October 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

White House says leaving Afghanistan is not an option. What are U.S.'s options?


A U.S. Marine points his rifle at Afghan men ordered to raise their arms to show they're not carrying explosives in Farah Province, southern Afghanistan. (PHOTO CREDIT: DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Tomorrow marks eight years since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Eight years and 865 U.S. troops killed - and the Obama administration now says leaving is not an option. With both violence and troop deaths on the rise - this White House is caught up in a rather public discussion about what to do next.

They're playing down reports of divisions over strategy among members of the administration; but some of these disagreements seem hard to ignore. The top U.S. commander, Stanley McChrystal, has made no secret of his opinion that more troops are needed - perhaps as many as 40,000 - or else the mission will fail.

Others - like V.P. Joe BIden - want fewer U.S. troops targeting only al Qaeda, along with more training of Afghan troops and increasing Predator drone strikes.

McChrystal has said this approach would lead to "Chaos-istan" and that he wouldn't support it. So much for everyone being on the same page. It's no wonder Defense Sec. Robert Gates is calling on all military and civilian leaders to keep their advice to the president private...

Meanwhile, President Obama has said he needs time to meet with advisers to figure out the best way forward... and today he's talking with a group of bipartisan congressional leaders to get their opinions.

As for the American people - it doesn't seem like there's much of an appetite for this conflict. A recent poll shows support for the war in Afghanistan hit a new low of 39-percent.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan, the White House says leaving is not an option. What are America's options?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Gretchen from Denver writes:
I guess we could leave Afghanistan, but when I think about the women and children who are being persecuted and murdered by the Taliban, I feel like we should fight for them. When I see the decisions that our president has to make, my every day stress seems really trivial.

Tom from Hiawassee, Georgia writes:
We have no options. Options imply choice and it seems at this point our only "choice" is to stay long enough for them to stabilize their government and their society, regardless of how long it takes or how many American lives are lost. We should have learned from the Russians. We didn't, so here we are once again embroiled in an un-winnable war, fighting for a cause that is un-definable.

T. from Texas writes:
If the president says leaving is not an option, I say Afghanistan is fast becoming "Obama's War." He should listen to Joe Biden, the sensible voice, but apparently the White House is not prepared to do so.

Tom from Pennsylvania writes:
Afghanistan is not a nation-state, but a collection of warring tribes recently removed from the Stone Age. Its borders are determined by its neighbors. Its major exports are narcotics and Islamic fundamentalism. Their life expectancy and literacy are among the lowest globally. Women, comprising half the population, are treated as third-class members, less valuable than camels. As for America's options, how about declaring victory and abandoning that hell-hole?

Jill writes:
Shut down some of the bases in western European countries and reallocate the resources to Afghanistan.

Joan from Burlington, Vermont writes:
I honestly wish I had an answer to this question. My country has been at war my whole life long and not one of those wars has improved the state of this world one iota. It seems wars are good for business and so they go on.

Filed under: Afghanistan • United States
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Casey

    If the White House says leaving is not an option, then I guess that means America's option is not leaving. I don't really understand the point of this question. The White House makes the decisions, not the American people. Like it or not, our opinions don't really matter and since none of us are foreign policy experts, they shouldn't.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  2. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Well Obama and the rest of the ones in the White House may just be in there for one term, I think the people will have the final say, probably in 2012.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  3. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    How many meetings does the President have to take with his advisers in this matter? The American people want out of this ridiculous war. Vice-Presient Biden is correct. Train the Afghanians to fight for themselves and bring in the drones. Take our soldiers out of there, period!

    October 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  4. Roy

    Well, don't do whatever Ghengis Kahn, Alexander the Great, Great Britain, and the Russians tried. Because it didn't work.


    October 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  5. Tom, Switzerland

    The problems plagueing Afghanistan cannot be solve militarily. The country has to be built from the ground up, has to brought into the fold of the 21st century. The US cannot succeed in this endeavor alone. With bold leadership in THAT direction in must recruit the committed support of its allies.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  6. JWC in Atlanta

    Option One; win
    Option Two; lose

    October 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  7. Greg, Ontario

    Pressure Pakistan until they have no place to hide. Anyone giving aid to the Taliban and Bin Ladens buddies should be facing severe sanctions by the rest of the world. The Afghan people must be made to understand there can be no fence sitting. Your either with us or the Taliban and yes it is that simple. All govenors that allow poppy growing should be shot for treason and another one appointed until an election can be held. Last and not least every able Afghanistan man/woman should be trained and armed to fight the Taliban or at least patrol the roads that are so popular for the application of IEDs. If these were to happen you would see the whole thing turn around over night.

    October 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  8. Sylvia from California

    Simple..... Make Afganistan the 51st State and then we have every reason to protect, defend and rebuild the country..... What ever happen to the "good old days" of imperialism???

    October 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  9. Bob Lipsett Sr. North Attleboro, MA

    Jack, for as long as I can remember I have sent my comments to you and to Lou Dobbs, only since checking all comments by your blogg I find my statements don't even make the 300 listed. Losing faith in both you and Lou Dobbs. to think I follow both of you until recently.

    Or maybe this 74 y. old man doesn't even warrent a statment. Where are the good ole days of "Honesty and Dedication". Alfred Khann once told Jimmy Carter and everyone that "Free Trade" (Deregulation) would only work if you had two things happening. "Honest People dealing with Honest People" That Jack hasn't happened since Ronald Reagans "Supply Side Economics" was tried. Just look at the 2008 Melt Down of our economy.

    Our best days are behind us until we are able to reregulate all the Industries these thieves have demolished. Enough for me now, a totally disqusted for working during my 74 years only to see it be given away to other countries. In the next decade our economy will only provide service industry jobs with low paying wages.

    Bob. Lipsett Sr.
    N.Attleboro, MA

    October 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  10. Steve M

    After eight years of being pretty much ignored and mismanaged by a Bush administration that was obsessed with their Iraq disaster, the war in Afghanistan is now the quagmire that offers no clear answers, 40,000 more troops just means more U.S. casualties, it will not change a corrupt Afghan government that just stole an election, it will mean a more determined and aggressive Taliban enemy, it will mean billions more in U.S. dollars to support those extra troops, it will mean that our troops will still be taking on the brunt of the combat while the Afghan Army still is not motivated to improve itself, and it will mean that NATO is not contributing what they should to the war, this is an all around no win situation for our country, and years from now we'll be having the same type discussion but by that time they'll be asking for 80,000 troops, this war has Vietnam II written all over it.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  11. Sylvain

    So McCain was right!.. We will be there for a 100 years. This illegal invasion and destruction of Afghanistan's territory and lives will see no end for as long as there are profits being generated by big industrial military companies on the backs of our brainwashed US citizens.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  12. K

    8 years of a bungled mishandled war started by Bush. enough already! if after 8 years a country cannot stand up for itself why should we continue to incur losses of life, quality of life, destruction of family units, cost? bring our troops home! how would we feel if another country invaded us and conintued this occupation for 8 years and counting?

    October 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  13. David in San Diego

    We have two options: Withdraw now without much to show for it, or withdraw later without much to show for it. The only difference will be lots more $$ wasted and lots more dead and wounded Americans. Think Vietnam, with mountain caves instead of jungle rice paddies.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  14. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Strategy and objective are equal measure to formulate a plan. If your objective is to control real estate then you will likely loose and run out of boots on the ground to control land where your opponent isn't. This approach is nation building by default. The opponent will take the path of least resitance and fight where the odds say he can win. Picking your battles is a advatage the USA did not have in Veitnam. WW 11 was a war where we picked the batlefield and Hilter was forced to defend all of Europe. From D-Day until the end of the war the allies shreaded Germany's war machine at their choosing.
    If your objective is to kill Al Qaeda / Taliban the Biden approach makes more sense. Pick your battlefield and cut and run

    October 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  15. Delia

    Get other countries to fight our wars. We've tried to save the world for decades. Now it's time for someone else to do it. Maybe you don't recall, Jack, but we're out of M-O-N-E-Y!!!

    Katy, TX

    October 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  16. LaVerne e Brison

    Jack: If we leave and all hell breaks loose President Obama gets blamed for it. If we stay and the situation does not improve he gets blamed for that. A war such as we have in Afghanistan is very complex. You cannot just expect one decision or strategy to work. All the more reason for having someone in the White House who thinks before he acts and takes his time in deciding what is the best course forward. By the way, we have been in Afghanistan for almost eight years now. What is the big rush? It amazes me that President Obama is expected to solve all our problems which have been years in the making in less than a year in office.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  17. Sherry

    Jack, vacillation,vacillation,vacillation...we voted for a President that needed on the job training..It has become even more apparent recently just how inexperienced this President is. Our troops on the ground are paying the price. We are paying the price in Body Bags. If we can't win this war. We need to get the heck out. What happened to our technoligical superiority?

    Sherry in Arkansas

    October 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  18. Lucy

    What are America's options? Moving to another country that's not involved in this war. The White House clearly needs a hearing aide because they're obviously not listening to the American people. I personally support sending more troops to Afghanistan to end it, but I'm just one 304,059,724 as of July 2008.
    SF, CA

    October 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Dennis North Carolina

    the only option is to win for two reasons which are:
    1. lives that we have lost in both wars would be for nothing just like vietnam where we lost seventy thousand lives for us to retreat from our promise to the people of that country which was freedom. plus we left thousands if not millions to be slaughter. the big joke is that big business is back rebuilding that country for profit.
    2. the world is watching to see how good our word is which does not have a high rating from past roles in other countries. the enemy is watching and waiting for failure so they can strike again.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Shellie, Texas

    The wisest option I see is to follow the recommendations of Secretary Gates, President Obama and General McChrystal. All three men are analytical, pragmatic and concerned first and foremost with the longtime security of the United States. I believe they will make the best choice in an almost impossible situation, and that involves insuring that Afghanistan doesn't become a country- wide staging area for Al Quaida.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  21. Joe Gutt

    Once again the WH is 'escalation' mode. How many American lives are going to be wasted this time before the brain trust in Washington decides we need to pull out? Will it be sixty thousand, seventy? The hubris, stupidity, and apparent memory loss would astound me if I weren't so disgusted.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  22. Joe Gutt

    Once again the WH is in ‘escalation’ mode. How many American lives are going to be wasted this time before the brain trust in Washington decides we need to pull out? Will it be sixty thousand, seventy? The hubris, stupidity, and apparent memory loss would astound me if I weren’t so disgusted.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |

    Since President Obama took office, the war is worse than under George W. Bush. I believe that both Obama and Bush should have lifted the rules of engagement and let the Military fight it as a war not a police action where the enemy has the Miranda rights read to them. Neither one has taken a lesson from Vietnam. It is no wonder why the Germans want to pull out for being chastised by blowing up stolen fuel tankers and supposedly killing innocent civilians. They did the right thing.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  24. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    For the money we've spent there, we could BOUGHT that rock-strewn hell-hole three times over! Same with Iraq!

    October 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  25. Michael, Kansas City, Missouri

    The United States should get the hell out of Afganistan, for there is no way we can win this war. The Taliban forces are supported by an extensive worldwide heroin trade ... and their biggest customer is the United States! There is no way western democracy is going to survive in the country as it is fundamentally in contrast with the patriarchial system established by Islam. Once again, in the same manner as it did in Vietnam, The U.S. has bumbled its way into a war without a full comprehension of the culture and mindset of the enemy. This debacle would be worthy of a Keystone Kops movie if people didn't die!

    October 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  26. Jeff in Houston

    Not many Jack. America does not have the stomach for turning the place in to a giant sheet of glass to use as a solar collector or something like that, and that is probably a good thing. We also do not have the stomach to go back and truly understand why these people despise us, and admit that we had a hand in creating this mess; history books are real handy things, but American's never read them. Add to all this the most malignant invention of man, that being religion, and it looks to be pretty hopeless.

    This is not an American/Afghan issue. It is an issue involving two sides of what has demonstrated to be lethal examples of two very human failings.

    I wish us all the best of luck.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  27. cy

    If it weren't for an interview with author Jon Krakauer on The Daily Show, I would not know that Gen. Stanley McChristol was the Bush administration's point man in the cover up and distortion surrounding the death of Pat Tilman. This affects the general's credibility with me. Why aren't you and your corporate owned news toadies talking about that? cy arlington, va

    October 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  28. Mandy

    First I'd remove McChrystal. He's doesn't seem to be trustworthy. He went public with information he should be giving the President in private. Even before this his track record wasn't that good – he was involved up to his eyeballs in the Pat Tillman death coverup.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  29. Barbara in Tacoma

    every time more troops are needed there Eric Cantor,Joe Liebeman and the rest of the stupid republicans are out there shooting off there mouths.The oOnly reason we are there is to protect Isral. How many soldiers do they have there.If the republicans didn't make such a mess of this it would have been over already. Instead of sending our children why don't they themselves go over there and fight there not doing anything here but complaining. Give them a gun and a ticket and let them fight

    October 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  30. kwHudd

    More troops, more enemies. More money, more friends. With the cost of keeping one troop over there, we could keep 20 Afghanies very happy and gainfully employed in restoring the country to at least a third world economy.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  31. jack akins

    i feel the same now as i felt about the iraqi war..........let's get outa there and stay out of others countrys unless invited..treat it the same way you do your neighbors...........no one should barge in uninvited

    October 6, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  32. Sue Mathewson

    Get out now. This is a local civil religious war and not winable by us. TheTalaban isn't going to invade us and neither is al Queda. 9/11 didn't happen because they trained on monkey bars or jumped through tires. It could have been planned in any hotel room.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  33. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Leave these poor people alone America is there to get that new pipeline in, but it is truely amazing that after eight years no one is talking about trying to find Osama bin Laden! I hope that that pipeline gets shut down, how many civilians in Afghanistan have to die so America can get more oil! Our country has become nothing but a bunch of thieves, so that we can keep wasting oil!!!

    October 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  34. Jerry,OK

    Jack, If listening to the commanders in the field was the best strategy, we would have attacked Russia at the end of WW11, and China during the Korean War...So much for listening to the commanders in the field.
    History tells us Alfghanistan is the last place to fight a ground war, so leaving Alfghanistan should be our first option.

    Jerry Wilson, Broken Arrow, Ok

    October 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  35. Pugas-AZ

    Leaving Obama and his merry men.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  36. Mark from Corpus Christi, Tx

    My thought is that America and other world powers should INVEST in Afghanistan and their opium production.
    Can you imagine a world where money flows in from DRUG COMPANIES buying opium to produce medicine.Imagine that same money drying up the Taliban and building schools, cities, hospitals, etc...
    Imagine too our image in that part of the world for REALLY helping out.
    You don't need so many bullets to fight this war.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  37. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Our options are simple. 1. Pull out and admit defeat and ineptitude and most importantly keep with the Democrat mantra of "Look at this mess we have to clean-up and then Blame Bush"
    2. Go the Biden route and half-way commit to the effort, because we want to let politics control how we manage the country instead of doing the right thing. In the process, keep of our soldiers in harm's way and inadequately supported
    3. Listen to your experienced military generals who have been on the front lines and know the battle that needs to be fought. Remind the American people why we are fighting and how this relates to their freedom. Then fire Biden's aides who fail to advise him not to speak.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  38. kwHudd

    Note: Please quote one 'US' troop over there, and I am in Tennessee.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  39. Rod

    When the Arabs won their independence from the Otterman Empire, The strategy was to bankrupt the Otterman Empire by causing them to 'over-react' to a series of small attacks. The 'oil' weapon used by the OPEC cartel seeks to do the same thing. The strategy continues to be working well and at some point in time, the US will run out of money to police the world and coherse all other governments into 'towing' our party line.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  40. Dan Miller

    Three things must be true to win any war; they are as follows;
    A. The war must be rational ( in the sense that a careful evaluation reveals your benefits outweigh your losses).
    B. The war must be Instrumental ( the ferocity of the waging of the war should be such that the enemy nation is destroyed in the shortest time, and, the will of the enemy is broken).
    C. The war must be nationalistic( the people need a strong undercurrent in their minds from the beginning so they do not loose heart when the news is bad).

    This war is not rational (Bin laden escaped.

    The waging of the war is not instrumental (our full and rapid destructive power has not been brought to bear)

    This war is no longer nationalistic, as, the will for war was never strong.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  41. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    If the generals would just remember that not even the mighty Russian army could stop the violence in Afghanistan and admit that we probably won't change anything there either, then the answer should be simple......pull our troops out of there before more soldiers are killed for a war that is as useless as the war in Iraq is!

    October 6, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  42. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Why is leaving not an option? We've been there for eight years without another major attack on the US. I don't think that we will do anything much, but stay there as we've done in Iraq, until we decide down the road to get out as cleanly as possible. In the meantime, American servicemen and women will die in a dubious cause.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  43. Mike Armstrong TX.

    If America stays there will be a draft. our military is worn out from over seas tours . Other countrys are dropping out . This war is all about religion between the Holy Bible and The Koran and untill these two religions join this war will continue if the Middle East strikes again then we must strike the country that is at fault and we should strike back hard and heavy no troops just bombs every body gets bombed no more mr. good guy.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  44. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah


    Afghanistan is another Vietnam. In Vietnam we were fighting a losing battle with the Viet Cong. Now its the Taliban, which by the way is not the reason BUSH sent our Troops in there in the first place.

    The ONLY option is to END this senseless war!

    October 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  45. Aaron S. - Dallas, TX

    It's really very simple. If we can't get out, we stay in. And if we stay in, it's like I always say: if you can avoid it, try not to fight. But if you have to fight, fight to win. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are used to an America that is reluctant to commit and pussyfoots around the conflict. If we go in there and overwhelm them with a strong, deep commitment that they aren't prepared to match, we might be out before Obama comes up for re-election.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  46. Melissa

    Jack, you break it you bought it. America's options are few, so few I can't think past leaving not being an option. America squeezed itself between a rock and a hard place thanks to Mr, Bush and it now has become increasing important for America to see this war through. I hate to think it, but it's kinda like America has no choice.

    Love your show Jack though you're not being very nice to Obama.

    Melissa, Toronto, ON. Canada

    October 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  47. Albert K.. L.A, CA

    Jack, there is no option to leave Afghanistan to the Taliban who will allow al Qaeda to reopen training camps like it was on the morning of September 11, 2001, a date which will live in infamy. A quick read of our history at war reveals we have two ugly options. We either defeat our enemy on the battlefield or we turn their people against them by attacking them with weapons of mass destruction.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  48. Marion/Birmingham

    Jack,you either provide the troops our you cut and run,what other strategy is there.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  49. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    If the White House says leaving is not an option then my entire family voted for the wrong candidate. All of those promises made in all of the debates yet I see another Viet-Nam on the horizon and no end in sight. The only way things will change is if the Draft is brought back which will result in massive protests against this war by our very spoiled youth. We cannot win & we will not win against a foe that looks at killing & dying in a different way that we do.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  50. Wm, Penna

    What is the reason we are spending American lives and spending huge amounts of borrowed cash in Afghanistan? Is this war lord led collection of fiefdoms so important to the lives of our citizens or just a play ground for our military-industrial-congressional war profiteers? They were in the stone age before we bombed them further back. Stop the nations that fund the terrorists – Saudi Arabia, the Sudan etc. and we would then be safe but the bankers might loose a dime.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  51. Peter from Canada.

    The view that the U.S. can win the hearts and minds of the people by killing more Afghans cannot and will not win this war.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  52. Tom

    From Hiawassee, Georgia

    We have no options. Options imply choice and it seems at this point our only "choice" is to stay long enough for them to stabilize their government and their society, regardless of how long it takes or how many American lives are lost. We should have learned from the Russians. We didn't so...here we are, once again embroiled in an un-win-able war, fighting for a cause that is un-definable.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  53. Mary in Florida

    If leaving is not an option, then sending 40,00 more troops should not be an option either.
    After that 40,000, how many more will be needed?
    There is no end in sight for a country that is not even willing to protect it self.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  54. Hugh Carpenter ~ Tracy, Ca

    We can "cut and run" or continue to kill or capture those terrorists who would increase to untold numbers, and further threaten Americans at home or abroad. Despite the lack of support in the polls, to abandon Afghanistan would be a mistake, and would only embolden our enemies as victors, thus creating a greater threat toward the safety of the lifes of the American people overseas, and increase that threat on US soil.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  55. Joan: Burlington, Vt

    I honestly wish I had an answer to this question. My country has been at war my whole life long and not one of those wars has improved the state of this world on iota. It seems wars are good for business and so they go on.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  56. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Going out on patrols every day and getting ambushed is no way to win the war in Afghanistan. That was the same tactics we used in Vietnam. What we should do is attack Al Qaida with air power and drones and go after their leadership, leave them wonder where we're going to attack next. Use our special forces to attack known Al Qaida camps and hideouts, put them on the defensive. Nation building should not even be considered we don't have a time or the money.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  57. terry

    Get out now it is a no win situation-or let the pentagon use its own already over-sized budget to pay for the troops and get them from the 2 plus million troops already in service.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  58. andyz Lynn, MA

    Either give the Commanding General what he needs to win or turn tail and run. NOTE: See Viet Nam.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  59. SteveG, IN

    What a sad testament to our military. Eight years, The "greatest" military might has been in Afghanistan EIGHT years and the Taliban is as strong now as it was when we arrived there. What sort of testament is that on our military.

    If we have not made any headway in EIGHT years, what are we to expect? If we send 40K more troops are we to expect they are going to finally make some sort of progress?

    Sure glad we helped them defeat the soviets just so we could engage in our own war with them. geez uzz

    October 6, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  60. C.K. of Colorado

    We always have options, it's just a matter of whether these options work in our favor or not. Apparently, the U.S. still sees our involvement as valuable. It's costing us billions and American's are suffering. What's really in it for us longterm?

    October 6, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  61. Dick B

    In World War II we conterfeited German money to destroy their economy. I think we should start selling counterfeit poppies to slow the talaban's money flow. This option costs no American lives and perhaps will get the economy going as we use old American know how in making these phoney flowers and delveloping a successful marketing plan. This could be the WW II of the first great depression minus all the bloodshed.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  62. T. G. from the virgin islands

    I think that the president should use more drones and stealth jets, and try to take out Al-Quida operatives. With the rugged terrain, sending military troops on foot is not enough.

    October 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  63. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Increase our forces, fulfill our intial plans, then get out.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  64. Ardeene Westvik

    As I recall the Democrats were very critical of Pres. Bush for not taking Gen. Shinseki's advise to use 400,000 troops for Iraq. His testimony was very public. (Bush should have taken the advise.) Now Gen. McChrystal is criticized for allowing his recommendations to become public. This appears like a double standard to me. I suspect McChrystal may be right too. Neither president has ever seen a minute of combat.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  65. Mike from Denver

    At this point, we are in for the long haul. If the U.S. pulls out, the good citizens of that country and all hope for Afghanistan's future will be lost.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  66. Tony from Southport

    I didn't realize that wars have an expiration date. That's great! Maybe those who killed 3,000 people on 9/11 will cease their attacks now!!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  67. Robert, New Orleans

    Afghanistan! Our Fifty-First state! And safer to visit than most of our united states.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  68. nigel

    options are stop playing games an actually go to war,not this new age war,its pathetic.
    a bunch of farmers with machine guns ,holding the american army at bay its a joke.
    im glad we didnt go to war like this with hiltler.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  69. Dorothy Plummer

    From Alexander to great to the Russians, don't these military people see we are not wanted just like our predecessors. You cannot force yourself on them. Lets get out the did not pick up the ball when we had the Talibanon the run it is odvious get out.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  70. Brian

    Are options: Leave, or actually start funding the troops there and THINK where we put our outposts.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  71. Mike, Sandy, Oregon

    If we are going to fight we need to listen to the General in charge. That is why he is there. There is not one politician who is capable of such a decision. If you are going to send in the troops make sure they have the"bullets" to do the job or don't send them.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  72. Brian

    Our options: Leave, or actually start funding the troops there and THINK where we put our outposts.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  73. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The reason that those 8 soldier died was because of a bad strategy by commanders in Afghanistan, they set up their own people to be attacked! Who in the world would build a base at the bottom of a valley, as a calvary scout we all know to take the high ground to have a full view of everything in our area! They were setup up plain and simple by our own people, for political purposes, who want more soldier in Afghanistan!!!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  74. Mark in El Paso

    Of course leaving is an option. It is the only viable option. I find it interesting that a majority of Americans support a war in a country few Americans could pick out on a map. A war in a country that has no strategic value fought for unknown purposes and at great taxpayer and human expense. We learned in Vietnam that the US cannot achieve anything by taking on insurgents in far away places for no specific goal, aim or outcome. Does QUAGMIRE ring a bell? Over 50,000 American died in Vietnam. Could you tell me again why we fought that one?

    October 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  75. nigel, ontario

    this war is in afghanistan is now been going on for as long as the second world war,and all we are fighting is farmers with machine guns ,pathetic.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  76. Terry

    The options are
    1. Lose the war.
    2. Build another 20000 drones and send them instead.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  77. Vickie

    We have the option of leaving, but it's not a good one.

    However, sending more troops to die without assessing the situation is foolish! We have a corrupt government in Afghanistan, and even worse in Pakistan, yet we send millions to them, while our own die from lack of health care!

    How can we afford to hold up puppet governments, while we let our own die?

    Our options are to make Afghanistan accountable, make sure who is in our own country and keep the bad apples out - bet that would be cheaper!

    Oh, and President Obama should read his morning briefings, unlike Bush!

    No troops without a defined objective - I haven't heard one from McCrystal!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  78. Mr. Brown

    ...the White House says leaving is not an option. What are America’s options?

    To add leaving Afghanistan to the list of options.

    Mr. Brown

    October 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  79. Christopher

    If the American support in Afgan war is at a rating of 39% why are we not withdrawing troops? I was under the impression our government was and is a representation of the people. – By the people for the people. – If they are not representing America's agenda, then who's agenda is the US government representing?

    October 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  80. Sam Ayer

    We made the mistake before of abandoning and leaving Afghanistan too soon and paid a heavy price on 9/11.

    The smart thing to do is send 40,000 or even more troops, give full support to our military and civilian presence there, but have a clear way of evaluating our progress there every 3 months. We do not have to invest 100% in nation-building, but withdrawal and failure is not an option.

    Sam, NJ

    October 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  81. Bob Southfield, MI

    Why would we think that if we left now things would get better in the near future? What would stop the Talliban from reoccupying the country and harboring al Qaeda as they did before? Our greatest foreign affairs blunder was rushing to Baghdad and taking our power out of Afghasthan and announcing "mission accomplished". al Qaeda and the Talliban have to be crushed and brougnt to justice to prevent the past from repeating itself. Make no mistake about it – this is a world problem and we shouldn't be left alone by our allies.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  82. Che

    Leaving is an option ... observing and reacting from outside of Afghanistan is one option .. dealing with terrorism using the French system would be an improvement .. the French have a lot of experience dealing with terrorism and have set up excellent anti-terrorism agencies ...

    October 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  83. Allen, Texas

    Jack, the option is "Destroy, Dismantle, and Destroy" the terrorists and to make sure they don't use Afghanistan as a safe haven anymore. If I remember correctly, the Republicans support the president's war efforts, however, they want him to fight it like George Bush. Thank God we have a President that can think and involve others in the decision – making process, not the decider we had the last eight years.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  84. Michael McMahon

    The U.S has only one option in Afghanistan, same option it has in Iraq, that is to get OUT!!! It is unwinnable same as Iraq.

    The U.S needs to admit it was a mistake and stop sacrificing young American lives to save it's ego.

    When the Soviets occupied Afghanistan, the U.S called the Afghans freedom fighters, not it calls them insurgents.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  85. Matt

    There are no options. The Obama Administration – the American people – need to see Afghanistan conflict through to the end. To leave Afghanistan without a viable political structure and an improvement in the country's socio-economic conditions risks an embolden Al Qaeda movement, and possibly more 9/11s.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  86. Virginia Weddington

    Bomb the hell out of anything that’s not friendly and get it over with. Politi cal correctness be damned.
    Bristol, TN

    October 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  87. Mike C

    All I think of when they say pull out of Afghanistan is the Towers coming down enough said

    October 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  88. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Jack, the option that the U.S.A. has is to meet up with the leaders of Afghanistan and to find out a solution to the bitterness between the two countries. Another option is to make peace with Afghanistan. We already have enough issues as it is, WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE OF THEM!!!!! Jack, I got good answers, please put some of mine up on the list.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  89. Stephen, Merrill, WI

    Lets not forget that Obama did not start the Afghan war – George Bush did. I support getting out of Afghanistan but on a time table that allows us to stabilize the country. I'm retired military and that's what we do – go to war and also help people. Hopefully, if we do this properly, we can exit the Afghan countryside with honor – unlike what we did in Vietnam.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  90. Duane in California

    One question Jack....

    Where is the change I voted for?

    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  91. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    We can stay there until we are totally bankrupt, oh wait, we're already there. We can stay until we don't have any more troops to send, but we're pretty close to that point already too! Or we can wait until they chase us out, like Vietnam. None of these are good options. Maybe a second term for President Obama is not an option!!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  92. Mike

    Doesnt matter where the war is, or how long your there for. The fact is, it wont stop 20 guys from causing mass destruction! If you wanna make ANY country safe, it starts with good old fashion police work at home!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  93. Karl from SF, CA

    What are America’s options? Get the hell out. Come home and protect our shores here. Those yahoos have been killing each other for centuries and will still be killing each other in centuries to come. Every effort to control the area throughout history has failed and we are failing too. If we leave they will go back to doing what they were doing when we showed up? Killing each other.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  94. Emden (Deep in the Heart of Hurst Texas)

    It is time to bring the posse back home.


    Enough of our young have been killed for what????

    Peace? Safety?? Security???

    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  95. David A Whitaker

    Jack I served in the US Marine Corps, I believe this is the time to do a sweep through the whole Afghanistan to all of its borders. Come out on the other side finish, and all of those that are still there go back through and finish this war.

    Martinsburg, WV

    October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  96. ej

    Our best option is to win the war. Most uninformed people don't understand what is at stake is more than what goes on in that region. Some say the Pakistan Government is near collapse and the problem is, they may be right. Too much to risk and so we must win, or pay consequences that will cost us more than just our Country's dignity.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  97. Willie from New York City


    The U.S. should and must engage the Afghan populace on this topic. Without popular support and a basic shift in ideology, you will not have any viable options available to you. I would argue that a surge of the type being recommended these days will serve well only to the extent that the people are onboard. While I think our presence is necessary, I think it needs to be carefully rethought so that we can look like one nation with one mission under one vision...not the potpourri of ideas that continues to weaken us here and abroad

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  98. Tim

    We need the extra troops so we can take out the rest of al quaida and the taliban. Also to we need these troops to help with winning hearts and minds.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  99. Alan Wolfe

    We have three choices in Afghanistan. Cut 'n Run, Stay the Course, or somewhere in between. The worst choice is somewhere in between. Neither of the others is very good. Obama has boxed himself in and now has to choose between two unpalatable options. Whatever choice he makes will reflect negatively on him and his administration. He's in over his head and doesn't know it.
    Alan Wolfe
    Tanner, WV

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  100. Tom (Sedona, AZ)

    America's only option is to address as many of the terrorism-related threats that remain in Afghanistan and the Pakistan border areas and leave soon. Unless we want to permanently colonize foreign territories, we are doing as much bad as good with long-term occupations that are misguided by a belief that we can impose political structures and systems and expect them to be successful. History cries out that Afghanistan cannot be tamed. Are we arrogant enough to think that we will be the ones to achieve what no foreign power has ever been able to achieve? Especially after eight years there??

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  101. Mike

    The Afghanistan situation is not a war, it's a police action. We have not fought a "war" since WWII. Either we should declare war on the region and kick butt accordingly...or get the hell out!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  102. Barb

    Go back to the Bible. Send only those who are "Mightly Men of Valor" with the spirit of Gideon. Those countries are demonic and the war must be fought by God who is Supernatural. A prophet of God had told us that USA was no match for Iraq; so the same with Afganistan. Those are the generations of Ishmael. Too many of our soldiers are suffering from PTSD, which is demonic. We need to protect our own here in US.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  103. oshane

    We need to start pulling our troops out of there. Train the afghan goverment on how to protect their people. Secure our country to the fullest. WE NEED TO GET THE HELL OUTTA THERE. I'm sick of the American people paying for a useless war.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  104. wanda simms

    when we went to war i remember the russians and british warned us that we could not win in that country. a friend of mine never spoke to me again when i told him just that. i wish we could bring our and my grandsons home and never threaten these people again.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  105. Peter

    I think the US should do what China and Russia do, and what Great Britain did in the past. If you want to change the country you change it with immigrants. Make an agreement with the Afghan government to accept resettlement camps for illegal americans. Then ship all the illegal immigrants in America to Afghanistan. There are 25 million illegal immigrants in America and only 28 million Afghans. Give the border jumpers a gun, a plot of land, and tell them if they can make a go of it for 5 years they can come back and be American citizens. This will solve several problems. It will give the Afghans a new target, it will give border jumpers a new home, and illegal immigration to the US will slow down once they realise where they'll end up.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  106. OC

    Send those fourty thousand troops to safeguard our boarders.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  107. Bill J

    Do we want to remain a world power? Then let's be one. Level the mountains of Afghanistan to the sea. We'll be out of there in two weeks. Then ask Iran...What do you want to do?
    Didn't our military experts learn anything from Vietnam?
    I love peace, but if you're dealing with irrational people, then do what needs to be done to stop this chaos!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  108. JoyfromTN

    We took our eye off the ball and allowed terrorist groups to grow stronger in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thus, I agree with the president that "bailing out" is not an option–we must protect the United States. The only way to do this is to take away safe havens for terrorist groups. The technique to accomplish this takes far greater minds and experience than most of us have. So, I say "trust our president to make the best decision."

    October 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  109. Carrie

    Get out-bring all of our Men & Women home-that area has been fighting among themselves for over 2000 years-what makes us believe we can change anything! As a Proud Mother of a Son who serves in the USMC-I have seen the detrimental effects of 3 tough deployments in 4 years. These deployed troops even though they make the choice will have difficulties for the rest of their lives-we can not properly care for our Proud Vietnam vetrans at this moment-how in the world are we going to care for these new vetrans.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  110. Abel P. Ochoa, McAllen TX

    If we're only getting 39% American support for continued war in Afghanistan, we cannot win and we need to consider other alternatives. The truth is that the it's Afghan people who will have to decide what they want for their country. How can anyone expect us to do what the Afghan people need to do? As it is, we have enough problems of our own here, to work out.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  111. George Van Hollebeke

    It would seem that the 'Mission' is too lofty. Change this and
    the strategy will change and likely mean fewer troops and a
    shorter time in being there...

    October 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  112. Ken in NC

    There are two options. The US can pull out and send in Eric Cantor or they can get out and send in Eric Cantor. Either of those two options will work fine. Special Forces can work covertly to “deal” with Bin Laden.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  113. joe

    The United States only option is to push through this war and finish what we started. If we leave again it is furthering the world belief that America cannot finish what it starts. We need to give our military the equipment and man power that it needs to control the dangerous tribal regions that border Pakistan, and we need Pakistan to help on the other side. The only option is to give Mcchrystal the resources he needs and more. It is vital for the security of the American people and American interests that we capture Bin Laden, eradicate the Taliban and create a working relationship with Pakistan so that they do the same.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  114. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Our options are simple. 1. Pull out and admit defeat and ineptitude and most importantly keep with the Democrat mantra of “Look at this mess we have to clean-up and then Blame Bush”
    2. Go the Biden route and half-way commit to the effort, because we want to let politics control how we manage the country instead of doing the right thing. In the process, keep of our soldiers in harm’s way and inadequately supported
    3. Listen to your experienced military generals who have been on the front lines and know the battle that needs to be fought. Remind the American people why we are fighting and how this relates to their freedom. Then fire Biden’s aides who fail to advise him not to speak.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  115. David McLatcher

    The only option in my opinion is to turn the war over to the experts, the military leaders and give them the resources to win this conflict. I can't understand how the politicians in Washington can think they know better than the military on how to win this war. I would also suggest that VP Biden, Nancy Pelosi and other "leaders" be sent over there and spend a year entrenched with the troops so they have first hand experience to make any decisions pertaining to the war.

    Waco, TX

    October 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  116. Bob Henry Canada

    More troops! More troops! The ghost of General Westmoreland is rattling its chains. Get the required 40,000 by reintroducing the draft. If this is done the war will be over by the end of next year. because ordinary Americans will demand it.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Fondong Nyamkimah Julius

    Unfortunately there are very few options open to the Obama Administration in Afghanistan. The Afghan war was lost when the Bush Administration shifted the focus to Iraq. It's becoming increasingly evident that the United States is headed towards the same route like the Soviet Union – that of sure defeat in the hands of a rag-tag insurgency!

    Port au Prince, Haiti.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  118. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Why is it always America's options, America's war, America's fight?

    This should have been and still should be a United Nations battle and United Nations option.

    Our best option is to turn this struggle over to the World, it is time we all come together and help the Afghan people.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  119. J. Green


    The option for America is to learn the old history lesson, "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it." If we leave Afghanistan without a positive resolution, whatever that means or entails, the jihadist will re-group and plot to strike at us again. Imagine a future nuclear or biological 9/11. Those who can't stomach the current war in Afghanistan should ponder this. War is hell, defeat is worse! If we had not had the gumpstion to persist in WWII we would all be speaking German or Japanese now and the concentration camps would still exist.

    We have to pervail, or at very least, destroy the ability of Ben Laden and his fellow jihadists to strike at us and other western nations again.

    J. Green

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  120. Victor Estrada

    Option 1 – Bombard continualy for a month al least. 2 – sweept w/ dromes aircrafts. 3 – kill most of their al qaeda leaders. 4 – sent more troops. 5- negociate a fair deal to put an reconciliator goverment. & leave w/ Honor

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  121. WR Jones

    I have a plan... use the perception that Obama is weak on military action, withdraw all the troops from Afghanistan allowing the terrorist to return, the first thing they do is behead all the drug farmers, then they call all their friends to come and celebrate, we wait... then seal the the Pakistan border and rain down hell on the terrorist . They can't flee back to Pakistan since we sealed it and the trap is closed. Three problems solved with little loss of American life, terrorist gone, drug dealers gone and Pakistan emptied of hiding extremists.
    Obama would look like a genius and no longer perceived as weak, in fact the world would then respect and fear his cunning.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  122. Richard Bartlett

    As a WW II veteran, who lost many friends, I think we should listen to VP Joe Biden, who has been there many times and knows the turf. The generals are always looking for more medals to decorate their uniforms. The US should quit being such a militaristic nation.

    Cape Cod, MA

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  123. Ray King - Germantown Hills IL


    Past history has shown fighting a war of "containment" or a "sterile war" has never worked.

    If indeed this is a war, pull out all the stops and Fight It to Win It ! !

    Our homeland is at stake here ! Let's wipe the terroristic bastards off the earth once and for all. None of them are worth one more American life !

    Ray King
    Germantown Hills IL

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  124. Kevin

    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. (Einstein)
    Russia, England, USA have all invaded Afghanistan in the hopes of changing the government rulers in favor of someone more aligned with their political views. Never going to happen!
    We have only one option, move from an active military operation to a intelligence gathering one, but still retain the ability to strike when known Al Qaeda camps are discovered. By removing uniformed military troops from the field will put the citizens at ease and allow special ops teams to do what they do best, kill the bad guys!
    Kevin – Hanover, NH

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  125. mark hohstadt

    Why do we always have the money to fight in Afghanisan and Iraq but we can't fund our schools or give the citizens health care?
    If only about 38 percent of the people support this war can't the majority say GET THE HELL OUT NOW!
    Let's take care of our own people and let the others take care of there own!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  126. Stephanie C, from upstate New York

    Jack, I honestly think that part of why the war was so tough while Bush was still in office was simply because most of the world (understandably,) loathed him. However, now that we're lucky enough to have the international world back on our side, and adoring Obama, I think that if we capatolize on that, we'd be able to get other countries' opinions, ideas, and help. Then we'd be able to work together to find a solution to end this war the right way and as soon as possible. (Forgive my optimism, I'm a Flower Child born a generation too late.)

    October 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  127. james brady

    We ought to train Afghans to fight the war while we get ought, We ought to start drawing down our troops now and be out by December 31, 2010. We are looked upon as Invaders by the Moslem world. Whether the Taliban wins or loses is a matter for the Afghans

    October 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  128. Frank McKinnon Sr.

    All the people opposed to the war in Afghanistan , obviously have forgotten about what happened on 9/11 . The plans for 9/11 were concieved and planned in Afghanistan , the hijackers were trained for the most part in Afghanistan , the money to finance the 9/11 attacks came from Afghanistan via bin laden .
    So we are in fact justified in fighting this war in afghanistan .
    For those who oppose the war , I would love to hear what you are willing to tell the loved ones of those who died on 9/11 as well as what you will tell the soldiers who have both served , been maimed , lost limbs , suffer severe brain injuries and to those who have given the Ultimate Sacrifice !
    If you still oppose the war , I will say this to all of you , should the United States suffer another 9/11 , and if you happen to lose a loved one to another attack , I'll simply smile and laugh in your face and say ..... Awwww too bad !!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  129. Eric in Denver

    The most obvious choice would be to listen to the generals that are on the ground rather than the folks at the Daily Kos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  130. Timm Greenwell

    I support the war in Afghanistan. I believe the world needs to step up and help the Afghan people. After the UK abandoned their empire, the country that became Afghanistan was slapped together and told to go their own way. It was european colonialism that is responsible for the condition of the country and europe needs to do their share. A centralized government has never run the country so we need to build the nation from the bottom up. Let them learn how to be a nation. We had to learn that lesson ourselves, look at the first fifty years of the USA. We may need more troops but we need to help them build their infrastructure from the small towns up. You cannot build a skyscraper by starting work at the top.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  131. Clara

    Make nice with the Taliban.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  132. Nancy, Tennessee

    There must be more to the story that we don't know when the Administration says leaving is not an option. We didn't break Afghanistan like we did Iraq and therefore do not have to fix it. Why do we have to continue to hunt for Osama bin Laden? I don't care if we ever catch him if it means billions more dollars and more troop casualities. Osama is causing this country more harm every day we stay there looking for him than he did on 911. We need to get out of the hills of this God forsaken land and forget about him and his followers. Let them roam the hills until they die. We need to screen the people that come to our country more carefully and not let terrorist in. We are not making enough difference by being in Afghanistan to warrant us being there. I wish President Obama, Joe Biden, or Robert Gates would tell us why we can't leave if they have a valid reason.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  133. Layne Alleman

    Jack, I think we should keep feeding the military-industrial complex trillions of tax dollars to throw down the rat-hole of unwinable wars. Seriously, how many young (and increasingly, older ) military personnel need to die before those in charge realize this isn't a game of trying to win a war against people who WANT to die(so their lives end with respect). How many historically huge nations or armies have tried to defeat the people of this region? Hubris is a deadly task-master. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Jane

    Dear Jack,

    Stay the course? I think we've heard that one before. I'm nineteen and unforunately I've seen too many young people I know be shipped away to fight in the"occupation". Our country has too much on it's plate to deal with nation building. Withdrawing, saving young lives, and taxpayers money should our governments concern. Going back on your word always bites you in the end.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Mark

    Afghanistan gave safe haven to the cowardly butchers behind the carnage of 9-11. The correct response should have been a declaration of war, followed by a swift, overwhelming, and merciless military response. Bomb it, leave it burning, and bring our men and women home. This whole thing should have been over on October 11, 2001.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  136. Tim Sridharan

    Get out of Afghanistan now! Al Qaeda is a police matter. We never seem to learn from our huge mistakes, Vietnam and Iraq. We cannot be bullying around people with borrowed money. Afghans should determine their own destiny, not us.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  137. Randy Stewart

    Your only option is staying and finishing the job. The area is wrought with insurgents, their only goal to spread radical islam, and to kill all those that offend their skewed ideals. I am Canadian, and we also have lost over a hundred and thirty brave soldiers, yet el queda and the Taliban continue to kill us all. If we leave, we leave with a message, and that is failure, such as the Soviets endured. Our lives, our childrens lives, and our way of life depend on defending what we believe in, and to do that we must stay the course. Predator drones are great, but when they kill innocents, they also kill our support. Put more men and women on the ground, along with surgical air strikes, and together we can defeat this religious evil.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  138. Leon

    It is a waste of time for us to concentrate more effort into Afghanistan. It maybe funny but the reality is that it will be difficult to defeat the Taliban , are we not student of history? We should have concentrated more effort into Afghanistan rather than in Iraq. Now ,what Obama administration need s to do is to allow the Afghan tribes that oppose the Taliban to do the fight and US troops give them the support. Although this may be risky but it will be preferable, if the preferable is not available, the available will be preferable.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  139. Joe in VA

    Have we no sense of history? No nation has held Afghanistan since before the Mongols. Newsweek Magazine's recent article, "The Mind of the Taliban" leaves one with the clear impression that this war cannot be won by force. Given the mentality of the enemy, we may well not be able to win it by any means. I typically lean toward the hawkish side but forty thousand troops at home protecting the homeland may be a better use of our military. I hate to see more lives thrown down another foreign rat hole. More history – foreign adventures are a typical cause of the downfall of nations. We are no exception. When we considered leaving Vietnam, we were told the world wound end. We left and it did not. Leaving has to be an option.

    Chatham, VA

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  140. Curt Schmitt

    Instead of sending more troops to Afghanistan why don't we find out who (which countries) are supplying the Talaban with their weapons and ammunition and stop them.
    A Concerned Senior Citizen

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Ben Hamilton

    You noted that only 39% of the American public support our continuing presence in Afghanistan. I suspect only about five % of those polled have ever worn the American uniform or served in a combat zone. Most of my military friends feel, like me, who served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The script is the same we saw played out in Vietnam – until some 54,000 of our youngmen and women were killed and many more maimed for life. We cannot a democracy make out of a culture embedded in history for thousands of years. It should be remembered that the USA helped establish the Taliban against the Russians, so now we are paying for that mistake, On top of that we are supporting a corrupt Karzai regime with billions of American dollars. Enough bloodshed already, bring our young men and women home

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  142. Bill, New York State

    Jack, when I was in the military there was such a thing as don't make public statements that would "give comfort and aid to the enemy". One of the options the U.S. has is to enforce that policy on our troops, INCLUDING the generals – they should keep their mouths shut except behind closed congressional and administrative doors. I'm sure the Taliban loves to hear one of our generals say that we're losing the war. That"s an option that should not be an option.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  143. Ron Millam

    In Afghanistan, the U.S. isn't fighting AlKaida - we're fighting the Taliban.

    The Taliban has no interest in slamming airliners into large U.S. buildings. They simply want foreigners OUT of their country. I say, fine.... lets get out.

    The fight against AlKaida (again, NOT what is happening in Afghanistan) is and always was properly a police action - not a war. Governor Bush initiated this fiasco by waging war against BinLadin as if he were a country. Obama has to stop this lunacy!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  144. james in monroe louisiana

    Jack, our only option is to repeat history.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  145. Arif, Cambridge, ON

    Hi Jack: Leaving Afghanistan is the only option but may by after spending of billions of dollars and a lot of Afghans' and US soldiers' blood. The US citizens need that billions of dollars for their healthcare, failing school system and retiring Chinese debt. The Afghans consider the allied forces occupiers not liberators.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  146. Richard

    Dear Jack,

    The US must make a list of all countries that we do Business with and who need our Business, than ask them to come up with a percentage of troops and or soldiers to go to Afghanistan. We should get about 100.000 soldiers from Mexico, Latin America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, UK and others and if they do not than they will face US Business sanctions and or aid.

    It must be the WORLD versus the Taliban and fanatics not the US (only) versus the Taliban,etc.

    "When you are UP, friends find you; when you are down enemies do"

    So why is it that Communist China fights nobody but make friends with everyone, earns from everyone and are RICH. No Terrorists attack CHINA – Common Sense!

    Houston, Texas.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  147. Dee, Canada

    Right now , Jack, we don't know the details ... but from General McChrystal's public comments and his refusal to support any other option, he sounds like a loose cannon and should be fired. Neither the troops, the Pentagon nor the Administration need this kind of public positioning and ultimatum.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  148. Donna Caesar

    from Maryland

    The best option is to get out. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion extending the war with more troops is a mistake. Am I mistaken. let's not forget that 9/11 attack was caused by 12 men from Saudi Arabia who has extreme view about destroying American lives. So when President Obama states that he wants to kill the Taliban before they attack us, that is way to convince the American people to stay the course. He is also mistaken and will lose support of the Amerian People. Islamist extremist could be currently living in the United States. Why not strengthened intelliegence to identify them. The main idea is that the Taliban will retaliate until foreign troops leave Afghanistan. They don't like foreign occupiers.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  149. Randy

    We supported the Afgans to oust the Russians. Should we expect no less from the Russians? History is replete with examples of countries who thought they could conquer that vast wasteland. The only option that makes any historic sense is to get out now. The terrorists will always find a place to recruit and train their members. What country will we invade next to deny them a training ground.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  150. brett mullins Phoenix,Az

    Jack, I think America should leave the cost is to much, 223 billion dollars. the country is corrupt and america has 11 trillion national debt. I feel if China stop funding America then the war would be called a success.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  151. Frank Agnello

    Waiting to win the "war" in Afganistan is a loosing proposition, Jack.
    Just ask the Soviet Union.

    We may just as well leave the porch light on for Jimmy Hoffa.


    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  152. Raymond W. Seward

    We need to put more troops in the area, we need to overwhelm the enemy with superior fire power. To leave our troops to defend themselves in the situation they are in is a crime. Terrorism MUST be defeated at all cost. I am a Viet Nam Veteran and I would gladly serve again if called on. God Bless Our Troops.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  153. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, if leaving is out of the question, then we should get serious. Initiate the draft immediately, and within six months we should be able to land 500,000 – 750-000 soldiers in Afghanistan. With maximum air-support we should be able to destroy all resistance within a year. Then we set up a government with a military governor and a few hundred thousand soldiers to keep the peace. We let the populace (if any remain) plant their poppy and use the profits to pay back the US taxpayers for our part in the war on terror.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  154. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    Jack, only idiots have an appetite for WAR. Politicians mixed up in controlling a WAR give us results like VIETNAM. Tell Biden and bi-partisan politicians they don’t know how to WIN a WAR, so keep their opinions to themselves (unless it involves financing). Obama needs to communicate frequently with and listen to his Generals (who know how to WIN) and then FIGHT this WAR by “overwhelming our common enemy”. It doesn’t take much sense to figure out this one. Keep the politics out of it. Military and possibly civilian lives depend on his making a sound military decision.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  155. Curt Schmitt

    Instead of sending more troops to Afghanistan why don't we find out who (which countries) are supplying the Talaban with their weapons and ammunition and s top them.
    Concerned Senior Citizen, Rising Sun, Maryland

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  156. James Galla

    This is ridiculous! 42,000 people die from car accidents every year. During Operation Iraqi freedom, we've only lost around 4,500 soldiers, and in Operation Enduring freedom we've only lost 864 soldiers. When people say that we've lost a lot of lives in the war, they magically seem to avoid other more pertinent issues. Maybe it is because the word 'war' always seems bad to them. We should stay in until the Afghan/Iraqi governments are in control of the situation. The only reason we should leave is the financial cost. Ifs thats not the plan, get the CIA and Special Forces in there to assassinate any terrorist leaders, and keep it like that.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  157. Erick

    Our president Barack Obama is right about learning all the details of this on going war. We can't just continue doing what we have been doing for the past 8 years. A new strategy is needed and we have to exhaust all possibilities before making and solid decisions about how to proceed in Afghanistan and the middle east. What seems like slow decision making on the white house is nothing compared to the repercussions we will incur if we were to make the wrong decision. Let us support our president who has the same intentions as we do and that is to end the war but more importantly, eliminate terrorism.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  158. Dan in Texas

    There is only one option, get the hell out and bring the troops home! We didn't do what we were supposed to do 8 years ago and that was to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. Instead they decided to nation build which is complete hypocrisy when looking at the condition if our own country. How long can they sustain two unconstitutional wars on borrowed from china? When the Chinese stop loaning us money,. how will they fight the Taliban with harsh words and sling shots?

    Dan in Texas

    October 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  159. Stuart Grosse

    Ignore the central government, and work on supporting local tribal leaders, getting them on our side. Build schools, build roads, build things that make their lives better. The only way to defeat an insurgency is to cut off their support amongst the people.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  160. Bruce - Delaware

    Leaving is the ONLY option. We demand it!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  161. Danny, Grundy, VA

    Our only option is to listen to those who know what they are talking about. Given the plans of Vice President Biden and General McChrystal, I'll take the general's.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  162. Kevin

    San Francisco, California

    Our options in Afghanistan are about as appealing as watching Tom Delay dance. Sending 60,000 plus troops into Afghanistan without a strategy sounds messy and leaving the war to some mechanical predator drones is just sloppy. With that said, the president has to find some middle ground between these opposing strategies.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  163. Sarah from Weehawken, NJ

    An exit strategy in the war in Afghanistan has to be an option. We are not any close to winning this " war" than we were eight years ago. We are losing American lives overseas and losing money that the American people need badly.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  164. Jeffrey Nolan

    U.S went into Afghanistan knowing who our enemy is and we let them get away and now the enemy has change. Fail to plan, Plan to Fail thats what we are heading to after eight years. Might as well put blind people in to command of our military force

    October 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  165. Mal St. Laurence / Longmont, Colorado

    Better surveillance, Better Intelligence, and whatever our Military needs to get the job done, and the sooner the better. Put people back to work manufacturing the ordinance and supplies for our Troops need. Our national security demands it... No pith....Just GRIT....mal

    October 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  166. Gene Haynes

    Who, is Vice President Biden listening to Donald Rumsfield.
    He need's to listen to the Generals who are in country and
    have an assement of what is needed.
    I have supported the Obama administration, and Joe Biden,
    Listen to the people who have to fight the war.
    I enlisted in the army in 1961, sat behind a C-130 with
    all equipment ready to jump into Cuba, when the alert was
    called off. Let the Generals call the shot's.
    Stifel yourself Joe.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  167. david d. underwood

    give the general the resources he ask for. he knows better than politicians what it takes to get the job done.


    October 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  168. Juan Barron

    Well according to our government it looks like our only option is to send more of our troops to die...

    October 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  169. LucasBlue

    I believe that leaving Afghanistan at this point is completely irrational, and possible cataclysmic for the progress we have already put so much blood into. It is the charge of the United States to "insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence". We will have problems in Afghanistan if we stay, or if we leave. We must stay in Afghanistan.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  170. Klay

    Hi jack , theGDP of Afghanistan is only 1billion dallars a year .why are our boys dying for this barren piece of land .why not just keep special fources in the area ,. We are not fighting a conventional war . We do not need another 40000 troops

    October 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  171. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    We have been trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear there. We have nothing to lose by leaving. I after eight years they are not better off we need to cut bait.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  172. Paul, Canada

    While I advocate the belief that the U.S. should not be acting as the world's police, leaving Afghanistan as it is now, could prove to be disastrous in the future. The only options I believe are to stay and see it through, although in what capacity, I don't know, I am not a military strategist.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  173. Ian

    Options? Oh right. We have options now that we don't have a despot in the White House. Sorry, Jack. I tend to get confused when I have more than one choice in front of me.

    Last I checked, we had 130,000 troops in Iraq, and supposedly we're pulling out in 2011. Since we're pulling out of Iraq anyway, why not just accelerate the withdrawal of our 130,000 troops and send them straight to Afghanistan and get this thing over with?

    We'll crush the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, restore Afghan security, and then get the hell out of there in record speed. I'm sick of war, but it's not right to give a nation a taste of liberty, and then have that liberty stripped from them by Islamic fundamentalists.

    Oh, the best part? I bet we could get it done by 2011.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  174. jack

    geoge bush started this war and wants the democratsto finish their
    mess. get out of there unless all the hawkish republicans and democratics americans want to prolong this war for advantageous profits by using all their new war weapons like the haliburton dick cheeney empire. the american kids (soldiers) dying for a useless cause remember my dear and sincere american korea, vietnam,irak,and now afganistan
    korea and vietnam was to fitght communist (socialist)

    irak and afganistan is the resistanceof the arab( religous socialist) world, tothe american capitalist controlled by the white and jewish supremacists in the world but especialy usa

    October 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  175. Bill - St Louis

    The only option is to pull out of both Iraq & Afghanistan. If one wants to call this "cut & run", so be it. We did this in Korea, Vietnam, & Beirut. Do you think America would still be fighting in Vietnam had they not left? I do. After going on 9 years now, Afghanistan has gotten worse, we have more dead solders, and continue to borrow from China for what? Pride? The goodle American way. Those days are gone, forever. Literally anyone I've spoke to who feels (they don't think) we needs to keep going forever in both quagmires never served in the military & could NOT define the missions (since they are constantly changing) or what exactly is victory. The amuricon'd of this country disgust me.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  176. Norman Nichols

    Jack, it seems like we're stuck with another war which we can not win. It will take whatever money we have left and more young lives only to prolong the inevitable. Nation building sounds like a life time endeavor and we don't have time for that

    October 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  177. Dave in Alabama

    I wonder why we call it a war. I'm not sure who we are fighting and maybe we aren't either. We are not fighting Afganistan, so calling it an Afganistan war is a misnomer. We are fighting with a collage of reminant Taliban, Al Quaeda and Tribal Chiefs who are not tied to any one location or country. We are there to see that they don't take over a country that quite frankly doesn't seem to mind being taken over by wild and authoritarian groups. I think we just leave them to the crazies and fly predators overhead continuously looking for someone to take out.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  178. m. sauer

    Jack please stop calling it the afgan war, its the war against al quada we didn't ask for this war it was brought to us. do people really believe that if we stop fighting ,al quada will too, and make nice. no way it will just embolden them to attacik us at home again. I'm a viet nam combat vet , my dad's a wwII vet. a war cannot be won if the enemy is allowed safe sanctuary somewhere, we learned this in korea and again in vietnam. we never lost a battle in vietnam but we still lost the war, because we weren't allowed to invade the north. hell Jack we'd probably still be fighting the germans if we hadn't invaded it. wkae up america no safe havens for terrorists!

    bluedog dem.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  179. Terry

    There are no options. If we move away from the strategy that has kept us safe from attacks like those of 9/11/01, we will again experience similar attacks. We may not watch people leaping to their deaths from 1100 ft. skyscrapers, but there will be tragic loss. Unlike Iraq, the war we wage in Afganistan is very necessary.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  180. steve in annarbor

    im a retired academic specialist on that region...i completely agree with secty gates and the president that leaving is not an option, given the boost that would give to jihadi ideology...

    but india could be a trump card in all this if it gets fed up with pakistan's dithering and prevaricating on its support to terrorists like those who hit mumbai ( and will again)...indias intervention into pakistan ( as was done in 197i during the war between what was then west and east pakistan) would be a game changer, and perhaps not the worst thing in the world in the very real war against islamic terrorism.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  181. Gigi

    When military strategy is leaked it becomes a threat to our service men and women and a threat to the USA. It should be treason and dealt with as such. They first need to take care of the military leaks. And let the Commander- N- Chief be where the buck stops.


    October 6, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  182. Michael

    Simple Jack –
    One – create a 5 year plan – setting realistic goals
    Two – draft the soldiers needed to complete that plan – yes, I said the D word...
    Three – after completing those goals in 2015, re-assess our goals or pull out and come home.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  183. Brian ohio

    Jack,America has two options right now.Stay or leave,with the regret later of thinking that we,should have stayed.This war will not be over until we finish it right now.The strategy is all wrong,what the america war machine needs to do.
    Is fight fire with fire, by that I mean.pour 10,000's of gallons of oil on the eastern border and light it.That will chase the terrorist back into the open,where check stations can be set up,to document every one.
    Then with all the money that is left over we could build a new trade center right on that border.To remind the terrorist of the misery the have brought upon ameria.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  184. Francisco (New York City)

    The only option that seems to brewing is the option to put more troops in. The way I see it is we can put in the entire US Armed Forces and still the Generals will call for more troops. What we are fighting is not an army or a group of men, we are fighting an idea. An idea that cannot be fought with weapons. If I was President Obama, I would withdraw from the entire country and let the Afghans deal with their own.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  185. Angie

    First off, the reason it is an eight year war is because the Bush Republican administration cut the war resorces in Afghanistan and transfered the resorces and efforts to the Iraq war. So the Bush Republican administration caused the re build up of the taliban and re-establishing parts of Afghan as a rebuilding for al queda terrorism safe havens hidden in taliban camps once again. To believe other wise is a lie.
    The Afghanistan war should be called the **Seven Year Ignored War** which we have finally in the eighth year realized it's existance and importance in stopping the training of more terrorists .

    October 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  186. JR

    We as Americans are NOT supposed to forget. They (terrorist) came to us. And they will be back.. We recently were fortunate enough to stop two terror plots. Do we need to be sent another reminder. Any civilized human being never wants to go to war. But we are not dealing with civilized people here. These scumbags want to wipe us off the face of this earth. We along with our allies are defending not just American interests but ALL of humanity. We must defeat them.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  187. Steve Chickillo

    Jack , We need to get the hell out. The time to fight this war was 8 years ago, but our former "war president " turned his attention to the corporate military war in Iraq. What happend to the Bin Laden guy?Bring our troops home and deploy them on our porous southern border. We are literally and morally bankrupt and cannot afford to wage war on borrowed money and time. Steve from Miami ,Florida

    October 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  188. Conor in Chicago

    We aren't going anywhere. I guarantee you they will deploy more troops. The interesting dynamic in all of this is that Bin Laden's plan always was to draw us into a war of attrition in Central Asia or the Middle East in the hopes of bankrupting our empire-just as he did with the Soviets. At the same time, with the military industrial complex wielding so much power in this country the opportunity for profit is so lucrative that you now have a corporate structure that benefits from a continuous war no matter what it means to the long term viability of our nation. When viewed critically, Bin Laden has already won this conflict as we are destroying ourselves by bankrupting ourselves through corporate wars. I bet one day history will record him as a tactical genius.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  189. Tony , West Bend Wisconsin

    We have only one option, stay and finish our commitment to the Afghan people and the world at large. Little Bush took his eye off Afghanistan so he could save Daddy Bush's face when he didn't finish the first war in Iraq! Reagan and Bush created Bin Laden and armed him to fight the Russians with help from Soldier of Fortunes(we call them "contractor" now so it is more palatable to the public) and the CIA and now those RPG's and bullets they are using came from the U.S. Shame on them!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  190. DawnL,CA

    What constitutes a win in Afghanistan? Winning hearts & minds? Our troops are not social workers, nor should they be. Let the Afghan army take care of the civilians. Our job is to go after the Taliban & Bin Laden. Use more drones & stop putting our troops in a valley with no protection. What happened to the air support? Too far to fly?
    It's past time to get serious-either send in more troops or get out now.
    Burn the poppy fields,keep an eye on Pakistans nukes, stop nation building. We have our own nation to rebuild.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  191. Bill

    The first necessity in Afghanistan is to be able to define what the interests of the United States are there... we have come a long way from obtaining justice for a terrorist attack to the present talk of rebuilding Afghanistan and saving these people from themselves...

    We have apparently decided that it is more important to alter the environment that the terrorists operate from than it is to take care of the terrorists themselves...

    When we throw away this murky thinking and concentrate on getting Bin Laden and his underlings, we already have the proven option of using special forces and airpower...it should be pointed out that we already expelled Bin Laden and the Taliban once in Afghanistan in 2001 with just a few thousand special forces and a lot of B-52s and drones... it could be done again if we chose....

    Finally, McChrystal needs to let the President decide the strategy, and quit running around denouncing airpower, telling everyone that we will get out of armored vehicles, and making political speeches that overstep the boundary of civilian control of the military...

    Bill McIntosh
    El Paso, TX

    October 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  192. Elaine - San Antonio

    If GW Bush hadn't dropped the ball re. Afghanistan back after 9/11, we probably wouldn't even be having this conversation today. Remember, Bush's comment "I'll let the next Pres. take care of these problems." Something you reporters shouldn't forget when you expect a new Pres. to take care of the HUGE mess left by his predecessor (one of the worst Presidents in the history of the US)!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  193. jim Blevins

    There really are a nearly unlimited number of options. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are really two very different organizations and can be handled differently. Improving the country can be handled by the US government, the Afghan government or NGO's. We can support the current national government, insist on changes, help the tribal leaders or let people select their own government using whatever means they chose. We can co-ordinate with Pakistan or not. We can try to win hearts and minds, try to kill off all the bad guys or just leave the bulk of the population alone. These are just major choices and almost all permutations are possible. Don't believe it when some people try to limit choices.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  194. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    I feel like a hitchhiker on a Texas highway in the middle of a hailstorm , I can"t run. I can"t hide, and I can"t make it go away Lindon B Johnson. I was in Vietnam in 1968 just in time for Tet by 1970 more bombs had been dropped on Vietnam than all targets in the whole of human history. I predict that you will sink step by step into a bottomless military and political quagmire, however much you spend in men or money. Charles de Gaulle. Are we in another Vietnam ????

    October 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  195. Evelyn

    from Corpus Christi TX:
    On 9/11 Al Qaeda brought war against the US. Afghanistan and Pakistan is where Al Qaeda "hangs out" (plots against the US). We are taking the war to them. They declared war against us but we are taking it to them instead of having a war on our shores. It's simple; when Afghanistan and Pakistan root out Al Qaeda AND any Talibani who support them, we'll get out of there.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  196. Jason


    Extremists need a base. Although some in that region of the world may sympathize with America's enemies, nobody wants a war on their doorsteps. Most regimes in the Middle East have limited terrorist from operating within their borders. Iraqi's are now refusing to allow foreignors like Al Qaeda to use their land and lives for their war. Afghanistan is the only place left. Afghanistan's people not government have to refuse to allow fundamentalist to operate in their nation. America ignored Afghanistan before and paid on 9/11. Americas options are to spend a generation changing hearts and minds in Afghanistan or to repeat history.

    Jason, Vancouver, B.C.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  197. nick ange

    we need better president

    October 6, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  198. mark pribble Anna Illinois

    We need to fight wars like we used to, we would bomb the hell out the people we were at war with we killed any and all that were their in WW2 if we did not i would be typing this is German or Japanese.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  199. Loren, Chicago

    Anyone can think of viable options, from committing more troops to getting out. This is the stuff that should be thought out before we ever get in. There is no such thing as a limited war, but we keep trying to do that, so now our sons and daughters are once again on the firing line without a clear path to getting home. Here's the most important option, stop voting for idiots and poseurs and wanna be's. Maybe someday we will have someone of real intelligence, compassion and understanding run for President and we won't be too afraid to elect him. Until then, every option is the door which the boogeyman stands.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  200. Belle Wilmington NC

    Wouldn't it be nice if America actually had the magic wand to wave that fixes the problems of the world, like some countries seem to think we do? Well too bad WE DON'T. We can only hope that while Obama makes his decisions he remembers 9/11, unlike some people. Al Queda is our enemy, but it's obvious to me after 8 years of, shall we call them mess ups?, that we need a new strategy for this war on terrorism. As for fixing Afganistan's internal issues, sorry but Americans have our own issues to fix. LIKE HEALTHCARE, IDIOT POLITIANS, SCHOOLS, CEO's, .......

    October 6, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  201. Marlene Robershaw

    a Big decision for us !! we either use smart bombs, drones, missiles etc. and keep our men and women safe - or- put them on the ground and keep the civilians there safe, but lose our men and women. Maybe there is an answer somewhere in between ??

    October 6, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  202. Thom Richer

    Failure, lose of more lives, eternal war, economic collapse, division of America, and more conflicts. The White House is mistaken. Pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq, is our only option.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    October 6, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  203. Ed Hodapp CPA

    Henry Ford had was right, except instead of three paint color choices of black, black, or black, we have 3 choices regarding Afghanistan of leave, leave or leave. The argument that if we don't fight there we'll have to fight them here is B.S. and another illogical George W. Bush scare tacit. You know, a logic flaw called "begging the question" – we have to fight them because they are the bad guys, they are the bad guys so we have to fight them – illogical, illogical, illogical. If I loose one of my grand children over this stupidity, someone better run because I will take revenge, revenge or revenge!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  204. Becky

    Take George Will's wise advice.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  205. Gregory Miami Beach, FL

    No matter what we do it"s gonna cut both ways. Freedom always exacts a price that you never stop paying, even from half way around the world. This is about a war that must be managed well, however we lack the resources to effectivey end this unholy war soon enough. Obama is still doing his best to overcome the muslim backlash resulting from American policies in the region and may yet help us marshall the resources for peace.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  206. Diana, Illinois

    This might have started on Bushs watch but Obama campaigned knowing full well he would have to face this head on. He has very clearly said that pulling out is not an option so someone please tell him to go in there and bomb the hell out of them and get it over with and then get out.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  207. Divya

    For starters, US has a clear cut option of stop putting money into Pakistan that has been funneling billions (literally) of US taxpayers dollars towards terrorism in the region, especially against India. The fact that Musharraf made this "proud" statement last week, is slap in the face of our policy of fighting the war in Afghanistan!!! If we want to finish the job, we need to get smart about. This seems like a repeat of how Pakistan profited from Soviet-Afghan war, and how that money went towards Islamization of Pakistan- and of course, we are still paying the price of that!

    October 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  208. Jossey2

    Jack, This is not funny! It should't has been so , but Jack , we has to face reallity. (8) eight years of fighting who ,are we fighting a military force, No , is this a war No , can this be won by American No, only if there were between Military to Military a war can win , think about 65000 Army strong against 65ooo.ooo people with Arms , who gonna win? Please read my question on your blog Jack

    October 6, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  209. tpk

    I don't understand the President or our Secretary of State. When running for the presidency, they both were for removing troops from Iraq, within 6 months. What is the difference here? Neither one even apologizes for their chang of attitude.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  210. Shaun

    Send every man, woman and child in Afghanistan $500 per year which is the current national average per wage earner and $14,000 less than the current US expendure per wage earner to fight them "over there". With the additional savings the US could build schools, hospitals and clinics, roads and infastructure and give the Afghanistan people small business loans to grow their own economy. They would then run the Taliban and Al Queda out themselves.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:55 pm |

    Why is everyone up in the air now. This should have been discussed seven years ago instead of pretending that the war was going ahead. That was a farce. Do you think the previous administration would have taken anyone's opinion?
    Pesident Obama is listening to all the military heads not just one.
    If Mccain had been elected he would not have listened to anyone, just blundered on and on, he was going to be a war president.

    October 6, 2009 at 5:58 pm |