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October 27th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What's the right strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to be blowing up in President Obama's face at the same time. This month has become the deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion. Two insurgent attacks there have killed eight more U.S. troops, bringing the October death toll to 58. This follows two helicopter crashes yesterday that killed 14 Americans.

An Iraqi woman and her two little boys survey the damage after a suicide truck bomb struck in central Baghdad over the weekend. The near-simultaneous twin suicide vehicle bomb attacks were the deadliest in the violence-wracked country in over two years.

An Iraqi woman and her two little boys survey the damage after a suicide truck bomb struck in central Baghdad over the weekend. The near-simultaneous twin suicide vehicle bomb attacks were the deadliest in the violence-wracked country in over two years.

President Obama is trying to decide whether to send up to 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. He is scheduled to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Friday.

Here's something else for the president to consider: A foreign service officer and former Marine Corps captain who fought in Iraq has become the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the war in Afghanistan.

Matthew Hoh says he no longer knows why we're fighting; and he thinks the U.S. is asking its troops to die for what is a far-off civil war.

As for Iraq - those two weekend bombings in Baghdad killed at least 155 people, including 20 children, and wounded more than 500 others. Al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for these attacks - the deadliest in that country in more than two years.

The bombing of government buildings in Iraq raises some serious questions about Iraq's security and the national elections planned for January. Earlier this week - President Obama repeated America's commitment to withdrawing our troops.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan, what's the right strategy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jerry writes:
Jack, The right strategy is "follow the money." Raising poppies in Afghanistan has skyrocketed since 2001, and the proceeds fuel the insurgency. We should ignore the plight of the "poor" Afghanistan farmers and bomb the hell out of those poppy fields. When the money dries up, maybe the insurgency will too.

Anonymous who is serving in Iraq writes:
Impatience is the greatest enemy at this point, and only serves the strategy of the insurgents. They hit, hide and wait, then hit when all is clear again with no expectation of accomplishing their objectives in a hurry. Our short-term mentality only assures that their opportunity to strike will come again, and soon.

George from Taos, New Mexico writes:
I remember LBJ's indecision resulting in the majority of the 58,000 American deaths in Vietnam. How many U.S. forces and innocent civilians have already been killed in these two latest debacles? How many will it take?

Lou from North Carolina writes:
Bring 95% of our military people home. Bring 100% of the contractors home. Leave 5% of the best and brightest, or special forces, to do the job. They speak the language. I know them. They are tops and can do the job without a lot of yelling and coverage. Just leave them alone and they will make things right without a lot of fluff.

Gary from Woodhaven, Michigan writes:
When I returned home from Vietnam, the airplane touched down at Miramar Air Base in California. We boarded a bus to take us to San Diego Marine Base. As we exited Miramar, there was a large group of people who began to throw eggs and tomatoes at the bus. I was sullen and hurt that our sacrifices were met with contempt. Today as I witness Iraq and Afghanistan, I am able to understand that courage and valor without a virtuous purpose means nothing.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Mark, Worcester MA

    Stop meddling, stop getting in the way of their lives. If America were currently occupied, how do you think we would take it? We would have a very large problem with someone trying to tell us that they can take care of us better than we can. Why should Iraqi's and Afgans be any different?

    October 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  2. Steven Foyer

    One of the most important points that is often overlooked is that most nations do not want foreign troops in their countries. Coupled with the hubris that "they cannot take care of themselves if we are not there", makes it difficult for any strategy to succeed. This delusion of self importance and condescension towards others is at the root of misguided policies.
    The US needs to help by funding the neighboring states to help and take care of the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that would be difficult when you are listening to Israel regarding Iran.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  3. A. Smith

    Jack, the right strategy in Iran and Afghanistan is to build schools for the Muslim women and to train and arm the Muslim women to fight against the Islamic Jihads.

    Well educated and well armed women living in both of those regions would solve many of the long lasting problems found therein.

    My solution sounds very simple, however the readers and viewers should recall these two important facts. One, the prophet Muhammad was deathly afraid of women rising up against Islam. Two, the Taliban specifically targets schools for women and routinely murder women in power.

    What America and the Obama Administration needs to do is to do precisely what the Taliban fears the most. Help educate the girls and women in both of these country's while building them schools AND arm and train the women in both of these country's in military tactics and training.

    A. Smith
    Oregon

    October 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  4. William Joseph Miller, Los Angeles

    The only "right" strategy for Afghanistan and Iraq is a quick exit strategy. Obviously, our presence is creating more enemies. The people whom we armed during the so called successful surge are now using the weapons we gave them to establish their own political power. So what did we gain?

    A day or two ago, we witnessed massive anti-American demonstrations in Afghanistan. Perhaps that problem will be solved by the next Afghanistan government. The new government, or even Karzai himself, might simply ask the U.S. to leave.

    I will give Obama credit for thinking carefully through what the next step should be. That's far wiser than the bomb-first-ask-questions-later that the conservatives would like us to swallow. It did not work in Iraq. It won't work in Afghanistan.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  5. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    Strategy is defining how to proceed to meet a specific objective. Frankly, I don't know what in the world we are trying to accomplish in Afghanistan and I think there are a lot of other people having the same problem I have. Exactly what is our objective? Afghanistan is a collection of tribes, is extremely corrupt and is the world's largest opium producer. A government of the people, by the people and for the people is simply not possible in Afghanistan in the near future. Imposing our way of life, our beliefs and our system of government will only lead to strife and conflict and end in failure. The objective should be to search for the nearest exit. The strategy then is to get our young people home as quickly as possible.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  6. Ken-Long Island

    If Vietnam taught us anything it is that you cannot fight for someone else's freedom. Freedom is something each individual must make a sacrifice for, so any attempt at nation-building should be off the table. We have plenty of places to put bases in the middle east to address any military threat that might arise and from which to launch "police actions" to keep Al-Qaeda at bay. One thing is certain, ignore any calls to war from those who have never been to war.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  7. Rob of Brooklyn

    juts get the hell out of both of those places Now. they don't want to change .

    October 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  8. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    If things were simple I' d get the hell out of both places as quick as I could. But things are never that simple Jack. We don't really know to what extent and how deep our personal commitments are to the Iraq and Afghan people. It's not good when you make promises and then decide – oh, I think I'm done now and go home
    The moral factors as well as the political ones should be considered. We go in, help devastate a country, then leave....Innocent people typically pay the price during the aftermath... We did it to the Viet Namese people in 1975 and once already to the Afghan people. And didn't we screw up in Iran by taking out the Shah back in the day.?
    I would imagine that these are some of the issues that the President is taking into account before he makes his decision. Try to cut the damage as much as he can.
    It's a tough one, but he asked for the job.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  9. Melissa

    As much as I think Bin Laden needs to be captured, and the war in Afghanistan actually finished properly (since it was never actually begun, despite all the money spent), with the problems that the United States is currently facing, the soldiers need to come home. And all that money spent on war needs to be used to pay down the debt, and give the people proper health care.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  10. Slotl, Marietta, Ga

    Get the hell out as soon as possible.

    Let the people who live there create their own government and their own security.

    Spend all the money we will save (not to mention American lives) on not being at war on AMERICANS....and the needs of Americans (healthcare to mention one), public transportation, Social Security, Education, etc.

    Spend our tax money on US (for a change). We cannot save the world, so we must save ourselves first.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  11. Adem Jemal, California

    Less force including drone, and train the iraqis and afgans to take up arms and fight for their own country. America can not baby seat each country one by one. It has lots of job to do! Iran, russia, china, and venesuela have already started to undermine american leadership to intrnational community.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  12. Joe G. (Illinois)

    Giving that “Two wrongs don’t make one right” I’ll say that both Americans and Afghani ought except the reality of the situation and adjust accordingly.. Did any of them ever hear about Jesus Christ? Oh well.. How about what happens when you step into the ring with the devil? Some people think that if you hold your ground and be stubborn, that sooner or later you become the winner.. How wrong!!

    October 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  13. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    Here's a plan:
    Send in every Seal Team, Special Forces, Delta force Trooper we have.
    Hunt down an kill all Taliban we can find.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  14. Gordon NJ

    Jack, - Right now I think it is much more important to have a coherent strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Taliban and al qaeda have to be defeated on both sides of that border, otherwise we will never get out. Of course the bottom line is that Pakistan has nukes which must never - no mater what it takes - be allowed to fall under the control of these medieval fanatics. Either we defeat them now, or we fight a more terrible war in the future. I don't think we have a choice.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  15. Dan in Capitola

    Send Dick Cheney over there with a pen-knife and let him straighten out his mess.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  16. Ken DE

    The right strategy is to let the 25 million people in afghanistan defend their own country. The taliban is paying more than the afghan army so all we need to do is pay afghan soldiers a fourth of what we pay a U.S. soldier and they will sign up by the thousands. But I guess that is too easy, we like complicated. I am tired of hearing that the afghans can't fight. The ones who get trained by the taliban are doing a good job of fighting our troops. The liberal democrats have increased defense spending, given more benefits and higher pay raises to the military, and will be appropriating 228 billion next year to protect the people of iraq and afghanistan. I would feel just as safe and have just as much freedom if we got out of iraq and afghanistan immediately.
    Dover, DE

    October 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  17. Sue From Idaho

    Get the heck out of both places. It is not our responsibility to be policemen of the world. We have lost lives, money and respect to no avail over there. War mongering has never been a good idea.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  18. Keith

    Jack, the best strategy is to just get out. The more we send our troops the more we escalate the violence. President Obama promised change but it's still the same old crap. Enough is enough, it's time to go.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  19. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    listen to what ever Dick Cheney and the NeoCons say and DO the OPPOSITE.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  20. Gigi Oregon

    Those are President Bushes wars get out now and turn the U.S. economy around now. President Bush drained America of its dignity, finances and young men. We need to put a new face on our country. What the Republican party did the last eight years needs to be stopped now,,,

    October 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  21. Ron in Tupelo

    Hoh is right. Our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are part of the problem, not the solution. We need to leave both countries as quickly as possible. Didn't we learn any lessons from the Crusades? Christian countries, at least countries thought to be Christian, invading and occupying Moslem countries, what could possibly go wrong? And we are shocked that we are not being treated as liberators and protectors?
    Al Qaeda emerged because of our presence in Saudi Arabia protecting our oil supply. They will never be marginaize until we leave.
    We need to hunt down the extremist responsible for 9/11 with special ops and drones and leave the rest of the Islamic world alone.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  22. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    We have so much corruption here in the U.S. and overseas, It is hard on everyone to think stright. Money and greed have the crooks doing everything to get their pockets full. I just fell sorry for Pres, Obama. There is not much he can do. GLAD YOU'RE BACK JACK.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  23. Ronald Holst

    JACK why ask me do I look like the president . If I could tell you that I would have run in 2008.
    Aren't you glad I didn't..
    Ron
    San Antonio TX.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  24. Ron, in AZ

    I wish I had the answer to your question. What I do know is that this is the wrong time for the President to be campaigner in chief, he needs to be the commander in chief first and foremost. He should be in constant meeting with Military personnel and those on his staff that have the background and knowledge to arrive at an answer and quit sitting on the fence. It is Obama's war now and he must act.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  25. Jerry,OK

    Jack, It's time to leave Alfghanistan if Dick Cheney is for staying. Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, England, Russia etc, earned Alfghanistan the title (graveyard of empires), but "old Dick" just can't rely on sillyness like history. "Old five deferment's" eagerness to send others to fight is almost as strong as his urge to avoid the fighting himself... Bring the troops home today.

    Jerry Wilson, Broken Arrow, OK

    October 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  26. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I guess withdrawl is always an option if you want the place to descend into anarchy where only the bloodiest and most ruthlest dictator survives. Whether we like it or not we need to leave those countries as stable self-governing nations so they do not devolve into nations facilitating agents of terror.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  27. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It's very simple Jack, our strategy should be to do what it takes to win. Obama promised a timetable for Iraq. He's keeping to it despite deteriorating conditions, exactly the situation predicted if you published a timetable. A surge worked in Iraq (until Obama abanmdoned it) because it convinced Iraqis we were there for the duration, and they threw their lot in with us. In Afghanistan we show lack of commitment. And surprise, surprise, the people aren't with us.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  28. Kevin from sc

    Jack thats an easy one.Reduce American presence to 10000 soldiers,then have all other countries in this NATO led war to match that number.Have Cheneys death squad take out Karzai and you will be well on your way to a workable strategy.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  29. Willard Gatzke

    Bill Cosby once did a bit about the British "losing the toss" in the war for independence
    .
    The Americans elected to hide behind the trees and bushes, the British had to wear red and march in a straight line.....

    I see similarities to the situation in the middle east. Our troops are walking targets. They are easily identified by their uniforms. The "other side" blends in with the populace and "hides behind the trees and bushes".

    All military presence should be removed. Work with the locals to give them humanitarian aid and whatever they need to make a viable government for themselves.

    Willard
    Canon City, CO

    October 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  30. Floyd Burgess

    There is an old, wise saying that sums it up. If you can't make it work, and they will not help you. Get off the pot and go home.

    Crescent City, California

    October 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  31. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    More troops in Iraq. If we give up our foot holdin Iraq we will pay for it dearly in the future. By the future I mean when the oil wells start drying up. This fact will be proven in the future when we are forced to ride in a saddle again to fight off our enemies who have the last strong hold on the black gold.
    We need to get out of Afghanistan. That country is nothing but a lifeless moon not worth fighting over.
    I

    October 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  32. Linda in Arizona

    GET OUT would be my first choice. Cheneybush started these wars. They never should have invaded or attacked either country. Obama had better get off the pot and decide what he's going to do pretty damned soon, that is, if he can find the time between golf games. Morale is sure to be sinking in Afghanistan with no plan or strategy in sight.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  33. Lisa, San Jose CA

    On the assumption that at least part of the violence is due to people fighting us 'because we're there' and seen as occupiers, rather than on the premis they have some philosophical motivation...

    What if we withdraw from sectors that have the most civil peace, with a pledge not to intervene in those sectors for three months unless invited, to see what happens, to see if that region can hold its own?

    Make it known that we're doing a sector withdrawal *because* that area is quiet, and that *if the withdrawal succeeds* we'll be withdrawing from additional areas subsequently when they calm down.

    That way anyone who bombs something knows they're causing us to *stay*, not driving us off. What is more, all the *civilians* in the area know that the bombing is what is causing us to stay, so they're more inclined to not harbor the bombers.

    This would reward 'good' behavior and punish 'bad' behavior by the locals.

    If bombing persists, then we know we're being 'trolled' and the actual goal of the attackers is to keep us burning resources there, not to drive us away and 'take over' the country.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  34. David in San Diego

    The right strategy is to get out as soon as possible, with as little loss of personnel and equipment as possible. NO MORE VIETNAMS!! Put our resources into intercepting terrorists coming into the homeland and disrupting local-grown cells in the US. If we are still in either country a year from now, Obama will face a primary challenge from an end-the-wars Democrat.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  35. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, Iraq is done as far as we are concerned. Getting the troops out by 2011 is the right decision. Iraq will either stand or fall depending on their will, not because of anything else we can do for them. Afghanistan, on the other hand, is just heating up. We played a holding game until Iraq was basically done, because there were not enough resources to fight both wars. Now we are ready to fight Afghanistan, although it appears more and more that Obama will waffle around, changing strategies, buckling to political pressure and generally failing to commit to the mission he assigned his General to evaluate and complete. If Obama fails to commit to his General's requirements, then we should get our warriors out, and let the Taliban and Al Qiada have the place, while providing material support to Pakistan as required.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  36. Nancy, Tennessee

    The American people voiced their opinion almost a year ago in the election. President Obama promised to end the wars and bring our troops home. It's time. No more listening to the likes of Dick Cheney or General McCrystal. This is not our war in Afghanistan and we're done in Iraq. Let's bring 'em home, pronto!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  37. Al Redlhammer

    It's refreshing to finally have a President that takes the time to "think" before making a decision that can cost lives and affect the futureof our country. I find that our society has been spoiled by instant gratification in most things but , in this case it really stands out.
    "Shooting from the Hip" may look good in westerns but, when you're responsible for decisions that affect the worlds most powerful nation and its people, there's nothing wrong with careful deliberation.......

    October 27, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  38. John, Fort Collins, CO

    It is crystal clear that the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is a destabilizing factor in both countries, doing more harm than good for their civilian populations. We should begin an immediate, rapid withdrawal of all our military, replacing them with relief supplies and financial aid for the civilans left behind. This assistance should be provided on a long term basis no matter who ends up as the political leaders in these countries. Our military should never again be placed in the middle of civil wars where friend and foe are indistinguishable.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  39. Tara from Forest City, NC

    Declare victory, and come home...

    October 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  40. Annie, Atlanta

    Bring our troops home. They have had enough. If Iraq and Afghanistan can’t stand on their own, send Cheney and his war profiteer buddies over there to deal with them. I hear tell he’s good with a gun.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  41. Stephen Fox

    Apparently, the Democrats think the right strategy is to "die quickly". They are, after all, the dominant force in Congress, who can declare, at any time, an end to the illegal, unconstitutional, unprovoked, imperialistic invasions masquerading as so-called 'wars'. 🙂

    October 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  42. John C. Mc Court

    Well being a former Marine I can only say three words GET OUT NOW

    October 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  43. George in Taos NM

    Well, I wouldn't exactly use Cheney's"dithering' term because that just means send those 40000 troops asap.However, I am almost 66 years old and remember LBJ's indecision resulting in the majority of the 58000 American deaths in Vietnam.How many( U.S. forces and innocent civilians) have already been killed in these two latest debacles? How many will it take?

    October 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  44. Michael

    The correct strategy for Irag and Afghanistan is to change from a military strategy to a process that addresses and resolves the false beliefs that keep Al Quaeda and Taliban terrorism alive. The problem was never military so can not be solved by force.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  45. nancy

    Just leave!! The terrorists are everywere. Let's not let any of our young people die foe nothing

    Nancy \
    florida

    October 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  46. Jonel, Tirana, Albania

    The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is missing one important component: validity. To justify anything – even additional troops – Americans would have to know WHY they are fighting this war. The reasons I am hearing are not subtle enough to waste lives.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  47. Terry

    Jack
    Get out of Iraq. Al Quaeda is trying to keep the USA there so the USA won't send troops to Afghanistan closer to where Al Quaeda are hiding there and in Pakistan.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  48. Ken in NC

    Find the next scheduled flight back to the states and use it to come home. If you need more than one flight to get all Americans out of those countries do it.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Paul in Virginia

    Withdraw our troops completely from Iraq and put them in Afghanistan to hunt and kill Al Qaeda. Once they're gone, withdraw completely.

    Did we forget who attacked us on Sept. 11th? I know the Bush administration did, let's hope the Obama administration does not.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  50. Tom Hayes

    The right strategy in both Iraq and Afghanistan is to leave. We are not accomplishing anything there other than the pointless slaughter of our own young men and women, not to mention the billions of dollars spent which are sorely needed right here in the United States.

    The person who resigned is protest is right: We could stay there for 100 years and nothing will change. For a western, non-muslim nation to occupy these countries is affront to the citizens there and they will never tolerate it.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  51. Steve

    Both wars are a complete waste and unfortunately the only strategy in Afghanistan is to try and prevent the Taliban and al Queda from taking over the government of Pakistan. We have made a mess of this area and one that will require our presence for decades. A fall of the Pakistan government would be really bad for the region. India would have no choice but to go to war, if not use nuclear weapons against Pakistan to protect itself. I hope Bush is happy with what he started. Though this is becoming Obama's war there really isn't much to be done but to try and repair the damage (if that is possible). We could have and should have gone into Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden. This could have been done without destroying a country. Now we are seeing Iraq fall apart too. The government there isn't capable of keeping the peace. Sadaam Hussein understood this and we probably killed the only person who kept the country together even if he was a bad guy. Sometimes you need that to maintain things.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  52. Ed

    anchors away, hit the road jack, bye bye birdie...however one puts it,
    Bush's folly should end as soon as they can get the troops out safely

    October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  53. Lorraine - Canada

    Jack, re those wars ... "let's all get the "h" out of there"

    October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  54. jim Blevins

    Get out as quickly and cleanly as possible with emphasis on quick. Prosecute the Bush administration for having gotten us into this mess.

    Jim. Craig, CO

    October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Barry

    Fight to win.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  56. Benjamin Johnson

    I think we need to find a way to modulate our policy to strengthen international involvement. There is no easy way out of our present situation. And I think if we make that clear, we may be able to–with our neighbors and friends–find a solution.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  57. Mark, Centerport, L.I., NY

    Obama was elected to end the wars. 2/3 of the American people want out. LBJ reached a point of no-return in Vietnam and passed that line. Obama has now reached that point.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  58. Luwanna Guysville Ohio

    Jack,

    As the mother of a son who just left for basic a month ago, here is my strategy: get our sons and daughters out of there, use remote controlled vehicles to bomb known Al Qaida and Taliban locations, let the Afghan government handle the rest, and when we find Bin Laden (if we find him again) kill his butt and be done with it. The 'War on Terror" is just as much a failure as the "War on Drugs" Bring our children, wives, husbands, sons, and daughters home now.

    Luwanna (US Army vet in Guysville Ohio)

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  59. Bill....Michigan

    withdraw.....withdraw....withdraw
    please do not send more troops
    no matter how long nor how hard we fight....there is no victory to be had

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  60. TK

    Withdraw the troops from Iraq and hold Iraq responsible for its own security, and begin to focus on Afghanistan/ Pakistan border, if you take out the main safe haven for terrorist it would be a major disruption in the way Al qaeda operates, and shows that the US never forgot about 9/11

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  61. Michael

    First, we need to have a real investigation into the events of 9/11 which the world will believe, then we can ask for more help. Most of the world believes that our government had some knowledge in advance and has been lying about it, and thinks we should clean up our own mess.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  62. DT from Fort Walton Beach, FL

    Our strategy is to finally be turned loose and fight a war like we should be. This is NOT a war right now because in most situations we cant attack where the terrorists are at...they hide behind civilians because they know we cant do anything. We need to have the Rules of Engagement altered and then really fight like this is a true war...

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  63. Andre Philadelphia.PA

    I think the president should withdraw all of our troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq, those countries should be responsible for they're own security its been eight years too much money been spent on this war billions of dollars a day, that's what brought us into this recession forget about trying to prove something of winning or losing a war, bring everyone home and lets recover from recession and focus here at home.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  64. michaelcondon

    Jack, AlQuedas mission is to bankrupt america! They are succeeding and we need to stop the wars and take our chances before we are a bankrupt nation. The wars cost treasury and blood we no longer can afford.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  65. Becky

    The best strategy for the US is to get our troops home and let The Iraquies and the Afghans attend to their own businss while we attend to our own business.
    We have enough on our plates here in our own country just to do that.

    Our people and their people are dying over there for no good reason. It is crazy!

    Becky

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  66. Joseph

    PULL OUT, PULL OUT and PULL OUT. Set up a strike team with the Iraq and Afgan military and safe all the money this country is spending on the lie of a war caused by puppet Bush.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  67. myrtle

    i say that we get out of both areas. but before leaving use those drones to destroy all the poppy fields. they never asked for our help in the first place. there is no need to continue to place our treasures, and any American in harm's way. i do agree with mr. hoh. as a veteran myself, this is a needless conflict.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  68. Joe Carrano

    The war is no longer about the ideals of 9/11. It's about imperialism and war profiteering by exploiting the poor and the middle class. The American aristocrat doesn't pay the price, they just make the rules. What would happen if we end the war? Do you know how many more unemployed we would have in this country? The rich wouldn't get richer. I

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  69. JAn

    What the President should do is call an emergency session of congress and ask for a declaration of war against Al Qaida and the Taliban. NOW, They/ve had eight years to know how they feel and how their constituents feel. Vote Upor Down, NOW!. If War yes–go all out with the country behind it. If War, no. Get out NOW! Enough of police actions and discussion. Do it the right way for a change.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  70. P. Nelson

    This "war" in Afghanistan cannot be won on the ground. We should take all of those resources and put them into overt and covert surveillance of Al Qaeda.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  71. Tom

    Al Qaeda is no longer a threat to the United States in Afghanistan from what we know. We have control of that area, and if Al Qaeda sticks its head out again there, you have spec ops chop it off. Not to say you cannot have some forces still there to train and help them become self sufficient, but at this point a "ratio" of troops to civilians is not the answer.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  72. Mike in Colorado

    Iraq is at a point to where it will have to take care of itself. We cannot hold their hand forever.
    Afghanistan is another matter but Obama is right in taking his time. The military just completed some tests on different techniques last week. Would these tests have even been done had not a competent commander in chief been asking questions? Snow season starts in a couple of weeks so things should quiet down for a few months and the president is undoubtedly using the pending decission as a stick in his dealings with Karzai.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  73. Roland Cali

    Simple. We want Osama. Thats why were there but our army is the wrong tool for the job. We've tried brute force for 8 years and its achieved nothing. Let us fight fire with fire and invest time and training into counter terrorism. We need top operatives to infiltrate these organizations and destroy them from within just as Al-queda succesfully infiltrated and attacked us. This is not the usual war that can be fought with our traditional military might. This enemy once its found scatters like a bunch of cockroaches to neighboring hiding places making it harder to find them. Bring our boys home they've done all their gonna do.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  74. Matthew from Orange,CA

    You cut off the head, you kill the snake!

    Maintain some level of presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but for the Love of God, FIND OSAMA BIN LADEN!

    While there will be those to fill the vacuum, there will be many more who will be demoralized by his defeat. Remember, this isn't a football game to them. They believe God is directing this 'holy' campaign of terror through Bin Laden. With his capture or demise, they may find God wasn't doing much to protect Al Qaeda and move on to building instead of destroying. That can only help our situation in the two countries we are involved with.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  75. Featheriver

    The right strategy in Iraq or Afghanistan is to withdraw and attack Al Qaida where they are (all over the world). Iraq and Afghanistan have existed for centuries without out our presence. We need to keep our noses out of their internal business.

    Jack, Pahrump, Nevada

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  76. Valerie L.

    BEST STRATEGY – GET THE HELL OUT NOW!
    SURE WE COULD HELP THEM GET ON THEIR FEET BUT WITH MONEY WE HAVE TO BORROW FROM CHINA. As long as we have to borrow from our children for the misconcieved notions of a few, we should rethink why not peace, why war at all.
    I think most of these people are upset we are in their country in the first place and telling them what to do, and how to live like Americans. They aren't Americans and they may not want to do things our way.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  77. Sam

    Jack-
    The US needs to get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been 8 years in Iraq and it is high time the Iraqis take care of themselves, however rough the road maybe in the near future.
    President Obama should clear his table of all the people he has been listening to for the past 5 Afghanistan meetings and meet one-on-one with Mathew Ho and heed his advice. The US will never understand the cultural differences between the East and the West and needs to stop imposing its will and idealogy in the Midldle East and Afghanistan. Get out now and save precious lives of young US Servicemen and Women.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Chelsea

    I think that we should leave, end the war, and cut our losses. We've lost so many lives to this war, and for what ? Pride ? We have become too proud and we must leave and let the middle east resolve their problems on their own. If they do not value life and the lives of their fellow man, what are we to do ? We've been at it for 8 years, and it has to end now.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Bettye Birnie

    Re the war in Afghanistan, we have been going at this all wrong.
    You can't kill a snake by beating it's tail. The head is in Pakistan, namely, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  80. Miriam

    This war against the Taliban, if you include Iraq, has killed many more people and hurt America so much more than the Twin Tower bombings ever did. We need to focus on Al Qaeda and get out of the Middle East.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  81. Johnny B.

    There is no military solution to stabilize Iraq of Afghanistan. How do you fight people who are willing to kill themselves and their loved ones for what they believe in? Threaten to kill them? Bring our troops home now and fast.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Archie from Arkansas

    Jack . . . I "thought" the objective in Afghanistan was to find and kill BinLadin or at the least bring him to trial. At this very moment, I don't have a clue what the objective is, but I have one in case the Administration doesn't . . . GET THE HELL OUT! Listen to Hoh!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  83. Joe Hesse

    The correct strategy is to get the hell out. We enterered Iraq under false pretenses and have let Afghanistan fester for too long.
    San Antonio, Tx.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  84. nigel, ontario

    well its a mess,
    they better get in there and do whats nesscessary or get out ,because within a few years or sooner the troops will be headed to iran to deal with avoiding a nuclear war in the middleeast.
    nigel

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  85. gerry e

    The solution in Iraq and Afganistan is withdraw outr troops and nuke both countrys. After all they've been fight amongst themselves for a 1000 years. We cannot win any other way. After all this is a RELIGIOUS WAR.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  86. Bill - St Louis MO

    The best & most practical strategy in both quagmires is to end them both, as safely as possible in both theaters. Let start looking a improvements internally (& we all know there are many of them at this point in history) and stop pretending to be the protector of the entire world, a logistically impossible & totally unrealistic self-appointed goal. People will eventually have to realize the "goodle days" of the 40's & 50's are gone, and not coming back. One could even call this progress.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  87. bill from North Carolina

    Get the hell out and bring our kids home. They have been fighting there for hundreds of years. Does Obama think he is the miracle worker. There is only one miracle worker and his name sure isn't Obama.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  88. Anonymous

    Impatience is the greatest enemy at this point, and only serves the strategy of the insurgents. They hit, hide and wait, then hit when all is clear again with no expectation of accomplishing their objectives in a hurry. Our short term mentality only assures that their opportunity to strike will come again, and soon.

    Serving in Iraq

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  89. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    When I returned home from Viet Nam the airplane touched down at Miramar Air Base in California. We boarded a bus to take us to San Diego Marine Base. As we exited Miramar there was a large group of people who began to throw eggs and tomatoes at the bus.

    I was sullen and hurt that our sacrifices was met with contempt. Today as I witness Iraq and Afghanistan I am able to understand that courage and valor without a virtuous purpose means nothing.

    Our soldiers today in no way deserve the eggs and tomatoes we faced, quite the opposite, but the politicians and policy makers surely do. It is time for the Iraq and Afghan people to rise up if that is what they want to do. It is time for us to stop manipulating our country's financial interest with the lives of both our soldiers and foreign peoples.

    So here is a ripe red tomato for you Cheney and Bush.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  90. Miriam FL

    Jack, if Bush had not taken his eye off Afghanistan to go into a pre emptive war in Iraq when they had nothing to do with 9/11, we would have possibly been finished in Afghanistan. We have Bush and Cheney to thank for this complete chaos. Bush knew that there was a no win cittuation in either country, that is why he dragged the wars on as long as he did so that a new administration had to deal with it.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  91. Dan

    Enough! Get out while we can,shades of Vietnam. Hats off to Matthew Hoh . Bishop, Ca.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  92. Terrence

    I think we should be out of both countries. The lie in Iraq was bad enough, but now we are policing Afghanistan for that government and Pakistan's.

    Tell those guys to go ahead and kill each other for Allah, and we will watch fools annihilate each other!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  93. Tom in Iowa

    We are wasting our time in both these wars, the real threat is from domestic sleeper cells and from out own borders. As for Mr. Hoh, why would someone in this economy leave a job unless they had somewhere else to go? Wanna bet he turns up on Fox News or as some Republican assistant? Can you say Hoh the plumber?

    Tom in Iowa

    October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  94. george

    reg both wars jack.........................time to go.
    the prseident could send two hundred fifty thousand more troops and it still make the kind of differance that the previous administration is looking for,did I say previous administration oh well.
    Iraq gas never been truly stable since we ousted saddam hussien and it wont be for a very long long time,our puppet gov. that we have been making an effort to cultivate will fail and true civil war will ensue once we leave.
    why prolong the inevitable,bring our people home now.
    george
    chester,ct.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  95. Millie Castillo, Ohio

    We need to realize that we are no longer the super power that we once were. We cannot fight two wars because we do not have the necessary troops or financial resources. When are we going to realize that corruption is a way of life in both of those countries. That is part of their culture and all of our financial aid is going down the drain. The hell with the Republicans and their shoot from the hip mentality. If they want to continue these wars, why don't we send them there and letr them experience what war is really like.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  96. Kimberly K, Atlanta, GA

    Jack the right strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq is to HAVE a strategy. After the initial shock and awe we spent the better part of a decade aimlessly waiting for both peoples to shower us with ticker tape as their great liberators while our enemies trapped both our troops and the good people of both nations in a bloody insurgency and civil war. We've got to commit to fight and win with the mutual commitment of their governments and people to stand up for themselves. It will be bloody. It will not be fun. But it's better than hemorrhaging without a clear direction supported by the political will for a clear victory.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  97. Roderick Haygood

    Jack what makes Obama think that he can catch up where bush never really began? what we need to do sooner than later is pull out. Obama needs to find the guts to call it quits but does he have the heart or will he give in to thse whos aim is only to make a fool out of him and make him think that they or he knows what the hell we are still fighing for. lets face it this war is over and weather we admit defeat or not its clear that we are not winning.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  98. Ron

    This is not Viewnam, had we went in to the war in Afghanistan met our goal of capturing Bin Laden and defeating Al Qaeda instead of this foolish bit and notion of nation building we could have existed this war. Now this administration has an obligation to see that a government is put in place by the people of that country.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  99. tom wagemann

    we created the mess, like it or not we have to send more troops to clean it up

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  100. victotor

    The right strategy is to allow them to fight.; they like to fight and there is nothing America can do to stop them from fighting. Withdraw all the American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and let them solve their problems.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  101. Kenneth Kinnett

    Jack, Afghan' solution is simple. Admin & military won't listen. Withdraw our troops! Afghan parallels Vietnam where we were told "if South VN falls all SE Asia will go Communist." It fell no others went Communist. Afghan may fall to the Taliban, but we can end their power by firebombing poppy fields from 30,000 ft. Ken, veteran, in Flat Rock, NC

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  102. Joy

    Just like these so called american bushed Bush, we should stand up about the thought to send 40,000 more. that's ridiculous and shouldn't even be an idea. I am as patriotic as the next true american but we have to think, will he send his son. would he go fight. would when his daughters get older send them to the military. doubt it. there are only guarenteed a handful of US senate officials have there sons daughters or husbands fighting or waiting in line to be called. Actions speak louder than words.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  103. eva

    GET OUT,
    GET OUT,
    GEEEEET OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And when we are going to admit that they don't want US there ??????

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  104. Jerry Barton from the South Poconos in PA

    Send in the Troops, If the majority of the people over there want us!!
    Lets get this war over!

    But if the Marine that Quit is Right? And they don't want us?
    LETS GET OUT! You can't help someone that doesn't want the Help

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  105. ken

    Our Military is too small and we need about 400 to 500 thousand more troops via a Draft. Our troops can not keep up the pace of multiple deployments. They are Heroes and are, literally, being killed by the cowards in the White House, Congress and Penatgon who won't admit we don't have enough troops so they can save their political careers.

    Ken
    Lawton, OK

    October 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  106. Lee

    Damn shame that 8 years later pres Obama has to make a decision about Afghanistan...take the Iraqi troops over there to fight....not ours

    October 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  107. Jerry

    Jack: The right strategy is "follow the Money." Raising poppys in Afghanistan has skyrocketed since 2001, and the proceeds fuel the insurgency. We should ignore the plight of the "poor" Afghanistan farmers and bomb the h–l out of those poppy fields. When the money dries up, maybe the insurgency will too.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  108. Jack Edenton NC

    We should get out of Iran and Iraq Bring our Army home, seal our borders and ports and carry a big stick on anyone trying to enter the USA

    Either fight it like a war pr get the hell out. We need a Patton again.

    Jack
    Edenton NC

    October 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  109. GI Jay

    Jack,

    I'm fortunate to be a member of the Armed Forces. When it comes to what's right when it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan the answer is simple. Take care of the people to my left and right. Ensure they know that we're in it together, understand the mission, and get the job done.
    We're fortunate in that we don't need to worry about the political aspects of the overarching strategy.
    We go one mission at a time, one convoy at a time, and we take care of each other. When it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan, the right strategy is to make it through each and every deployment.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  110. Tan

    The right strategy in Afghanistan is to have a General rule the country with total control ,like a dictator . America has occupied the country any way ,why pretend to be a supporter of Karzai and a fake election and apparently an independent Govt that must say yes to every US command yet a democratic Govt . too much money and energy is being spent to create a fake impression through elections and rigging and trying to find the right kind of puppet . Not a single person in Afghanistan or around the world believes that Karzai has the power , why fake it ? Get real , A dictator is needed to get things done there. Or simply come back and leave the Afghans alone.
    Tan . Alberta Canada.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  111. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Secure the Afghan people for them to be able to improve their lives, increase training of the Afghan army for them to be able in the future to secure the Afghan people and increase support to improve governance for the Afghan people to be part of the decision process and have greater confidence in their institutions.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  112. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    If it were me I would go in with 150 thousand troops and take command of of the government and civil operations post curfews and ID checks with daily door to door serches and un arm any none military person and shoot any thing that moves after dark .

    October 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  113. Michael from Mahopac, NY

    Why I am I always censored for asking for the truth about 9/11? I do not have an agenda other than honesty and open government, really! Being asked for "moderation" makes you look like you belong in the movie "Z". Remember that? I do!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  114. jerry from jerico

    the media keep's calling our presence in iraq @afghanistan a war. if it is we should fight it like one .our fine troop's have support people , the enemy has them also , they are civilians , when in a war you can't be picky . either fight it as a war , or get out .

    October 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  115. Sonny....South Carolina

    why does everyone say it`s Obama`s problem.........This is everyone`s problem,Obama didnt start it ,we did at least this war in afganistan,then Bush went to Iraq and fumbled the ball, just to get revenge aginst Saddam..and left Afganistan by the side Obama inherated, it and he`s trying to get it right

    October 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  116. ken

    Our Military is too small and we need about 400 to 500 thousand more troops via a Draft. Our troops can not keep up the pace of multiple deployments. They are Heroes and are, literally, being killed by the cowards in the White House, Congress and Penatgon who won't admit we don't have enough troops so they can save their political careers. I am a Vietnam Vet who does not want the politicians to lose this war too like they did my generations.

    Ken
    Lawton, OK

    October 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  117. Clint

    I think we should put more troops in Afghanistan. As tough as it is seeing the numbers rise in death with the soldiers, they're there to protect us. If we pull the troops out to soon there will be no more hope of stopping or preventing the Taliban or other extremiest groups to comming back to the United States to kill another couple thousand citizens that have done nothing.

    Newburgh, NY

    October 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  118. Aaron in Lansing, Michigan

    This is an easy one, Jack. For Iraq: continue to leave on the timeline agreed with the Iraqi's. For Afghanistan: either pull out within six months and focus on Al Qeida where ever they may be, right now that's Pakistan, or send in all the troops we have available, lock down the country, and tell the Afghan government we're leaving two years to the day–that's how long they have to shape up and build a secure society for their suffering people.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  119. geraldw2

    Matthew Hoh's actions are respectable. He has every right to resign and voice his opinion. As for Obama, everyday that he delays action concerning Afghanistan, to send another 40,000 soldiers or to fully withdraw, puts American lives in danger. If are soldiers are not there they are not in danger and if they are in Afghanistan but do not have the support and man power they need they are in even more danger. Whatever Obama's decision is, he must keep in mind that in the eyes of many we are there as invaders. As such, America's presence in the middle-east serves as our oppositions best recruiting strategy – Americans are here attacking our sovereignty. Obama must act and act carefully.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  120. Chris - Ottawa, Canada

    How about getting off the oil. As John McCain said: "The sooner we are no longer dependant on oil from the Middle East, the sooner we won't have to fight these wars in the Middle East."

    October 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  121. Jane Lochowicz

    Hi Jack: I was 18 yrs. old in 1968 during the Vietnam War. It was tough to see all thoses body bags coming home. I don't think our government will ever learn that war gets us no where. What the television news needs to do is show us the body bags from Iraq/Afganistan coming home and perhaps the government will change it's strategy. With Americans protesting about health care, job loss, the economy there just isn't enough energy to protest the war.
    Obama better make up his mind and get us out of that hell hole!

    Jane Lochowicz
    Lake Geneva WI

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  122. dre Bowie Md

    We are trying to fight a wolf in sheep clothing, where guerrilla style tactics are being used. Because of the Bush-Cheney Administration we lost focus on who attack us on September 11. It was not Iraq but the Taliban in Afghanistan who organized the attacks. We found no weapons of mass distructions and used most of our resources in a country that will headed in a civil war in the next 10 yrs. We should leave Iraq immediately and send our troops to Afghanistan where we owe it to those who were slain in September 11.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  123. Deb McMahon from Des Moines, Iowa

    The right strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan is to get out. Get out now! Do not pass Kabul. Do not collect any more casualties. Bring ALL our troops home and let the Iraqis and the Afghanis have their countries back.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  124. Carl

    Rome ruled the world for one thousand years with always one goal in mind, to gain power and treasure.

    Bottom line, we have fallen into Al Qaidas trap.

    Bottom line. I don't know.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  125. Kathy Eisele

    The U.S should be using troops to protect our country from real threat to it. Mexico is presenting more direct problems to our country by generating drugs for the next generation, and it is right next door.
    Democratic Afghanistan is an oxymoron. We can't fight tribal wars in the Middle East; we can only provide assistance.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  126. Lerone Howard

    Well the strategy in Iraq needs time due to the lack of infrastructure in the government. Troops don't need to be evacuated as soon as possible. As far as Afghanistan, there's no possible way we can expect to make any substantial progress without being in Pakistan. With all of those sanctuaries in Pakistan it gives them the power to evacuate if it gets too heated in battle. Now if we can get into Pakistan and destroy the sanctuaries and can sandwich them into the border we'll end this war effectively and efficiently while saving more American soldiers. Problems here of course being Pakistan will not allow admittance into it's country because it will show "weakness". Even though Pakistan is fighting a proxy war in Afghanistan with India and it's bigger than this weakness. Though the Taliban are the cause of all of the terrorism they're terrorizing the U.S. as well as India. So because of a neighboring proxy war we can't get into Pakistan and accomplish our mission.
    We need to diplomatically settle this problem with Pakistan and we NEED admittance. If we can show Musharraf that American lives are at stake with a potential Vietnam like war to commence. If we can't get into Pakistan we need to cut our losses and more than likely wait for another Terrorist attack to happen. That will give enough momentum to make a true move into Pakistan.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  127. Jake Campbell

    Hi Jack , The strategy is to get out of these places, come home and figure out how a diff. strategy on how to fight these terrorists. Make no mistake al queda is not going away. If we are not smarter and better equipped to take them on we are indeep dodo.Thanks JackJake from Riverdale Ga.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  128. Frank Cape Coral FL

    The problem we are facing in Afghanistan and Iraq is we are fighting those wars with the ghosts of Vietnam on our backs, Afghan and Iraq are different type of combat, we need to put aside the loss of Vietnam and get our people out now, we cannot do anything more for the people of those two countries if they are not willing to do for themselves, I do not think it would be a dis-honor for the servicemen at all, we gave two counties an avenue for democracy and that's all we can do, bring them home.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  129. Bunmi

    The right strategy will be to leave Iraq & Afghanistan ASAP. The latter especially is a lost cause, as you have an enemy willing to die regardless of the sophisticated weaponry u might possess. The U.S should take a cue from the British & Russian experience in Afghanistan, a word is enough for the wise. The U.S will lose unequivocally, so why jeopardise lifes & waste resources.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  130. Alln Ploth

    The right strategy, Jack?

    I'll say this much: the WRONG strategy was and always has been aggression. For millenia, human beings have tried to influence each other through the use of acts of aggression such as war, terrorism, and corporal/capital punishment. Never in all these millenia do we find an example of these tactics working well at all. And yet we persist.

    Diplomacy and a helping hand stretched across national, ethnic, and racial boundaries are the only hope for humanity to right itself. Compassion is the only truly effective tool, far more powerful and influential than any flashy weapon that's ever been developed. Hurting and killing are hard work, and they are innately immoral practices, never appropriate in themselves as responses to conflict. Caring engenders caring, just as violence begets violence. They tend to perpetuate themselves, never each other.

    Politicians use fear, hatred, ignorance and the natural human tendency toward vengeance as simple, effective tools for keeping their jobs and manipulating simple-minded people. Citizens of all nations deserve the violent, tragic world in which they live, unless they choose to see this fact and begin to direct their "leaders" to act in the real best interests of those they represent (or rule).

    As a pretty smart guy once said: "Be the change you want to see in the world." Don't talk about it. Don't complain or let it turn you into a cynical person. BE the change. LIVE it. Don't swallow the bait of hatred and vengeance. Choose compassion. Nothing short of this will ever take root in a lasting, productive way.

    Allan Ploth, Atlanta, GA

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  131. southerncousin

    Whatever the liberals don't recommend. They got a lot of people killed in Vietnam, let adults and clear thinkers run the war. The only real thing liberals are concerned about is legalizing dope.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  132. Ethel LaVake

    Bring all our troops home. We should never have been in Iraq or Afghanistan in the first place. They have been fighting a Civil War for the past 2,000 years – let them continue. President Obama promised in his compaign he would bring the boys home within 6 months – which is why he was elected. What happened to the promise??

    October 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  133. Will, Denver

    Jack, we need to finish what we started and GET OUT! There is absolutely no way we can go into a country, completely demolish it and then just leave. What we don't need are soldiers coming out after 8 years to say they "don't know what we're fighting for," as if the mission was clearly defined at the onset. Those words are too little too late...

    October 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  134. Ray

    It is these people's of national pride the they "KILL ALL" invaders and has been so from Alexander the Great and before!
    America needs to learn that over there it's "US or THEM" and "WE" are the "THEM"
    GET OUT AND GET OUT NOW!!!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  135. Dana Lewis GA

    jack, it's time to negotiate with the taliban. listen to your roving reporter michael ware. this guy is intelligent and has been immersed in the lives of the afghan people for a long time. he has known some of these taliban generals for years, some used to be on our payroll. ware has stated more than once, the taliban are open to negotiations. we need to enlist the taliban's help to combat ALQAEDA. we need to enlist the taliban and get the HELL out of IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  136. Jack Bruns

    The answer is simple – get the hell out of both.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  137. g ontario

    put all the manpower you want this part of the world willnever change time to move on to next war or what ever the american warlords and cia cookup

    October 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  138. JC

    We cannot protect people in either country from themselves and their internal politics. We should not be trying build nations in our image. It will not work. Al-Qaeda is our problem however as it is the problem of all civilized people. Tell the world it is about to get very bloodly and go clean out those mountains. Full assault till it's done recognizing no borders and live with the consequences.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  139. Tom

    If we can't stop the roadside bombings we should get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Then we could just wait until they attack us again and drop a couple nukes on them.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  140. Lou Champy

    The hell with strategy, Protect our troops on the ground.NOW
    1 )- Have our auto factories put on a war time status
    2)- Build as many as needed bomb locating and destroying amored vehicles as soon as possible
    3)- Limit the troop travel areas
    4) -Start Saving the next 4,000 lives
    DO SOMETHING NOW or get the hell out

    Lou Champy 66 year old ex-GI from Highland Lakes, New Jersey

    October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  141. Kevin Kiely

    The correct strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq should be the one that ensures that our most treasured asset...the men and women of our Armed Services. Until the time that the experts in Washington D.C. figure out where we should pick our fights and what resources we need to achieve our goals, the strategy is simple...get the hell out of there and not continue to put our servicemen and servicewomen in harms way. With over half half of Americans don't support our presence in either Afghanistan or Iraq, why leave our brave members of our armed services to be killed why congress and other pundits argue the merits and strategy of the war. If it was my son or daughter fighting, I would personally fly over and pull him or her out of there.

    Kevin Kiely
    Virginia

    October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  142. Allen L Wenger

    Pack up our equipment and get our people home as soon as possible. We have destroyed the infrustructure of Iraq it will take generations to rebuld. There wasn't much to destroy in Afghanistan and their government will most likely keep it that way. We have gotten our pound of flesh by killing and crippling hundreds of thousands, let's go home.

    Mountain Home ID

    October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  143. Pat Stiles

    America needs to back off interferring in world problems. With 27 other Countries in NATO... SHARE in the responsibilities... match troop levels and financial involvement on an equal basis regarding Afghanistan. America is too big for its britches !! Let go of egos' and let go of perceived "power". I am so very tired of America's white men thinking they are so far superior in the world, because they're the best at lying, cheating, stealing, and making huge profits off wars. What a disgraceful bunch of hypocrites we have representing this Country.

    psv, Crossville, TN

    October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  144. James E. Ryza

    Obama inherited Bush's mistakes, we should have never gone to
    Iraq, much less Afghanistan. We have too many people scared of their own shadows and sometimes when I get tied in an argueement
    with someone, I find they never were in the service. I did serve, in
    Vietnam, all we need to do is prove is we have a powerful military and
    the others will leave us alone. I also believe if we leave them alone,
    they will not mess with us, our problem is they have something our
    people want at a lower price, oil and gas.

    It also goes with the treatment of people in other countries, those
    people think differentley than us. We are hearing from someone
    who served in Afghanistan who disagrees with the way this war is
    handled and his assesssment is the same as mine. I feel our
    troops are targets sitting out there like sitting ducks. The enemy knows our sympathy for innocent people so they blend in with them.
    What we need to do is send small unrecognizable groups of people
    to find there meeting places, when the time is right, hit that spot.

    James

    October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  145. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    Jack this is a very difficult question to answer. If we back out now we take a risk of these countries becoming safe haven's for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. While it is clear that these countries cannot produce a true democratic democracy, most people who live in both Afghanistan and Iraq will tell you that they do not trust their government to keep them safe.

    At the same time you have so much poverty and destruction, that daily life for these people is so bad that they are easily influenced by the taliban's money to join forces against the Americans and their alias.
    Not to mention the fact that the Taliban has no heart and will use inicent children to do their dirty work.

    If we stay however we risk our soldiers lives and let the people who truly want change down. If we leave with job incomplete can you image what message it will send to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. What will they do next??

    I ask why haven't we been able to obtain more support from NATO, our friends from Israel, Canada, Great Britain, and other countries where terrorism has affected them?

    If we not work together as a United Nation then we are destined to fail. This is now more than ever the time for teamwork towards destroying those who seek to destroy others in this fashion.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  146. Lawrence

    Jack, we should declare a state of emergency, bring back the draft, call up as many men and women as we need. occupy Iraq and Afghanistan clean out the bad guys and get back on track. We must remember that Al Kaeda is not finish wih the west (especially the USA) and will be back if we fail in our effort to prevent them from getting a foot hold in those countries. Just think of what an operation like that would do for our unemployment and crumbling economy. Additionally, our country and way of life would be preserved for future generations.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  147. luci - Peoria, Il.

    Declare victory, bring our troops home and let them see how good they had it when we were there. Bush acted like the war in Afghan was being fought, but wasn't. He was too interested in going after the oil in Iraq. That country was better off with Saddam, at least they had homes, etc., instead of bombed out hovels.
    A big sorry mess, thanks to Cheney and Bush.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  148. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: There's no magic bullet to solve the Iraq and Afghanistan issues. While they both look the same on this side of the Atlantic, they have vastly different issues. What's the same is the violence and lack of law. Iraq has come a long way. Afghanistan has a long way to go. It's time to get out of Iraq and it's time to re-work the strategy for Afghanistan. Careeer army leaders would like to see a war continue; I'm not so sure that's the correct strategy. Use of 21st century war equipment such as drones may be more on target than legions of foot soldiers. That's the way we engaged in the Kosovo and Croatia conflict. It may be time to dust off that war plan.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  149. Larry Doak

    The correct strategy in Afghanistan is to maintain a minimal force of not more than 20,000 troops with the primary mission of training the Afghans to do their own fighting and to use high tech weapons, such as drones, to keep the Taliban in check. The Afghans need to become responsible for their own security and keep the Taliban out.
    We should pursue a similar strategy in Iraq by continuing to train Iraqis to fight al qaeda (which they are apparently doing) and, since we destroyed much of their country, we swhould assist in nation building. It's too bad we lost Benazir Bhutto. She would have been a great ally in defeating terrorism and bringing democracy to the region.
    Larry
    Burke, VA

    October 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  150. Tim in Texas

    It's a very tough call, Jack. When I hear people who think they are sure they know the answer, I think they must not be too bright. There is no 'right' answer. If we go whole hog in - we might spend a heck of a lot of money and lose a heck of a lot of lives and still not win. If we draw down, then the Taliban might come back and with them the opportunity for Al Queda to reform & have greater ability to hit us again. All I can say is I wouldn't want to be the one to make this decision and I'm glad our commander in chief is considering the options carefully. When he's done doing that, I will support his decision, whatever it is, because he's in the position to make the best decision.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  151. steve

    When we were in Viet Nam somehow I knew it was wrongheaded despite all the military rhetoric to the contrary. It took more than 50K dead before we got out. At this point the person who seems to have it most right is Matthew Hoh. Our personnel are dying there becasue they are there. We are occupiers in a sovereign nation; they want us out. Eight years ago we had a real reason to go after Bin Ladden. Bush blew it. It's done. He blew it. If and when we are attacked again, there will be a mandate to retaliate. And Obama...or any other marginally intelligent, responsible President, will go after the guys that did it. Not their neighbors. In the meantime Obama needs to two things: 1) Rally the rest of the responsible nations of the world to be ready for a sustained response in the face of such a possibility. And, 2, get our troops out now.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  152. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, We should define the enemy! Until that happens we cannot win. I wonder how manny Americans could tell you who the enemy really is. I watch alot of news and I don't Know. Jack From Nice Ca.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  153. Mike in Mississippi

    I agree that our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is fuelling the insurgency. We need to get out of that Holy Land with our war machines. But, at the same time we should continue doing all the other things, touted by whomever, that keeps our Homeland safe like freezing enemy assets, intercepting phone calls, or whatever else it takes. But, we should leave before we ever got there. We may have started this mess before any of our life times.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  154. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    We missed the boat again. Bush 41 should have taken it to Saddam in the early '90s. Bush 43 fell short by declaring victory too early. Either get out of both wars or go hog wild and bomb the hell out of them both. Get a conclusive victory or bring our boys home. This must be done by air and not "boots on the ground."

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  155. Jerry

    The time for the war, was then, not eight years later, America cannot afford more war. We are war weary Jerry / Iowa

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  156. myrtle

    oops, forgot my city. i'm from rineyville, ky. with the previous statement.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  157. Brian

    Hi Jack,

    I think we should change our entire rhetoric on these wars. Our focus should not be on a War in Iraq or the War in Afghanistan, it should be the War on Al Qaeda and Militant Taliban. Our purpose should be to protect the American people from future attacks from these reticals. Our strategy should be to chase them down no matter where they hide out in the region. I think they will keep moving around, and will wait us out, as long as the focus is on the countries and not the faction.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  158. Jacqueline Mongeot

    Just follow Vice-President J.Biden's advice. It is clear that military action is failing, that Afghan civilians and American troops sacrify their lives in vain. Iraq is the perfect example of what will eventually happen in Afghanistan: no unity among tribes, weak central government, attacks from insurgents which prevent stability and produce more victims. It is a very costly lost cause. The Brits, the Russians failed; it is clear we cannot win, we cannot establish a stable government, we cannot educate Afghans nor bring them to our standards. We have no loyal allies in Middle East to help us. Let's leave with dignity, it is still time.
    Jacqueline. San Diego, CA

    October 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  159. Troy Brown

    Make peace not war.It seems as though we are poking sticks at rabbit dogs to see if the'll bit us,remember 911,which makes us rabbit.Lets bring our troups home and let everything settle down and see where were at.We'll never round up every extremest,the bigger deal we make of terroist the more we'll pay both finacualy and with American lives.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  160. Jules

    Iraq: Continue to depart as fast as safety for our kids allows. The escalating violence will happen if we leave now or 10 years from now. Afghanistan: Al Qaeda is the enemy, but he ain't there no more! He's in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, etc. So if we want to eliminate Al Qaeda, we'd need to invade those countries. Fighting the Taliban is a useless effort, wasting our troops bodies and lives. So let's get out of there too.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  161. molly cruz

    Jack:

    There's no Right Way to do the Wrong Thing. (I said that.) Given our involvement in the establishment of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein for that matter, our motives are tainted in the whole region.

    Both wars were brewed in some bar in Rummy's head; and it was his firing that prompted the above homily, as if getting rid of him would change the problem of the Iraq War being genuine in any way.

    "War", said Jesse Jackson, "is uncivilized."

    It's not like we don't have options. Individually we pride ourselves on our powers of communication; and from nursery school up, we train our children to "Use their words" instead of belting their companions.

    It's time to illustrate that advice on a grand scale.

    molly cruz
    costa rica

    October 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  162. A.J., San Francisco, CA

    The right strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan should not be for our own economic interest and military superiority but to support its own people. In Afghanistan, we must eradicate the growing poppy industry, remove corrupt government officials, invest in the economic infrastructure in order to rebuild the country. In Iraq, we can use our "military affairs" technology using drones to find enemy insurgents and use "signal intelligence" to find Bin Laden. I have friends in the military who are tired of the redeployment and some have quit the service. However, I have strong confidence in the Obama administration that they will implement a viable strategy. It will by no means the right strategy but they need to follow through.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  163. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    The right strategy for this deadly "jackpot" has already been put to music in a song you cannot help but know: "Hit the Road Jack" ( and don't come back no more..."). This Cheney Halliburton Military/Industrial Complex nightmare is the finest example of a corporate war to help the vengeful Texan avenge those who would plot against his Daddy. Jr. invaded Iraq to cream Saddam. Afghanistan was legitimzed by Bin Laden's training camps which could heve been wasted from the air with predators. The American people want out, the Iraqi and Afghanis want us out so what are we waiting for?

    October 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  164. Bruce Sharkey

    Thank you Jack for this opportunity.
    After 40 years following the new from the Middle-East I think we should support our troops-get them the HELL out of Iraq / Afghanistan.

    Thank you

    October 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  165. Joshua Reese

    GWBush & co. never should've taken us into either of these conflicts. They were reactionary to our 9/11 mayhem, but unjustifiable. Yes, that goes for Afghanistan too. We didn't even have credible data on bin Laden's whereabouts at the time of the attacks, and should've taken our argument to Saudi Arabia's doorstep. We didn't, because it's all about the energy resources. Iraq's oil reserves and Afghanistan's geographic positioning allow for the US to "control" vast amounts of petroleum-based power. With all that being said, Obama is on the "mop up" squad, inheriting this geopolitical nightmare. He's ripping us away from Iraq as painlessly as can be done (no easy task). Baghdad's latest bombing was treacherous in scope, but predictable, as the city's security-levels are being stripped away each week as that society attempts to normalize in the wake of perpetual civil war. Afghanistan truly requires sustained occupation, but not by western imperialist Americanism – not NATO either – only the UN is capable of deploying a peacekeeping force that would be welcome by the Arab League, as well as our European allies. We can commit troop levels under the organizational leadership of KFOR, rebuild the education system there, the court system, the commercial structure, and allow Afghans to develop into a society which can balance democratic self-governance with its rich culture of Islamic traditions.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  166. Justin

    There is nothing that can be done in Afghanistan, it is a backwards mid-evil country that cannot be held by anyone.. Everyone in Washington must have flunked history class, or just skipped it and cheated on tests.. 10% literacy there cannot be overcome no matter what we do.. How about we make their poppy production legal and make them legitimate business men like we do with Turkey?? You have to ask yourself why is it that Heroin production and distribution has skyrocketed since the beginning of the war? I'm sure the CIA still has the contacts they made when Russia was fighting them. I find it Ironic that this is not an issue. Then we send DEA agents over there to do something about the problem when they haven't been able to win the fight here, period.. Lack of education is a huge problem not only in Afghanistan but here as well.. All I can say about Iraq is Saddam.. It took a man like that to rule those unruly people, or they just blow each other up.. Like Afghanistan, Iraq is ruled by the gun.. Be forceful or be gone..

    October 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  167. stan calif

    Hi Jack I just saw some photos of Nagasaki and Hiroshima some 63 years after the war and some photos of Detroit today. It looks like Detroit was the one hit by an Atomic bomb. The Japanese cities are just beautiful while Detroit is a mess. Bring the troops home and with the money saved rebuild the USA to its once beauty.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  168. mostafa

    For God's sake, put the sledge hammer away. Find the fly and swat it.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  169. Bill

    The correct strategy is elusive. The enemy has moved to Pakistan. There is not a cohesive government in Afganistan. The terrain is difficult. We do not and will not have the hearts and minds of the people.

    I would seek out Bin Laden where ever he is. Go to Pakistan and close the door to Afganistan as best we can. Afganistan should be left to it own destiny. I would also place some type of organization that can maintain surveillance and conduct surgical strikes against any Al Qaeda training or activity. This organization would be new. And it may have to be based in Pakistan and other places around the world. It would consist of Ranger, Drones, Snipers, intelligence personel and some type of rapid deployment system. Heavy wepons are probably not needed.

    The Talaban may become the governing organization of Afganistan.
    Watch and Contain them.

    Bill I
    Annapolis Md

    October 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  170. Terri

    Wouldn't is be cheaper and more humanitarian to relocate all the woman and children to a secure location and let all the taliban blow themselves up. Nothing else worked. Time to think out of the box.
    We cannot afford to be the police of the world. Our schools and infrastructure are falling apart. Spend the money here on keeping terrorists out.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  171. Marilyn

    Stop changing the objectives on a daily basis. Establish objectives that can be met and do WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MEET THEM. After the objective have been met, LEAVE. Don't hang around waiting for new objectives to present themselves

    October 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  172. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This isnt Obamas proublem this is Americas proublem because if Obama fails we all fail this administration is taking too long to make decisions that cant wait Mr. Obama is threding on thin ice.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  173. BAM in Maine

    We should get out of Bush's Iraq War . I appreciate we have a thinking president, but no matter who rules Afghaniston, it'll be a corrupt group of vagabonds who won't want us there anyway. The president should tell our so-called allies to step up to the plate, help us find and put an end to Bin Laden, and then we get out, and concentrate our efforts on health care, budge deficits, and education.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  174. Tim, in Iraq

    We are too mixed up with the term "winning". We can win using all the means at our disposal, if we were to bring the full force of our technology and military. We aren't in it to "win" we are in it to bring about change. The type of change that can't happen with the current approach. The religion in this part of the world, and everywhere it exists, is a way of life. It covers the spectrum, political and otherwise. Unless everyone understands that we will not bring about any change.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  175. Doug - Dallas, TX

    The right strategy is to bring the troops home. The people of both countries don't want us there and once we're gone they will revert back to the way they were before we got there. We are wasting American lives for nothing and are hated by the people we are dying for; seems like a no-brainer to me.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  176. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    There will be no change in Afghan or Iraq without the support of Pakistan. If the Pakistan government is committed as they say they are in fighting al Qaeda on their borders, should follow with several drone attacks and ultimately an increase in our military to take out al Qaeda. If this doesn't happen, it's time to get out.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  177. Frank, Atlanta, Ga

    The war in Afghanistan has morphed into something resembling the Vietnam quagmire and is just as politically volatile. I though we were after Bin Laden and Al Queida for attacking us but time and changes in administrations have skewed our purpose to seek justice. Now we're trying to comeup with a strategy that might not fit the reasoning as pointed out by Mr. Hoh.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  178. pat in lexington, Ky.

    Whatever Obama decides will not be popular with everyone.
    IL think the answer is to GET OUT! We may not save face that way, we may be ridiculed by many all over the world. But Al Qaeda will not go away. It is in many countries and continues to grow. We need to get out – now!!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  179. Barbara Borowy

    I say bring our troops home and protect our borders. Let the the Iraq and Afganistan fight it out by them self.
    Look what happened in Vietnam. We left and everything was fine.
    We need all the help we can get right here in the U.S.A. We don't need fences, we need troops. We need to feel secure and safe here in our cities and homes and at our work places. Put our troops along our borders.
    Barbara
    Fort Worth, Texas

    October 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  180. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    Perception equals reality, especially with a language and cultural divide. The Afghans and Iraqis see foreign troops in their streets and nothing anyone says trumps that. I hate to say it but some things are best planned behind closed doors and carried out by invisible people. Has anyone seen "Charlie Wilson's War"?

    October 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  181. Joe

    Let's bring all our troops home. We don't need to be in Iraq or Afghanistan with a military force. They are a people and a country of their own in which we should let them decide how to build their country. We can support the people through other means.

    Would we want an outside military force policing the street and schools of Chicago to prevent the violence?

    P.S. while we are at it, let's get out of Japan, Korea, Germany and every where else that we do not need to be.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  182. Pierre

    It's like Vietnam, you can't tell who the enemy and the friends are because they all look alike! Another thing is, they have a government that is corrupt as hell! The US and their allies have to look as everyone as a potential threat because they could be! The US have to come up with a new strategy fast, or this place will spiral down even further!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  183. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    Destroy the opium trade, then cut our losses and get the hell out.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  184. Will from San Jose, CA

    Iraq had a full modern infrastructure, even if some of it was in poor condition. A phased withdrawal won't lead to immediate peace, but that nation stands a chance of actually taking care of itself going forward. We should do what we can to help with the training of local police and military forces to help them.

    Afghanistan is a completely different beast. There is nothing to rebuild, because there was no structure there in the first place. No surge in troops is going to suddenly build roads, sanitation services, power plants, and an agricultural economy based on something other than heroin.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  185. Terry from Illinois

    The right strategy is to get out ! America voted for that and Obama needs to get America out of there.
    America also voted for job creation and changing policies that give tax breaks and allow jobs to be outsourced. Bring jobs back to America.
    Republican cronies, Halliburton and the Oil buddies of Bush have reaped Billions from the wars, that's Billions from the wars while American jobs are continuing to be outsourced, bailouts for mortgage companies who suckered Americans, bailout for banks who charge crazy rates on credit cards and bailouts for automakers who can't meet the quality of the Japanese, Germans and Koreans.
    Obama and the Democrats can do better so get going !!!

    October 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  186. Esther Ohio

    I do not presume to know what the strategy is in Irag and Afghanistan. I am a citizen of this country and the strategy for us to stay safe is to take care of our own and forget the others who are not paying the taxes or being shot at. PROTECTIONISM NOW

    October 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  187. lale ash Toronto

    US should get out of Afghanistan. The Taliban are pashtuns who are the indigenous people of that country and most of them are not terrorists. They are joining Taleban in hordes and many are prepared to die as suicide bombers or otherwise, to to get the foreign forces out of their country. They dont have any plans to wage a war in america. they just want the occupiers to get out of their country. America wont be able win a war against the people of a country, no one has. the best thing Americe could do is to get out and save face by declaring victory, just as they are doing in Iraq

    October 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  188. Steve, NY

    I mentioned this before but nobody listens. We don't know how to fight dirty wars.
    We are like the British back in 1776, too much pride and were sittng targets. We fought dirty back in 1776, by the 1776 war standards, and won. We have to fight different. We need to infiltrate, don't wear uniforms, kill every moving target that has a turbon on their head and carries a rifle.
    I would suggest pulling the press out of Afganistan and hire the French Foreig legion, along with mercinaries to do the job.
    The problem is we have too many left wing sissies in this country.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  189. Bill Glover Baltimore MD

    Jack, We spending more money in Afganistan, than the entire GDP of Afganistan...does that makes sense to anyone?

    October 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |