September 21st, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Commanders: Failure in Afghanistan without more troops

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Military commanders on the ground in Afghanistan are about to force President Obama to do something he doesn't want to do - make a decision. The day of reckoning has been coming for a while now - as the U.S. death toll continues to rise, the Taliban strengthen their hold on ever-increasing parts of the country, and the effectiveness of the Karzai government when it comes to troops and security remains very much in doubt.

History suggests Afghanistan is a tough nut to crack. And to think you can do it on the cheap with limited budgets and a limited number of troops is just plain ludicrous.

In effect - the White House is being told by the people fighting the war: either come up with a strategy that has a chance of working and commit enough troops to make it happen - or resign yourself to the same failure that all foreign invaders of Afghanistan have ultimately come face-to-face with.

It's time for the administration to stop equivocating. First we heard a decision on troops is "weeks and weeks" away, then we were told there were no plans for additional troops for Afghanistan.

But the people fighting the war say without them - there are no plans for victory either.

Since World War II - we have failed to achieve victory in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq... And the polls indicate the American people are not eager to commit the resources that might be necessary to win this one either.

Here’s my question to you: What should President Obama do when commanders are saying the mission in Afghanistan will fail without more troops?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jane writes:
First define victory. Then define the strategy that will achieve it. Then define the resources needed to implement the strategy. 1,000 doctors and teachers might be more effective than 50,000 infantrymen. But it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Brian from Delray Beach, Florida writes:
Give all the generals some nice medals and make them spend some time with the loved ones of troops killed and a few months working at a VA hospital. It doesn't matter if we succeed in Afghanistan or Iraq except to those who are profiting from the wars. Terrorists are criminals who plot to murder people. Terrorism is a police problem.

John writes:
Obama is showing he is an indecisive politician. No plan for health care reform for months until it’s too late, no decision on troop levels in Afghanistan. Maybe we should have listened when during the campaign, his Senate voting record of abstaining was brought up. Sometimes sound bites are correct. Buyer’s remorse is setting in very hard.

Lynn from Maine writes:
Are you kidding? This isn't Korea. We never had a 9/11 back then. We have just arrested a bunch of terrorists from Afghanistan. We are going to have smaller attacks all over this country, not as grand as 9/11. I don't like war but in this case I say we have to go for it and bring al Qaeda under control.

Terry from Indiana writes:
The U.S. military should destroy the poppy fields on their way out of Afghanistan. Without drug money, the Taliban may be willing to give up bin Laden for the multi-million dollar reward.

Dave from Lake Mills, Wisconsin writes:
Give the U.S. military a clear mission and they will accomplish it. Give the U.S. a muddled, unclear or restricted mission and they will achieve exactly the mission they were given… Give the military an unrestricted mission to take down al Qaeda and they will be gone. Short answer: give the commanders on the ground exactly what they ask for or pull out totally.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Troop Withdrawals • U.S. Army
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    He should either give them more troops, or pull the troops out that are there. If they say they need more troops, then doing nothing means you just like letting soldiers die.

    September 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  2. Phil-Wenatchee, Washington

    You're right on point, Jack. This country has a propensity for invading and demolishing other lands for no legitimate reason at all. Then, after losing thousands of our own and realizing that no progress is being made, we pack up and leave...and leave it to the American taxpayers to pay for the cleanup. It's called history repeating itself, and once again it's time to leave.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  3. john ....marlton, nj

    Take the troops out... The military has had nearly eight years to find the ceremonial figurehead Bin Laden and they have failed. The military is in the business of war and of course they want to stay... Check your history, how much success did the Russians (Soviets) have in Afghanistan? NONE. Who supported resistance against the Soviets? Was it the USA? Lastly, the USA needs to stay out of the “Country Building” business. The hearts and minds theme is BS.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  4. Jerry Alpharetta. GA

    President Obama is on the proper course. Before we can commit any more resources we must have a plan. How can any strategy succeed if there is no mission defined relative to what constitutes success? Is our mission to capture or kill Bin Laden or to carry out the Bush doctrine of spreading democracy into countries where that word is not understood or are we to protect the world's largest opium supply? What exactly is the mission in Afghanistan? Why are we committing our most precious resources, our young men and women, when we don't know what they are to accomplish.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  5. Marlene

    What is the definition of "victory", Jack? One hundred thousand dead or injured? We need to get out of both wars, now.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  6. Carl D.

    In my opinion, let it fail, we shouldn't be there to begin with, when will we ever learn, keep our noses out of other countries business. This country, like Iraq, is just an bottomless money pit. It's time the United States start concerning themselves with our own problems, we have enough of our own problems.
    Carl in Illinois

    September 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  7. joe m

    simple. listen, and listen hard. soldiers make assesments based on cold hard facts, while politicians make decisions based on what is good for mostly for themselves. bottom line is this, if america fails in afghanistan then we only set ourselves up for future misery.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Maria

    Obama should listen to them, weigh all the advice and then get out of Afghanistan.


    September 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  9. Susan in Ohio

    Not listen to the war machine.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  10. ge

    three stricks or out may-be you will never win war for profit

    September 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: There is no victory in Afghanistan, but maybe 3 to 5 years down the road Afghanistan might be able to stand up on its own feet. Karazai governement must go. It is corrupt and lacks moral courage to handle the situation. If the will of the United States is not up to 3 to 5 years more in Afghanistan then maybe we should cut and run, but be sure the taliban will return in force. I think it is time to make the media leave, and crush any resistance with high explosive technology.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm |

    Tell them to make a sweep up through and get Ben Lauden and get out. There has not been anyone since "Alexander The Great" that has beat them. They have nothing to live for so they could care less if they lose their lives for Allah. Draft Bush and Cheney and send them over and tell them that is quail, good idea?

    September 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  13. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Change the mission. Let go of the dream of establishing a Jeffersonian democracy in a 12th-century country, narrow the scope of our involvement, declare victory and get out!

    September 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  14. Dave Lower

    One question that needs an answer is why is The U.S eager to get in a war with all the flag waveing and patroitism abounding but so quick to protest the war and to get out, and Jack as you stated The U.S. has not won a war since WW2. Here in Canada our army has suffered a 10% K.I.A. ratio in Afghanistan and we still honour are fighting men and the armed forces with suport and care packages and not by public protests. So if ground comanders are calling for more soldiers they should get them, but Washington should be casting an evil eye on those so called NATO countries of europe because it shows how big of an allie some of them really are as in hideing under the rug when you need them!!
    Dave in London Ontario Historic home of the R.C.R.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  15. Paul Austin, Texas

    Jack I think Obama should face it and resign himself to a decision to leave Afghanistan now. We do not need to make the same mistake as the former USSR and others have made and stay till we have to run out in total defeat. This is Obama's hardest nut to crack yet. We lost our chance for victory in Afghanistan long ago. When we cut back and split to fight in Iraq the war that was to be paid with oil money well so much for that and so much for tracking down Bin Laden. If we would of stayed in full force we most likely would of found him in Afghanistan or just over the boarder in Pakistan. The only way for victory now is one we or the world would like. It would be to just level the whole country and just what would that prove in the long run, nothing.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  16. monica von berndt

    Jerome idaho you wouldn't use a can of raid on an infestation of roaches when an professional exteminator would wipe wipe them out and not give them a chance to breed we need a surge of great proportations that will go in and put an end to this once and for all quick and mighty so the terroist don't have a chance to recoup

    September 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  17. John Meissner

    Hi Jack,
    First, he reminds all that the military is volunteer based. He then requests all that are eligible for service to understand that their need to be sent to Afghanistan will further the cause and that their presence will "at least" help in the efforts by 'watching the backs' of those already there. Send the extra volunteer personnel now. We're in it to resolve a situation and winning the hearts of the afghan people is of utmost importance.
    What.......do we abandon those people just when they have hope?

    John Meissner

    September 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  18. Mark, Sarasota, FL

    Jack we have been there with 49 other nations for 8 years have nothing achieved. Bush failed to focus on Afghanistan and it will bankrupt us like it did the Soviets. I plead for an immediate withdrawal.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  19. Rick in Texas

    The previous administration has already committed or men and women to this campaign. Being a U.S. Army retiree I can certainly empathize with these mean and women. The president has no choice but to commit all resources needed to end this quickly and bring them home. Wouldn’t want to drag this out for “100 years.”

    September 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  20. Tom, Switzerland

    The commanders are probably right. But it's probably going to fail with more troops in the long run too anyway. We can't win in Afghanistan. If we can't get more committment from the World community, to (re)build the country from the ground up, it is just going to grind us down, regardless of troop numbers, till we go ever more broke as a nation, and have to come limping back.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  21. joanne

    Obama better get off the pot and listen to whta their saying.If we need troops there,send them,my goodness ,us americans are already being threatened and obams worried about health reform,i don't believe he really gives a rats you know what about our safety or well being, he only cares about spending more money then the united states has and not listening to what the people are saying, send more troops, keep us safe,don't let another 9/11 happen again.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  22. Sam in Los Angeles, CA

    Send more troops and finish the job.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  23. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    In Afghanistan, we are fighting against the people that actually attacked us, and those that gave them safe harbor. If we need more troops to get the job done, then lets get them in there. Use the Powell Doctrine as your guideline.......go in with overwhelming force, get the job done, then get the heck out.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  24. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, what mission are they talking about? Al Quaida is no longer a viable force and the Taliban are simply local factions trying to run the country along tribal lines as they always have in opposition to the paid puppet government under President Karzai. Obama should say no to more troops because unless the U.S. pays off every Taliban warlord, the surge won't work. After Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, I'm surprised that the current U.S. commanders have learned nothing from history. Obama has a chance to put an end to this fiasco.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  25. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    It appears we don't have enough troops to commit to Afghanistan. They just can't keep sending the same troops back into combat over and over again, that’s cruel and unusual use of manpower. Bring the troops home Mr. President.
    Somewhere we are going to have to stop spending trillions on nation building, and start rebuilding a crumbling infrastructure, saving a disappearing middle class, and stop those few who choose to let us become a third world society because of their greed and profit. United we aren't, divided we are.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  26. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    He needs to listen to his men on the ground. He needs to understand the strategy and the committment needed and make it happen. This is not a phony war against the spread of communism. This is a war against people who have declared war on us by attacking and killing thousands of our citizens, and it needs to be followed through.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  27. Kirk (Apple Valley, Minnesota)

    President Obama should do what his predecessor totally failed to do, totally commit to wiping out al Qaeda and the Taliban not only in Afghanistan, but in the world and either capture or kill or confirm killed Osama bin Laden! Afghanistan would be but a footnote in the history books had not George "I'm a moron" Bush decided to attack a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, was keeping a lid on Iran and, with just a little bit of intelligence (sadly lacking in the Bush administration), no weapons of mass destruction.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  28. george

    The war in Afghanistan was lost the day we left Afghanistan , and shifted our soldiers who were fighting in Afghanistan into Iraq to fight a war of choice. If we didn't learn anything from the Afghan-Russian War except that the Russians pulled out, and conceded it a loss, and that is what I think we should do before we give them any more blood from our precious young people. THis is not our war since the only reqason that we are there is to find Bin laden, and he has long been gone.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  29. Terry, Chandler AZ

    A one word repley : Viet Nam

    September 21, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  30. David from Mount Pleasant SC

    I'd say, "Let it fail," and bring our troops home. My overriding concern here is that we're comparing apples to cumquats instead of apples to apples. How in the world do we expect to influence a government that passes a law making it legal for a husband to deny his wife food if she doesn't give him sex? Or turn the tide on the massive opium trade, plus clean corruption out of what appears to be an extreemly corrupt government? The simple fact is that we're NOT going to make Afganistan's society mirror ours, and the best thing we could do is to save American lives and treasure by recognizing that very simple fact. I would issue a stern warning, though. "You attack us again, or allow a culture to develop that supports that attack, then duck. We're done playing in your part of the world and if you still want to play the martyr then we'll be more than happy to accomodate you."

    September 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  31. G. Johnson in Shreveport La.

    I am almost 66 years old,but I guess I am not very well-informed.I do not understand what business we ever really had in any of those wars-except WWII.Young people continue to fight and die and America continues to spend billions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.What in the world are our "goals" anyway?Bring them all home now.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  32. Jim Bailey

    Do some research, find out what the military wanted to do in Afghanistan before George the Lesser started his 'Operation Barbarossa' in Iraq and use that as a starting point.
    Oh, and ignore the Afgan/Pakistan border...Taliban and Osama do so we get to as well.
    Of course we could do like Nixon did, declare victory and leave.
    Cripple Creek CO

    September 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  33. Rick Medina,OH


    We need to put all the money right here ... at home in the U.S.A. We need to create borders that only an idiot would attempt to breach. We need to spend all the billions currently wasted in Afghanistan and Irag ... right here, and stop killing our young people in the process.

    Isolationism, Jack, wasn't really a bad idea!

    Rick, Medina, OH

    September 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  34. Bob White, Kansas

    It's back to square one! We still do not have a definition of "winning" in Afganistan (or Iraq). The President must cause the definition of (1) our objective(s), (2) our time limits, and (3) our success indicators. Why are we spending all this time, all these lives and all this money? Is it still someone else's oil?

    September 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  35. Terry from North Carolina

    We should get the hell out of Afghanistan as soon as possible, thats the answer. We made the same mistake in Vietnam, every time Westmorland asked for more troops we gave him whatever he asked for.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  36. ken

    The so called commanders were not elected, I don't really care what they say. They are commanders only because we have a war going on in afghanistan. If we bring the troops home they will no longer be commanders, and they can get jobs as military analysts.
    This is goundhog day all over again. We have heard all the reasons before about why we should stay or why we should leave. If more troops are needed to defend afghanistan then karzai should provide the troops by drafting and training afghans.
    The liberal congress is planning to spend another 228 billion this year for afghanistan and iraq just to prove they are not weak on defense.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  37. Birddog in Mississippi

    First off, this decision should not be made hastily, and that's what you seem to be saying when you say the administration can't 'equivocate'. For six years in Iraq, there was no equivocation on the part of the Bush administration - it was "stay the course." The policy of having a small fighting force in place didn't change until the 2006 elections made it plain that the American people were sick and tired of not changing a strategy regardless of whether it was working or not. Even with troops and resources, we still may not "win" in Afghanistan. This is the question that the administration needs to consider carefully before committing more troops. It is preferable that they continue to evaluate this question at every step of the way - rather than just sending in more and more troops.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  38. HB Eckmann

    When will the US begin to understand that we are not in this alone! Or are we?
    Where are our allies when we need them
    Our health care issues are more important then fighting another war halfway around the world
    What is our clear mission?

    September 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  39. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Give all the generals some nice medals and make them spend some time with the loved ones of the troops who were killed and a few months working at a VA hospital. It doesn't matter if we succeed in Afghanistan or Iraq except to those who are profiting from the wars. Terrorists are crimminals who plot to murder people. Terrorism is a police problem. Let's get out of that region, let the hundreds of factions fight each other, and properly fund the FBI, State , local police agencies,and the Border Patrol so they can arm themselves with the latest crime fighting tools and plug the holes in our border. We will stop illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and terrorists all at once.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  40. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Dear Jack
    the Afghan region has never been conquered militarily or governed successfully. This has been true from the time of Alexander The Great down to the present day. There are limits to power even in the 21st Century. It's time to turn mother's picture to the wall and get the heck out of Dodge.

    Pablo in Arlington, Texas

    September 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  41. Denis Duffy

    Get out now. The Afghan government is a cesspoll of corruption, just like ours. Their biggest cash crop is opium. They are not a nation, just an assembly of crooked tribal leaders. When will we ever learn.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  42. JaneE

    First define victory. Then define the strategy that will achieve it. Then define the resources needed to implement the strategy. 1000 doctors and teachers might be more effective than 50000 infantrymen. But it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  43. JoAnn

    look Jack, you are a real guy and understand plain talk. Obama has tried oppeasement and he has to cow tow to his far left liberal base, but the truth is, history tells us -LISTEN TO THE GENERALS. Now , if I had it my way, I would take our troops out of Afganistan, keep some operatives in there and bomb the hell out of them when we get good information. The problem is, they will attack us here in America again when we withdrawl and we look like cowards by taking our troops out. That's just the way the militant terrorist islamic extremists will see us. Obama is in a pickle..a couple of them. Bottom line for him, the American people, even the ones who voted for him don't trust him. He lied to us and so he will lie again. I'm pissed off about the 1.00 cig tax. I thought he wasn't going to raise taxes on the middle class. Just who does he figure that hurt? And don't don't bother giving me the argument about higher health care costs unless you are prepared to raise taxes on those who engage in promiscuoius sex as std's, aids and unwanted pregnancies also increase our health care as well as other costs. Bush was right..this cat doesn't have a clue about what to do.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  44. Jay in Texas

    President Obama should declare victory and pull all of our troops out of this illegal war. We've accomplished what we originally set out, supposedly, to do. That is we removed the Taliban from power and set up another government.
    Brownwood, Texas

    September 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  45. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Jack there are situations in life that are Win/Win, Win/Lose and so on. To me it's time to cut our loses and accept this would be a Lose/Lose if we send more troops. And sometimes there is victory in surrender.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Diane/Allentown PA

    OK, we're not sending any more troops, so come on home.

    Let's call it a day over there already. Enough. Haven't we learned anything?

    September 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  47. Ed'sKate

    Tell them to shove it. Bring our men and women home.
    The war in Iraq is what has caused the failure in Afghanistan. We never should have gone into Iraq. We should have stayed the course in finding Al Queda in Afghanistan. Now it is nothing but a farce trying to fight the Taiiban/Al Queda who have had such a headstart in hiding on the border of Pakistan.
    It all has just proved that OIL was the main factor for going into Iraq not WMD"s etc. If we had stayed on course going after Al Queda maybe we would have captured Ben Laden and his cohorts and there would be peace now. My thoughts and prayers go out to all our service men and women who are fighting a war that should have been over 8 years ago. My most sincere heartache is for all the permanent injured military personnel and the families of the men and women who have given their lives in both Iraq and Afghanistan because of the stupidity of the people in charge of our country in 2001 and up to this past January 20th. With any luck those responsible for all of this mess will be brought to justice for their horrible lies and greed.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  48. GWTripp

    You hit it on the head, Jack. We need to either commit enough troops to get the job done, more than we committed in Iraq, or we should immediately develop an exit strategy and get our troops safely home. Pulling our troops out does not keep us from making surgical strikes against Al Qaida strongholds or from pressuring the Taliban into giving up their narcotics trade. We still need to keep America safe.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  49. Carol - Fort Worth Texas

    With all our problems at home needing solutions which involves mega money commitment, Afghanistan is surely not worth other American lives. With our increased vigilence to terrorism, our borders are safer.–not perfect but better. Yes, we should have gone to war in Afghanistan, but we failed when we turned to Iraq. We lost the edge that we had. It's an impossible war to win as shown by the many conquerors stretching back to Alexander the Great who have tried to conquer Afghanistan and failed. What does it mean to win? What do we do then? If we defeat Al Quaeda, how do we insure that they won't just reemerge as they have done in the past few years? Are we prepared to stay there from now on? I just think it's an unwinable war , and our resources should go to our immediate problems on the "home front."

    September 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  50. Lou from North Carolina

    Listen! We have a learning problem. Russia didn't do it. We didn't do it when we KNEW the 9-11 idea came from them. NOW we want to make them into 21st Century. It is time WE came home and let them ASK for help. WHY do we forget so fast? WE need to get well. Send our military people to our borders. Something isn't right with this picture.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  51. ben stockton, calif

    the war in afganistan is a no win situatiion. good red army could not win there and neither will we. all we are doing is putting more money into that sinkhole and killing or severely maiming our troops.. i see no end to this war at all. obama may be getting some bad advice from top brass people. some of these generals, commanders , advisors sometimes think that war is the answer.. ever heard of carpet bombing.. that may be the way to go.. totally destroy the poppy fields and the revenue goes away. bring the troops home station them on our borders, airports, waterways etc to improve our homeland security

    September 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  52. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Jack the president has two choices and only two. He can commit the resources that the commanders say they need to the fight or he can deny these resources and loose both the support of the troops in the field and that of the American people. Even though Americans do not particularly want our troops in Afghanistan to begin with they want even less for our troops to not have what they need to fight this war. Especially a war that has no definable way to ascertain when we have either won or lost.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  53. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Sacrificing more living for our dead is a tragic mistake. We can do nothing without the support of the Afghan and American people. Once we no longer occupy Afghanistan we will be in a position to win support in arresting Bin Laden.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  54. BILL, WI

    The military says they need more troops to do the job the government ordered them to do. The leading Democrats in the Senate and the House say the war is already lost and have resorted to the same rhetoric they used with Bush starting in 2005. Presidents Obama's electoral base is against the war in Afghanistan. That is two against one the outcome is predetermined so why wait any longer.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  55. Philip

    The war is lost, the only troopers needed in Kabul right now are the one who will fly the helicopters off the roof of the American Embassy.

    Not one American died for a cause or to keep America safe. They continue to die because the big shots the Generals and Commanders don't want to be the one who "lost" that's for the "next guy" to explain.

    Stop saying that they died to keep us safe, they didn't, they died because a wacko President sent them there to prove some, no one knows what anymore.

    Support the troops, bring them home alive.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  56. The Broker.

    "Failure Within." You could take 1000,000, and still lose. You'd have to leave sometime

    September 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  57. Allen L Wenger

    The mission is going to fall apart with or without more troops. Our attempt at nation building will, in the long run, fail there and in Iraq. Let's get the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, England, and Japan. If they were home, they would be safe and spending their money to boost our enemic economy.

    Mountain Home ID

    September 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  58. Dan, Chantilly VA

    We're facing an enemy that is never going to surrender and can not realistically be defeated by force. And since the citizens themselves don't seem to be too eager to fight back, we can't transfer the problem to the local government. We're nearing the point where it makes more sense to napalm the country into a giant sheet of glass and get back to our own problems.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  59. Vinnie Vino


    Since the taliban's leadership in Afganistan enjoys living life under barbaric laws and rules President Obama should first bomb the whole country back into the stone ages and then he should send in a vast amount of additional troops to terminate these pesky mosquitoes once and for all...

    Vinnie Vino
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  60. Dennis North Carolina

    win the war.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  61. Richard Green


    What does it mean "to win in Afghanistan" anyway? I thought we won when the Taliban were put out of power. [Bush let Osama go so that couldn't be the goal] Now what is the new goal? We had 500,000 troops in Vietnam and had over 50,000 killed. Is that where we're headed? Obama should do nothing until he defines his policy, the military tells him what it will take to accomplish, and the State Dept. tells him what the consequences will be. Nothing...he should do nothing without more info.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  62. Matt

    Find a way out. If we have not learned a lesson from Vietnam where we had hundreds of thousands of troops in country facing a people who had the will to win at all costs then our leaders certainly have not learned from history.


    September 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  63. Sherri-Illinois

    Enough is Enough! Bring our troops home!!. We have our own Economic war here in America Jack!. We spent $1 TRILLION fighting wars in Iraq & Afghanistan but yet we have Tent Cities getting bigger and bigger in CA, NV, etc. No more Troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan is just sitting back laughing at how the USA is funding Billions to them plus fighting THEIR war against the Taliban because they pretend they can't. Enough is Enough, no more funding! Lets fight the war against this Recession and spend that saved $$$$$ on JOBS & getting the 6+ Million people back to being employed again!.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  64. carolyn

    Thanks to GWB, the Afghan war has been underfunded and understaffed because of Iraq. Whatever we do in Afghan is futile with the state of the country. Education and business opportunities are nil. The US cannot afford to continue to pay for this war. Get out while we can.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  65. Conor in Chicago

    Obama needs to change the strategy simply to contain terrorist threats or just leave completely. This notion that we are going to bring the 21st century to Afghanistan is just crazy. So long as we have a contingent there that is strong enough to strike at any terrorist camps as the need arises we will be doing what needs to be done there. Anything further than that is completely useless to the United States.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  66. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Get our troops our of that worthless country before we get another soldier killed. With the idiots over there hell bent on blowing someone up with an IED it just tells me that the people in that region of the world have no regard for human life, so why are we over there letting them kill our soldiers. We either need to get our or made little hills out of their large hills.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  67. Gigi

    I know what he should say...THANKS GEORGE!
    Lets offer those in prison for drug related charges and minor offences their freedom if they will serve two years in Afghanistan with honorable service. Then offer job training or schooling after their service with jobs too follow with completion of this program.


    September 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  68. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Not all troops will be combat troops. This seems to be lost on the American Public. Military Personnel who are experts in Police Operations, experts in building etc, etc could be added to the additional troop requests. This would allow the Afghanistan Military and Police to take a more active role in the outcome of their own country.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  69. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: I think the news media is the real problem in all the news of the day.
    Afghanistan was a failure when Bush left them on their own and invaded Iraq. The real perpetrators are still running loose and not enough effort is made to catch them.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  70. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    Mr. Karzai would rather strut around looking like a peacock in full plumage than train his own troops to fight the Taliban. If Afghanistan won't help itself, why should the U.S. and other UN troops risk life and limb for them? Bring them all home and leave Afghanistan to fight their own battles.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  71. Lucy

    I would say commit more troops. Why? Because I like a challenge and relish the idea of doing something people say can't be done (granted, I'm not the one actually doing it). That, and nobody wants to see his/her country admit defeat. For a better answer, I would ask the families of those who have already sacrificed their lives in this war, their opinion means a lot more than mine.
    SF, CA

    September 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  72. Tim in Texas

    The commanders are saying that the mission will fail without more troops; the real question is, "Will the mission succeed even with more troops?" We have not added troops in Afghanistan since 2002, now y'all want Obama to "not equivocate" and send in more because of the recommendation of one general? That's not even the normal process. The process is that the general on the ground (McCristol) accesses and makes a recommendation, that gets passed up the chain of command (to Petraus and then Gates and then the President. The President sits down with the Joint Chiefs of staff and they consider all angles. It not Checkers, it's Chess. The media needs to back off and let the administration consider its next move carefully.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  73. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    If we had committed the proper resources to Afghanistan from the very beginning instead of getting involved in an unnecessary war in Iraq we would probably not be having this discussion. That being said, if Alexander the Great could do it we should be able to as well. But we have to match the committment Alexander had if we want to do so.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  74. Art Surette

    Houston, Texas.

    Send them.

    Lets try to solve a few problems at one time too.

    Here is an idea from the past.

    My grandfather became a U.S. citizen by fighting in WW I in the U.S. Army when he was around 20 years old working construction illegally in this country. He and his 6 brother crossed the border from Canada. They all took the same deal and were damn proud of their service.

    If we had some illegal people here now maybe they would join up to end this war. Probably we would get 100,000 people to sign up the first hour if the same offer was made.

    Then no one should care about health care for them or their family after putting their life on the line for our country.

    Try those combined ideas for comment one day on your blog.

    Did we not start this country with whoever showed up to fight on our side without a bunch of paperwork?

    September 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  75. Gloria East Bay CA

    I am vehently opposed to our being in Afganistan, but if we feel we must send more of our troops there, why don't we, instead, use the private, overpaid, lazy butt contractors to add or replace our military. They didn't would have so much time with their lewd,stupid behavior. Anyway, they're suppose to be experty marksmen and they supposedly outnumber the amount of the real fighting US military.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  76. Jim S

    Jack, I think this revelation will test the resolve of this government and this country. We now know that we started out with inadequate ground troops and other resources in Iraq as well as a flawed approach. The result was thousands of lost American lives until some idiot figured out we were doing it wrong. Same thing is potentially happening in Afghanistan. IF we are going to carry this war forward, then damn it lets get in it all the way and if we're not, then lets get the hell out. That's the intelligent approach I think.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  77. C.K. of Colorado

    Jack, how is it possible to disband or even eradicate a group like the Taliban, how? Even if Obama sent in more troops, it won't do anything to really put an end to their organization. They'll turn up again down the road, there is no reality of making a group like the Taliban extinct. If the U.S. truly believes that they can terminate them, they're kidding themselves. How unfortunate would it be if the U.S. sends in more troops and annouces to the world we victoriously eliminated the threat? Just when we think we're safe, another disastrous 9-11? What then?

    September 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  78. John H. Dale, Jr.

    The President needs to do the job right in Afghanistan, Candidate Obama "talked the talk." President Obama needs to "walk the walk."

    September 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  79. Faith from Pa

    I applaud President OBama's statement in his interview on meet the press. He states emphatically that he must be sure what we are fighting for is in the best interest of our country and will not just send troops for a show of power that may backfire later on. I hope that he can manage the forces that surround him that believe we should show military might at any cost.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  80. richard a. winkler

    He should bring all troops home from Afganistan and Iraq without further delay.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  81. Steve Canada

    I forget..Why are you there again...Bin Laden?...Ohhhh Yes, I forgot..I have an idea and I think its a good one. Simple, just put a one billion dollar bounty on him and wait. You could use the troops on the border security issue, and the extra cash to fund (pick one) Deficit, Health Care, Education, New Orleans, Space Program,etc

    September 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  82. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Yes Jack, and four decades later, realizing that after 8 years 'we' are at '66 Vietnam, it is time for 'peace with honor' and to bring home the 'grunts' especially.
    Let the general staff put their own 'skins' on the line and stop the 'war games' mentality of the General Staff!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  83. Steve Canada

    Listening to the Commanders tell you that you need more troops is like a car salesman telling you that you need a new car. Have you ever heard them say they have too many..Wake up and smell the coffee, folks..Your Visa card is at its limit!!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  84. jchildless

    I am not an isolationist, but I am in favor of using American dollars to put Americans to work and not for killing more Americans and innocents abroad. If Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq were on the offensive against the USA, we would have the right to defend ourselves. However, if we are trying to inflict punishment on al Qaeda by killing innocent people and helping the corrupt government of Afghanastan, we are wasting lives and money.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  85. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    The generals are supposed to implement the plan of the president so Obama should send the troops requested but also give them a time-line to accomplish their mission, declare victory, and start bringing our troops home.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  86. Uncle Sam in Florida

    The people that are responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center are long gone. The past administration blew it when they got involved with Iraq and it's problems with Sadam Husien.
    The people of Afganistan can't make up their mind if they want the Taliban to rule that country or not.
    Our military leaders don't seem to have any kind of strategy to let us win. If they did, the Taliban would not be gaining strength.
    It's not worth it and it is time to bring everyone back home.
    Enough lives have already been lost.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  87. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The President should factor in the changing situation in Afghanistan relative to a highly contested election; corrupt Government officials at every level; a national drug addiction problem; and the terrain of this God forsaken country and skinny down the mission to be smarter and more targeted to a specific mission. Presently, we are trying to boil the Ocean and that's a no win situation. Let's just get Osama Bin Laden and get the hell out of there.

    Clifton, VA

    September 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  88. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    While I understand what the commander wants, I disagree that more troops will bring an end to the trouble. What is needed is a new and better plan that allows the Afghan's the ability to earn a legitimate living and thereby employs most working age people. Currently, many younger people can not find work and are eventually drawn to the Taliban and their desire to continue the growing of popptes and a drug related business to earn money to support people and their families. If an agricultural economy could be developed I think it would help to stabilize the government and the country. What is most needed is irrigation projjects and a way to farm rather than more troops. If it sounds like I think the troops should be the Peace Corps troops than I guess you're getting my message..

    September 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  89. Alex in Seattle

    Throughout the presidential campaign Obama insisted that Afghanistan was the central front on the war on terror and I believe he was, and is, correct. At the time the liberal wing of the Democratic Party cheered when he said that because it was a statement against Bush's war in Iraq. Now that the war in Iraq is winding down as Iraqi security forces stand up, the liberal base wants to end the war in Afghanistan too. They can't have it both ways. The Commander in Chief needs to listen to his generals and see this through since this is the country where 9/11 was planned.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  90. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    So far, as I understand it, no one in the history of the world has beaten Afghanistan in a war. The Taliban are mostly in Pakistan and probably OBL is there too. The time to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan has come a long time ago. If we didn’t quit in Afghanistan to start a war in Iraq, we wouldn’t have this problem, the Taliban would have been beaten to a pulp. Instead, they are stronger than ever. It is time to stop the Bush policies on war, foreign relations, aiding and abetting big business at the expense of the middle and lower classes, close our borders to illegals, prosecute businesses that use illegal aliens and those guilty of war crimes. All I see is Bush lite so far.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  91. S, Michigan

    Simple- Listen to the commanders and follow their recommendations or withdraw so we don't put the soldiers we already have there in more danger than they're already possibly in!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  92. Jo Ann/Gulf Shores, AL

    I am for getting out of Afghanistan and the sooner the better. The is a no win situation and as long as we are going to allow a corupt government we are doing more harm than good.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  93. Michael from New London, CT

    President Obama is simply leading this country into a continued and barbaric military stalemate. Even in Vietnam, with over 500,000 troops we could not make a dent towards victory. The world does not support our Empire foreign policy in the Middle East. We need to end both wars and create a cooperative effort of peace that includes Russia and Iran as key players. Karzai used to an executive for Unocal. Need I say more?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  94. JENNA

    What should President Obama do when commanders are saying the mission in Afghanistan will fail without more troops?

    Name any nation that has toppled Afghanistan?


    That is because no one has been able to topple them..

    Why should we waste our troops, our treasure, and harm civilians for a war that no one can win?

    The best thing that we can do is to have elite assassins, who we can drop in and pull out when needed. We don't need to destroy nations or its people for a few bad apples. If we did it this way the people would help us more..

    It is shame that when we did have WORLD support that GW Bush squandered it.. Now president Obama must work with what he has to left to him..

    I support president Obama's need for review.

    Roseville CA

    September 21, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  95. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    This a crying shame. Bush lost this war by going into Iraq. Now Obama is up against it.
    There is no choice but to rampit up with more troops. Failure is not an option.
    But let's be clear about one thing. Bush is responsible for this failure. Obama only inherited it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  96. David

    No More troup should in Afghanistan, this war can't be won on the ground period.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  97. Annie, Atlanta

    Let it fail. Without a plan it’s time to thank Bush and Congress for blowing it, bring our troops home, and say goodbye to and let Afghanistan sink or swim. Of course “contractors” will have to find another place to drink vodka off of each other’s bottoms, and on someone else’s dime. Aw shucks!

    Hey Jack, keep your fingers crossed we dont' float away here in GA. No tv, so maybe we can catch you later on You Tube.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  98. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    The president gives the generals the mission that they are to implement. He sent troops at first so the generals could implement Obama's mission to secure the elections and now he has to give a new mission. Hopefully it will be to stand up the Afghan army so the generals could do that, declare victory, and bring our troops home.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  99. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    I'm not sure how much experience President Obama had with military strategy as a community activist or during his limited time in the US Senate, but I do believe he is a smart fellow. When confronted with the tough military decision he is now facing I would assume he would take the advice of his experts, most of whom he has appointed (Joint Chiefs, Central Command, ground commanders, etc). They understand what is required to win a war.
    Since the President has stated his intention to root out the Taliban in Afghanistan ('the right war') this seems like a no-brainer – listen to your commanders and allow them to complete the mission. If he takes some flack so be it, but delaying the decision will be viewed as a sign of weakness, indecision, or worst of all a totally political calculation.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  100. bill rupert

    This is a damn if you do and damn if you don't situation. But, If I were the President – I'd pull all our guys out of both Iraq and Afiganistan and concentrate on getting our act together with the economy.
    I just can't believe that having our troops over there is going to decrease any threat to the U.S. Perceived or otherwise.
    remember Viet Nam and the domino theory? This may not be exactly the situation but close enough to make you wonder. For what?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  101. Dee in Palm Coast

    President Obama should begin the process to reintroduce the draft. Because it is dead certain that we CANNOT keep sending the same troops for deployment after deployment! First, we are weakening our own defences. Second, we are putting our troops under a strain that will, in the long run, cause our whole military system to collapse.

    And this time, the draft should include our daughters, as well as our sons.

    Maybe then the AMERICAN PROPLE will finally have ENOUGH of our wars and JUST SAY NO to sending anyone to fight in these stupid conflicts.

    They serve no purpose. They make the rest of the world hate us. And the ONLY reason the rest of the world does not say ENOUGH and invade US, is because we have a lot of nukes.

    But I believe that is what will ultimately lead to a nuclear holocaust, our insistance on invading at the drop of a hat, as if we were the visigoths or something!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  102. Rosalynd, Orlando FLorida

    Exactly what he is doing now: Carefully decide if sending more of our young men and women into harms way will help the country meet its goal in Afghanistan. Our youth are not cannon fodder they are our future.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  103. Greg, Ontario

    He should find out who leaked the latest document and bust them for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Some guy leaks this stuff and what does the media do? Spreads it all over the place and shows the Taliban and their allies Pakistan that every one of their plans are working. They only need keep doing what they are doing IED's and martyrs and the American media will do the rest. Hip Hip Horray for free speech and freedom of the press. I would expect this kind of irresponsible crap from those liars over at Fox. You can bet the media killed many more brave people reporting that leak both Americans and the people standing with you.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  104. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Jack what a deadly joke more troops or more sacrifices this isnt about 9-11 any more its about fighting another countrys sovernty our purpose ended there years ago the American people are fighting some body elses war we cant end a thousand year conflict lets pull out and drop the bomb if they do it again.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  105. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    Bring our troops home, it's a no brainier. We lost before we got there, W saw to that.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  106. mike ca

    Hi Jack
    If we would have taken care of business from the start here sence this is where the attack came from it might be over now.
    I think that we are much less safe now because of the decision to go after Iraq.
    I say give them the troops.
    Mike CA

    September 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  107. roderick Travis

    I dont think should put more troops at risk when the Afghan goverment and police are corrupt. I mean, we still would fail even with moor troops. In order to win the war, its going to have to start within the Afghan people.

    Lexington, Ms

    September 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  108. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    It seems like your question, based on history, begs the query.."how many troops does it take to win an unwinnable war:? The answer has been what the IRS solution is tending to become...how much ya got ?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  109. John, Fort Collins, CO

    President Obama should listen to his generals and either authorize more troops, browbeat our allies into enlarging their forces, or pull out of Afghanistan entirely. As Commander-In-Chief, I trust him to weigh the facts and make the right decision. In his day, Lincoln would have replaced the generals, but with our current military leadership Obama should listen.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  110. Kathy

    What happened to "whatever the troops need?" These men and women are putting their lives on the line to help stop the Taliban. If they need more help – it's up to us to provide it. Even if it means reinstituting the draft to assure they have the numbers they need.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  111. Diane

    Bring them home. Why repeat history and lose our most valuable commodity ---men and women

    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  112. Linda in Arizona

    It will fail if they get more troops or if they don't get more troops. What they need to get is OUT!!! We never should have gone IN.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  113. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Pres. Obama should REMOVE THE USA from Afghanistan and other foreign places.


    Obviously our previous conflicts (Korea, Vietnam, etc. etc.) don't work, so why do we keep doing this?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  114. The Broker.

    Barack Obama not make a decision he wouldn't like??? Dont you mean. What so far he hasn't done. Tell us jack?? Just one decision Obama made???

    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  115. Kelvin in Canada

    I believe every American deserves to know the details of the war in Afghanistan and not just the President; we need to validate every given report and not continually waste lives of our soldiers; they also have family and loved ones who cherish their lives.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  116. bill from North Carolina

    Jack Let it fail, bring our troops the hell home.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  117. Allan McLeod

    Here's an exit strategy: leave.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  118. Josh from Chicago

    Obama should reach out to the international community. If we are focused on terrorism & extremist, then that means it's not solely America's responsibility. It effects everyone around the world.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  119. JoAnn

    I agree with most that a war in Afganistan is almost impossible to win, the Soviet Union couldn't do it and they were there for many years and so the question is ..is our security based on us helping the Afgan people -getting rid of the drug trade and the taliban. Is it even possible? What about Obama's promise that the Afgan was is the "right" war to fight. What responsibility does he have to the soldiers who have lost their lives there? Is it in vain. Should we concentrate on operatives inside, covert operations and bombing when we have info about the whereabouts of BenLaden? They claim Obama is brilliant. Let's see. So far he fails on health care, but he is failing because he lied to us when he took office and he can't be trusted. Another corrupt polititican playing with our money, taxes us to death and taking our freedoms away from us. Not me, Not ever.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  120. Scott

    I am currently training to be an Army officer. We will not fail!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  121. Soothing Ringtones

    Success equals when preparation meets opportunity. Unfortunately we may have to send in the needed troops to prepare for a first victory in Afghanistan.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  122. Brett Sheflin

    Get out.
    Sure there leader want`s more troop`s.
    There free!!
    Just like all the money,we give them.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  123. Trapper

    HE SHOULD GET THE HELL OUT AND STAY OUT!!!!! The Russians were there for 10 yrs and went home with an emty sack. Put that money to work here in the US.


    September 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  124. Gerard Canta

    Get out! Save lives and money. It would take millions of men to raid those mountains. Hire hitmen, by paying off terrorists to rat and to become traitors.
    Gerard Canta, North Arlington NJ

    September 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  125. Gregory Smaldone

    Wow Jack, way to conviniently leave out Desert Storm in your gloom and doom version of american military history. Also, Korea wasn't an American war, while predominantley U.S. led, it was a United Nations force that fought the North Koreans, not the United States and friends. That fact aside, the purpose of the Korean war was to HALT North Korean agression and SAVE South Korea. Last time I checked, South Korea still existed, thus leading me to the conclusion that we WON the korean war.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  126. Jerry - Fountain CO

    Jack – Exactly what does "winning the war" mean? How does anybody know when the war has been won?
    Quit squandering the money we borrow from the Chinese & bring the troops home. They can hunt for terrorists in Denver.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  127. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Pete, the President is more concerned about al Qaeda, not the Taliban, in Afghanistan.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  128. peter g logue

    fire the commanders.....flag officers are not paid to make policy or decisions, but rather to carry out orders to the best of thier ability....its in the oath of office they take

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  129. Vic

    There isn't any oil in Afghanistan. So why are we there? The Russians got their ass kicked and they had similar weapons and even more troops than we have in Afghanistan. For obama to continue the illegal wars of bush is just plain criminal.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  130. Kevin in Madison, AL

    I think that President Obama should listen to the professional soldiers in the field and send more troops. In a war you are either totally committed to victory or you will most assuredly face a defeat. Anyone remember Vietnam?

    BTW.. His policy so far is to follow in the same path as President Bush. It amazes me how easy some people Monday morning quarterback until all of the pressure is on them. Another case of becareful what you ask for!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  131. Terry - Indiana

    The U.S. Military should destroy the Poppy Fields on their way out of Afghanistan. Without drug money, the Taliban may be willing to give up Bin Laden for the multi-million dollar reward.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  132. Betty

    Seems foolish to fight a battle that isn't winnable when it is easy to see how much we have to lose on so many levels.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  133. Mike in Beautiful Quebec City

    Tell Wolfe that there are other countries fighting in Afghanistan. One country in particular has been in the more violent part of the country for years. I think his comment is a little holier than thou!

    To answer your question: The generals on the ground say something, listen. This war cannot and will not be won. It seems the US trying to win at all costs, is this to save face? Once the dust settles the same old gang of thugs will run the country. They are not at all interested in democracy, they have lived like this for thousands of years. So get out now. The war in the middle east is making your homeland unsafe.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  134. michaelann bewsee

    Can someone please tell the American people what the STRATEGY for winning in Afghanistan is, before we talk about what role troops would play? I'd like to think one of the lessons we learned in Iraq was it's as least as important to win the hearts and minds of the people as it is to bomb them. Schools, roads, hospitals, etc and Al Quada and the Taliban will lose the support of the people, who I believe really WANT an alternative. BTW, supporting the corrupt government in Afghanistan doesn't cut it. Been there, done that.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  135. Mary Anne Hyde

    We should announce that we won, as we did in Vietnem, and get out!Connecticut

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  136. Terry

    We have plenty of troops to send, put those high priced contractors in the battle. Make them earn that money!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  137. Author J. DARROLL HALL Indianapolis IN

    Jack, it's far past time to end this conflict empires over the ages have tried to tame this area with no success. This is like trying to tame Yellowstone in a full volcanic eruption. This area of the world makes the old west of America look tame by comparison, why let another young patriot die for a cause rooted in non-sense? No reason I can think of, let the bad guys come back and then blow them up from the air. Or just put up the cash to make it a welfare state and give them free healthcare which we can't seem to give ourselves under these trying times.
    Send "head on fire, head spinning Glenn Beck" over there he seems to have all the worlds answers these days. Maybe he can scare them into surrendering.... Ya think...? send "Splaying Palin, 'You bet'cha!' along" for good measure, the two of them can surely save us from the camel riding terrorist...

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  138. Sandy

    Canada has lost enough troops there. It is time to come home, and protect our countries here at home. Can you imagine the servalance systems we can buy with the money we save. Their government is courupt we can't win.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  139. Sharon Kinsey- Bellingham WA

    Russia went broke, while trying to take over Afghanistan. How are we going to do any better? We went to Viet Nam after the French could not do the job. It is a time to get out. If the country does not want to help, why should we lose our men? Our country can not afford to lose the men or the money that it takes to do this. Get out!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  140. Vern Hart

    If we are not prepared to win the 'war', we should not be involved. It is unfair to our troops to fight with one hand tied behind their backs, do it right or bring them home.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  141. Renald N. (Bahamas)

    Jack at this point, are you willing to send your son or daughter to die in Afghanistan?!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  142. sammy hajar

    when are we going to learn that no one ever won a war in AFGHNISTAN.we are waisting our soldiers and resources up there. we need to move out of there, and bomb them from air.that would be the smartest strategy.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  143. Todd

    Let's hope we learn from our mistakes and withdraw our troops.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  144. John C. Mc Court

    Well Jack: I think that winning a war that has no end is imposable.
    That said we need to do like they did in Korea Just Bug Out.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  145. Dannie Kemp

    Jack, Do you really think that the Russians will sit idly by as we rush more troops into the area? Especially since we were so instrumental in making sure so many of their young men were sent home in boxes? "Pack your bags boys, you're going home." is what they should be told.

    Dannie Kemp

    Harris County Georgia

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  146. Tina Tx

    Time to pack up and bring the troops home. You cannot win after going after the wrong "bad" guy. Bush let the American people down by going after Saddam because he tried to kill his daddy but what about the 3,000+ that lost their parents when the towers fell? A slap in the face by not going after Bin Laden who is probably in a cave some where in this big world laughing at how stupid we are.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  147. Hardev S. Shergill

    We cannot rebuild Afghanistan in our image. Create a government of National Reconciliation consisting of three top Presidential contenders, Regional Tribal Warlords and Educated Technocrats and pull out the forign forces. Do that now.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  148. Edward

    He should do what he promised, send the troops home. Afghanistan is an age old pissing contest that can't be won. Everyone says they can with more troops but Russia threw everything but nukes at them and lost. We could be there for a 100 years and never achieve peace. Leave now. We didn't vote you in for Vietnam part 3, Afghanistan!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  149. steven streets

    If you really want victory theres only one way left.. buy Afghan hash from the Afghan gov. Sell to USA people like savings bonds. "For Victory".Go back to prohibition after the war is won and done.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  150. Brian - Trinidad

    Another absolute indictment of Obama's knowledge and wisdom.Can you replay some of his campaign ridicule of those who kept saying that we needed to escalate and continue the war?No clue,no plan,no nothing.If talk is cheap,then Obama is the cheapest in a long,long time.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  151. Andre R. Newcomb

    Offer them a $1/hr. raise. You know? ". . . and justice for all."

    Andre R. Newcomb of Sierra Vista, Arizona

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  152. Lisa

    You need to make a decision. Either do it or get off the pot. President Obama is to indecisive. He had a strategy back in the spring the only thing that's changed is it's not working. He is focused on too many issues. Pick a few and solve them... darnit anyway!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  153. Norma

    We just need to get out, it seems as though it is a loosing battle. Literally! Even though it may look bad on his part, for what may seem to people as him giving up as soon as he is, considering the real fight only started when he sent more troops over there a few months ago. I'd rather he pull out and save our troops from further harm, than to keep the war going on for political reason. I think he is beginning to think that this war is one that will never end if he does send more troops. He might just wants to make sure that it isn't, first.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  154. Timothy

    Three failures, goes to show you that Police Actions don't work... There is only one thing that is win a war.. Totally


    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  155. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - George and Dick had their opportunity to make a difference in Afghanistan and blew it - there is no reason for Barack and his administration to continue this needless and senseless war - I strongly advise him to simply tell his commanders, "No more troops - we're bringing them home by the end of the year!"

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  156. Michael n Seattle

    why cbreak the pattern with less troops that means less soldiers killed, we should bring all the troops home if needed put them on our southern border maybe we could win the war on drug trafficking.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  157. Johnny

    It seems that the war has become more political than meaningful at the expense of our troops. I believe that the president is correct in having to wait before committing more troops at a time when this war is not something that the American people truly want to continue. We learn from history let us learn now.

    Marysville, CA

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  158. philip L

    yes, pres. obama should provide more resources. Afganistan is the epicenter of heroin/poppy production, epicenter of the Taliban and terrorism, and the main, last refuge of all middle east terrorists. We must once and for all break the back of the Taliban and terrorism, and bring the security of Afganistan under control.
    If we don't theTaliban will continue to murder schoolgirls by the thousands, and terrorism will only grow from this area.
    We must all be strong in the face of this war, and realize the costs of war are worth the effort to finally rid the world of this very old type war and death. WE must not fear terrorism or death or fear itself. Terrorists have been operating for thousands of years in this world, and now we finally have the chance to pull the tree from the roots. We're too close to stop now.
    We are behind the president and our troops. Let our technology fight most of this war. Bomb the taliban to win this war.
    I am a democrat.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |

    He is damned if he do and damned if he don't. He may as well send more troops, which he will be forced to do like Iraq, which in turn will tarnish his reputation. He should not run for re-election and let someone else clean of that damn mess that should have been taken care of 7 years ago when they decided to invade Iraq instead.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  160. John C

    He is showing he is an indecisive politician. No plan for health care reform for months until it’s too late, no decision on troop levels in Afghanistan. Maybe we should have listened when during the campaign his Senate voting record of abstaining was brought up. Sometimes sound bites are correct. Buyers remorse is setting in very hard.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  161. grace

    how can we trust the commander in afganistan when he is the same person who lied to America about the "friendly fire" that killed one of our football heroes. For me, I trust the president to make HIS OWN decision. So far, he is not a liar.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  162. dave lake mills, WI

    Give the US military a clear mission and they will accomplish it. Give the US a muddled, unclear or restricted mission and they will achieve exactly the mission they were given. In Korea the communist forces were pushed back to the Chinese border, when restricted they achieved compromise. Same in Vietnam, same in Iraq. Give the military an unrestricted mission to take down al qaeda and they will be gone. Short answer, give the commanders on the ground exactly what they ask for or pull out totally.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  163. Bob Horner, Philadelphia

    Add the troops we need, Afghanistan will never be stable with the Taliban opposition still a force to be reckoned with. If the Taliban returns to power then Osama will again have a safe haven..

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  164. Michael in Albuquerque,NM

    We have still not established what winning is. We went in to overthrow the Taliban and defeat Al Quida. Missions accomplished. We wanted to capture Bin Laden, but he died of kidney failure before we had the chance. Now his associates put out phoney voice tapes claiming to be him. So, what can we do about that? Tell the truth! Bin Laden is DEAD!!! Let's pack up and come home. We Won Already.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  165. William Courtland


    Go kill some people: you have the right to use military force in the attempt to arrest for the 9-11 terrorist action. Federal indictment listed Osama Bin Laden... right?

    Mission in Afghanistan: fight drug cartels: fight organized narcotics sales.

    America to the Afghanistan people: your poor, so sit still and like it, and no we will not really help, but if you give us any more trouble we are going to kill you when we assume you must be with them.

    America is fighting a gang war in Afghanistan: and the principle motive in this gang war is sexist of both feminist and masculine authorities. Western females want sexual equality world wide: and Islam requires female chivarly to exist so prevent mental rape of boys.

    Narcotics allow mental divorce(alter the state of the mind): drugs are a threat to feminists who control people with mental rape and with the inculcations that follow: hypnosis only takes trust: and who doesn't trust those people in the same party as them, in the same nation: who have the same outward agenda...

    The United States needs to expand the United States Postal Service to both Iraq and Afghanistan: along with the Sudan and many other suffering nations: to do so when one revitalizes the world with a new modern digital rail infrastructure system...

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  166. Charles W. Washington

    We need to show up the situation in Afghanistan , mediate and get the troops out ASAP . We have problems here at home that are at the criticial point and fading fast.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  167. Fredd

    The President needs to tell his military commanders to tell him:

    1. What is their plan to defeat the Taliban (The military are the supposed "experts" on miltary matters and advisors tor the President. Gen. Marshall, Adm. King and their staffs gave Roosevelt the strategy for victory in WWII).

    2 . What size force will accomplish that? (In my war, Gen. Westmoreland was always asking for more troops, saying that the light at the end of the tunnel was in view, just a bit more troops and the war would be won. Gen. Mc Chystal's words sound like like more of the same).

    3. What are the intermediate objectives and what will demonstrate they have been met?

    4. What is the time line for accomplishing the plan?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  168. Mani

    Unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama is taking some time to assess the situation in Afghanistan to come up with a strategy to keep our troops safe while at the same time working to destroy Al qaeda. In no way is this is simple task and sending more troops into harms way is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Lets all give him some time before we start the criticism.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  169. roderick Travis

    I think Obama should ask the Bush Administration, They got us into this. Even if we could win the war, What have we accomplished? Pakistan is the safe haven for terrorist, look at the Zazi case.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  170. Todd

    Let's hope we learn from our mistakes and withdraw our troops.


    Carmel, California

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  171. Alan Kornblum

    Have you forgotten that The USA provided the missiles that took out the Soviet planes, helicopters and tanks? Had we minded our own business the Taliban might never have come into power and Bin Laden might not have become a hero in the Islamic World. Mayhap no 911 either.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  172. Mel Baron

    In my law practice I represented many ahfgan cases and learned that they had a difficult time telling the truth. There are so many war lords that have control over many parts of the country that it will be impossible to obtain peace with anyone. Why don't we ever learn from history.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  173. Vincent Frey

    Afghanistan is another Viet Nam. It is a qagmire, and any bright 10 year old can see that it is a no win situation. Let the Afghans solve their own political situation. The Taliban military has no intercontinental ballistic missiles, they are no threat to us. We should get out and spend the money on health care.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  174. Infantryman, MN

    It's no surprise that we are losing this conflict. The forces driving the insurgency are motivated and dedicated to the cause. The people at home in the US could care less. When it comes to other countries backing us... it's simply a shame. If another UN country were in this predicament we would likely stand by them til the end. I think this is becoming a true test of who our friends are abroad here in the US. Isolationism is the final answer though. Keep our nose out of the on goings of countries that wish us ill or could care less about us. Stop trying to police the world and we can't fail at it. Help the people of the US before we help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. They need to help themselves.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  175. Marc in Dallas

    You said it yourself Jack. "We have failed to achieve victory in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq." More troops doesn't solve the problem! Although I have the highest amount of respect for our men and women in uniform, unfortunately the commanders are looking through the lens of a dedicated soldier. I think Obama had it right when he said he needed a strategy decision before a resources decision. Think of the book The art of War. Get the strategy right and we win! Something we didn't have in the previously mentioned wars.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  176. Richard Gammel

    Lynn Gammel from Fort Mohave, AZ

    History has proven that more troops will not do the job. We need to withdraw troops and just observe from a distance to see how it all plays out. If need be, we can intervene later with air strikes aimed at areas of the offending nation or nations that are causing problems.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  177. David Houston

    President Obama is well advised to listen to his commanding generals. When they make suggestions, they should be taken at their word rather than perceived as just beating the drums of war. Having said that, 'Victory' is a slippery term and is often redefined to meet our own objectives. Having spent a year in scenic Afghanistan, I can sympathize with the skeptics of Victory in the traditional sense. When dealing with religious fundamentalists (that's every citizen mind you, not just the enemy), the very idea of democracy and progressive thought are at odds with conventional thought there. Nevertheless, victory (lowert case 'v') is still in our grasp if the clear, hold, rebuild strategy is met (which involves more troops) and proper political/diplomatic ends are emplaced.

    1LT David Houston
    Fort Hood, TX

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  178. Melissa, Rancho Palos Verdes

    Another George W. Bush disaster President Obama is supposed to clean up. As much as my heart breaks for the women of Afghanistan, we need to leave. Can we airlift all of them – and their young children – out of this Sixth Century cesspool?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  179. Dan Illinois

    Will it fail also with more troops? Did almost 58,000 men and women killed in Viet Nam prove nothing?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |

    Learn a lesson from Russia and GET THE COUNTRY

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  181. Everett

    I think he needs to listen to his commanders. They are ones fighting the war. We sent them there to do a job. Give them what they need to do it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  182. Fenel Oleus

    If the commander says it's eminent to have more troops to win the war, President Obama must listen to him because Obama had never been at war, there is no security if we don't win this war. Vietanam had been a failed defiance, should we show the world that our arm forces do not have any supremacy any more?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  183. Theodore R. Wade Jr.

    Unilaterally withdraw all troop.
    quadruple predator flights.
    Advise Afghanistan and Pakistan, that the Taliban is their problem and that we will continue to overfly their countries with or without their permission until such time as Al Qaeda is terminated.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  184. Joe Zummo

    I think we should bring our troups home and put them around our borders to protect us back home. Stop wasting our troups in other countries. secure the united states first

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  185. Kevin

    Yet, another Bush Administration failure that president Obama has to clean up. At this point, he needs to provide the troops and get allied troops involved too. Perhaps the United Nations can do their job and form an alliance and provide troops.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  186. mike etesami

    Jack I just don't get this admin. we have over 130k soldiers and equipment seating in Iraq and collecting sands. and the tax payers paying for it and we have our soldiers being killed among the Afgans on daily bases.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  187. R L Milan

    I think the president needs to pressure nato and our other alies to help control the spike of violence in Afghanistan we have enough of our troops inside afghanistan its time for other countries to put up and do there part to help insure nation security.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  188. Susan

    Why should we help a currupt goverment , who won't help themselves. Our young men and women are to valuable for that.. Not to say our moneys that we need so much here at home. Bring them home and protect our soil. What country have we ever helped that likes us now?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  189. Thom Richer

    If up to me, I would do one of two things and they don't include more troops. Either napome every poppy field and plant immediately and completely or pull the troops already there out immediately and completely. Why? Because it is another unwinnable "war." Just as our "war" in Iraq is. However, even if we pull the troops out destroy all the poppy anyway. The crop is terrorists money supply and as long as it supplies their funds, we will never "win." Time to admit we have no valid or honorable reasons for being there or Iraq.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  190. debra

    Best question you have every asked... Im not for war, but I think it's about time we listen to our folks on the battle front. All Obama has to do is watch the Nam footage on the History channel and I bet he'll send more troops.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  191. Bob from New Brighton

    How soon people forget. The fight we are in now is with those who caused 9/11. Bush screwed up our chance to get them 9 years ago and now it's up to Obama to finish it. (Nothing new there) We can't quit now! We were told we would go to wherever they were and pay them for killing 3000 Americans. That was just another Bush lie!
    Clean out the nest and then come home and let the Afgans take care of themselves.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  192. Meg Thomas

    JUST SAY "NO" – in the USA we have infrastructure falling apart , outrageously expensive health care-or – none at all,near-empty foodbanks,etc. Al-Quaida is everywhere- or their same ilk... and endless wars whose justification is always changing OR claims to be able to get OSAMA. Let's wake UP and realize they are already here in the U.S. , in Somalia , Yemen, Indonesia,Germany ,Spain and who knows where. No more Whack-a-mole. Notice how our allies don't step up to the plate....

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  193. Robert Walker MS

    we should withdraw all our troops immediately. as a Vietnam combat Vet, I can tell you, and anyone else that will listen, including the President and our elected officials that we are in a no win situation, and the money we are spending could be better used to help us at home with the economy, healthcare and other domestic issues..

    Thank You
    Robert HornLake, ms

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  194. Jaclyn

    President Obama should be bold and change the tides, withdrawl!
    Heard of the expression "do it right or don't do it at all"? Without the troops or the funds the smart decision is to get out now. It will be a tough decision due to our history to stay.....as President Obama campaigned -- he ran as President TO CHANGE THINGS.
    Go for it President Obama, go for it! Withdrawl!
    Jaclyn, CT

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |

    Isn't that what they said about the Vietnam war Jack. We are just repeating history out of our own ignorance.
    Seal off the country from the rest of the world. Don't engage it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  196. Andrew D.

    Troops or no troops the battle is lost if the commanders are fighting it the same way as when Bush was in power. Seems the squeaky Republican's are getting the media oil. Just give President Obama and his team some time to decide. Who wants to send more troops into the present mess without a better thought out plan? Maybe some of those noisy people should actually volunteer to go.
    Andrew D. Ontario

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  197. eugene

    this "war`s" objective is to prevent al quaida from establishing "bases", or safe havens from which to train "troops" for attacks against the west. it is not about killing off the taliban (who are the same people we armed and supported to help defeat the russians and where osama bin laden cut his teeth). i believe the plan is to "talk" the taliban out of consorting with al quaida, while squeezing the "terrorists" into a more localized area of pakistan where we have a chance to "smote" them.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  198. Dave

    It's very simple. Declare victory and bring the troops home. Nothing we will ever do there can change centuries of history and animosity among those people. Every other invader has eventually learned that lesson. How soon will we?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  199. abdou

    Too much money,too much blood,no more troops,we need to withdraw before is gone be to late.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  200. arturo

    Get heck out.Let tribal leaders slug it out just as they have done for centuries.By the way the Taliban will get rid of drug lords and poppy fields.They did it before.Terrorists .. no problem !!! send a few drones after them.ARTURO

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  201. ken m.

    Dear Jack, the problem is that like vietnam ,all thre top brass in ways need wars it's a way to get ahead in the military, and covers there beliveif in there need to america , big money made by company's who these generals go to after retirement, so the poeple who supply thr wars depend on them to keep them going, have we learned nothing from vietnam, it was the generals who keepth the war going. nothing or no one has ever won a war there , it is time to stop this sham and the killing of our young , even they have been the worst victim to this war , bring all troops home from japan , gernmany, every where except korea, maybe put more there since it's our next hot spot. but bring them all home . ken

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  202. Michael

    NATO and other countries are backing out of support for troops to Afghanistan partly because their people overwhelmingly believe that the US Government has not told the truth about 9/11. The US media has refused to report an abundance of scientific evidence calling the official account into question. Most 9/11 "truthers" just want a new open investigation to explore this evidence.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  203. Mark

    We should pull out, if we can't afford health insurance for our own people we should not spend money on these wars and bridges to nowhere

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  204. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – The question is parsed incorrectly. General McChrystal actually said, in effect, that prior and current tactics in Afghanistan are doomed to fail, that the Pertraeus Doctrine must be applied, that the Doctrine will require more personpower than now is in theater, and that we have about a year to save the situation before it becomes irretrievable. The key point is not the number of troops, but the mission they are given and doctrine they are to follow. No number of troops focused on "search and destroy" will be enough that is the lession of the Russian occupation. Insufficient troops for counterinsurgency tactics will not be enough either. It takes about one soldier per 1,000 citizens to correctly apply The Petraeus Doctrine. Afghanistan has about 32 million population – that means about 32,000 troops, but using them to protect the population from the insurgents rather than try to chase the "bad guys." Under those circumstances, the locals can win the war, like in Maylaya and Bolivia, where the counterinsurgency wars were won by "our" side.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  205. Nate

    How long was Russia there? What did they achieve? How long have we been there? What have we achieved? The answer – Too long and nothing. Bring the troops home

    September 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  206. Modi

    Jack it is entirely possible that commanders are playing politics with the President. You say he has not made a decision on Afghanistan which is not true. He has added more troops within the first few months of his administration. The American led NATO mission should take a deep breath and President Obama should concede that the too many mistakes have led to impossibility of real victory.


    September 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  207. Fubara David-West

    Cafferty and others in the mass media should put their eyes on the ball. President Obama is taking a wise stance on Afghanistan; a stance which will make it possible to define what "winning the war in Afghanistan" means. President Obama wasted a few months, by not coming out in January to give a clear mission to the military: destroy the ability of Al Qaida and the Taliban to use Afghanistan as a launching pad or a training haven for terrorists who target the United States. He is attempting to correct that, and he should not allow the military to define the mission for him.
    If you give a mission that has political, diplomatic, Intelligence and military-paramilitary components to military commanders, they will define it in ways that emphasize combat missions and troop deployments. That is not the key to "victory" in Afghanistan.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  208. dave from pittsburgh

    This one is a "no-brainer"....President Obama should consult with former President George W. Bush.......he ordered attacks and occupied countries at ease with little or no strategy for victory or exit ,and still managed to get re-elected by the American public!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  209. Ellery Curtis

    I am still unclear as to what is victory? Even if we were to send a huge surge of troops into the country for some specified amount of time, would that change things inevitably? Would that change things in Pakistan? Perhaps we need to surge in more troops – perhaps with this effort the afgan people will build up their own internal security? I am not an expert, but most believe this number of troops needed would be more than we are able to send? I do not know that answer to these questions, but I do not feel secure in the limited answers provided. Whatever the president decides to do, I hope it has a clear outcome – we cannot just keep sending Americans to die without a clear definition and strategy for "victory".

    September 21, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  210. Mary in Florida

    Bring all the troops home. Our chances of getting the guity parties for 9/11 has long since passed.
    Maybe if our country was not at war somewhere, our economy could get the time to recover. Let some other country be the world's policeman for a change.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  211. Obada

    It has been long said that "those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it". Instead of wasting our resources on a no matter what failing mission we should target our deficits.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  212. Jerry-Dallas TX

    The President should do exactly what he said he is going to do: first percisely define our strategy and then determine how to achieve it. Its completely unfair to blame our Presdent for Afghanistan and he is left with cleaning up Bush's mess. We had the perfect opportunity to achieve our objective in Afghanistan in the first year of the war: kill Bin Laden and destroy his network but our military failed us by relying on air power which has never and will never win a war against a guerrilla army. Once again, we failed to commit US troops to blocking the border and allowed bin Laden to escape. Why was no one court martialed for this blunder? Its a discrace. Our objective should be to destroy bin Laden's network. This requires us to destroy the madrassas that serve as the breeding ground for this virus. If our objective becomes remake Afghanistan in our own image and make our military into some sort of hybrid police force/peace corps, we are doomed to faillure.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  213. judeimo

    Let's face it. The military likes to do what they've been trained to do: fight. They want more troops so they can fight longer. The war in Afghanistan won't be lost because the President doesn't authorize more troops, it will be lost because it was never a winable situation. Ask the Russians.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  214. Tom, Massapequa,ny

    We are fighting the Flintstones time to come home.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  215. Patricia/Georgia

    It seems people cannot make up their minds. Two weeks ago, Republicans were against adding more men to Afghanistan citing the cost and loss of lives. Today, they are saying the exact opposite. The president is not refusing to send men but wants a plan before he sends them. He is basically against war but will not let the men who are there be left without support. He will probably send more men but I think if this does not get better settled by the end of the year, he may think the opposite. I did not believe in the war in Iraq...not a necessary war...no weapons ...too many men died for nothing. This war is different...it is where we should have been. I think Obama takes time to think things out and he will decide when he is ready and has the plans from his people in authority. The 21,000 men he sent have not gotten to where they need to be yet. Let's give the president the benefit of doubt that he is as concerned as the rest of us.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  216. justin

    I don't believe the President has any choice, but to add more troops to Afghanistan. It would show an absolute lack of humanity to leave the citizens in this country to thier own means. At this point we have involved ourselves to much to leave without having some responsiblity in the future of this country.
    If you believe we should leave then you have 0 compasion for others of the world. Yes whats best for America is our exit, but we can not ignore others solely for the benifit of ourselves.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  217. betty coakley

    Obama needs to do to the talkative military what Truman did to MacArthur when he tried to overrule the commander-in-chirf – CAN HIM. We all know how reliable McChrystal's word is – just ask the people in the Rangers about his lies. How he got his job rather than be court martialled is something I will never understand. The generals and Mullen want to use our men as cannon fodder to save their failed plan. WE NEED NEW GENERALS AND ADMIRALS. And we need to stop wasting tax money on saving the Bush military doctrine.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  218. Harry Dickerson

    Jack, there is only one way to be militarily successful in places like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. You have to bomb it off the face of the earth. Russia did not have the stomach for such a drastic action, even after they lost 50,000 soldiers, and neither does the United States.

    Harry dickerson
    Bardstown, Ky

    September 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  219. willie

    Stop, tring to police the world.We fell when ,we went to Irag instead of afghan.Let it go.What do you want to do cut cost or not.Let the UN do there job.2+2 is what.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  220. Ellery Curtis

    Pardon – Correction – I feel "Insecure" in the limited answers provided, not "secure". Sorry

    September 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  221. Mark

    They are like us, what would we do if they were here trying to take over the US of A. We need to start taking care of our own who are dying here and losing all they have do to health problems and the insurance companies and the Republicans.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  222. honestjohn in Vermont

    America has had a great disconnect in the manner of how a successful war is fought and just look at the mess we have had over the last 8 years. War is hell, but a half-fought war is even worse. First: You go in with OVERWHELMING power and boots on the ground. Second: You completely ANNHILATE your enemy. Third: You come home. Period.

    If you can't do it right, forget about it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  223. steven rivera

    I respect obamas decisions,but if he he elects not to send more troops.please bring them home.My grandson isgoing back for his 2nd tour.It makes no sense sending the same young men over and over. either bring them home or start the draft, since we don't have enough soldier. I back our troops up not the war

    September 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  224. Roger Zoeller

    Jack Give the commanders what they need to help fight the war over there! They know better than our president, and congress what is neededn! Roger, Meridian, Idaho

    September 21, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  225. Janice Kirkwood

    We need to shut down our efforts in the middle east, seriously. eight years and counting so many deaths and destruction, rebuilding it has become a huge money pit!!!! I see no end troops or not. We are playing the fair game "whack a weasel" over there. We could do so much good with that money Insurance reform, pay down debt and Make our security state of the art, we could use more special units for covert ops. etc;;;secure borders, "" I voted for President Obama and I have hope that his administration will see the light.....before we are ruined as a nation.Janice
    Jacksonville. Fla.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  226. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, the fact that the president was never in the military himself he must be told that Big Generals are not remembered for wars that were never fought, they're remembered for the wars they won or lost. Jack from Nice Ca.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  227. Tim Brausch

    Simple... Send troops now! We botched this war from the beginning and are now in real danger of losing the real war on terrorism.
    We sent our resources to fight a war in Iraq and let our NATO allies sit in Afghanistan trying to figure out what our intentions were.
    We need to make a commitment to Afghanistan and let our allies know that their assistance is needed to prevent further Al Qaeda attacks in the world.

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  228. Esther somewhere over the rainbow Ohio

    glad to know we are all such good arm chair generals and know the facts of what is on the ground in afganastan without leaving our living rooms to know if we should or shouldn't do a dam thing over there other than what our commander in chief say with the guidence of his secretary of dense and secretary of state and all the other advisors he has. we all sit on our asses and think we know a dam thing. Your wrong to talk about this like it is a game. We know nothing of what needs or doesn't need to be done and personally I think acting as if we do is TREASONOUS.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  229. Joe Rogers in Annapolis, MD

    The mission in Afghanistan has never been clearly defined.

    Originally it was to get Osama bin laden....now it is a very foggy

    description of "defeating" the Taliban, which in effect, is taking sides

    in a civil war type scenario.

    There is no "victory" to be declared. It has been long past pulling out
    our troops from Afghanistan, thus saving American lives and more
    billions of dollars.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  230. willie bowie

    It's obvious that our President doesn't read his Bible. If He did, He would know that this war has been going on for ages, and there is nothing He or more troops can do. He needs to stick to His campaign promise and bring our troops home. "President Obama," Bring our troops home and let God do His work!

    Rev. W. John Bowie, Garland, TX

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  231. Bob Henry Canada

    More boots on the ground will not bring about the stabilization of Afghanistan. Learn the lessons of history and do what the Brits and Russians did. Leave.
    Shades of Vietnam-style "mission creep." Ghost of Gen. William Westmoreland, rattle your chains.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  232. Nancy Hendricks

    HI Jack: Enough is enough. Bring home our troops and do what we should have done eight years ago, secure our nation first. Further secure our airports, completely secure our ports, tighten up the borders. Security begins at home. Our troops and their families have given enough and gone over and above the call of duty. Bring them home...alive.


    from NH

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  233. Allen L Wenger

    The mission is going to fall apart with or without more troops. Our attempt at nation building will, in the long run, fail there and in Iraq. Let’s get the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, England, and Japan. If they were home, they would be safe and spending their money to boost our enemic economy.

    Mountain Home ID

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  234. Peggy Spokane WA

    Jack, he needs to kick the dusr off of the shoes of those serving over there and the kick the dust off his thinking that we are ever going to achieve victory.
    There has never been victory since WW2 because there are no more wars to be fought in the manner that one was. This is a war of mind games and needs to be seen and dealt with in that manner.
    This is an unwinable and unsustainable situation. The money poured into this quagmire should be spent to help the troops and families that have been touched by this mess. Clean up the VA hospitals and provide the counseling needed to these people.
    We are not safer because our troops are over there soaking up dust!. Now they want more soldiers, and they want them in more danger. Get out of the tanks and walk around and die by the thousands!!! .
    Use the money to protect our country using acceptable surveilance methods and protecting our borders.
    Enough already Stop the madness and stop the spending stop sending our kids into harms way on this losing proposition.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  235. david doherty

    Just pull the plug, like you said Jack it wouldn't be the first time we lost and it wont be the last. I know there's people out their that say America does not give up, but what is to be accomplished if we keep fighting, no matter what we might accomplish there, it will all go up in smoke the day we leave. What is more important, our sons and daughters, or a country that is responsible for it's own problems and shows no sign of fixing them. Maybe if spent some of the money that were spending on that war and try an curve Americas appetite for heroin we could do more to disarm the taliban than we do by sacrificing our troops!

    Dave from NH.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  236. pat1

    Jack, I forgot. What was the reason we 're there again? yea, OSAMA BIN LADEN. Why are our troops dying, fighting the Taliban? This is just one big mess. Bush launching a takeover in Iraq to save face for the threat against his father where over 5,000 troops died for no reason. those troops should have been in Afghanistan and Bin Laden should be history. We voted thinking the troops in Iraq would be brought home why are the;y still there? we have no reason to still be there. I think it's time to bring home the troops in Afghanistan!!!! NOW. Bring us the CHANGE we VOTED for!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  237. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    It’s a No Brainer. They need more hands on deck there. What they need to do is assinate Osama Bin Laden. Then collapse his following. The military needs to start a massive surgical bombing campaign over there to flush out all the little vermen that hate America. Any that are left standing, they need to execute so they can’t pollute the world anymore with their radical thinking.

    Ron K. Temecula, Ca

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  238. Karl from SF, CA

    My question is: what would be considered victory in Afghanistan? No one, from the Romans to the Russians has succeeded. Ridding Afghanistan of Al-Qaida and the Taliban will just move them somewhere else. We need to protect our country from attract, regardless of where they formulate their plans. Let’s stop the military war and increase the intelligence war. Who cares where they are as long as we know what they are up to. That’s how we defeat them.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  239. Bob

    Hey Jack.........Obama has his belt tied to Pelosi and Harry Reid.....He won't commit he (like they) has no backbone......We are at war. Didn't we just lock up Al quida in Col ready to do damage again here in America.............My God what does it take to wake these do nothings up. Bob

    September 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  240. Timothy P Clark

    This war in Afghanistan has outrun its purpose and has become a career in itself. No good can come of it and all it will do is drain American resources and cost American lives in a conflict that will go on forever. The purpose of the military is to fight wars, so of couse they will say they need more troops, more materiel, on and on. But somewhere along the line the American people have to realize that this is a perpetual battlefield that will never have a resolution. The only logical course is to bring the troops home and let Afghanistan sink into its own quagmire, which it seems perfectly capable of doing wthout the senseless expenditure of hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  241. Carol Auburndale, Florida

    Jack, President Obama needs to look at this decision carefully. Can we win if more troops are sent in? Or will we become bogged down and be there till we finally say enough is enough like the Russians and pull our troops out. I am getting to the point that if we don't see a big turnaround over there, it is time to come home.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  242. bill orth, racine wi

    old people make war, young people fight them. send the congress to bolster the numbers. result: less war

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  243. patrick sappington

    time to bring soldiers home. why does the u.s. have to run everybody's business. people are dying on both sides and nobody is winning. everday we stay creates more hate for america. bring the soldiers home and lets all work together to make this country a place to be proud of again.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  244. Sonny

    Maybe he needs to act and act soon. Bush wasn’t popular because you knew which side of the fence he stood on and so did our enemies. Obama needs to bone up and make a decision about Afghanistan and not ride the fence to see what is more popular. Or maybe he aught to host his own program on TV goodness knows he is on TV more than you and Wolf. We could save the money it cost for security and travel and pay for health care with the savings.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  245. Ken in NC

    Jack, Not since WWII has America devoted enough troops to a conflict to insure victory. Generals in WWII knew they had to put a massive force in place with a maximum sustained effort to defeat the Germany army. Today leaders feel a few well placed bombs and the coming of our troops will bring this war in Afghanistan to an end. Well sadly, the lessons of Korea, Vietnam or Iraq. have not been learned. We need to pack up our troops and bring them home and put an over whelming force on our borders to secure them and stem the flow of drugs into this country. That is the war we must win. This is not the war we bring our troops home from. If we lose the drug war we will no longer have a home.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  246. Bobby Pesare

    Bobby From Ocala
    GET OUT, its a loosing cause, It's a waste of money that we could use desperately @ home, not to mention the lives of our soldiers. If we corner them there they will just surface somewhere else in the world. Let's take care of us 1st. We have ports, boarders,the list goes on, I really like that whole drone thing, ...nice,nice ..spy from the sky...drop a few bombs every now & then. That a strategy I can live with

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  247. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Hi Jack,

    All I can say is this:

    Dear President Obama,

    PLEASE end this senseless war!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  248. michael yaccarino

    Mr. Cafferty, we went into Afghanistan to get al qadia, not to form a democracy. No western power from the Crusades to the present day have permanently defeated the Arabs. The lesson that conventional armies fail against the small bee sting attacks that mark the Arab fighter, The British, the French, the Italians, the Germans, the Russians have sooner or later turned tail and left, frustrated and defeated. the secret to winning: play on the arab mistrust of one for the other. 2. send on small uniits to hit and run, like they do. For now, ge out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Use themoney for healthcare.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  249. Mike Molloy Palm City, FL

    President Obama made a promise to the American people when he was campaigning for the Presidency. He said "Afghanistan is a war we cannot lose" We will devote the necessary assets to find Osama Bin Laden and kill him and disrupt and or destroy Al Queda.

    Now that this task is much harder then first thought and the decision to put additional troops in is unpopular he is looking for a way out. Does this country believe in anything or if it is too difficult or not popular we change our minds? The idea that we are waiting to reevaluate our strategy before we commit more troops is a dodge. That is precisely why new Generals were in place to provide the best strategy based on the situation they found.

    There is one thing that really trouble me and that is if we don't finish Al Queda off and instead find a way to leave without completing the job, who will be willing to enlist and fight any future war? I am thoroughly disgusted at our lack of resolve!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  250. Bill - St Louis MO

    Barack should tell the generals what the mission is based on their recommendations. For years Bush allowed to military to tell him what to do & that didn't work out so well. The mission(s) keep changing...at first bin Laden and Al Quada, then al Quada in Iraq (which we caused), now I keep hearing the Taliban...and where is most of the trouble is coming from Pakistan. You know, our "buds" with nukes & safe havens for bin Laden. Call it "cut & run" if you'd like, but keeping this insanity with two obvious quagmires is NOT working. A lot of folks consider Iraq doen. It is not. We still have 130,000+ troops there & am still losing lives weekly. Bring all the troops home from both debacles & allow the overpaid tuff guy contractors to maintain our so-called freedom.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  251. Lawrence

    Jack, I agree with you 100%. As a retired Vietnam Veteran with two tours of duty under my belt I can certainly say without equivocating that we Americans must rise from our sacrosanct backsides and defend our country. We cannot afford to take the high road in Afghanistan. We must listen to our generals and fight this war. Anything less will eventually lead to the destruction of our way of life and country as we know it. This will require that we bring back the draft, fight and win this war. We cannot afford to declare victory and bring our troops home. Remember, these guys supported those who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11 and can only wait to kill more.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  252. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, first he should change the mission: there is no way we, the USA, can expect to establish a democracy in that part of the world.. Next he should order carpet bombing of any area where Taliban or Al Qaida (and their sympathizers) are thought to be. Finally he should pull our troops out under the smoke after the bombs.
    Retired USAF, Vietnam and Iraq '91 Vet

    September 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  253. vern Waco TX

    Maybe Jack, what America ought to do is provide support for Afghanistan in the way of training, technical support and weapontry along with some equipment. Our purpose for being there as well as a well defined target group lacks clarity. We should continue to work with our allies to combat Al Qaeda but when you can't pinpoint your enemies in a geographical area, you are in an unwinnable situation putting the lives of too many Americans and allies in danger unnecessarily. In addition, there are too many countries having major economic problems and the monies being spent on Afghanistan and other losing conflicts could be shared with citizens of their respective countries to solve problems at home.

    If we can't show our troops the support and appreciation which they deserve by equipping them with all they need to be successful, then we need to bow out of all conflicts gracefully.While we may have to put extra security measures in place at home, it will be much easier to respond to threats at home and in our allies homelands than to continue in battle while ill equipped and understaffed with a weakly structured strategic plan.

    Jack, I say it is time to bring our troops home!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  254. Wil Jil'bryis

    wesley chapel, FL

    I'm still lost on how we ended up in Iraq in the first place Jack. The redirection of the war on terror needed to happen years ago, (more focus on Afghanistan) and it’s one thing that I applauded the president on doing... given the terrain that the troops are faced with, more troops isn't only necessary it is a must. It would foolish of this administration to not have a divided plan and not make more troops available.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  255. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    Define success, craft an intelligent strategy and carry out the mission with full resolve. Nothing can be accomplished by nibbling around the edges. We need to be ready to make tiny adjustments on the fly, counterinsurgency.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  256. Fred Heyer

    Let's get out before we pour more money and lives down a sink hole. Then we deal with whoever takes over (it probably won't be Karzai) and make them understand that if they allow Al-Qaida set up camps again we will make regular bombing runs over their territory. We might even be able to protect the oil pipeline already in place by paying them a handsome rent which would be cheaper than financing a long-term war there. Even dropping the pipeline altogether and finding other routes would be cheaper.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  257. Pete

    Jack, President Obama should use his popularity abroad to put some pressure on our allies to lend some support–it is not our responsibility alone to prevent Afghanistan from falling entirely into the hands of the Taliban. That said, we should commit as much as we're able in order to keep this situation from getting worse; it will not go away if we, and and our allies, simply ignore it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  258. moe highland village tx

    I'll go, I still have my military drivers license for a 2 1/2 ton truck issued in Korea in 1956...no expiration on it !!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  259. Karen Gordon

    Gen. McChrystal has stated that it's not just additional troops needed but a change of plan – that without both there is no chance of success. I think since we shifted focus away from Afghanistan so many years ago, we can really only say we've been fighting the war in Afghanistan for the last 70 days as we did initially. Given those facts, I think we should follow McChrystal's plan, allow another 12 months with the new focus and additional troops and see what we can accomplish. Otherwise, terror will win the region and Afghanistan will continue to be a threat to us in years to come.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  260. Charles Passmore

    Pull the troops out now. George Bush and Company have ruined our country for years to come. They will need the troops for crowd control
    after the right wing crazies have started another CIVIL WAR. If the G-8
    conference wants to see the future just look around Pittsburgh, my old
    home town. Hey why don't we push for more free trade with third world
    countries. Hello China, send us your junk and poison.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  261. Cory in WV

    Watching all the talk about our troops over seas fighting makes me sick. More and more die every day and for what?! The eastern part of the world has been at odds with each other throughout history. The thought that that will ever cease is a joke. Personally, I feel we should announce to the regions there to whom ever truly wish to live and let live to go to a central point away from the fighting. Then, after a set amount of time for those who wish to live in peace to journey to the safe zone the US needs to strke hard. When I say strike, NOT with ground troops! Just fly over head of all the current areas of fighting and just DROP BOMBS to the equivalent of HIROSHIMA so that nothing or no one in hiding remains!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  262. Venita


    President Obama should reign in the troops and completely withdraw from Afganistan. The cost of so many lives (young)and the impact on their families will be far more devastating.

    Haven't we learned ANYTHING from a failed effort in Iraq????

    September 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  263. Dorothea

    I have two things to say to the commanders......"Forget about it" and "We're out of here". Starting with the Gulf War of the 90's we had George H. W. Bush, the father of "W" who ordered the invasion of Iraq which caused the "nut job" Osama bin Laden to vow vengeance because we had trespassed on sacred land resulting in the tragedy of 9/11. Then you have the son, George W. Bush who lied us into the Iraq War. Capturing Osama bin Laden could have been accomplished years ago using covert, commando tactics. I didn 't vote for Barack Obama because I thought he was so good. I voted for him because I thought George W. Bush was so bad. Now our President is starting to resemble his predecessor and that's frightening. Our only interest in the Middle East has always been about oil, money and power.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  264. Don (Ottawa)

    The mission in Afghanistan was to find and disable El Queda, however, Ben Laden is still at large and is still making tapes meant to harrass us. I say, take out the Pakistani training camps and possible El Queda safehavens, declare victory and get out. However, before leaving, level all poppy fields.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  265. Jesse

    Wars like this have a window of opportunity, and it looks like ours is about 5 years past at this point. This thing has been on the back burner from the start. It's probably a lost cause. However if we go "all in" I could live with it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  266. Donald in CA

    Either go all in or get out. Remember, a powerful country like Russia was run out of Afghanistan. Didnt we learn any thing from Viet Nam. What the heck is going on.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  267. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The Bush administration often bragged about the success of Karzai's government while our U.S. troops fought to install a democracy in Iraq. I think President Obama needs to find out what the Karzai government was doing prior that gave them credit for their success and what's different now before we send more troops. It was reported the Taliban were never in Iraq but in Afghan even though the Bush administration stated they had them on the run.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  268. Marion Sapp

    If I were the President I would fire the general, Declare Victory and leave, letting the Afgans pay for their own defense. I think we need to understand "when to hold them and when to fold them". I am sick and tired of Americans always being the loser. We have lost every war that we have engaged in since World War II. With the level of incompetence in our military leaders we would loose World War II today.
    Marion Sapp
    Greensboro, NC

    September 21, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  269. Terry, Ft. Bragg

    The country should be geographically divided so that our troops are not serving as territorial police. A small force can defend and train a small nation that is friendly to us. Isolation and air assaults might , over many years, keep the tribal people at bay, until they are ready to join and defend a civilised nation.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  270. Bill from pa

    OUT! Enough. We don'tget in these wars to win anything. We are injected into them by the MICs(military industrial complex) who benefit from the ridiculously obscene contracts issued by their governmental lapdogs (see KBR, Blackwater etc.) Enough, OUT!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  271. Jackie in Dallas

    Oh, Jack, be fair! President Obama has made a lot of decisions! A lot have not been very popular. Does he want to make a decision on this topic…probably not, because it is a no-win situation no matter how he decides.

    The majority of people in the U.S. say to get out of Afghanistan, if you can believe the rather limited types of polls done. The down side to that is that we leave the opium fields, the government, and the people of Afghanistan open as resources for al Qaeda through the Taliban. Our troops won’t even be back on U.S. soil before they barrel through. Not a good scenario for our war on terror, our war on drugs, and for the people of Afghanistan, especially the women. It also smacks of retreat, not that we'd be the first.

    On the other hand, staying means STAYING the course, with sufficient forces and resources to do the job. If we do, the first thing we really need to do is to define what that “job” is in concrete terms, something that has yet to be done.The downside of staying is, of course, the loss of American lives, the monetary costs of staffing and materials, and the loss of confidence of the American people.

    See? No-win.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  272. Modi

    The President should continue to be pragmatic. Why do you think that he has to make these decisions so quickly?Jack you are better than that. He is getting intelligence every day like former President Bush. I would rather have him not lie to us while he sends whatever the army wants with a blank check. These commanders bullied Bush and they are trying to bully Obama.


    September 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  273. Phil

    I trust President Obama to make the right decisions. It isn’t just a military decision – it is about diplomacy as well, which we are not privy to. I believe this administration cares about this country and Americans, and will do their best to do the right thing, whether it achieves stated goals or not. For eight years I never trusted Bush or Cheney to make the right decisions for America or its citizens – Bush and his administration had their own agenda that had nothing to do with the best interests of the US, but had everything to do with the best interests of Bush, Cheney and company. If the current White House is reluctant to send more troops to Afghanistan, then they must have a good reason for having that belief at present. It isn’t always as simple as just following the advice of the military on the ground, even though their assessment may be accurate in the military sense. There may be complicated diplomatic channels at play in all of this.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  274. AJ, Potsdam, NY


    Afghanistan has long been known as the "Graveyard of Empires." George W. Bush, et al, started to drain and disinfect that swamp, then almost immediately redirected resources to his own personal grudge – Saddam Hussein. From that point on, and with the installation of a weak and corrupt govenment, Afghanistan's fate was essentially sealed. Now Afghanistan, among other things, is the world's leading supplier of opium.

    Regional nations – and that would include Europe – have at least as much interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan as we, if not greater, and it is past time for them to step up to the plate – and for us to leave.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  275. John R Kelley

    Eight years ago, our job in Afghanistan was to kill, or capture the top leaders of Al Qaeda including Osama Bin Laden. That has not happened. We started "nation building" there and everything looked good. But the Republican administration bit off more than they could chew ~ Iraq and that country does not look good.
    Now, the chickens, or the Taliban have come home to roost and we are not prepared pyschologically, or in military strength as well . This is the 1970s all over again with defeatism pervasive among politicans and the media. A terrible tragedy, but we evidently do not have the stamina for the long haul as our adversaries have and boy does Al Qaeda know it. I can give you all the reasons why we need to eliminate the Taliban and Al Qaeda, but we do not have the stomach for it. These Muslim estremists work on the long haul and if it takes them 50 years, or 100 years, they will endure. Iran is watching too.
    Any softness by us will also signal a message to Israel to take out Iran's nuclear plants. The consequences of this could give us a major war in the MIddle East and sink American economic recovery. And that is why we have to stay and defeat Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  276. Gary In Lexington

    Jack, we should simply state that NATO commit a proportionate number of additional troops, or we should set an aggressive timetable for our troops to be withdrawn. This is not a failure or loss on the part of our superior forces, but rather another pathetic example of the failure of the Bush Regime to get anything right during their 8-years of complete and total incompetence, both at home and abroad. President Obama has inherited more "garbage" then any previous President in our Country's history, and this is just one more example of a fire burning out of contol. Now a hurried and rash decision must be made without any previous plan in place by Bush, because he was too fixated on Iraq.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  277. H. Leon Raper

    Tell President Obama to get the hell out of Afghanastan now . Don't pass go and don't collect $200. Just get the hell out. Kapish!!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  278. S Cacioppo

    It's easy. All Obama has to do is to change the goals of the mission. Then he can say the mission was successful and pull out our troops.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  279. Julius, Moose Jaw, SK, Canada

    Jack, I don't believe that you can have "success" in Afghanistan. The best you can hope for is to make the Taliban part of a coalition, and even then the other ethnic groups there have to have some kind of deterrent to them rising up and taking full control of government again. Afghanistan is a tough country to govern, let alone control, just ask the Russians about that...

    September 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  280. Doris/St Louis

    Our President will do what is best; He will listen to the commanders on the ground and act accordingly.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  281. JoAnn


    IK too support the need to review the presidency of Obama

    September 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  282. Mike in Colorado

    Seems like they are saying it may fail with more troops too. The problem is that Afghanistan is not a country. It is a land mass with competing and warring tribes. To gain the support of one group you alienate the other. This is a no win situation.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  283. Doug - Dallas, TX

    We missed our chance in Afghanistan because of Iraq. There is no support for this war and we have question what we will really achieve in the long term. Once we leave it will revert back to what it was before we got there. How many body bags will it take before we decide to call it quits? The Afghans know this and have the patience to wait us out. They've been doing that for thousands of years; if you don't believe me ask the Russians!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  284. JoAnn starving in NY

    send the politicians there and don't let them come home until we achieve victory. Either way it's a win for us for a change. Now THAT's change I can believe in.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  285. David Southcomb

    George W. Bush purposely and maliciously got America into a war in Iraq that his father had enough sense to pull out and even put it in his memoirs for son to read and reflect upon. A history major like George W., I know our invasion and occupation of Iraq, has been nothing but a "recruiting poster" for fundamentalist Muslims. Similarly, Saddam Hussein, despite his evil nature, was not unlike Tito in Yugoslaviia–namely, he kept the various nationalities together.

    Having said that and all that we know about Afghanistan and its connection with "9/11," it seems that America must "bite the bullet" and do whatever it takes, to marshal the troops and resources to score a victory in Afghanistan and finally hunt down Osama ben Ladin, the "mastermind of 9/11"! Oh, and I am a liberal Democrat and ardent supporter of Barak Obama!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  286. Gatorfan

    I think Obama is spot on. We went there to get Al Qaeda and got side tracked with Iraq. Afghanistan needs to step up for their own country. We need to get Bin Laden

    September 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  287. Chad from Los Angeles

    Take the troops out of Iraq and put them in Afghanistan, give the govt and their military some final training and a timetable with set goals to become a secure nation on their own.

    If they can't meet the deadlines, get out!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  288. George Kennard

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Blitzkrieg – Lightning War! Blitzkrieg – Lightning War ! Blitzkrieg – Lightning War! This means lots and lots and lots more troops and resources sent to Afganistan, NOW! This hesitation to “make a decision” about this matter is one of the few things I don’t like about President Obama. Our presidence in Afganistan if justified. Remember, 911? Let's accomplish the mission, allow the Afgan's to have there deserved democracy, and then get out of there and come home. We will leave behind a democratic friend in the Middle East. The Afgan men, women, and children are really a good and resonable people geneerally open to becoming a type of democracy so there cheldren will have a future.

    –George (African American) in southeast Texas

    September 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  289. Jonathan Tranter - Toronto, Canada

    Unless the troops being requested are troops of teachers and construction workers to build schools and give any form of hope to the people of Afghanistan, then there is no point in sending in more guns. The Talban has been fighting and winning the war by targeting the hearts and minds of the Afghanistan people. Until we take the fight there, they/we have no hope of seeing the people gain any true freedom. Take a lesson from history America, in this instance, the pen will be mighter than the sword.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  290. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    The war in Afghanistan is to make sure Al-Qaida does not come back to Afghanistan (as long as we are also on their tail elsewhere) while providing the Afghan army more training to defend their own country! Many are tired after eight years but there is a need for an extra push as long as we are clear with the American people!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  291. robert

    We have the tiger by the tail . If we let go it will bite us .
    We should have known better after the Soviet failure.
    Our treasure and their blood ( mostly ) waisted . If we leave now and the Talaban come back they will kill those that tried to help us. We are truley in a tough spot..

    September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  292. JoAnn starving in NY

    to win we would have to change the hearts and minds of the taliban, impossible without throwing alot more of our money and I'm sick of sending our tax dollars to other countries. Look at what the federal government is doing to the farmers in California. They shut off their water supply and they can no longer farm. To hell with other countries. Close our borders and bomb the hell out of nay country that bothers us.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  293. Tony in Nashville,TN

    I'd ask..what the hell IS the misson really???? If it's to keep that idiot in a gave, we are doing it at 3 Billion a month, if it's to get people killed, we are doing it at 3 Billion a month, if it's to keep us safer...it is not, sadly at still 3 Billion dollars a month and a lot of broken parents hearts.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  294. Anna in Chicago

    More troops will not win the war. We need to get rid of all contractors that we pay in Afghanistan and hire local people to rebuild their country. People that work and see better life do not build boms.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  295. Wm in PA

    The President might explain that we have no national security threat arising in or from Afghanistan.
    We need to bring all our personnel, military and mercenaries home. If Afghanistan wants to send troops to the US for training, well and good. Try and get visas for that! That would tell us how much we trust them.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  296. noreen

    Sure send more troops that haven't had good training and kill more of your ppl. When all is done those countries will go back to the way they were before outsiders invated their countries to tell them how to live. Suddam told Bush you might get in but you won't get out. That will all change look at it already in iraq, things getting back to the way they were all the States are doing is pushing them into other countries and starting trouble all over. You gonna go into Pakistan next?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  297. Roy Oberholtzer

    WE ARE BROKE we can't afford this operation! Get our troups out of their before any more get maimed or killed.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  298. Kelcee

    this country is truly a "shining city on a hill" leading by example and providing hope not only to our own citizens but to people all around the world. The freedoms of our land enable our people to reach out across boundaries and cultures to inspire peoples to see each other as a part of a global community. We need to protect that.. but also stand on the ideals the made this nation possible. I read this article wanting to say let's try to end this as soon as we can.. but I think instead, I find myself hoping to be able to trust in the wisdom of our leaders to protect our nation.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  299. Kelcee

    anything is possible, I know the cultures of that part of the world seem obscure to most americans.. they are rooted in ancient cultures that seem to be all tangled in their present form.. but if one can really see past the cultural barriers, you will see that they are an incredibly gracious and hospitable people and among the most humane in the world. To help them establish a democracy and help their people find their own voices would be a historic turning point for the better.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  300. stan calif

    Hi Jack. This so called war is a lose lose situation.The corrupt govt and lack of commitment by the people make the job impossible. The USSR went broke fighting there and so will the USA. Get out while the getting is good. Bring the troops home and shore up our own country and fix our infrastructure.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |