candidate Obama who said a president should be able to focus on more than one issue at a time. Seems as if President Obama can't focus on much more than pushing health care and jet setting around the world to arrange deals for his Chicago buddies. How much does it cost the tax payers for him to fly to another county to be on the ground for only 5 hours? Any by the way, the disrespect for the Office of the President started with the democratic Bush haters from 2000 to 2008.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  163. Henya, CA

    I'm very happy that our President is taking his time to make a decision, if we need to sent more troops or change direction remember we when to Afghanistan 8 years ego but we drooped the ball big time, President Bush wanted to fight another war the Iraq war,
    G-d bless all our troops where ever they are,

    October 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  164. Peggy J

    No, No and No ......Bring them Home, if he is going to fiddle while our young men and women are put in very dangerous situations. Those people have been killing each other since Time Emmorial.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  165. Greg

    Thank God for a President who thinks about the lives of troops. Increasing the numbers WILL put more lives at risk, and will certainly increase causalities.
    I prefer a President who steps back and reevaluates objectives, than one who Blindly follows "advice" and then takes no responsibility when things sour.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  166. Ronald Holst

    Jack Yes As A disabled Vet I would rather have a well thought out strategy in stead of a rush in to a situation that may go bad or good but I would like to know that My Commander and Chief would not just flip a coin to decided what he would do . We have been down that route in Iraq why make more mistakes .
    Ron TX

    October 1, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  167. Jeff in NC

    I think we should issue an ultimatum to NATO. Either match our deployment level per capita AND fight or we're out, let Europe worry about the extremists as there's more of them there than there are here.

    We should probably leave anyways as the Europeans don't have the stomach for combat.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  168. Dianne

    Jack, this is a very intelligent President. From some comments, you can tell how Americans Presidents, senators and congressmen are not use to muti-tasking as they can only deal with one thing at a time and still jump into things to fast. We are in the 21st century, and the leader of the free world most work on international and domestic agendas at the same time. Obviously, American people are going to have to learn and accept these ideas. The world does not move on our time. It has its own schedule.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  169. George

    As a Afghanistan war vet, my brothers need help. The president needs to send more troops soon. However, what is Afghanistan doing to help? I have never seen a more corrupted government. If we are going to send more troops to stablize Afghanistan, what is Afghanistan going to do to stablize their government. And right now they cannot even decide on who is the next president.

    George
    Columbia, SC

    October 1, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  170. Paul

    Jack,

    I disagree with you. I have no problem with him going to Copenhagen to fight for the U.S. hosting the 2016 Olympics. Unlike his sad predecessor, President Obama can handle more than two things at one time.

    As a 2-tour veteran of Iraq. NO... the President is not wrong in taking his time to consider the commitment of more troops. When we commit another 40,000 troops to Afghanistan, that's it....we, as a country, better be willing to REMAIN committed and there should be no turning back 3 or 4 years from now just because things aren't going our way.

    Doesn't this remind you of Vietnam? Remember, we committed more troops in Vietnam also, but the corruption of the South Vietnamese government didn't help us at all at winning the hearts and minds, no matter the number of troops that were commited.

    At least President Obama is showing his concern for his military before readily and easily committing miitary forces as his predecessor did. Thank God we now have a Commander-In-Chief that actually thinks.

    Paul

    October 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  171. A. Simmons

    Yes , whenever you are dealing with so many lives you need to take your time to decide what to do. I am a former military personnel and it is good for the troop whenever you have a commander in chief that have your best interest (life) at hand.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  172. Pilar Holder

    Our soldiers are waiting for help!! H E L P!!! Mr Obama, a little less talk a lot more actions!!!

    October 1, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  173. Curtis, Udall, KS

    So many believe that we've been there for 8 years, why not wait another 2 weeks. We've been discussing universal health care for over 40 years – shouldn't we also take a few months to get that right?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  174. Marie

    Nancy in Tennessee has it right. He needs to go to his work place in the oval office. Right now he is on Air Force One again spending more money trying to get the Olympics in Chicago. We have a commander in Afghanistan putting his and our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters lives in life and death situations. We should trust that commander if he says he needs more troops. If we don't trust him why is he in that position? Either $hit or get off the pot. This is war. We wouldn't have our freedom if our forefathers "fought" like our troops are told to with their hands tied behind their backs.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  175. Lynnie

    I say we get off the pot. I have two active duty sons and i"m not interested in seeing them track clean cross the map to add hospitality rep to there resume, we seem to stray for the original mission that got us there in the first place, so I say we pack up and get out

    October 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  176. Dennis

    The military will always do what the President asks–that's their job. That said, the only decision that will absolutely lose a battle/war is the failure to make a decision. This strategy of 'wait and see what happens' has been proven repeatedly to fail. Redefining success and strategy in the middle of a war will probably just get more people killed. You can breed a sweeter raddish–but you can't turn a raddish into a pear after you've pulled it out of the ground. The President needs to face up to the facts on the ground and let the military get the job done. My advice? Plan on NOT getting re-elected and base your decision on that circumstance.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  177. Jan Illinois

    Jack, These men, our soldiers, are fighting for EACH other, they want to survive and they want their brothers to survive. What else matters, there will be no Change that will come from either of the BUSH wars, because the war is a lie, and the people that we are trying to help, do not want us there, the best thing is to bring all our troops home as the promise was made , mind our own damn business for a Change and save American lives, I ask you WHAT HAVE WE GAINED? What have these people Gained that we are trying to help? One more question Where are these insurgents getting their money to fight us, figure that out and the wars are over, I can't be convinced that we cannot figure this out, What is the reasoning for this question not having an answer after 5 years?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  178. lynne from NC

    Yes because it is best to get it right the first time instead of throwing it on the wall and going with what sticks...like what we've been doing the past 8 years there. It should be a relief to have smart people in charge for a change.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  179. Wayne

    I do not agree alot with what you say Mr. cafferty. But God bless you yes I said God bless you, for saying the President needs to stay home and take care of bussiness. He needs to listen to the generals in Afghanistan ! not those here that hace the slightiest idea of what our troops are going through dying. That was a promise as I recall he stated very clear he was going to support them now well you see whats going on. Respectfully A proud American that supports out brave troops that are being killed while he is running aroud all over the world.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  180. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Why pray tell did you not ask this question 8 years ago? Why is 8 weeks to ascertain the way foward all of a sudden a long time?

    Steve
    Clifton, VA

    October 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  181. Yemi

    2 weeks to make the best decision will save more lives than it will lose

    October 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  182. Am here

    Lets see,the Iraq war was based on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction,the whole war was based on lies,the ramification, about 3000)US) soldier dead God knows thousands of Iraqis, (kids innocent people)do the math on the(US) death toll between Iraq war and the Afghanistan war.I believe all of you guys are playing games.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  183. Woodley

    We have been there for 8 years. How much thought was given to the war in Iraq when the war in Afghanistan was only a year old. What was the previous President doing during Hurricane Katina and its aftermath.Generals will always ask for more troops.The president has to make the right decision.Do you remember Vietnam? By the way, where will these additional troops come from? Iraq veterans, republican volunteers, or a draft?

    October 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  184. Tom

    Jack, it's none of your business! He's the Commander In Chief. If you don't like it, don't vote for him next time.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  185. Casey J

    It is considered intelligent when someone think about a decision prior to rushing 40,000 additional Americans to risk their life. Some call it risk analysis two or three weeks is nothing if the President sends 40,000 troops to Afghanistan because of a poor decision and later we find that it were the case that he would have taken the time with a thought out plan the cost would be less and we had more troops returning to there families alive. One thing for sure is that 40,000 will be a bigger easier target to hit. It appears that most of us have completely forgotten what it multi-tasking is all about, the idea that the President of the United States is working hard scares people. I know the unemployment rate is high but can we at least allow out elected officials do something for America? Having the Olympic games to the United States would be a good more jobs and a boost for the economy. The idea of creating jobs and building the strustures in American does not make sense to some. Although I am about 1000 miles away from Chicago, I would love to take my wife kids to the event, and do my part to keep the economy moving. On the other hand the cost of sending more troops to Afghanistan, who is paying for that? Would it not have been great to see Michael Phelps win in the United States? I remember watching it happen on television and realized that China has really made an impression on the world. It is time to show the world that the US can and will do better.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  186. Jackie in Dallas

    What this forum is forgetting, or perhaps does not know, is that there is no consensus of military advisors on what to do in Afghanistan. Yes, General MacChrystal has asked for more forces, but to do what? Others generals and members of the military command are not so sanguine. Throwing manpower at a problem does not solve the problem if you haven't determined what the problem IS.

    The situation has changed since 2001. We have no definition of "win" for Afghanistan. We have no "mission" to accomplish. That needs to be defined, first and foremost. The time to run and jump into the pool is when you know what the water is like, how deep it is, whether there are unpleasant creatures lurking below the surface, or whether there are obstacles that are not immediately visible from the surface.

    October 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm |