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October 18th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

When it comes to Afghanistan, what, exactly, is the point?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More than nine years into the war in Afghanistan, there doesn't seem to be a lot that's good to report.

Osama bin Laden (L) and Ayman al-Zawahiri (R).
Osama bin Laden (L) and Ayman al-Zawahiri (R).

From every conceivable angle, things are a mess - starting with the country's attempts at democracy. Officials have now postponed announcing the results of last month's parliamentary elections because of widespread suspected fraud. An election panel spokesman said Monday that about 10 percent of votes have been disqualified because of the suspected fraud.

The New York Times reported that the fraud included everything from stuffing the ballot box to citizens being forced to cast their votes at gunpoint to election officials and security forces working in cahoots with corrupt candidates. Lovely.

On the security front, deadly insurgent attacks on U.S. and coalition troops are rising. It’s the deadliest year of the war for foreign troops, which includes Americans and service members from other nations. A recent U.N. report shows 1,200 Afghan civilians died and 2,000 more were wounded in the first six months of this year.

It's no wonder American support for the war in Afghanistan is at an all-time low. The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows 37 percent of those surveyed favor the war. Fifty-two percent say the operation has turned into another Vietnam.

Meanwhile, remember Osama bin Laden?

You know, the reason we're in Afghanistan to begin with? A senior NATO official says bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan. No hiding out in caves for these guys - instead al Qaeda's top leaders are believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals and the Pakistani intelligence.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to Afghanistan, what, exactly, is the point?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Frank writes:
They say the point is to protect us from the terrorists, but the only reason they attack us is because we invaded their homelands. I bet if we left they wouldn't want to attack us as much.

Tim in Texas writes:
The point is to keep al Qaeda boxed in in Pakistan rather than having free rein to have wide-ranging operations in Afghanistan. Actually, if we can get a power-sharing deal between Karzai and the Taliban, we might achieve limited success - success being defined as having limited al Qaeda's ability to design and implement large scale terror attacks. That said, I fully support having a date to begin drawing down or troops.

Colby writes:
The point is that if we leave, there will be a power vacuum, just like after we helped Afghanistan repel the Soviets. Back then, we pulled out because we couldn't see "the point" of being there any more. The Taliban eventually ended up filling that power void. If we pull out now without a stable, viable national government in place, who will fill the resulting power void?

Ron writes:
I think we have done all that we can in Afghanistan. We need to pull out now. Staying any longer would not accomplish anything, unless we can go into Pakistan after bin Laden, which would only create more problems. What a MESS!

W. writes:
Jack, Radical Islam is at war with us. It is a worldwide conflict. The war will continue until 1) radical Islam wins or 2) radical Islam decides they cannot win the war. And this means the worldwide war. It will be extremely difficult to convince Radical Islam they cannot win if we lose in Afghanistan.

Gordon in New Jersey writes:
Jack, The reason we can't just walk away is that Pakistan has about 90 operational nuclear weapons. Bin Laden is in Pakistan. Ahmadinejad was in Lebanon. The Indians are in Kashmir. Israeli settlers are in the West Bank. Karzai is corrupt. Obama is not a Republican. Saddam is not in Baghdad. And the Russians are not in Kabul. It's that simple.


Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Russ in PA

    There is no point, other than keeping Americans afraid of "terrorists", all the better to keep the war machine and empire up and running. Why don't we hear the media talking about the 2003 report where the conclusion was that Muslim terrorists were paying the US back for meddling in their affairs and countries, and not because "they hate our freedoms".

    Just like Ron Paul has been saying: we are paying a heavy price for keeping generals in gold stars, and weapons manufacturers in piles of cash.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  2. gordon

    Great question. We have are caught in a finger trap. We pointed the finger at Osama bin Laden and saw Afghanistan, went in, then in a case of transcendent misdirection, attacked Iraq which detracted us from our original mission. Now we're stuck with Iraq in a better state–maybe, maybe not–while Afghanistan, which was the original mission is sick of us, but not our aid.

    If the GOP wins the Presidency in 2012, it becomes their problem again in ninety days. After all, they started it.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  3. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    With Iraq losing steam, Afghanistan is the only logical venue for republicans to stoke the coals to have our economy to be more dependent on military spending. Watch military commercials on television of jets flying at sporting events or onto aircraft carriers, Marines in dress blues trying to get the unemployed to enlist at the same wages paid by fast food eateries. That is the point of Afghanistan, and the next country to be demonized.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    The point is to eliminate the Taliban, so that they cannot continue to be a resource for Al-Qaeda.

    Problem is......the politicians are tying the hands of the military, and not allowing them to get the job done.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: The point to Afghanistan is to capture or kill Osama bien Laden, and kill or capture as many of the Taliban as possible. This can only be done if the civilian government is honest and trustworthy. Political agreements are the only way to end the Afghanistan War. The point of all wars should be to end them as soon as possible.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  6. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    Turn Afghanistan over to the Vatican. Maybe they can help each otheer emerge from the Fourteenth Century.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  7. Conor in Chicago

    The point is that the 21st Century's "Great Game" is in Central Asia. If we are going to remain relevent in the 21st we need to even the playing field with Russia, China, and India. The only way to do that is to have a military foot print in Central Asia. That may not have been the reason we went there but it is most definetly the reason we will remain well after Obama or the person who comes after him.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  8. Melissa

    Did you forget what the original point was? To find Bin Laden, and put an end to things like the Taliban. Oh but I know you didn't forget that Jack. You're just trying to stir the pot. I'm disappointed in you. You used to be a good reporter.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  9. Mike in St. Paul

    The point – now – is not to lose.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  10. Susan Frost

    Have you never heard the expression, "It's a rich man's war and a poor man's fight" ? The point, as in all military excursions from time immemorial, is for the rich – defense contractors, etc. – to get richer while the poor get killed and maimed. Why hasn't everyone figured that out yet? Duh!

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    October 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  11. paul

    Jack do you have any idea how much higher the unemployment rate would be if we were not in these wars? By the way no one has ever defeated Afghanistan even the Roman Empire could not conquer them. Ames, Iowa

    October 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  12. francap

    Perhaps there is no point now. The time to get Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts was right after 9/11. Unfortunately Bush and Cheney had an agenda too attack Iraq, who had nothing do do with 9/11, nor did they harm us. If they had put all that money, boots on the ground, and the major effort to get AL qaeda, and focused like a laser beam on Bin Laden they would have captured him a long time ago.

    President Obama has a much tougher time now trying to find that needle in a hay stack. Although he has tried, and put more effort into the task than the Bush administration.

    It may be time to get out of the Middle East and spend our money and time to heal our country.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  13. Hugo Kijne, Hoboken NJ

    There really is no point anymore, Jack. We went in to catch Al Queda leaders but they're in Pakistan. Some people say we should stay to protect Afghanistan's women, but if that's why we are there we could be in at least a dozen other countries as well, and you can question whether US servicemen and -woman should die for that cause. The Afghans can only liberate and emancipate themselves, and the longer we stay, the later that will happen.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  14. Michael D. Knox, Ph.D. Tampa, FL

    To prove to the world that we are more stupid than the Soviets were.

    Or

    To prove to the world that we are more stupid and evil than the Soviets were.

    Michael D. Knox, Ph.D. Tampa, FL

    October 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  15. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Never offer to help anyone, no matter how much you believe you can help them. You will get only death! and no thanks. Make sure before you help that there is an active Resistance movement that is prepared to kill its Oppressors. The French in world war 2 are a good example!

    October 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  16. southerncousin

    The point was to destroy the Taliban and AlQuaida. Neither has happened. I agree with everyone that says "what is the point?" Pakistan is the real enemy here. They are harboring those groups and their leaders.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Harold in Anchorage,

    We are too quick to war, too slow to peace.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  18. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack I think at this juncture there is no point in it. For 9 years our government has painted an illusion of success in Afghanistan. In reality we are building another countries economy while our own crumbles around us. We are fighting a war on credit and our president and congress are writing checks that our soldiers bodies have to cash. It is time to pull the plug on this fiasco once and for all.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  19. Al

    Once upon a time long long ago the mission was to revenge the WTC attacks by destroying al quaeda. Now it is not so clear.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  20. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    Jack, The crucial point of Afghanistan was sadly diluted by the wrong war in Iraq. Nine years of any war is enough but we must finish the job. Sure the government is corrupt but it always has been but it's getting better. We see improvement and more will take time. We're making so much progress that al Qaeda is worried and threatening our NATO allies in Europe. Hang tough America and defeat these murdering Muslim zealots.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  21. Jane (Minnesota)

    Once the Bush Administration dropped the ball on the original mission (to hunt for Bin Laden), the point of the war seemed to switch to supporting the defense contractors that are profiting from the war – the very thing Eisenhower warned America not to get caught up in.

    It seems to me like that strong part of the lobby in Washington will never be satisfied if America is not involved in a conflict that depends on their services. I'd say there's plenty of deficit reduction to be realized in the defense department alone. Fat chance of it happening with the strong influence of the lobby.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  22. Dave

    The point is our Commercial Military Industrial Complex, led by hundreds of Dick Cheney's, need to make a profit. And America is about to give them control again.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  23. Knoxville

    Jack, we lost sight of the point back in 2003 when we let President Bush lead us by the nose into an invasion of Iraq. It seems like the only point there is now is to save face. How many lives is that worth, I wonder?

    October 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack, it's long over due to ask this question. For those of us that served in the military during Viet Nam we know the point is to stimulate the economy is the main point of most of these wars. Anyone who has lost loved ones due to these ill-fated wars are experiencing the worst part of life due to this philosophy. The real question from me is when are we going to stop feeding the terrorists what they want?

    October 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  25. KDS Irvine, CA

    Well we invaded in 2001 to capture Bin Laden and take out the Taliban. Its a different war now. Afghanistan is starting to turn into another Iraq with insurgents attacking everyday.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  26. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    The point is, these men have declared war on us and will not be content to let us go back to the lives we had before 9/11. Obama knew as much during the election when he was campaigning. Now that he is President, he has undermined the military's efforts and is not fighting to win a war or complete a mission. He wants to let enough time pass and then pull out. In his effort to appease everyone, he has successfully made no one happy with his decisions other than his blind worshippers who believe he can do no wrong.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  27. Ed

    Every story needs a heroine, this story just needs an e.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  28. JENNA

    When it comes to Afghanistan, what, exactly, is the point?

    The point was lost long ago, to capture Osama Bin Laden. There is no reason for us to be there now. He is not there and it is not our responsibility to bring our brand of democracy to a nation that doesn't want it.

    Time to pull out.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    October 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  29. dennis in minneapolis minnesota

    There isn't one. Why do you think people are so upset over it?

    October 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  30. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    The U.S.-led effort in Afghanistan now serves to aid in the Pakistani government's battle with Islamic militants. Islamabad appears to be slowly and bloodily winning the battle against its own militants, who want to push the country toward a religious civil war. The American army in Afghanistan is also allowing the all-critical Afghan Pashtun community time to recover from the Taliban.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  31. Pete in Arizona

    Well Jack, for the sake of all those people who lost their lives or were wounded, and for their families, I can only hope that there is some sort of compelling, strategic reason (to which we are not privy) for our involvement. Like maybe nukes in Pakistan or the need for a buffer for the major oil fields. Whatever it is, I hope it's worth the cost in grief and money.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  32. Bonnie from NJ

    I think you are posing the question to the wrong group, the majority of the American public feels this way. It is certainly one of the reasons I voted for Obama in the hopes he would put a stop to this insanity. Our great leaders need to explain why we are still losing American (and other NATO forces) lives and spending billions of dollars that could be used here for so many things (job promotion, infrastructure, helping people who are losing their homes etc, etc. etc.). I would ask how do they sleep at night, but I guess they just log on to their bank accounts before drifting off with a smile on their faces.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  33. Mr. D

    If ever there was a lost cause, it is Afghanistan. Unless we are using the country as a training ground, let's get the H out of there. Does the military really have to keep something going to keep their troops in shape? The loss of human life is certainly not worth it. Let's flush that toilet!

    October 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  34. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    The thinking is, Bush broke it so the US has to fix it. The thing is, foreigners as alien to the Afghani culture as most of our troops don't have a hope in Hell. We could pay to restore Afghanistan but the actual work would best be accomplished by someone of a related culture. That would be a big ask because Afghanis don't even get along amongst themselves.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  35. Pete from Georgia

    The point ??
    The point is we have politicians and a military machine the size of Jupiter who must show the world how large and powerful their EGOS are......................................at the expense of thousands of lost young, productive lives and ruined families.
    How impressed are you ??

    October 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  36. Denny from Tacoma

    Find out who is financially profiting from this war (and others since WWII) and you will have your answer.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  37. Carl

    Jack,

    Our government has no clue as to what the point is, otherwise they would have been smart, and kept our soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Certain members of our government are getting very rich off these wars, at the cost of human lives.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  38. Dave, Orlando, FL

    The point is that Haliburton and Blackwater are still making billions each month in both Afghanistan and Iraq. That is why we will never, ever get out. Too many too powerful entities will not stand for a change in the status quo – unless it would be to start a third war.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  39. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    Jack, we Americans are great at so many things, we inspire the world. Two of our greatest failures are history and geography. No one since the Macedonian, Alexander the Great, have been able to subjugate Afghanistan, ask any Russian, ask the Brits. I only have one question regarding Afghanistan, Jack; if the US military can impose itself anywhere it wants in Afghanistan, then why haven't we destroyed the poppy crop and subsequently driven the opium monsters out of business? How many lives would we be saving in America? Please don't tell me we're more worried about how the Afghan opium cartel will make a living over the suffering that's caused in America.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  40. Loren

    Hard to say what the point is, but, as they say, those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. The British failed to subdue Afghanistan, the Russians and the Taliban, too. Afghanistan suffers the same problem as Somalia, in the absence of a legitimate economy, there is nothing to support a stable government, and the country is thr plaything of realpolitik.

    The quickest way to stabilize Afghanistan is to eliminate Pakistan's intelligence agecy which continues to provide aid and support to the Taliban and Al Queda.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  41. Sylvia from California

    It is pointless to sacrifice another american life when the Afgans are not willing to fight for their own freedoms. Let the Taliban keep them oppressed and in the dark ages.... I am especially offended when I see women walking around covered from head to toe. When are they going to band together and fight their subjucation?? Sadly, this is a hopeless cause......

    October 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  42. Barbara Leavitt

    Jack, we failed to make our 'point' after a year of being over there. Then to make matters worse we went into Iraq. We need to bring our troops home, which was the reason I voted for Obama in the first place. He said he'd do that. I realize once he got into office he found out things aren't as easy as that. Nothing is ever black and white. But we must end this insanity. Until the Muslim people stand up and denounce these extremist
    and actually fight them themselves...........nothing will change. No matter how many of our soldiers die for them.

    Henderson Nevada

    October 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  43. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: There is no point. The Afganistan war is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, the lawyer's jest, the assassin's trade.
    We cannot change a culture on the mounds of corpses. The Afganistan war is is nothing but the "continuation of politics by other means." It's all about great achievements for the very few but hideous losses for the very many.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  44. Richard35

    What's the point? How about our troops being killed in a no win war! They are bravely fighting a war in which corruption flourishes through out Afghanistan. Democracy has certain indices that have to exit if it is to prosper. First a willingness to have this form of government, Second, a desire to have inclusiveness & tolerance for all people. Sadly these indices don't exit in Afghanistan and I doubt they ever will. So I say bring our brave troops home now.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  45. Tom

    There is no point. Al Qaeda has a safe haven in Pakistan, courtesy of the Pakistani "Military Intelligence", and they're turning Yemen into a new Afghanistan. There is no "war" to be won in the conventional sense. Al Qaeda can only be fought through use of infiltration by informants in multiple countries, worldwide electronic surveillance and intelligence gathering and sharing. These techniques must be used by a broad coalition of countries to capture terrorists before they have time to strike, or kill them by using airstrikes and special forces attacks.

    Tom, Oberlin, Ohio

    October 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  46. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well,
    If the Terrests/Militants would stay in their own place and not contibnue to attack the U.S. maybe we could end this conflict. But we have the right to protect ourselves so the conflict will go on. This may turn out to be another 100 year war.

    I assume this is mostly a Religious War. The Militant Muslum wants to tell all of us how to live and control everything.. They are losing, have lost this war a long time ago. Are women going to stop driving a car, not go out in public without a man, etc. I think not.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  47. david doherty

    What's the point! Are you for real jack! The point is to make as much money as possible for the war machine before the world wakes up and demands a stop to this insane crap. Did you really expect us to kill Bin Laden, if we had there would be no way of selling this load to the American public or the rest of the world, it's kind of like you never see a world series or super bowl won in the minimum number of games, the game has to be play as long as possible in order to really make the fat cash!
    Dave from NH.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  48. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    No point at all, and our government just doesn't "get the flick". Time to get out. Let them fend for themselves.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  49. ali jamani

    protecting american future oil supply. you dont need to think about it too much.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  50. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    The point is Halliburton making an obscene amount of money.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  51. Paul New Port Richey, Fl

    History repeats. Check the crusaders and the Russian results. It never turns out well.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  52. Joanne

    How many countries Jack have tried to assist Afghanistan since the dawn of time? Many, and none have succeeded. France tried twice.
    To roust Al Qaeda and roust the Taliban and then get out back in 2002 was the only thing we could do. To let them know what happens after 9/11 was the only viable answer to teach them a lesson (if possible as life means nothing to the Taiban). Pakistan is a joke, they are protecting Bin Laden as he would not be alive if that was not the case.
    We Americans are not dumb.
    Joanne
    Mn

    October 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  53. Ed from California

    The point is: To capture or kill Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda for the attack of 9/11/01. We need to very active and using all resources, bring him to a speedy end. Seek and destroy all comforts to the enemy, including the poppy fields. We all now about Bush II, and there's no reason to bring him up and all of his GOP disastrous policies.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  54. Tom ,Chico,ca.

    Jack;
    Our Neocon Chickenhawk Ex President went there to fight Al Qaeda. Well they left long ago and so should we.Afganistan is a tribal area that was named a country by the british empire in the 1800's.leave them alone ,they don't need to be part of the american empire in 2010.that is the point.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  55. Peg from N.Y.

    I have been asking myself this question since this War began. I have said all along that Pakistan is the key to Osama, etc. Who would listen to me? Just the dog, Jack!

    October 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  56. Karen, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    There is no point ! It should have been a priority immediately after we were attacked, but instead we spent years in Iraq instead. Now Afghanistan is just a second thought that has turned into a deep hole that we will never get out of. Russia was right to leave when they did and smart to realize their mistake in being there at all.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  57. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack I swear sometimes when I woke up and thought I was back in the sixties during the Vietnam war. I even think we're trying to make the same point the same way. They're telling us that if we do not stay in Afghanistan terrorism will spread. The only difference is this time it is my grandson that has to go over and fight the war. The only a reason you don't see people marching and protesting in the streets is be cause there is no draft. But if we've pick a fight with Iran we will have to have some kind of a draft. Then you will see the rich and the powerful getting deferments for their children while the working class or what's left of it goes off to war.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  58. bud rupert

    You said it Jackson. What is the point!

    I think the only reason we are there is to appease the military and the so-called – Stategic thinkers. It's pathetic that we have gotten ourselves invloved in another Viet Nam like situation. Where the military makes it up and covers it up and the White House is afraid to say – enough is enough!

    Barak Obama. Shame on you for letting this mess continue and for being conned into extending this stupid war.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  59. sheila

    There is no point and hasn't been for some time--time to come home!

    October 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  60. John, Lake Charles, LA

    The point is this government does not have the guts to admit it has made dozens of mistakes over the last nine years both in Afganistan and Iraq. Now they have screwed things up so bad that they have no idea how to get out, so they just wait for the next election and hope we all forget what has been done so far.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  61. Conor in Chicago

    The point of being there is 3fold:

    First, the "Great Game" of the 21st Century is being played in Central Asia. Major powers such as Russia, India, China, and the US are putting their pieces in place to compete for the energy resources this region can provide. As the US is the only non Asian nation in this game it must have military forces in the region to remain relevant. Second, though it's true that Al-Qaida exists outside of the Af-Pak region, the fact of the matter is that Af-Pak is a natural breeding ground for Islamic terrorism. So long as Al-Qaida can't easily show its face in this part of the world and must concentrate on avoiding US forces it is less likely to strike the US. And Third, the US must have a military presence to counter the potential destabilization of a nuclear armed Pakistan.

    So in short the reasons we are still there are both complicated and preventative. As a result, Americans, who are adverse to complexity and prevention, don’t understand it and shun its necessity.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  62. frankie

    The point is to cripple or destroy Al Quaeda, and to be a force on the side of good for the world community. Giving an end-date to fighting, says that we realize we are not going to be a force for good if Afghanistan does not step up to the plate.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  63. Kevin in CA

    The point should be- kill bin Laden and get the heck out-a-there. That is why we originally went in – remember?

    October 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  64. Chandler in Rockaway, NJ

    Jack,

    Afghanistan has defeated better empires than ours for nearly 3,000 years. It's time to declare victory and come home.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  65. Mario (Phoenix, AZ)

    The point is to protect the nuclear arsenal in Pakistan. The point is the strategic advantage of a quick strike of Iran when actionable intelligence dictates it. The point is to protect the corporate investment in India. The point is to ensure China never owns the relationship with oil nations. The point is the need to deal with the very real dangers we face. The point is to win, at all costs, the cultural war we confront. The point is the survival of the United States and our way of life.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  66. Kevin, Madison AL

    We have lost focus in going after Bin Laden. We need to put the screws to pakistan to give him up or else!! We need to start our exit strategy in Afghanistan.

    I thought this president ran on the idea that he would stop these wars. I guess that Monday morning quarter backing thing he had going in 2008 was just the kool aid talking. What is needed is bold, coherent, and decisive leadership. Unfortunately, that appears to no longer exist.

    BTW John Mccain was demonized for suggesting that we would be in Iraq and Afghanistan as long as we have been in south Korea.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  67. Kathie

    Bin Laden is probably laughing himself silly watching the USA spend billions on an unwinnable war that should have never been started. Too many lives lost and/or destroyed. No one wins a war. This area of the world has been at war for centuries. We have no right to try to force our type of government on them–remember Viet Nam???? Far past time to bring our troops home and close unnecessary military bases around the world. No country has a military base in ours so what gives us the right to occupy another country???

    October 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  68. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    There is nothing to gain and too much blood and treasure to lose by staying there. We should have gone with Vice President Biden's idea to get out now and leave a small special operations force behind to conduct counter-terrorism missions.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  69. Judie Wm's -- El Lago TX

    Jack....

    If & when I ever meet "Alfie", I will ask him what's it all about....the war plus 101 other situations.

    The terrain is hostile and we are averaging at least one service person a day. Adding to your question is mine...why can't we just bomb certain key locations or just get the hell out of there?

    The ostriches in D.C. do not hear the majority of Americans. Will we EVER know the exact why's ? I doubt it. It will be a continual loss of life, billions of dollars spent, and for ??????????

    October 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  70. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    I compare Afghanistan to someone dirty laundry. Somehow we end up being in charge of that dirty laundry that is full of stain, and that washing cycle never stopped turning. What we should have done is taking that load of that dirty laundry and put it on someone's else lap. What exactly is the point to wash something that will never get clean.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  71. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    I believe we've lost sight of the point. It's time for the federal government to turn their focus to fixing the problems the United States has.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  72. katiec Pekin, IL

    Feel sorry for President Obama as he has been handed a no win situation. If so much time and resources had not been put into Iraq we could possibly be in a better position, diplomatically, battle wise and more support from the rest of the world.
    Do not see anyone being a winner in this war but would not want to be
    the one who decides to end it.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  73. Leslie

    There is no point. We in our lust for blood after 9/11 entered into a war for revenge and our so called leaders did not think it through. So much for leadership. It has taken its toll on both countries and we are no closer to catching bin laden or anyone else. How many more must die? How many more families must loose a love one? We have now lost more good men and women than were lost on 9/11 with no end in sight. We will go into the next decade with innocent unnecessary blood on our hands. Mr. President I implore you end this war now please for the sake of our country do it now.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  74. Luci

    I say get out as soon as possible and no more wars. We have had 2 in the last ten years that should never have been. All of the Iraqi, Afghan, and American lives lost was very unnessary and not worth it.
    The afghan elections sound just like the 2000 election in Florida.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  75. thom richer

    Just as in the case of Vietnam, Iraq, and Pakistan, it is simply and definitively Imperialism. None of these wars were based on any direct threat of attack on this country by a foreign government. The closest to an attack on the U.S. is 9/11 and that was done by terrorists, not a foreign government. Vietnam? Planned well ahead of 1964/65. The Gulf of Tonkin and the Gulf of Siam were surveyed by the U.S. Navy and civilian personnel in 1962, in preparation for war, by the naval ship, USS Maury AGS 16. The rest were purely political and corporate driven. So the point in each case is imperialistic. Any excuse would have been fine.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    October 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  76. Jeff In Minnesota

    The first mistake that we made was to assume that using America as the model for Afghanistan's democracy was the way to go. Afghanistan has never had a history of such a governing model and we were foolish to believe that we could insert such a radical idea into their culture. From what I have read, the experts say that their culture is of a feudal society ruled by independent clans that are overseen by a weak central government that maintains the peace between the clans. That is not a model for democracy and we were naive to think we could replace it with something as abstract as our democratic model. Yet all I hear from our leaders is that we are going to leave Afghanistan with a democratic model. Good luck!

    October 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  77. Chad from Los Angeles

    To justify the enormous defense budget. Many corporations are making a lot of money off us being at war.
    So convenient, that every time interest in this war drops, some fabricated audio tape or threat emerges to keep our fear level to the highest most obsurd level of stupidity.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  78. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    The point is what has always been the point in any war based on conflicting ideology, as a world of human beings we fear those who are not like us.

    And what a shame that war after war for the last 60 years, we cannot look upon one another with a level of human and God consciousness where all people have citizenship in the city of mankind. We must begin to understand that it is our differences that make us stronger, and understanding that will bring us to become integrated on a human level.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  79. Anthony from Swedesboro, NJ

    These folks are from the fifth century BC. The concept of modernization is like teaching barbarians about credit cards. Did you ever see the "What's in your wallet" commercials? They love their religion and backwardness and only use the modern weapons supplied by us against us. It's a tribal way of life where the strongest warlord rules. They miss the good old days of the Taliban where life was orderly and women stayed in their tents. They love destruction and war and manufacturing is lost in the translation. Let's leave them to their obsolete ways and bring our kids home. When al Qaeda returns , we'll just use waves of drones to send them all to Paradise.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  80. Joe CE

    It is best not to let theTaliban take over. They are evil and a threat to the US. However, it is a waste of blood & money to keep troops there. Afganistan is not a nation because someone drew boundaries and put a name on the map. It is an area with many tribes and gas been for centuries. We can buy local tribal leaders and pay to repace the Poppy crop with grain for far less than our present costs. Bin Laden is not in Afganistan. Our troops there are an irritant to the local population. Time for us to wise up and get out.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  81. Dennis north Carolina

    we have no business to be in that country. first, we are fighting the same people we trained and armed to fight the soviet union. does this sound familiar like Saddam in the country next store or Iran. next we are nation building which we have never done successfully in the past. i could keep going but what is the sense. the shame is that we are losing our young warriors for no reason. I hope Bush doesnot sleep at night.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  82. charles

    Shouldn't you be asking the government this question? I haven't seen the point in our fighting in the middle east for about 20 years.

    If we had taken all the money we spent on these unjustified wars and spent it instead on alternative energy sources, we probably wouldn't need their oil, and our soldiers wouldn't be over there killing and dying for NO FREAKING REASON.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  83. David Wise

    There was a point, but it has now been lost. Amidst the political corruption and unwillingness for those at the top to work to make their country a better place it makes a problem all the money in the world (of which we seem to be running short on) can fix.

    We went in to stop the Supporters of terrorists and we kicked them out, but gave them more ammo against us and allowed them to grow stronger, and we never got the head of the snake we went after. Our continued presence in that country does nothing but get soldiers killed and waste tax payer dollars.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  84. Intellectual

    You know, when you shine a bright light near an electrical field, you attract dangerous bugs that can be killed. Maybe the only point there is to provide a bright light for fanatics so that we fight them with people that have guns rather than in our shopping malls.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  85. Prashant

    Jack,

    The problems is the we trust Pakistan as our ally when it is not. Its time we go into that rogue nation and pull out the trophy ourselves rather than being milked by them. And at what cost? They continue to hate us?

    Bring Porkistan to justice thats the need of the hour.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  86. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    The point is that there is no point. Except that some will come out of this war rich, but more will come out dead.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  87. Paul Austin,Texas

    The point is the game. The game that we are looking but yet say we can not find Osama bin Laden when he is right where we said he has been for years. If we find him then what next Iran a war that would be a real war and poor CIA empolyees now unemployed from the search that in real life is just not happening. I believe we know where he is and we have known where he has been for years.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  88. Gordon NJ

    Jack, The reason we can't just walk away is that Pakistan has about 90 operational nuclear weapons. Bin laden is in Pakistan. Ahmadinejad was in Lebanon. The Indians are in Kashmir. Israeli settlers are in the West Bank. Karzai is corrupt. Obama is not a Republican. Saddam is not in Baghdad. and the Russians are not in Kabul. It's that simple.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  89. Colby

    The point is that if we leave, there will be a power vacuum, just like after we helped Afghanistan repel the Soviets. Back then, we pulled out because we couldn't see "the point" of being there any more. The Taliban eventually ended up filling that power void. If we pull out now without a stable, viable national government in place, who will fill the resulting power void?

    October 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  90. Pam

    There is no point unless we are trying to decrease America's young male population.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  91. Art In Chicago

    Good Question Jack. I don't think we need the forces there, nor will a strong central government be in that country for zillions of years. As long as we keep an eye where the terrorists are and dispatch special forces when they gather, we need to bring the majority of troops home. Now, will unemployment go up when the military complex has fewer wars to support?

    October 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  92. Overby from Melbourne

    We went there to defeat the Taliban, now the Afgan gov't is begging to make a deal with them. We went there to get bin Laden, now he's in Pakistan. We went there to do some nation building, but they're all corrupt and they all hate us. The point? There is no point to being there....bring our troops home now.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  93. patti -seattle

    Its all about the poppy.. way back when , spain lobbied n.a.t.o through the u.n and threatened to pullout support if the u.s. didnt stop destroying the very ingredient that creates illiteracy and the money that fuels the terrorists... and we did and now we have little junkies running rampant throughout our cities while the democrats claim they can make money off the addicts with more big pharma ingredients..

    October 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  94. Shirley Sherbahn

    I don't know Jack....maybe it's to support the military industrial complex that Pres. Eisenhower talked about and make some people rich. If it was about Bin Laden, we would have killed him at Tora Bora.
    What does winning look like? You tell me? Bringing people into the 15th century into the 18th century???

    October 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  95. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    There is no point. There is no winning. We should remove ourselves from this blighted land asap and save our soldiers lives and uncounted billions in taxpayers money. We should limit our activities to removing Al-Qaida wherever possible as cleanly as possible and otherwise keep our affairs to ourselves. We are guaranteed to go the way of the Soviet Union as long as we stay.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  96. Alfred Z

    Remember 9/11; that's the point. Never again!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  97. Darren

    There is more point to Afghanistan than there ever was for Iraq! Sadly, the point for these ongoing wars is tied up in the trillions of dollars being made by military arms manufacturers and how much of that is funnelled back into US election campaigns.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  98. Rubye

    Cafferty: I'm glad you have the guts to ask the question: what exactly is the point when it comes to Afghanistan? There is no point. It's a lost cause and we may as well admit it and get out of there. No one wants to say that, but it is the truth, the way I see it.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  99. Kenneth from Atlants

    The point is, is that we don't want to be seen as "Losers." We have to figure out how to make it look like we accomplished whatever our goal is over there, and than leave hurdly before anyone figures out that we accomplished nothing. Don't forget to say we "Won" while exiting.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  100. The Whiz

    Jack,

    Radical Islam is at war with us. It is a worldwide conflict. The war will continue until 1) Radical Islam wins or 2) Radical Islam decides they cannot win the war. And this means the worldwide war. It will be extremely difficult to convince Radical Islam they cannot win if we lose in Pakistan.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  101. Randall Lewis

    The current President of our country could have saved us all some grief if he would have had the where with all to pull the plug on Afghanistan upon entering office. It seems both "D"s" and "R"s" have the same routine____spending money we don't have................

    October 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  102. Susan from Idaho

    the point is that Bush missed the point. Get Bin Laden

    October 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  103. Ron

    I think we have done all that we can in Afganistan....We need to pull out now...Staying any longer would not accomplish anything, unless we can go into Pakistan after Bin Laden...which would only create more problems...What a MESS!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  104. Ron

    Jack,
    You are slow to leave the gate. Many of us have been asking this question for a long time. No one thinks bin Laden is in Afghanistan, Karzai is taling with the Taliban, with the implicit approval of the U.S., and Obama says he is not into "nation building." The point is...this party is over. Let's get out of there before more Americans die for reasons unknown that have now become your "question of the day." If we have to ask "what's the point," it's time to come home.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  105. Kurt in AZ

    At this point, I think the "mission" is focused on how to get the heck out of there while trying to save face.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  106. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    ka-ching, ka-ching of the cash registers raking in the money for the war profiteers.

    It is like just about every other war situation. Those making money on the was do everything they can to keep it churning on, so as not to decrease the cash flow.

    It is NOT about stopping terrorism (which is better dealt with using the same tactics), or about freedom for the Afghan people, who probably do not want anything so much as to have EVERYONE just get out of their country and leave them alone!

    At what point will the American People just get sick of this travesty and say they have had enough! Probabl;y never, as the People seem to woefully uninformed about what is really happening!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  107. tim in Texas

    The point is to keep Al Qaeda boxed in in Pakistan rather than having free rein to have wide ranging operations in Afghanistan. Actually, if we can get a power sharing deal between Karzi and the Taliban, we might achieve limited success - success being defined as having limited Al Quada's ability to design and implement large scale terror attacks. That said, I fully support having a date to begin drawing down or troops.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  108. rcc

    one word, Lithium

    October 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  109. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    The point is an extremely expensive lesson in futility.
    Strangely, the exact lesson was learned in Viet Nam, but obviously forgotten.
    Time to bring the troops (and advisors) home from both Afghanistan and Iraq, all of them, and concentrate on the sputtering American economy.
    Put the returning soldiers to work upgrading the crumbling infrastructure, and securing the porous southern border.
    And make sure that America doesn't scrimp on getting the soldiers the help they will need to deal with the horrors they were forced to cause and witness.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  110. Gary H. Boyd

    Since WWII America's had a fetish for lost causes - Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, and most certainly, Iraq and Afghanistan despite what we hear from the politicians. Our attempts to impose democracy on nations who can't even spell the word is just plain stupid and is costing us dearly in lives and treasure. We need to focus on matters at home and let the rest of the world take care of itself.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  111. Linda in Arizona

    Perpetual war for the obscene profits of the MIC and other war profiteers is the point. These phony wars are "unwinnable by design". You didn't expect victory, did you?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  112. Tom Johnson

    From: Lansdale, PA

    C'mon Jack, what's the point? It's the same point why we still have a military presence in Germany, Japan, Korea and Iraq (and I probably forgot some others). Once we're there we never leave. The only point is to keep our military in business around the world.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  113. Kevin G.

    this war has no point. I feel like we've completely lost our way in Afghanistan, we need to get out and start fighting for something America lost at the beginning of this war, the respect of the international community.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  114. John W. Mikus

    The Afghanistan War! – to paraphrase a Viet Nam era song – what is it good for? – absolutely nothing! Just what are we fighting for in Afghanistan and who are we fighting against and for whom are we fighting? Its corrupt government wants to be allies with the Taliban, the Taliban are often protected by Pakistan's version of the CIA and many tribal leaders on both sides of the Tora Bora mountains, Afghan's corrupt government wants Pakistan's most hated enemy, India, to be its ally, and the "surge" is killing civilians who may or may not be Taliban causing the average Afghan to hate us, and its corrupt government is being paid millions of dollars every week to supply our troops with food and water and "safe passage" which often lands in the coffers of the Taliban. This is worse than Viet Nam. Time to get out and stop wasting young American lives and start using the money spent on Afghanistan to seal our borders against terrorists, drug and arms traffic, and illegal workers, and to make our country independent of Middle East oil. If we must protect the Afghans, it should be by building schools for its women and training Afghan police to protect these schools and women from harm. Educating Afghan women will have far greater benefits at a fraction of the billions of dollars that we waste in conducting the Afghanistan war every month! All of the above should be too obvious and too urgent for the President and the Congress to neglect any longer.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  115. E Williams

    Actually Jack, Ask George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, They should be able to give you the correct answer! Didn't they start this mess!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  116. LouAz

    To make it look just like Garden City Kansas . That is what we think the world should look, be, act like.
    Lou in Aridzona

    October 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  117. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We've been given so many "pointless" reasons why we're still in Afghanistan until there is no point in asking.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  118. Audie in SC

    The point is... NOBODY wins in a war! It was well demonstrated here, for all to see. Hasn't anyone noticed?

    In the end, they'll sit down at a table and sign some papers. ALL wars end that way.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  119. R D Ray

    Jack, here is the point, America's politicians have no will to do anything but support whatever they think will get them a vote and their memories are too cloudy to "remember the Russians",stupid!

    Woodbridge, VA

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  120. Steve from PA

    Lithium and Heroin. We want to capitalize on the lithium reserve and keep the opium from making it's way into China and then being refined into heroin and sent on to the US.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  121. Scott Stodden

    The Point Of Afghanistan Was To Originally Find Osama Bin Laden And Defeat The Taliban & Al-Qaida But Nowadays America And The Rest Of The World Im Sure Is Wondering What's The Point! This War Has Taken A Turn For The Worse In My Opinion Since We Sent 30,000 Troops Over To Afghanistan And It Has Become Another Vietnam Just Like Iraq Was. We Need To Let The Country Of Iraq & Afghanistan Fight Their Own Civil Wars And Bring All Our Troops Home Now Enough Is Enough! Let Us Protect Our Country And Stop Fighting Unneccessary Wars And That's Not Only My Opinion!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Illinois)

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  122. Frank

    They say the point is to protect us from the terrorist, but the only reason they attack us is because we invaded their homelands. I bet if we left they wouldn't want to attack us as much.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  123. Bob

    The point is to keep the USA safe from terrorists by denying them a sanctuary from which they may build their strength ... NOT a good strategy. I say get out ... and let as many terrorists as possible locate in Afghanistan, set up their command and control along side the Taliban, and then we'll have them where we want them ... corralled in an otherwise benign country we control, unlike the nuclear armed Pakistan, where we are largely impotent for political reasons.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  124. Scott Hill

    Only George W. Bush can answer that question now.

    Some times seeds of democracy don't grow.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  125. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    Obama had better have a good answer to that question or else he could face a serious primary challenge in 2012 from an anti-war Democrat such as Howard Dean or Russ Finegold if he loses.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  126. Rains

    Point?! Isn't it obvious? Bush needed a reason to get into the Middle East to finish the job his daddy didn't. That's why we rolled through Afghanistan in 6 weeks, declared Mission Accomplished and then headed to Iraq in search of WMDs, which we never found. So NOW the point of being in Afghanistan is to stabilize a government that didn't and still does not exist. Not that any of it makes a lick of sense, but that is the point...

    October 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  127. sagar

    America went to Afghan to make it civilized and give it a proper government, but America must be stupid because it hasn't been like that in like forever, what made America think that it could make a change.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  128. Josh

    There is no point. The US created these terroists in the 80s to combat Soviet expansion in the region and then when we tried to expand in the region they turned on us. I find it rather odd that Bush 41 was doing business with the Bin Laden family on the day of the 911 attacks for their respective businesses.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  129. Brent

    Jack,
    The point in most wars is to change the enemy's point of view or their hearts. Even dropping an atom bomb would not accomplish this in Afghanistan. So we should save our blood and our money and get the hell out of there.

    Brent, VA

    October 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  130. Andy

    They say the point is to repeal terrorism and insurgency but from what I see in the news, this is similar to what happened on Vietnam. I still think they should keep the war, even though not much progress has been happening, the insurgency and terrorism has decreased which means that the war is working, Even though many young men and women die on this war, I bet there would be more men and women dead if the war didn't start.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  131. Patricia/Georgia

    Remember it is Obama that wants to end this war with much resistance from the republicans who say we should stay until we win. Obama will get us out by next year as planned and sooner would be without any plan and not a good idea. The reason he was angry at one of his meetings with war principals is because they gave him no exit strategy as mentioned in Woodward's book. This war and is not to be won and this war and the Iraq war which we were lied into cost many lives and too much money. These are not Obama's baggage as he is a non war president and Iraq would have never happened under his watch. Now everyone says let's get out....he want to also but is taking a lot of heat from republicans. We shall see if the republicans get in I bet you a dollar Jack that the war will go on much much longer. Want to take my bet?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  132. dave in colorado

    Vietnam vet here. We would still be in Vietnam if we didn't have the draft. The trouble with Afghanistan is no one except the underprivileged are fighting this war, a total waste of time and unwinable, just like nam. Bring back the draft, this thing will be over in a month.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  133. Greg in Cincinnati

    What is the point, Jack? Big business for companies in the war making machine.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  134. Jim in Alabama

    Jack, it's hard to find a point when you consider what we've actually accomplished there and are apt to accomplish. Just today I heard a report where the Taliban could field some 30,000 fighters if need be and that number grows every day. Most of the areas are rural, the occupants uneducated and vulnerable to Taliban propoganda and possess extreme religous views that are anti American. I still believe that this war is being continued by the military industrial complex, including the contractors who are getting wealthy on American blood. We need to make sure that Iraq remains stable and get the hell out of Afghanistan. Our wealth is not unlimited and neither is our man power so we need to stop policing the world and meddling in the affairs of others.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  135. mike sey

    No point except to show the US is as tough and wealthy as Americans think it is and that Afghanistan is not another Vietnam.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  136. Tony

    The point was Bush used it as means to meet a specific need. The need????? Bush wanted to invade Iraq to kill Saddam for the attempted assassination of G.H.W. Bush in Kuwaiit.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  137. Annie, Atlanta

    The point is the bottom line of the war profiteers, like Dick Cheney. We should have listened to President Eisenhower's warning about the Military Industrial Complex. Hope its not too late.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  138. danno

    We must engage this region in combat in order to send a message that america will not be intimidated by terrorists and that international law will be enforced. It is not another vietnam as the cynics think. This war can and will be won. If we are the strongest military force then now is the time to show the world and ultimately attain world peace as the result.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  139. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    Numerous points really, the war toy makers businesses, the fact that bringing troops home when there are no job prospects, political bravado ( I may be wrong but I DID something argument) and supporting governments alleged to be our allies as a result of the continuing war. It's a hell of a deal !

    October 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  140. Tom from Texas

    There is no point and there will never be a point. These people live an existence that is totally foreign to people in the U.S. Warring tribes and religous factions are a way of life for them. Our arrogance that we can change them into a democratic society and have them live harmoniously amongst themselves is not going to happen. They are what they are and the United States nor anyone else will ever change them. Take a look at their history. I'm relatively sure that our leaders new this history and for some reason unknown to most, decided to go there anyway. Any exit we make will not be graceful as nothing will have changed. Iraq will be the same way. There's dreams and then there's reality. Will we ever learn?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  141. Rick

    There NEVER is a point Jack.
    Bring the men and women home now.
    We learned nothing from the Russian debacle in Afghanistan.
    I served in Vietnam and my views are considered "jaded" by Senior Members of all administrations. There is no "peace with honor". Rick U.S.M.C.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  142. Tom

    The point is a gross display of power. If they capture or even kill Osama we won't know right away. Osama is no longer, if ever the objective. There will always be "National Security" motives under the guise of whatever the powers to be think will work. We are being bankrupted by ignorance. It is high time America minds its own business and rebuilds.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  143. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, The Administration's point is purely political. They want to demonstrate strength in the foreign policy arena. They don't have a plan to "win" anything, they just want to show they "tried" before they bailout next summer, leaving Afghanistan to return to Taliban/Al Qaeda control. This will will almost certainly guarantee that we'll be back in 10-15 years to do it all over again.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  144. David - Cleveland, OH

    There is no long-term point, just political rationalizations that make no sense.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  145. Dave Harger

    The original point was supposed to be to get bin Ladin and his henchmen – NOT! If we really wanted him – it would already be done. Why do we allow our government to fight polical wars ; we have never won one. Where do we get the audacity to impose our will on others? If Afghanistan isn't bothering us, why are we killing our children? We lost 58,000 men and women in Vietnam, and how did that work out? There is NO POINT!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  146. Chef Bobby, Middletown, NY.

    Until we have concrete proof that Bin Laden is NOT in Afganastan the "point" to find and vaporize Bin Laden. While his power is now negligable, it would simply feel good. Perhaps video the great moment and show it cinema style to the families of all those lost on 9/11. As well as the families of all the military kids who made the ultimate sacrifice in our attempts to find the rat.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  147. Marilyn Gabler

    Staying in Afghanistan is a political move that has nothing to do with helping Afghanis build a better government. Conservative Americans think of the war with Afghanistan as a way to preserve American business interests such as oil. We need to get out as soon as possible and stop wasting the lives of innocent people, our soldiers and our allies. The Afghanis do not want us there.

    Marilyn Gabler
    Texas

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  148. John from San Antonio

    The point is and has always been profit. President Eisenhower warned us of the military/industrial complex and nobody made the connection. This complex is in control of our foriegn policy. If we wanted to fight terrorism that's what we should have done, treat them like criminals and go after them as we would any criminals. Instead we chose to legitimize them and alienate many of the people who would have supported us in the fight against terrorism. No, billions of dollars was made off both these wars and that is what it was all about. Meanwhile the terrorist threat grows stronger. Imagine that.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  149. David Gonzalez

    The point is the same as rest of these wars America engages in. To line the pockets of the bankers by getting further and further into debt borrowing money to fund these wars. The point is to heighten the defense budget, the point is to make companies like Halliburton rich.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  150. SB

    $1Billion (that's billion with a 'B') is being spent per week for less than 100 Taliban insurgents. While millions of Americans are uninsured, uneducated, and hungry. How absolutely moronic. The U.S. has been hijacked by chicken hawk cowards and the war machine. The rest of the civilized world just shakes it's head at the continued stupidity. The terrorists have won.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  151. Ryan

    As much as I don't agree with our war over there, anymore, there are still reasons to have a presence in Afghanistan. The most important reason I can think of is the majority of afghans that are beginning to believe in our mission, telling us information ,helping with schools and intelligence. If we betray them and pull out "leaving them for the dogs" it would be bad for America, both it's future safety and it's image and most importantly bad for the cooperative Afghans.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  152. Olga

    Capture Osama Bin Laden and if we can't, get the hell out of there!

    Olga
    Austin, Tx

    October 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  153. Frank Cape Coral FL

    the only point to the Afghan war is the question you were able to ask, there is no other point of any countries military personnel to be fighting the Taliban, they lost site of why we were there," Bin Laden" and he got out of Afghan and so should we.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  154. Steve D

    Jack

    Its all about big business which we know owns and runs our government. Weapons of mass destruction and war support services keep a select few very rich. It is not unlike the Bankers we bailed out or the pharmaceutical companies that Obama continued the NO IMPORT from Canada policy for or the lip service we pay to a meaningful energy policy. As long as it will cost big business business it ain't going to happen!!!!

    Steve D
    New Windsor MD

    October 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  155. James In Tacoma

    The reason we are still in Afghanastan, and in fact are "expanding" the war, is that our political leadership ( the PRESIDENT) is afraid of looking "Weak", so he just decided to ignore his political campaign promise and take the "safe" choice. We went to Afghanstan to wipe out the terrrorist training camps. ONCE that was complete, we should have LEFT, except for an occasional Special Forces attack.
    Presdent Bush "screwed up", and now President Obama has "DOUBLE" screwed up. Would you send your son to this nightmare?

    Again...if there was a Universal Draft where the upper middle class / power structure of this country had their son "Chase" being drafted...this war would be over in 10 days.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  156. Rob HuntingtonBeach

    The only clear point is that America has turned into a "WAR JUNKIE". The War machine is not happy unless it is flexing its muscles somewhere with the excuse that it is 'protecting our interests'. America needs an INTERVENTION session to STOP this self destructing behaviour and start using the resources to re-construct Its own country!!.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  157. Justin from Co.

    The purpose we are there is for the same reason we've gone to war since Vietnam. To feed billions into the military industrial complex. There's a lot of war profiteers who want this thing to go on as long as possible. And who was it that warned us about the buildup of the military industrial complex taking over things? General Eisenhower. You know, the guy who defeated the Nazis and the Japanese. In 3 years.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  158. Sharon from Brooklyn

    For the same reason we were in Iraq – resources. As far back at the late '70's Unocal (now Chevron) was attempting to build a 1000 mile pipeline from the Caspian Sea, through Afghanistan to India.

    The resources are still there and more valuable than ever. Bin Laden is a ruse. Powerful interests want the gas an oil. Period.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  159. sam

    To quote the President – "The cancer is in Pakistan." we need to get out of Afghanistan and concentrate on holding Pakistan accountable for their clandestine support to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda leadership.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  160. Pablo

    Maybe the question should be: Why do republicans still support this farce?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  161. Jay from Houston TX

    We are in a geo-political war with China, Russia and other Middle East countries. We will grumble over deaths and injuries of our young soldiers...
    But at the end of day its about image, access, oil and ya....money.
    Its all about MONEY for corporations, defense companies, politicians etc...
    The common man can rest in Arlington VA.
    JACK: this is the point. The pathetic point.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  162. Greg M.

    Jack,
    I guess the point of the war would be the tip of the bayonet which is as useless as the war?
    Greg M. Largo,FL

    October 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  163. Harold Linscott Smith

    We were warned not to get involved in Afganistan. I served three tours in Viet Nam and I can tell you this: You can not win freedom for any country. The citizens must want, believe in, and be wiling to fight for freedom. The most intelligent thing to do is to immediately withdraw. Will they continue to kill each other? Yes. However, American soldiers will not be involved in their internal, self-generated, continued hate for each other.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  164. Nadeem Saqib

    Jack,

    From the get go everyone knew that Afghanistan is a quagmire and after nime years of war we now know that everyone was right. Then what's the surprise or anger or frustration? Success to Afghan war lies in Kashmir. America can not win this war without Pakistan's help and the only way Pakistan will help is that if there is any movement on Kashmir. Remember, the Soviet Union failed in Afghanistan because Pakistan was on US side and NATO will fail as well unless Pakistan is on its side. The problem is that Pakistan does not trust America anymore becuase after the fall of the Soviet Union, Pakistan expected US to help out with the Kashmir issue with its arch rival India (which was a Soviet ally). Pakistan thought that finally its policy of siding with US paid off and now it can take its revenge of 1971 war humiliation (where the country got divided into two parts due to Inidan interference) but to its amazement US decided to side with India and Pakistan was left to fend itself on its own. For Pakistan it was a stab in the back, not only that US did not side with it to help solve the Kashmir issue instead it gave India priority over Pakistan. So why should Pakistan trust US now? The only way it will happen is if we see movement on the Kashmir issue. The war will go on forever unless India is forced to compromise. We should make the Indians understand that it is not only our favor but in theirs too to solve the Kashmir issue. We should make them understand that if we leave then they will be the one left to deal with the issue, therefore, it is everyone's interest to work together.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  165. AJ

    Jack. I hate to say it but the reason the way is unpopular is mainly the fault of the media. You talk about the length of the conflict, the lives lost but you give no context. Are we fighting to "defend" America in Afghanistan, not really, we are fighting an ideological war. We are there fighting idealists who support Sharia Culture. In WW2 we understood that ending the nazi state was more than just defeating an organized force. Occupation, rebuilding and educating the people while maintaining a military occupation was the only solution than and that is the only solution now. And when are we finally just take the threat in pakistan seriously? It would be fair for us to occupy their country and pursue military targets.

    Thanks from PDX

    October 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  166. Joe from Brigantine, NJ

    The point is that our Generals and the arms Industry really like a war. We feel that we must continue in order that we not look like quitters. We foolishly think that our enemy will consider that to be a sign of weakness. Do we really care what they think? And, if so WHY? We should acknowledge the Pakistani Government for their collusion with the enemy, stop all financial aid to Pakistan and get the hell out ASAP. With all our power we cannot bring a 13th century mentality into the 21st century without going broke trying. Not worth it!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  167. Ralph Spyer

    In 1933 Major General Smedley Butler a congressional metal of honor hero wrote " War is just a Racket" The flag follow the dollar and the soliders follow the flag. Since 1933 look at the Vietman war , the war in Iraq, and Afghanistan. War is a continuation of business by other means. In viatmam we lost 68 thousand boys ,Iraq and Afghanistan has cost this country over a trillon dollars that 1,000,000,000,000,000,000.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  168. Randy in Minnesota

    Ask Obama, he seems to have all the answers but lacks the backbone to act on any of them. Or else we can blame Bush & Cheney until we finally get another Republican to make the tough decisions.
    Blame Bush all you want but at leaset he acted on what he believed, right or wrong. Obama has spent the last 2 years under a mode of constant campaiging and lives by the polls.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  169. John (New York)

    The point is still what it has been, we're there removing Islamic extremists who have historically come from this region and pose a serious threat to us. Since we've begun serious operations aroudn the globe Islamic Extremists have targeted our military and not our civilian population nearly as much. As a consequence we have destabilized a region by entering and beginning our search for Bin Ladin and others. Before we can move on to search elsewhere or close off operations we have to finish stabilization. Extracting our troops without completing a job would be another gripe for people who oppose the war if we were to leave it a smoldering heap. Unfortunately America can not help everyone in the world, but fortunately after we leave, when our goals are met and the job is done, the people of Afghanistan will have benefited if only as a consequence of our operations. Americans must forfeit their Vietnam mentality of hopelessness and have the resiliency to stand behind our government, troops, and objectives to see the job completed successfully and set an example to the world of what a nation that still does things looks like.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  170. Tim in STL

    If we wanted to win this war with the Taliban and Al Queda, we could have accomplished this in the first six months. The MIlitary,Industrial, Intelligence,Banking complex is making too much money off of 9/11 for this conflict to end. How many people have gotten rich off of no bid contracts? Need I remind you that Dick Cheney has made a lot of his personal fortune from Haliburton?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  171. Jim Blevins

    There is no point; there never was a point. The attack of Afghanistan was, at its base, an attempt to settle religious differences with war. That has never worked and never will work.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    October 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  172. Bob - Rosenberg, TX

    Jack, there was a point when we first went in. The point was to get Osama and to do damage to the taliban. That war would have been over 2 or three years ago, except that we irresponsibly went into Iraq under the worst leadership this country has seen in a century. You can't fight two wars at once, one takes away from the other.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  173. James J Neary

    There are very important reasons we must stay in Afghanistan: 1. That is where radical Islam is based. 2.) Whether you liberals like it or not, we are the only superpower left and we have a duty, yes I know you hate that word, to police the world of violent, backward societies before they gain power to hurt innocent advanced cultures – like the Western world. 3.) Time is the enemy of those radical Islamists, they know that cannot stop time or technology and sooner than later their people will join the rest of the civil world. We just have to have the courage and fortitude to keep the pressure on.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  174. james

    I want to give President's Bush the benefit of the doubt; I believe when the Afghan war began, there was a clear agenda to find and punish those who attacked the US 9 years ago. However, there is no remnant of that agenda in today's occupation. We are bogged down in a war without any conceivable definition of victory, or any clear point at which we can return home with an agenda accomplished.

    The war in Iraq was and remains a lie from day one. Even today, by claiming that all military operations are finished, the war in Iraq is a huge lie that continues to drain lives and resources from our country.

    Consequently, we have lost and sacrificed thousands of our soldiers (and apparently over 100,000 innocent civilians) for two wars without any clear purpose or goals-much less any exit strategy. The financial disaster is equally disturbing, as these two wars have done more to damage our children's financial future than any other historical expenditures in the history of our nation. As prior posts have posited, the only possible reason for these wars is to support the financial objectives of our military industrial complex. Sad, sad, sad.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  175. oldtimer

    No point at all. Iraq was not the enemy and had nothing too do with 9/11. Afghanistan was the point for 9/11, but after 9 years the point is mute. They should have bombed the places that these 19 terrorists came from. Afghanistan is a corrupt country that we can never win. Their government will undermine anything the U.S. will try too accomplish. The lost lives of our brave soldiers are for naught, but the rich military complex will get richer. It's all about the money.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  176. Ken in NC

    The point is pointless.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  177. A. J. Boyle

    If there is a point to the war in Afghanistan, it is that by opposing the Taliban there, we limit their ability to expand their sphere of influence and their reign of terror throughout the Middle East, and the world. I have served in Saudi Arabia (during Desert Shield/Desert Storm) and in Somalia before the fall of the dictator Mohammed Siad-Barre, and I am convinced that moderate governments in the Middle East cannot stem the progression of radicalized Islamic terrorists on their own. Without military support from the United States and its allies, that entire area of the world could easily become one big war zone, exporting its poisonous violence throughout the rest of the world.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  178. Andy Fuertsch

    The point is to stay out of other's backyards and fix our own backyard from now on so we don't get in this mess again. I think we've lost the whole point since we first went there because of 911 and pointed our direction over to Iraq which was a big mistake. Well now that we're pointed in the Afghan direction again, things have escalated where we don't know what the point is.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  179. editor

    What's the point? It is an American made, false flagged operation. When Bin Laden's not enjoying his comforts in Pakistan, with his BFF George, I'm sure he's enjoying the comforts of Crawford Ranch.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  180. John O'Hare

    Jack theres no point now, the whole bloddy thing has gone haywire.
    We went there to get BinLaden and his cohorts nothing else but we got roped into a situation which has already been lost by the Brits and the Russians. I really think that we should inform the world that now is the time to deal with extreamist terrorism with Hi Tech warfare (Drones) and special forces hit squads and no uniformed personal so to even the playing field somewhat. As far as their self government they will do what they have always done and thats that. John Phx. AZ

    October 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  181. Harry Johantgen

    Like Vietnam, of which I was a part of, it makes no sense. The only difference is that we will waste this new generation's blood because we still have not clearly defined, and committed to, a time table and exit strategy.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  182. Alex Landi

    What's the point of the war? Ask president Obama and the Democrats. They are the ones who said the war in Afghanistan was the right war, the justified war, and the must win war, and that iraq was just a distraction. They must have had their reasons. Have those reasons changed or have the Democrats just "forgottten" them?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  183. Jackie

    Bush said: if you are not with us, you are our enemy – that's why we are in Afghanistan.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  184. Anil in BC

    Jack: I can't see the point anyumore. On one side, UsS is trying to get rid of Alqaida/Jihad from Afghanistan. And on the other side US is giving tons of dollars to Pakistan and they inturn pump money back into Alqaida. Thus completing the viscious loop without any positive output.....

    October 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  185. Joe Palen

    I do not think there ever was a valid point – any revenge originally intended was ineffictive. Ceratinly there is not point now. We must not risk lives for Generals' egos and political advantage

    October 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  186. David in Tampa

    The point is this; no sitting president has been booted from office during a time of conflict, except LBJ who chose not to run for a second elected term, ergo Bush got reelected. If a different party succeeded the incumbent party, that president would have to deal with the mess and that would provide political ammunition for the now minority party to use to regain power. Economically, it would generate prosperity and wealth, at least for some. Mostly, it would engender a sense of futility for a protracted conflict and bitterness at the loss of so many of or service men and women. Just another reason to be rid of political parties as far as the veteran is concerned.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  187. ngkk

    Why is everything "bad" related to VIETNAM, 50 + years ago and I still suffer from Cancer and other related AO health issues, with NOTHING but denial from our government; and I continually have to be reminded of "VIETNAM" !! All Vietnam Vets certainally have heard enough of it..However, they should instead receive an official appology from an Ungrateful government that continually sends our healthy young men, and now women, into harms way...and then has the AUDACITY to ignore them when they return...

    October 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  188. Fred Boenig

    As my 19yr old son emailed us, serving in the Air Force in the Khyber Pass,at the Torkum Gate, right before he put his rife in his mouth and ended his life "Unless something comes up, I will not be staying in Afghanistan one second longer than I have to. Recent events have cemented my opinion on the matter (the very same events that made me take so long to write back to you). So no need to worry, I'll be coming back to the states on time.

    That three weeks in April 2010 he was talking about was one of the highest "Civilian Kills" this year. The point is he understood there is no point, we are just destroying our best and brightest for no purpose.
    I don't want any part of your "Holy War"
    Oh Lord once again we've all been had in "Hallelujah Land"

    Fred Boenig
    Father of A1C Austin Gates Benson
    Emmaus PA

    October 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  189. Asif

    The point is to save face. Believe me it is looking more and more difficult.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  190. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Well, seeing as how the United States has their own untapped oil and gas, it certainly is NOT for resources.
    We are there because Obama decided to ramp it up. However, if we have NO INTENTIONS of winning, I am not sure why we are there anymore.

    As long as the Taliban rules there, those poor folks will never get out of the dark ages.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  191. Gary Saari Gulf Shores, Al.

    Jack, I've answered your question several times over. Please listen this time. The military industrial complex is supported by our CIA who use their proceeds of the drug money to finance their "black operations" around the world. Vietnam was no different. Why do you think that Afghanistan now supplies over 90% of the world's opium/heroin since our government kicked out the Taliban. President Eisenhower warned us about the complex many years ago. The CIA and the crooked politicians that support their ventures used to say they were fighting Communism. Now that Communist China is our buddy, George W. had to declare a "war on terror." That is a perpetual war, but so is the war on drugs. I guess we should change our strategy. The greed of the multi-national corporations is winning. The CIA certainly doesn't want to leave their gold mine in Afghanistan.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  192. Jerry G

    If it wasn't for the war(s), what would the generals do??

    October 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  193. Andy from Austin TX

    The point is to stay out of other's backyards and fix our own backyard from now on so we don't get in this mess again. I think we've lost the whole point since we first went there because of 911 and pointed our direction over to Iraq which was a big mistake. Well now that we're pointed in the Afghan direction again, things have escalated where we don't know what the point is.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  194. Lance

    Jack,

    As a veterean of OIF and soon headed off for OEF I can honestly say that I still see the need for us to follow through on what was started. I agree that we lost our way by heading into Iraq. We pretty much crushed any "support" that we had in the Arab world when we lost sight of our mission. We in the military realize that Afghanistan is not going the way anyone would like it to go at this point, but we have not truly focused our attention on that theatre of war until recently. We need to have the opportunity to prosecute this war to the full extent of our capabilities. Any time you let the civilians get in the middle of the decision making process of how to conduct combat operations you are going to fail. Bottom line: Combat is an ugly, horrible thing that none of us wishes upon anyone, but there are times that the use of force is needed. Let us in the military do our job. Give us the resources and get rid of this ridiculous timeline for withdrawal. Setting a time just encourages the enemy to "lay low" until we leave and then they will be right back at it. We don't have any desire to be in Afghanistan in perpetuity, but we must be allowed to conduct operations with the full focus of our resources to end the threat. We have never given the Afghanistan theatre the resouces that are required to conduct these operatiions. All we are asking is that you give us a chance to fight as we see fit without one arm tied behind our back. We can end this thing in a positve way. We really can. We put our lives on the line because we know that we are in the right and that we must make this stand. If we pull out now we will suffer the same fate as the Soviets. We will be viewed as a "paper tiger" and it will take decades for America to regain our position on the world political stage.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  195. jeff, alabama

    The only point here Jack, is that the Russians
    are laughing their backsides off at us.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  196. JakeF

    Follow the money Jack. Follow the money.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  197. Gigi Oregon

    Since Ben Laden's followers number less than a thousand. It just shows me the party that sent American troops over there is dumber than a sack of hair. And many are following like sheep and the rest of us are standing and watching amazed. Seeing the cost of this battle and so few to find.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  198. Lawrence Dansky

    These are cold blooded killers who have is in their sights.
    If it is difficult to kill them first, that is why it is a war.
    No matter the politics at any one time, we must defeat
    those who thirst for our blood and believe (with all their
    hearts and minds) that we are in the way of their dreams
    and desires, and are more than willing to kill us.
    That is why we must fight in Afghanistan. It stands to the killers
    as a battlefield...a place to meet us, and God will decide the winner.
    We have to fight for our democratic, inclusive civilization.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  199. Karl from SF, CA

    There is not point after nine years. Afghanistan became Viet Nam II a long time ago and looking for Bin Laden when Pakistan won’t cooperate is like still looking for the Lindbergh baby. We aren’t going to find either of them. Call off our military. We need to quit trying to kill the Al Qaida tree at the roots and go out and eliminate the branches and just prune it to death. If our intelligence people can cut off his operative branches then Bin Laden is in effect neutered. He can’t be king without a court.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  200. jim

    I thought it was to capture Bin Laden but appears after hearing that we know where he is that wasn't it. Maybe it is to show the world we can do what no one else has been able to do, claim Afghanistan as ours. Maybe it's to let the world know we can conquer anything or anybody we chose.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  201. Steve

    I agree, there is no point. I have to laugh when I hear our government talk about the mightest military machine on the plane while we're being defeated by cavemen. These people have a history that goes back thousands of years. They don't even begin to think the way westeners do, nor do they want to. And why should they?
    American's are the most brainwashed people on the planet and don't even know it.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  202. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Jack
    We lost the point when we placed a higher priority on invading Iraq over catching the terrorist who attacked us on 9-11.. It would appear that the point is profit making for the war machines in this country.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  203. Guy King

    The point was the logical reaction to the 9-11 attacks, and to avenge the more than 3,000 deaths. But ADD-afflicted America has forgotten, and now has large numbers of us arguing it's ok to build a trophy mosque near the attack site. As long as we cannot stand together against a vicious and rabid enemy, we have no purpose. Too many easy excuses to quit and not enough backbone to really finish the job. The point is still there, but the debate is too watered-down. Winners don't quit. Quitters don't win.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  204. Jim

    The point is to put us in a position on both sides of Iran should we need to invade in order to stamp out their nuclear ambitions! Job well done, bravo!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  205. Jim

    If bin Laden is captured that will make little if any difference for either al Qaeda or the U.S. Al Qaeda is dispersed into various countries and is recruiting more people and will continue to do so, bin Laden or not. The U.S.'s objective in Afghanistan is conquest and the so-called War on Terror there is only a paper tiger excuse for the U.S. to pursue its larger goal – establishing a power base in that part of Asia and opening Afghanistan to exploitation by the real U.S. powers-that-be – Wall St. interests and the companies which would reap huge profits by doing so Meanwhile, people including U.S. military people continue to be killed and wounded as sacrifices for the U.S.'s grandiose policy of imperialism.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  206. Rich In Las Vegas

    My son served in Afghanistan for one year.
    Constant combat, temperatures in the summer well above 110.
    He told me after killing one Taliban fighter, all that was left of the body was mush and two fingers.

    Any wonder these 21 and 22 year old young men and women come home with PTSD.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  207. Melissa C. Memphis,Tn

    Jack ,Jack, Jack...There is no point. There isnt a valid point for being there.Bin Laden will die of old man in a warm bed. We have bigger battles to fight on our soil.Unemployment and Immigration are two huge ones......But why waste time on that????

    October 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  208. Dave

    Al Qaida has been defeated. They number fewer than 100 people, living in caves, capable of producing an occasional video tape, but not a viable terrorist threat. Terrorist of the future will come from some place else.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  209. Patrick F

    What was the point of WWII? Same scenario, different location.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  210. Eve Lemon

    The point is: look at how much money those supporting war efforts have made off the Iraq and Afghistan wars, Haliburton, Blackwater, Cheney, Bush, etc. How gullible can a citizenry be. It probably speaks to how the next election will turn out. Eve of Texas

    October 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  211. Richard Braswell

    Well, at this point there is but one thing to do, and that's put mano grande Busco in his flyin' suit, give him a half gallon of Wild Turkey and an ice axe. Air drop, no HALO him into NW Pakistan and the problemo is finito. Of course, we'll have to give him something appropriate for his efforts, something befitting his stature and accomplishments, like a balona and cheese sammich and a day pass to Westworld, where once again he can be a hero. Or just pay several people to tell him he is, and he won.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  212. Fred in L.A.

    When you're not there to win it, there is no point. Once we allowed the cease fire at Tora Bora, the effort became a total waste. You go in to win, no matter the costs. When you lose sight of that and start worrying about collateral damage and your political standing in the world, the effort is a bust. Unfortunately our soldiers in the field have once again been given the short end of the stick.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  213. lance corporal

    the point was loooong ago lost when the job was left undone by the bush administration and they went on the ill conceived and executed invasion of Iraq (and what was the REAL point to that???) now I think it's like vietnam we're having a hard time finding a face saving exit. the point WAS to go after the leaders of those that attacked us on 9/11, those leaders where allowed to leave (again poorly managed) and resources where denied (because of Iraq) to ANY job in afghanistan so now it's a quagmire and leaving without some form of "winning" would be sooo taken advantage of by the republican political machine that our president has his hands tied

    October 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  214. Miguel in Ontario

    Jack I can't help but be in total shock and awe as you ask this question. The Country with Harvard, Yale, MIT, some of the brightest minds on the planet and you guys took 9 years to question this war's point? Utterly Amazing.
    The point is tax payer money had to be spent, Bush and his cronies didn't have Jersey Shore or Palin to distract the American public so they utilized the next best thing Osama Bin Laden, to achieve, um whatever we achieved. We supported this at one point lest we forget.
    Here's a better question, what does it say for our homeland security and the vision of our forces throughout the world, when the mightiest army ever to walk the earth, the CIA, Countless other countries and counter-intelligence agencies can't find one man, ONE MAN?

    October 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  215. Tony in Phoenix

    Jack

    The only reason we went to Afghanistan was to capture bin Laden. Bush let him slip through our fingers because he decided to go in "quick and light" instead of loaded for bear. He relied on the local war lords. He actually trusted these guys.

    Then the invasion of Iraq took away most of the resources that could have gone to catch bin Laden. As soon as that happened the objective in Afghanistan was lost for good.

    Let's call this what is is – Bush's ultimate failure.

    We should not be doing nation building there. If the Afghani people want a functioning government it is up to them to make it so. Yes we upset the apple cart, There is only so much we can do to fix what has happened.

    I would rather try to work with Pakistan to catch bin Laden at this point.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  216. Bob Mangham

    I wish we could offer Afghanistan to the Russian's and offer to help them take the country over. The Russians stress manditory education and health care, and could educate the population and may have better ways of dealing with the Taliband than the United States policy allows.
    Jack, could you mention the possibility to the State Department?
    They may listen to you.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  217. Tom in Tampa

    Ego and politics.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  218. ken, atlantic city nj

    There is no point. The war is just to feed the 150,000 defense contractors who are milking this country dry. Are you scared of terrorists who burn their shoes, underware, and vehicles. They wiil protect you.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  219. Stan C

    Chicopee, MA. Just another vietnam without the jungles, the taliban controls most of the country by fear or threats and we still allow them to grow poppies for the world's heroin supply. one of the most corrupt government in the world and we prop them up with foreign aid and our army to protect them, there is no point in staying there. Just fall back to major bases and stay there.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  220. gtbdave

    The point is you need something to justify spending trillions on the military. You can't just go around spending trillions on nothing.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  221. F. Thomas Cain

    With over 6,000 US bases worldwide-what is another military expedition? Anyone with a brain and a memory, knows you cannot win a guerilla war in a far off land, yet because of our hubris, we never learn from past mistakes and history. The total cost of maintaining our military presence in over 150 countries all over the world is unknown- even to the government that keeps funding this insane foreign policy. We need to close thousands of installations, stop foreign aid, return our servicemen to secure our borders and use those trillions of dollars to rebuid our own infrastructure!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  222. ChuckB

    We have more pressing matters to deal with. If we are in a mood to nation build and shore up a failing state, we need to redirect or attention to Mexico. Are things that bad? Well, in a region of Mexico the press is asking the drug cartels what is permissible for them to print in order to save themselves from assassination. We don’t have to wait for this to spill over into the U.S.; it already has. A much larger percentage of Americans are at risk due to the violence and lawlessness in Mexico than are at risk of an Al-Qaeda directed terrorist attack. We need the troops on the border and the funds to support them. An incentive to the magnates running this country should be the fact that we already know Mexico has oil.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  223. Chris from Monterey, CA

    The War on Terrorism.
    Few people mention that "phrase" any longer, but it's still just as true now as ever. The War on Terrorism is real, as real as the Vietnam War was, but it's being treated much like that war, and less like the global war that it really is. We are in Afghanistan, iraq and many other places across the world in order to prevent the terrorists from attacking our homes.
    We have taken the war from our doorsteps to their backyards, and because of that, America, in general, is safer.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  224. Betty---Iowa

    This war in Afghanistan has gone on way tooooo long. Now they are saying that Bin Ladin is in Pakistan -–I am sure he is being protected. I am all for getting all our troops out of the hell-hole.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  225. gtbdave

    Not much, there is not that much faith in our leaders. It's all just good clean fun, not to be taken seriously. There's really nothing at stake, no issues/policies. Sort of like the good natured ribbing before the big game. Politics is really sportified, just a game, not much to it.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  226. Frank in Indiana

    Revenge.

    Which is a stupid way to go to war. Bin Laiden escaped, he's the only thing there worth going after and he's gone. We let him out making the locals feel good. Thanks Rummy.

    Time to get out, Bush ain't a war president.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  227. Jay

    The point was to get Bin-Laden. Somehow, the focus switched once Osama moved to our friendly ally Pakistan. Now, we have developed a case of Myopia. Lost focus & will to get corrective lenses.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  228. Grant

    Gotta keep the public scared Jack. Doesn't matter who is in office, as long as the public is compliant due to fear, it's "Mission Accomplished".

    October 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  229. Chuck, Jasper, Georgia

    The point is the same as it has been since 1940. To keep the flow of oil flowing. The U. S. has been involved in some capacity since 1940 in the Persian Gulf for one reason and one reason only, oil. Too bad not many Americans understand nor study history.

    October 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  230. Krishna

    What is the comfort level that US military has with the Afghanistan government to make sure that Afghanistan government is co-operating with US to eradicate terrorism. We need to understand here that US military alone, single handedly can't make a change in another country like Afghanistan. It is highly impossible with culturally (and in all way) different country to get into another country to make a change without the help of that country's government officials. Motto of US government is really good and apprecitable in helping the world to eradicate terrorism, but Afghanistan government should co-operate on this, else it is waste of time and money

    Krishna
    Iowa

    October 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm |