October 29th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

What exactly are we doing in Afghanistan?


An Afghan opium farmer stands next to his poppy field in southwest Afghanistan. U.S. Marines based there are battling a Taliban insurgency funded in large part by the drug export trade. (PHOTO CREDIT: John Moore/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As U.S. troops suffer the deadliest month so far in the war in Afghanistan, it seems worth asking exactly what our strategy is.

Turns out the U.S. is now set to pay Taliban fighters to switch sides and stop killing our troops. Supporters say the buyout idea is meant to separate local Taliban from their leaders,which is similar to a program used to win over insurgents in Iraq.

Many of these fighters owe no particular allegiance to the Taliban, but rather support them for a paycheck and because there is no other way for them to support their families.

But experts say that although the program may have some success, the U.S. is ultimately buying a "very temporary allegiance." You don't have to be an expert to figure that out.

Speaking of payments, The New York Times reported yesterday that the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a suspected major player in the country's drug trade - and has been on the CIA payroll for eight years.

This makes no sense. U.S. officials talk about how Afghanistan's opium trade threatens the stability of the country, pays for the Taliban fighters' war effort against us, and corrupts government officials.

Ahmed Wali Karzai denies that he has anything to do with drug trade, and says he doesn't take payments from the CIA. I think I will choose to believe The New York Times.

Officials also say there's evidence that the president's brother helped create hundreds of thousands of phony ballots and set up dozens of so-called ghost polling stations for the August election.

If it's true, no wonder Harmid Karzai won; and if this stuff doesn't make you scratch your head, it should.

Here’s my question to you: What exactly are we doing in Afghanistan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Robert writes:
We are participating in a giant extortion scheme. Afghan warlords have convinced us we need to occupy their country and spend billions and billions of dollars there or else we will suffer another 9-11 attack. We have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

Scott from Panama City, Florida writes:
Jack, There is no sane reason to be in Afghanistan now. The "Karzai government" is beyond corrupt, and the opium trade is too lucrative for the local farmers to give up… The current military policy is a complete waste of American lives. Defoliate the entire county several times a year for ten years and drop by parachute corn and wheat seeds for the farmers to plant… Without the opium, the Taliban will melt away.

Jill writes:
We’re keeping the Taliban and al Qaeda from gaining access to the nukes in Pakistan.

David writes:
We're supporting a burgeoning kleptocracy which thrives on limited instability for lack of oversight. We have to decide whether we will support real democracy by holding Karzai accountable to the election process and increasing stability with better strategy or whether we remove ourselves from the situation entirely and let the country stabilize itself.

Jim writes:
We certainly are not attempting to win the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. government is aiding and abetting the Taliban by not destroying the poppy fields that provide them with funds necessary to finance their war. American policy is actually putting weapons into the hands of the Taliban. Explain that to the families of the fallen. It is disgusting beyond belief!

T. writes:
Jack, What are we doing in Afghanistan? The same thing we did in Iraq, Vietnam, etc. If we were ever at peace, defense contractors would need a bailout. Talk about too big too fail.

Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Richard Green


    Your guess is as good as anyone's.

    Al-Qaeda doesn't need Afghanistan for anything. They now have functioning cells in 100 countries and could plan strikes against targets in any of those. Training is easily accomplished anywhere since they have narrowed their scope, simplified attacks, and created more autonomous groups.

    If we go after the Taliban, we are involving ourselves in another civil war among the drug traffikers, corrupt officials, warlords,territorial tribes, angry cousins, and religious factions and plain old nuts.

    We need to exit there as quickly as possible. There is no vital U.S. interest there that needs the blood of our soldiers to be spilled.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Ca.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  2. Doris/St. Louis

    We are being "exact", I thank God that we have a President who is not only listening to his commanders on the ground, he is making slow and thoughtful LIFE_CHANGING decisions. Bin Laden will be captured or killed during the Obama presidency.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  3. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    This is what were doing in Afganistan . Were fighting some body elses war this has nothing to do with Ben Lauden any more it has nothing to do with 9-11 but it has everything to do with fighting some body elses civil war the government uses the Taliban for an exscuse to stay there and be the free Afgan army.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  4. D.A.Emert in Lock Haven

    Sticking its nose in wear its not wanted. Burn the poppy fields and give the poppy growers a gun. Fight terrorism with terrorism. Put a bounty on the terrorist. It could be Afghanistains new cash crop. Get our men and women out.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  5. A. Smith

    Greetings Jack, I love your show!

    You asked, 'What exactly are we doing in Afghanistan'?

    During the Bush-Cheney Administration, Opium Production went up 300% and Americans now find out that Bush-Cheney-CIA had the most influential Afghan Opium dealer on their payroll.

    It appears Jack that under the Bush-Cheney Administration, we were flooding the world with cheap Heroin and rapidly causing the spread of HIV to millions of Russian teenagers using dirty syringe needles.

    My guess Jack is that Bush-Cheney thought they were spreading American Values and Morals to the rest of the World!

    A. Smith

    October 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  6. Randi Dennis [Portland, Or]

    If the country is really in the hands of the drug trade, then to be blunt we really have no business being in Afghanistan. Granted the excuse or how this was sold had to do with the possiblity that Bin Laden is hidden in some caves. If so, then gee let's use some rather strong 'Daisy Cutters' [nuclear tipped if need be] to flesh him and the rest of his cadre of roaches out.

    With recent data that hit the CNN wire today, we really should be concentrating our influence on Pakistan, seeing that there is a stronger connection from that country to what happened on 9/11 [aside from that of Saudi Arabia].

    October 29, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  7. Richard B.C. Canada

    We are Westernizing some of the Afghan population and protecting them from religious fundamentalist Sharia law that we accept in Saudi Arabia. Let's ask the Taliban one more time to hand over Osama bin Laden so they can have their religious civil war without Western conditions.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  8. John from Toronto

    What your doing in Afganistan is ensuring that the poppy fields are safe. No? They why don't the Americans start destroying those poppy fields that seem to be supporting the Taliban and Terrorists and ruining people around the world fueling their addictions. I think that one of the best ways or stepping stone to attack these terrorists is by attacking the way they fund their operations and way to survive.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  9. Linda in Arizona

    Buying opium?

    October 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  10. Larry So Cali

    We are making Corrupt American Neo-cons wealthy and Killing people jack. It's what we do really well...

    October 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  11. Ken in NC

    Jack, like one politician said in the Katie Couric interview, "I'll have ta look it up and get back to ya". Then we will both know.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Stephen Fox

    If proposed oil pipeline maps (found online) are to be believed, we are there to help facilitate oil pipelines running through Afghanistan to the Caspian Sea–and Pakistan, and Iraq and Iran.

    The leader of Afghanistan once worked for UNICAL (an oil-related company that started a $3+Billion dollar oil pipeline intended to go through Afghanistan). How convenient that he became the head of Afghanistan, so he could continue the job.

    Our troops are probably just dying and giving their blood...for oil.

    –Stephen Fox
    Panama City, Florida

    October 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  13. Ben from B.C

    protecting the poppies for the pharmicutical company's

    October 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    "I'll have ta look it up and get back to ya".

    October 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  15. Jesse

    Maybe someone ought to ask Cheney. He has all the answers.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  16. London from New Orleans

    Jack here's what we're doing. We are asking the very poor who’s only means of financial stability is a drug trade to accept payment and not kill us while we bomb their country and people. We are telling them that some of their family and friends may die but we promise to ASSIST in rebuilding what ever we destroy. Oh and one more thing… We really need you to elect someone who we can trust in your broken government because it may take us at least 10 years to assist in your rebuild. We will have to stay awhile. Jack doesn’t this sound like a sweet offer.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  17. Terry

    If you don't know Jack the diplomat who quit is right and its time to get out.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Bud

    Des Moines – Let our congressional leaders know we are WRONG to be in Afghanistan and tell them to advise our President we want out now!!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  19. joe tierney

    it seems to me we are supproting our war on drugs. this is just another way to funnel monies.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Anna in Chicago

    If we do not want to rebuild the Afganistan then we should get out. If we get out today or in 10 years they will not be our friends. Afgans did not attacked us on 9/11 It was Saudis citizens.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  21. david newell

    As a Vietnam vet i can only surmise we just don't learn.
    Repeating the same mistakes and looking for a different
    outcome is the definition of insanity.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  22. Mason

    America is clearing a pathway for Dick Cheny's ARAMCO pipeline from Tajikistan through Afganistan to the sea outlet, so they can profit from the oil they want to sell.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  23. asheesh

    Karzai's brother is a major drug trafficker, the CIA pays him for information, take the next step Jack and think about what that means the CIA does in Afghanistan. Let me help you- trafficking drugs to our streets perhaps?

    October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  24. Pamela holt

    Foley,al. Considering all the powerful weapons and advantages we have, we are getting our asses whipped...

    October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  25. john kesrouan

    Wasting our time and making the Karzai brothers rich. It's the old Afghan two step. Get foreign powers inside of Afghanistan and use them to export drugs.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  26. Henya CA

    Hello Jack,
    This is exactly why our President is taking his time to thing before he sands 40.000 solders to war, I never so any other President saluting to the falling solderers coming home. Our President his very hard working man he is doing so many good things way more what I expected from a President, he is what we all needed in this country,

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  27. nathan

    These aren't invalid questions, Jack. But there does get to be a point where the arguements about Afghanistan start sounding like rehash complaints of Iraq.

    Send in more troops. Kill more enemy, save more civilians. Build the country under that umbrella.

    Anyone yelling something different now sounds like people yelling "the surge won't work" a year ago.

    We're fighting a war in Afghanistan. That's what we're doing in Afghanistan.

    Monmouth, OR

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  28. Lisa in Ga.

    Jack, I think we should pull all our troops..... and just let them be... its apparent that they do not want help..... and as far as the Taliban goes..... ban all communication and contact.. passports and visas from there to the US....isolate them down to the tee... when their own people get tired of their own leadership and people.. they will make the change themselves....

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  29. Lucile

    We have no business there. We have lost too many young men and women already. Please Mr. President bring them home

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  30. Susan in Louisiana

    Seeing the footage of President Obama honoring the fallen heroes really lets you know that right now we are doing something in Afghanistan. If we don't like it we need to let congress know, instead of debating numerous healthcare bills at once. They need to remember one of the major reasons Obama was overwhelmingly elected was a promise to end these wars.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  31. Richard Sternagel

    How is there any "justice" in this "justice" war when our government supports this chicanery? Unless the Afghanistan government supports the average Afghanistan with basic necessities i.e. water, electricity,food ,we need to get out of Afghanistan! We can not Impose "Democracy" on other nations. They themselves must do it!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  32. Andre Philadelphia,PA

    Following the attacks of 9/11 i was all for the deployment in Afghanistan, then in 2003 Iraq rolled in and we lost focus on hunting for Bin Laden and Afghanistan, now we are running all over the place and don't know what to do fighting two wars and the killing in Afghanistan is on the rise, Jack i think the united states needs to withdraw from Afghanistan bring our soldiers home bring them home and lets regroup and focus what we were after in the first place Osama Bin Laden.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  33. Katja, Bradenton, Florida

    Hi Jack,
    At first we went to Afghanistan to get bin Laden. Then we had to liberate the people, and considering how women were being treated, it was a good thing. But now, I don't know. It seems that we are trying to make the country just like ours, with politicians just like ours.
    Here you can buy a politician, so I guess there you can buy one and a Taliban member too. A 2 for 1 special? I just hope something positive happens soon, my brother is heading that way next week for the 4th time.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  34. david doherty

    Jack, thats a very good question, one I've been asking my self for quite some time now. If by some kind of shear luck, we happened upon bin-laden's camp and killed him and his hench men, would that end the war? NO, you know it wouldn't! As long as our war machine is making money it will grind on and on! Our politicans will always be able to spin it in favor of keeping it going!

    Dave from NH.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  35. Richard

    Hello Jack : We are controling the Herion market by being there !!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  36. Glenn in Seattle

    Jack –

    It beats the heck out of me, but here's a suggestion. Instead of trying to eradicate the opium poppy crops, why don't we use all that CIA-type money to BUY the crops? We could then use the opium to make Morphine, something that still is used by doctors. At the same time we would literally be buying the goodwill of the Afghan people by helping them to feed their families. Seems to me that verybody would win.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  37. Dianne

    Jack, where were all these questions when Bush/Cheney were in office? Why did the media not question where we were and what we were doing.?Nobody question any of those decisions. The media just accepted what Bush/Cheney did without question. Now you, the media, are doing what the free press was suppose to be doing in the first place. Bush/Cheney had the American free press afraid and on the run.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  38. Ronald M.

    We have no idea, nobody has any idea, that is what it looks and feels like

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  39. Dale from Colorado

    Hi Jack,

    We are doing the same thing in Afghanistan that we did in Iraq, twice, Viet Nam and Korea. We are continuing to perpetuate war and the proliferation of the military industrial complex in this Country. This is nothing new as then President, Dwight D. Eisenhower first warned Americans in 1960 that the military industrial complex and their corruptive influence had pervaded every level of government.

    Victory in Afghanistan means different things to different groups. Our present situation there, with no end in sight, is seen as a victory by the military industrial complex.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  40. Liz from Winterset, Iowa

    I hear a lot of talk and questions about strategy. Send more troops, don't send more troops, etc...What I would like to know, rather than 'what is our strategy,' is 'what is our goal?'

    What do we hope to achieve with this war? What would be the most positive outcome for the people of Afghanistan and for us? What is our goal?

    Is it to destroy terrorists? Is it to stop terrorism? Those are vague and ill-defined goals that can never be fully achieved. If that is our goal, this war will go on forever.

    Winning the war in Afghanistan? Is that a goal? If so, define win.

    If we can't, then we shouldn't be there. Our troops would be better off, safer, and better served at home protecting us on our own soil.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  41. John C. Mc Court

    The question should be what aren't we doing. like destroy all the poppy fields there. and leave the country.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  42. George

    Your guess is as good as mine. We should leave Afghanistan to the Afghans. Democracy is never their way. We shall win the battle but we are losing the war big time. We are losing our economy, jobs, houses, hope and future but funding the war and enriching Afghanistan
    It is time to leave.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  43. Austin, Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Absolutely nothing! The U.S needs to realize that it does not need to be the savior and hero of the world, it needs to focus on the issues that concern the everyday, working class American. I say pull the troops out, if the U.S does, then maybe Canada will follow.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  44. Frank from Peterborough

    Since all accounts state Al Qaeda no longer inhabits Afghanistan and the fighting in the country now is with the Afghan citizens or insurgents it would appear all reason for NATO and/or America has no reason to be there.

    The main problem seems to be if the administration did abandon the war the right wing extremists would brand them cowards and/or subjecting America to danger so the war will continue.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  45. brett mullins Phoenix,Az

    Good guestion Jack. All we are doing is increasing the national debt. It is simply.
    Brett Mullins

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  46. Gigi Oregon

    After the last eight years I have no doubt that a profit from a capitalist named somebody somehow,and someway was being made. And that is why we are in Afghanistan.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  47. Joe

    Fighting a never-ending proxy war of attrition against an idea. Here's a thought, we're a Republic, not an empire. You want a secure America, let's secure our own borders instead of squandering our Blood Treasure and bleeding our treasury in an effort to make Afghanistan's unassailable. Check visa's, etc. and get those who aren't supposed to be here out.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  48. Jim Draper, Bossier City, La

    Declare Victory and bring the troops home. Results Not worth the Blood and Treasure. We are dealing with a 13th or 14th century Country and will take generations to turn it around.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  49. TJ Tampa

    Giving the world best drug dealers protection, using the worlds best military.. In Iraq we should take their oil and Afganistan take there dope and destroy it before it hit our streets.. A narco state with a narco economy how are they going to pay there police and troops when we leave..

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  50. Ken in Mt

    I suspect that we are reinventing Viet Nam, trying to impose our soceital values on a foriegn culture. We are doing this because we failed to really question what happened the last time.
    The Soviets couldn't make it comunist, we can't make it a democracy

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  51. tpain


    What are we doing in Afghanistan? The same thing we did in Iraq, Iraq, Vietnam, etc. If we were ever at peace, defense contractors would need a bailout. Talk about too big too fail...

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    We are pretending to catch Bin Laden, et.al. because no one in the Administration or the Congress has the courage to admit that the whole mess, invading Afghanistan and Iraq, was a stupid mistake at the cost to the American people of good health care, a proper educational system, improvements to our infrastructure and a viable economy. Terrorist will be caught by well funded police officers and not armies. At least Bush had as his motive revenge against Saddom for threatening "Daddy" and Cheney had potential profits for Halliburton. We need to leave now and save what American lives we can.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  53. Troy Brown

    Being terrorists 68000 strong.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  54. Annie, Atlanta

    Sounds like we’re encouring druge trade and paying a corrupt government for the right to stay there and fight. This is craziness. It’s a war profiteering heaven.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  55. Ali Mogharabi

    The strategy is to maintain instability in that area, which gives us a good reason to stay there. The reason we'd like to stay there is Iran. The reason we are worried about Iran is Israel. The reason Israel is supposedly worried about Iran (the only country in that region that has not invaded or attack another country for centuries) is to maintain instability in that region. The reason it wants instability is to partially turn attention away from what its doing in the West Bank and Gaza, from the unjustifiable settlements and their expansion. Its that simple. And yes, it is simple. This will keep going. Neocons have maintained their presence in the executive branch (Rahm Israel Emanuel, Axelrod, H. Clinton, and more) which means we will do anything AIPAC and its little brothers and sisters tell us to do. Sorry about the long response ... just had to get it off my chest.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  56. Steve M

    What are we doing in Afghanistan? The Obama administration is playing catch up with the many things that should have been done but were totally neglected for five years by an Iraq obsessed Bush administration.

    Steve M
    Killeen, TX

    October 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  57. Joshua Reese, Folcroft, PA

    We first went to Afghanistan for blood-thirst and vengeance. After we sealed a deal with Gen'l Musharraf in Pakistan, we couldn't extend our troop presence into Pakistan in order to chase down those who attacked us on 9/11. Now that it's 8 years later, we're part of a mop-up mission for an unfinished, pointless occupation left by the Bush administration. We need to join efforts with Pakistan, who is coming over to our way of seeing things quickly this past week as explosions rock their sensibilities for the Taliban perspective. Gen'l McChrystal's report sounds like sustained police activity, in order to secure an Afghanistan that might one day secure itself. Same as Iraq. Daunting tasks, both.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Vinod Bhardwaj

    DIvide the country into a pro-American and an anti American group so that they keep on fighting between themselves and not with us. We have done that in Pakistan recently and there are signs we may have succeeded in doing that in Iran too.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. John in Santa Barbara

    afganistan will never be conquered and they will never be a threat to anyone else but themselves. We need to do what Alexander the Great did with the Gordian Knot.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  60. PeaceMaker

    KIllikng other people and Dieing !!!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  61. Jeremy Johnson, Myrtle Beach South Carolina

    That is a very good question! Im sick of not knowing what we are doing and our president needs to make a decision. I think his visit to see the soldiers was a ploy politicly for support. Why now? Why those soldiers and not the thousand others? Oh wait, he's not doing well in the polls, thats it. We need to bring our soldiers home and take the humility like the russians did. It will end up in an unstable country just like Iraq. Get out now and worry about our own country getting back on it's feet.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  62. elsonson

    Last time I check, we were in the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden! We need to continue mapping the whole country until he is trapped between Afghanistan and Pakistan, then caught alive or killed. Just as we have done in Japan, we need to help rebulid their infrastruture as well! We should have have learned by now! Wars are no fun, especially after wasting time going after Saddam in Iraq solely for revenge since Saddam has attempted to kill Bush Senior while he visited Kuwait!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Ray in Nashville

    Let's see, Jack:

    We invaded and destroyed the government that gave safe haven to the masterminds of the 9/11 attack, pushing Al-Quaida into the mountains of Pakistan where they could regroup and carry on the fight.

    We then abandoned the country and allowed President Bush to hijack the pro-America fever sweeping this country for his own personal war to restore the family name.

    We then ignored whatever was going on in Afghanistan while we spent billions of dollars on the Iraq war and nation building (while at the same time making wealthy Republican cronies here at home even wealthier.)

    Other than that, I'm not sure.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  64. Ready

    No matter how much money u spend over there it will never change. thats like people coming here and trying to make america change. it makes no since but were suffering.


    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  65. Eric Keating

    We are in there to box in Al Qaeda, but more important we are there to protect the lives of the women and children against the evil men of the Taliban. We are trying to bring the political and economic structure up to the level of the early 1900's. We are there to help create an environment where fundamental human rights are respected.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  66. pat in lexington, Ky.

    This whole situation is, literally, sickening. What are we doing in Afghanistan? We are postponing the inevitable. Al Qaeda is everywhere, the Taliban also, Karzai and his family are corrupt and the people don't care if we're there or not.
    It won't matter in the end if we send more troops, if there's a surge, if we kill the enemy. Because they won't go away.
    So – WE need to go away – NOW.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  67. Esther Ohio

    Is this a trick question? Were you sleeping the last 8 years? Did you not see the twin towers come down or hear Osama Bin Liden claim he did it? Did you not hear the president tell us to go shopping and keep things normal here at home?
    Have no real idea of what we are doing there expect wasting human life. Spenting our children future and arguing about what we are doing there. We are not speading our American way cause we do not get to grow poppies here for Heroin. We should bomb those field and cut off the money for the taliban. If that is not a plan then I say confiscate it and turn it over to make medicine we need for and maybe this can pay for the war.

    Jack I love it when you say my name on the show please read me.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  68. Frank Akuchie from Philadelphia, PA

    Hello Jack, i love the question. The answer to the question I don't even know what we are doing there. A fraudulent election, the president's brother under the payroll of CIA, the war that we can not win, loosing our young men and women and still can't figure out what we are still doing there...its crazy Jack!!! Do you know what i think we are doing there Jack, we are wasting tax payer's money!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  69. Chris, Atlanta GA

    What are we doing in Afghanistan?

    Eh.... trying to eliminate the people who attacked and murdered 3,000 + Americans and destroyed billions in wealth and personal property.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  70. David Barron

    We're supporting a burgeoning kleptocracy which thrives on limited instability for lack of oversight. We have to decide whether we will support real democracy by holding Karzai accountable to the election process and increasing stability with better strategy or whether we remove ourselves from the situation entirely and let the country stabilize itself.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  71. John

    The only thing we are doing by putting these fighters on the payroll is effectively paying a ransom. Way to send a message. Theoretically, it's the same thing the Somali pirates are doing. Holding us hostage until we pay up. I say use the satellite technology and war fighting capability of this great country of ours and give them a deadline. On D-day, make them realize who just exactly we are, and why it's not a good idea to mess with us. 'Nuff said.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  72. Nona Selby

    I/ve asked myself the same question...why are we in Afghanistan?...If it's to make the rest of the world safe, how about more troops from England, France, and the rest of the world...

    October 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  73. Jennifer

    We are there because Bush is an idiot! I'm sure the Russians are laughing at us...Imagine the impact on the world if the Taliban beats two
    super powers....Obama will figure it out:) -Jennifer from Houston

    October 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  74. Alex from Detroit City

    Who knows, Nobody knows, can you say snafu!!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  75. John from Toronto

    What your doing in Afganistan is ensuring that the poppy fields are safe. No? They why don't the Americans start destroying those poppy fields that seem to be supporting the Taliban and Terrorists and ruining people around the world fueling their addictions. I think that one of the best ways or stepping stone to attack these terrorists is by attacking the way they fund their operations and way to survive. Without money or at least limited money will lower the risk considerably and limit the the amount of terror that they can do. That's not happening, why? Is the American government involved in the heroin business? The troops are there the opportunity to destroy these fields is possible, so are they more interested in there popularity with these farmers or how to hit the Taliban and Terrorists where it will truly hurt. Karzai should be in support of this and his brother wouldn't be upset because he stated that he is no way involved in the business. Start burning, but make sure they're not to close because there are enough people with addictions and getting high here at home. I think its fishy that they know where a lot of the money is coming to support these terrorists but they do nothing to destroy these fields. All I have to say is WoW!!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  76. Dorothy Plummer

    No one has won for centuries in Afganistan, War after war we get involved in turns out poorly. We can no more win in this country than we did in Vietnam, we really have not won in Iraq they are back to violence already, it will be the same and lives will be lost.The people do not want us there, they do not trust Americans. Dingmans Ferry Pa

    October 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  77. chris forest

    When I lived in the Phillipines 30 years ago the nicest embassy residence in Forbes Park belonged to the Afghan embassador. I remember thinking back then how such a poor country could afford such a opulent embassy residence. Now I know heroin drug exports, diplomatic pouches are a great way to move the stuff around.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  78. Robert Pool

    What are we doing in Afghanistan?

    We are participating in a giant extortion scheme. Afghan Warlords have convinced us we need to occupy their country and spend billions and billions of dollars there or else we will suffer another 9-11 Attack.

    We have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. We are spreading our cash around. We have become the Afghan economy! The warlords want to keep this "war" going as long as possible, because of all the money it injects into the Afghan economy. When we finally get fed up and we pull out, they will loot the cities and steal as much stuff as they can.

    It's all about the plunder.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  79. Jim Carr

    Afghanistan? GET OUT! This is a no-win adventure for the U.S., bring our troops – and that budget – home, focus their skills and dedication to making our country what we all believe it's supposed to be ... Hello New Orleans & our sieve-like national borders, we have all we can handle right here at home

    October 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  80. mike collins

    What are we doing in afganistan? (1) We are fighting and searching for the taliban/al-chida on their on turff, steadily losing troops. They keep talking about winning this war. What is there to win? There will always be taliban/al-chida there. It's like fighting the drug war here at home--you are not going to eliminate drugs in the US. The money we are spending over there could be fighting homelessness, repair the Gulf Coast after Katrina, and many other worthwhile problems here at home. How are we going to curb violence there when we can't curb violence in the US. Sending more troops is not the answer and never will be--it only causes more fatalities and more money.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  81. Ron

    Just get thel hell out of that place and let the chips fall where they may.We can use those troops on our borders to secure them.It' time we worry about the USA and to hell with these radical countries.Ron inAR

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  82. Gary


    We are allowing little girls to get an education openly for the first time, we are protecting their schools from being blown up and all of the killed as the Taliban love to do, less of them are having acid thrown in their faces.
    We are stopping whole villages of thousands being massacred by the Taliban for the sin of having a traditional wedding with music and dancing which is a killing offense for the Taliban. We are allowing women to have a job and some degree of human dignity where the Taliban once treated them as cattle to be bought, sold, whatever. We
    are preventing the Taliban from engaging in one of their favorite sports, nightly executions of women in the national soccer stadium for the horrible crime of teaching their daughters to read or write. Though this is not our expressed purpose, I think personally it is an admirable thing to be doing, much better than the lies we went into Iraq for and most other causes we have fought wars for.

    Southern Illinois

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  83. Art from LA

    We are in Afghanistan hopefully to capture Osama. Not only that but hurt the Taliban economicallly by going after the opium. Now by staying in Afghan and protecting the people we can show them the we are with them. That after we leave they can continue the fight against Taliban. Getting bin Laden will not connect the terrorist and hopefully keep them separate and not bind together. At least that's what I think why we are there, but what do I know.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  84. Kelly in Minneapolis

    Hi Jack,

    First, we are spending money we don't have. Second we are sending our chidren into danger.

    Let's stop this, focus on who perpetrated 9/11 and kill them. A few "disappearences" won't be noticed.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  85. Chris Fitch

    I would like to know what the fascination is that great powers have with Afghanistan? The Mongols couldn't take it, the Soviets lost it and now we think we can?! If you ask me Jack, the only way I see to "beat" these guys would be to give them a taste of their own medicine. Haven't we learned from our own history that you can fight a war such as this with conventional warfare? Our own revolution was won in part to gorilla tactics. Have we not learned from Vietnam that open war with massive amounts of troops and military hardware will do nothing?!
    I say send over the special ops into the mountains and give the Taliban a little hit and run. Put them on the defensive and then let us see what happens when their afraid to sleep at night. A handful of highly trained men reeking havoc would be a lot more effective than whole battalions of troops if you ask me.
    Chris, New York

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  86. Army SGT

    Giving money to other countries,instead of helping our own ,tell them to take these handcuffs off of the military,so we can do our jobs , if we get shot at we have to ask three different people for permission to fire back,it's stupid,what do they think was going to happen,and giving these guys money to switch sides for what they did it in Iraq ,and the locals would come to work get the money and motar you when they got off,these guys in the white house are,well I can't say because i'm a Soldier.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  87. Dale in Louisiana

    While I am not sure exactly what we are doing, we should be crushing the Taliban and Al Qeada to smithereens.
    With that strategy the answer of troop deployment comes down to this...
    Do we stay the course as we are?
    Not when we are losing this many soldiers. We need to give the Generals the tools they need, if it is more troops, send them an over whelming force so they can get the job done and get out.
    That is the simple answer and it will accomplish the objective. And I believe it is the strategy that will ultimately cost the least life for our soldiers. It will likely cause great loss of life on the other side, but this is war, if you are not ready to kill the opponent, go home.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  88. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Not much besides being killed. We don't want to be there. the Afghans don't want us there. The Pakistanis don't want us there. What all of them do want is our money and aid nothing more. It is time to come home.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  89. John from Toronto

    I've been a loyal blogger under a different email and have not seen my posts ever. My comments are good and deserve to be there at times. I hope I will see it on today because I'm about to give up. LOL.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  90. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    Not sure, except this is probably the worst Bush mismanagement the President will have to deal with. I have no answers, not being privvy to all information. The President is a so much smarter & deliberate than the rest of us, so I'm cofident that he will make the right choices. I don't envy him. Let's celebrate his successes, instead of ignoring them, & ONLY finding fault. Just pick 1 day. How about today, which, for him, started before midnight. He made a surprise visit to Dover, praying, & being there to honor the most recent fatalities of war. October had the highest number of fatalities since 2001. No doubt, you will find fault with that, also. It's in your DNA, Jack. Instead, why not ask people the name of the last American President who waited there to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  91. Tee, Minneapolis, MN

    Simple, Jack: to deny Al Qaeda a safe haven from which it can launch attacks on the US and its allies. It is a messy and a convuluted process, but we must not dither from this goal.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  92. Rusk

    Are you kidding me? Osama Bin Laden!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  93. Stefan in Brooklyn

    We're wasting time, money and precious human lives Jack. Furthermore, we're carrying on the Bush Administrations ideals of spreading democracy from the barrel of a gun. Here's an Idea! How about we send Congress to Afghanistan and let them talk the Taliban to death. We need to bring our servicemen and women home NOW and let the Afghans solve their own problems.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  94. Bob Vince Jr , Cleve,Oh

    Simple Jack were fighting Bush's War This war should be renamed Bush's Folly because a bunch of clowns started it even worse clowns funded it Now the new Ring Master needs to Tame it.

    Weclome to the circus. send in the clowns oh wait there were voted out last election.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  95. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    It is vital, especially with the withdrawal from Iraq, that we have some means by which we can continue budget-busting contracts that dump tapayer money on Halliburton, KBR, and Blackwater (which by any other name would still be war profiteers) and their rapacious ilk. What would we do with the money anyway... squander it on health care? Seriously, Jack, we should never send 150,000 men to do what 100 could do over a long weekend with good intelligence, and no publicity.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  96. jim Blevins

    Your best question yet. Unfortunately, this is just a variation on "What is the meaning of life?" For too many people, the question is about preserving their way of life - protecting it from other basic values and ways of thinking. Unfortunately, other basic values and ways of thinking are here forever. The best we can do is arrive at a mutually acceptable accommodation. The military is counterproductive in doing this. We would be far ahead helping the NGO's help the Afghans.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    October 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  97. Eric, North Carolina


    October 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  98. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    We are losing the lives of our soldiers for a war that not even the Russians could win. Noone will ever root the terrorists out of Afghanistan or Pakistan and it's foolish to waste time and lives on a war that is unwinable!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  99. MNResident

    We are doing the exact same thing there that we are doing here-screwing it up!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  100. Diane Sherwood

    At this point in time, I think our mission in Afghanistan is simply to keep the Taliban (as well as Al Queda) distracted. By keeping the fighting local, a good deal of their attention and resources is pulled away from attacking other areas of the world.

    The only question is, "How long can we sustain this?"

    Diane S.
    Lake Zurich, Illnois

    October 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  101. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack i don't know. The Opium crop has a faster rotation to America then our troops do. Dope and money is what this war is about not security.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  102. BJ

    Jack, you asked what exactly are we doing in Afghanistan? It is pretty obvious: we don't know. Worse still we appear to not have learned one of our most bitter lessons from Vietnam and that was this: we will not be successful fighting a guerilla war with conventional methods. Next question: should we pull out? We should if we don't resolve THE first question: what exactly are we doing in Afghanistan?

    October 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  103. Alan


    The United States' involvement in Afghanistan is a quagmire under the current rules of engagement. Allocating tens of thousands of troops in this rugged region, with porous borders with Pakistan is a tactical mess.

    What the US and its allies must consider is the "lawless" territories of North West Pakistan, and the terrorists who have unfettered "safe haven" in these regions.

    Either the US and NATO abandon Afganistan or consider (a) Invasion of the NW Territories of Pakistan or (b) striking these unlawful territories with tactical nuclear weapons, on the same level of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima nuclear bombings.

    The terrorists who are so enthusiastic in "strapping-on" vests and bombing innocent civilians, must realise that their entire civilization can be "wipped off" the map as a "last resort".

    Bruta; terrorist attacks must be met with brutal means.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  104. Gideon

    Jack, I think it fuels the expenditure of millitary power of the United States around the world and improve on latest technologies in war fare. Besides the United States is gonna have to pay for the war, These wars are all not important, there are millions of people all over the world who do not have a food,...basic needs and wants. These financial resources should be chanelled into making the world a better place.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  105. K

    Simple question. 1) flushing millions of dollars down the toilet 2) encouraged conintued and increasing violence through our occupation 3) placing the lives and limbs of our braves troops in coninued and escalating danger 4) allowing the drug trade to flourish 5) disrupting/distroying the lives of countless thousands of people. Better question - how would we feel if another country occupied, and destroyed our country and then continued to occuply and dictate how we should live! Nothing is being accomplished. Time to bring our troops home. This part of the world has waged war for centuries.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  106. Myra Becnel

    Thought I knew over 8 years ago but 8 years later I do not have a clue! I say got out of both, continue our diligence with stopping terrorism and let the chips fall as they will in both these country. Now Pakistan?
    That is the question?


    October 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  107. gary saari

    We are doing the same thing in Afghanistan as we did in Vietnam. We let the CIA and Air America run drugs to our country to support the Contras via Col.Oliver North who was Ronald Reagan's right hand man in the Vietnam era. They supposedly used the money to fight Communism. The CIA is at it again in Afghanistan running heroin to support the "war on terror." The unfortunate thing is that the CIA and the other government entities involved don't care who they hurt, and obviously, they are hurting the American people. It makes a person wonder who are the real drug lords.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  108. Uncle Sam in Florida

    I don't know but i wish we would get the hell out of there and bring all the troops back home.
    If this country would just focus on protecting its borders, there would be no need to go to another country for war.
    After all isn't that how we came under attack?
    We made it too easy for people to come into this country.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  109. Dan Potts

    Ecxactly what what we did in Vietnam Jack, wasting American dollars and thousands of American lives in the hope of changing situations in the World that through military action cannot be changed. Maybe through our military presence and sacrifice we can teach them what it means to be free. But wait, we would have get them to aspire to become lawyers so they could write 2,000 page Bill's of legality that would confuse them to the point of Apathy. Oh, and by the way I wouldn't want to be honest with the American people regarding health care by telling them that there wouild be a 50% reduction in health care costs if 60% of Americans weren't clinicallly OBESE. We are doing this to ourselves Jack, and we deserve every bit of it.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  110. Beau - Napa, Ca.

    Exactly what we were doing in Viet Nam! Propping up Corrupt Governments! At best neglecting most of the Civilian Population, when not killing them. Cultivating Worldwide Drug Cartels, sacrificing some of the best and brightest of their generation solely for the benefits and War Profits of the Politicians Favorite Multi-National (US) Corporations.

    Pres. Eisenhauer warned us about the "Military-Industrial Complex". Even he could foresee it's evolution to what we have now, a "Terror/Security-Industrial Complex".

    October 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  111. scott burns

    hi jack,
    i served in viet nam,and the same question could be ask about that war.
    i think the reason that question will not be answered,mainly because no one has the orbs to stand up and say we screwed this up ,so we need to hear ,bring them home.we have been fighting over there for nothing.
    please president obama,bring them home,take them out of harm's way,and admit this is doing no good for a country that's hanging on by a thread.(2 paragraph's)i can be brief...
    give peace a chance,
    scott in north carolina
    ps:not to be mistaken for south carolina,please..............

    October 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  112. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Can we just pull out? Can we tell the families of the thousands who have given their lives that we now realize it was all a mistake? We
    have to fight terrorism in any way possible. Afghanistan is the foothold into Pakistan where the majority of terrorist appear to reside.
    If we had initially given our full attention to Afghanistan, rather than
    putting all our resources into the unwarranted war things would be
    very different now. Thank God I do not have to make the decision.
    But, none of us have the facts, etc, just the medias sensationalizing.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  113. Grant from Dayton, OH

    If we are fighting and killing the people who attacked us on 9/11, I fully support our efforts there. On the other hand, if we are only dragging our reputation through the mud, I think there are other things here at home we could be spending the money on. After all, a few months of war could pay for a whole year's worth of health care, as just one example.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  114. MichaelSC

    This war was lost before it started.
    No concept and no goal.
    If Bush/Cheney could read, they could have looked at the Russian occupation and the disaster. The CIA then helped the Taliban.
    They should have known.
    But is was just for money and no kids of Bush/Cheney/Rove/chicken-hawks in the war. So they didn't care

    October 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  115. Gideon

    from Sioux Falls, Jack, I think it fuels the expenditure of millitary power of the United States around the world and improve on latest technologies in war fare. Besides the United States is gonna have to pay for the war, These wars are all not important, there are millions of people all over the world who do not have a food,...basic needs and wants. These financial resources should be chanelled into making the world a better place

    October 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  116. lewis

    Afghanistan, hey don't they have the same problems that we have here in the u.s...... you know things like a corrupt government, crooked police, a bad econemy need i say more.
    gotta go jack THEY, whoever they are might be tracing me insted of keeping their eye on the bin, i mean laden, i mean ball, yeah that's it keeping their eye on the ball. later jack

    October 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  117. Ben

    We're giving away hundreds of billions of dollars we don't have to worthless bloated corporate giants and wouldbe contractors who contribute very little to American interests!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  118. g ontario

    can,t leave to many upper class republicans making big buck,s here the people that run the country,there not, going to allow there children or grandchildren go without

    October 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  119. Mustafa / TX

    As an Afghan American the only way to fix Afghanistan is to occupy the country, run the government of Afghanistan for three years and then give it back to the Afghans. Three years is long enough to stop all the corruptions and show people of Afghanistan that it can be done. As long as we support Hamid Karzi of Abdullah Abdullah, nothing will change and all the money will end up in their mattress.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  120. Ezra

    What exactly are we doing in Afghanistan?
    Jack after 9/11 we buried nearly 3000 Americans. We later learned that this murder came from a religious sect that must convert everyone to their religion and beliefs or kill them. So our leaders decided to avenge the Deaths of Americans. Then it began!

    My question to you Jack is, " How do you confront such religious finatics"?

    From what I hear from the liberal media we should bury our dead and try to be better neighbors. Problem solved. Now get down on your knees, face the East, and pray to the prophet. See we all can get along if we try.

    Bainbridge, Ga.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  121. Naruto

    "Sticking its nose in wear its not wanted. Burn the poppy fields and give the poppy growers a gun. Fight terrorism with terrorism. Put a bounty on the terrorist. It could be Afghanistains new cash crop. Get our men and women out" by dae sounds good but it will only fuel the hate that these people have for america what we should do is intern use some not all of their strategies against them while promoting american views on medical weed. In these days of economic down turn some people see no hope and depression and a blind eye is turned often than not. There are no jobs and people simply seeking survival if you told the rich we will make you less rich they would laugh but if you told them you have no food to eat or no place to stay what would they say then. In fact these people view police and corrupt government entities as the enemy and see survival in a distorted way. These people have kids and go to school seeking something better but when you are in the system, can't read, and barely can make it. Everyone turns into an enemy. I feel that you first need is to stop or clean up the mess. Then give a way for people to earn their freedom. Depending on the severalty of their crimes the time working to release them selves as well as information that they with hold to end the war as quickly as possible with little blood shed. Some not all are good give them a chance to save their people. They know their country well and would be the best defense if not offense backed by a government that is seeking change in leadership policies.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  122. Herb Meisen

    What we are doing in Afghanistan is repeating the same mistakes we did in Vietnam and Iraq. We are sending insufficient forces to support a corrupt government on a mission with no clear and achievable goal, no exit strategy and at a cost the American public is unwilling to pay. Have we leaned nothing from history? Whatever became of the Powell Doctrine to prevent future Vietnams?

    October 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  123. Georgia R Livingston

    Jack, We've lost sight of why we're in Afghanistan. After 9/11, we delivered our troops to Al Qaeda in order to destroy them in retaliation for the 3,000 deaths on 9/11. Over eight years later, Al Qaeda is still operating and over 5,000 American troops have lost their lives with thousands more wounded, many irreparably. Millions of civilians have been lost. Billions of dollars have been spent. Our economy at home is a mess. I think we have succeeded in aiding Al Qaeda in bringing us to our knees. But that's just my opinion.
    Georgia in PA

    October 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  124. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Those of you who say we there to destroy the opeum fields have a point but you dont realize that the black tar heroin and the hashes is part of these peoples religion they use this drug to chant to there god taking this drug away from them would be like taking Christmas away from us they will fight to the death to protect there religion lets leave and let God sort it out.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  125. john, saskatchewan

    The Afghan war was started as a precursor to the War in Iraq. Though 12 or 19 alleged 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, the Bush administration attacked the Afghans citing Osama Bin Ladin was there. A few lies later the Americans attacked Iraq, leaving Canadians and others holding the bag in Afghanistan. Now their back...saying, "geez this is where the real fight is afterall". Reaffirming the stupidity of war is what we are doing in Afghanistan...and fattening the purses of the warmongers.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  126. Grand Minister Adams

    The question is an easy one to answer, Jack. In Afghanistan right now we are propping up a corrupt government filled with thugs, warlords, rapists, drug dealers and worse in an effort to curtail the development of terrorist groups within the same country.

    If that sounds like a wholly schizophrenic strategy wrought with inconsistencies and destined for failure, that's because it is!

    Meanwhile, the question of "why are we doing what we are doing in Afghanistan?" is not an easy question to answer at all. And it is probably the most confounding question of our time and one that may come to define the Obama Presidency more than anything else it faces.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  127. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I think the Obama administration is doing exactly that, attempting to find out exactly what we're doing in Afghanistan before committing any more troops. There is always two sides to every story now it's time for the truth and nothing but the truth and I believe President Obama will come out on the side of truth.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  128. Denis Duffy

    It's simple , Jack. We are creating jobs for Afghans. Doesn't seem to matter that we are spending tax dollars, so they can kill American troops. Evidently the jobs created outweigh the number of our soldiers killed. It's the new "Obama-math". After all, you can always trust your government.

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    PS Yeah, just another comment that doesn't make it on air.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  129. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Those of you who say were there to destroy the opeum fields have a point but you dont realize that the black tar heroin and the hashes is part of these peoples religion they use this drug to chant to there god taking this drug away from them would be like taking Christmas away from us they will fight to the death to protect there religion lets leave and let God sort it out.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  130. Joe T

    The US would not be in the mess it is in if the CIA just stuck to collecting intelligence. They put Osama ben Laden and Hassan Hussein in power in the first place. Stop their meddling.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  131. Jay Flynn

    We need to get out.f Afganistan.
    We had the chance to do it right 8 yrs ago at the beginning.
    But we went half measure, then started another war which unified
    the terrorist /islalmists for a long fight. And what better place to fight.
    If I had decided to fight someone bigger than me, (as they have).
    I want to do it so's I can hit him whenever I want.
    Make him play by rules ( no collateral damage) that I don't have to.
    Make him chase me through my nieghborhood. ( where everyone
    knows and/or at least identifies with, if not respects and likes me).
    And have the support of those nieghbors with all my plans, to
    hurt my opponent. As often and as brutally as I can.
    I' think anyone can win , against anybody with those terms.

    Lets get out while we still can and simply obliterate any nation which allows terroristst to launch from within thier borders.
    No more "kindler gentler war"
    Do what we must to protect ourselves
    And God Help those who attack us.
    Very simple
    Easy for all to understand

    October 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  132. mike collins

    I forgot to list my city & state in previous comment dated 10/29/2009 @ 4:23 P.M. ET


    October 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  133. Henya CA

    To BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa
    Thank you for your commends about our wonderful President,

    October 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  134. Jeff

    To see U.S. soldiers walking through Poppy fields just blows my mind. This is where the poison herion, killing our own people is grown and no one in our government seems to care. Let's get our kids out of there and then use a modern day Agent Orange to kill those killer crops.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  135. Diane/Allentown, PA

    The only thing I can figure is there's money in it somewhere for someone, kind of like Iraq, they had oil. These guys have drugs.

    You'd think since its the drug trade is keeping Al Queda going, light up the fields and fly on home. That'll dry up the cash flow for a while!! And keep lighting them up until there's nothing left.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  136. Eric Silveira

    We are in Afghanistan & Iraq to make the Middle East more comfortable for our ally Israel & ensure its survival. These
    wars are part of the larger conflict between Jews & Muslims
    in the Middle East, & the USA is on the side of the Jews.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  137. Tom from Vermillion, Ohio

    Our government seems to be self-removed from all sense of reality and apparently for a considerable length of time. What you said at 4:10 EST concerning the 2000 page health reform says it all when it comes down to the legalize verbage. I'll bet there are at least a million or so US citizens who could solve the Afgan problem AND health care reform bill in 2 pages or less...in plain English and with Ethical Integrety. Jack, why don't you help us get started? Our expert Government officials seem to need a little help, they are obviously a little confused.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  138. T. G. from the virgin islands

    What are we doing in Afghanistan? I thought we were looking for Osama Bin-Ladin. Does anybody know where he is?

    October 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  139. sam

    It is a waste of time, and resources to fight in Afghanistan. Obama should pull our troops out of Afghanistan, and let them fight among themselves. There are very few countries in NATO (Canada, England?) that send their combat troops to fight in the war. The French, German, Dutch, etc only send their supporting service. I don't understand why Obama cannot make decision. Keep dithering while our soldiers comeback in body bags. Stop talking. Talk is cheap. Bring our troop back.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  140. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, we are there for two reasons:
    Hunt down and kill those responsible for 9/11
    Prevent Afghanistan from again becoming an Al Queda base so it doesn't happen again.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  141. Tom Ellwood

    We are repeating the mistakes of the past ala Vietnam. Remember the song that cried, "when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"

    Tom Ellwood
    Staten Island, NY

    October 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  142. Mary in Florida

    Making military suppliers very wealthy and thinning out our young male population.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  143. Mike, Vancouver

    What you are doing in Afghanistan is trying to figure out from Star Trek's "kobyashi Maru" no win scenario. You need to change the rules to settle the war.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  144. Tom Ellwood

    We are "dithering" in another country's politics and culture, which is something we have a special knack for doing very poorly at the expense of our young, brave soldiers lives.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  145. Grateful Jedd N.J.

    I think that right now obama is still trying to decide whether we are fighting Taliban, al Qaeda, foreigners coming to fight americans. Well it is all the above. With that said we know we want to kill al well Al Qaeda and foreigners coming to fight Americans and Taliban aligned with both or harboring both. What do we do with the Taliban that is not aligned with these people who are the original tribal people of that area? The biggest mission should be to regain the trust and confidence of the tribal people originally from afghanistan and to convince those people maybe ex Taliban, but defiantly Afghanis that Al Qaeda and Foreign people from the Arab world coming to fight are destroying there way of life, disrupting business, and not letting the civilians live there day to day lives. Also make sure to let the pakistani people know they are fighting for the sovereignty of their country. The misguided frustration with America should be redirected towards the militants, and believe they have a better sense of who they are than unmanned drones.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  146. Karl from SF, CA

    Considering the reach of all the terrorists in over 100 countries around the world, it’s like attacking one Chevy dealer hoping to shut down General Motors.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  147. lynnej

    The reason we're in Afghanistan is to...I don't know. Do what we do best...MEDDLE IN OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS.

    We need to leave and let them straightened out their own mess. But burn the poppy fields and take our weapons when we go out the door. We don't want them biting us in the butt years later.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  148. lewis,IL

    maybe the US government is trying to clear all the poppy fields. That way the government can get back some of the money they have been loosing in Iraq. I mean we're not shipping any oil this way. Hint:gas prices. I'm just saying.............

    October 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  149. Ron from South Carolina

    What are we doing? Losing precious American lives and money that we need here at home. Lets just leave this the one who started it, Bush. I would much rather spend time and money getting the health care reform right, with a robust public option, than putting our young men and women's lives at risk.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  150. Linda Laguna Niguel, CA

    When you find out, would you let me know?

    October 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  151. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    We are protecting and promoting opium trade to supply the whole world.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  152. MrVic

    Waisting badly needed taxpayer money is what we are doing. The only way to eliminate terrorism is by defending ourselves from within our borders. it,s that simple. Imagine all the money we would have to do just that and all the jobs it would create. Instead we want to give our enemy our tax dollars to change sides... jeeez ...they must be laughing their but,s off at how stupid we are.... Jack gotta go I think i,m think i,m having an anxietiy attack!!!!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  153. Terry Boyd

    Jack this is a easy one........ can you say "Distraction boys and girls".
    Distraction from poor Americans, declining education, high oil prices, the mexican border, health care, corrupt politicians, racism, billions of tax dollars given to other countries, whoring by elected officials, fraud waste and abuse in government contracting and officials...........need I go any further!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  154. Eric B. in metro St. Louis

    hopefully trying to find Osma Bin Laden......and if the Obama administration does find him it will be interesting to see what kind of negative spin the Republicans and FoxNews could put on THAT!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  155. Dennis Carey

    Jack, President Obamma better get use to raising his right arm to salute the American flag covered caskets if he decides to continue down this path in a tribal country who can be bought for temporary peace. The British tried it during World War I and failed. I predict President Obamma's arm should get tired just after 58,001 men and women are sacrificed. A Vietnam Veteran.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  156. Sasuke

    I like your idea may be we can also get some economic growth with that order of fries. Doing menial tasks in and around the area cleaning with 2 times with 1 stroke. If we can get that idea to work why not try to capitalize on it as well if there selling what else can they do to help. WE NEED Accountability and systems in place to watch the situation closely

    October 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  157. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    Remember Jack? We are fighting Al Quaeda!! Nevermind that they aren't even in Afghanistan, and can that they can set up training camps in a lot of other places! We would be out of there by now, if Bush/Cheney hadn't taken their eyes off the ball, and decided to start a war for oil in Iraq , instead of finishing a war on terror against Al Quaeda!

    October 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  158. Ronald Holst

    We are still trying to get a plan that the last team had know idea there .

    October 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  159. Dianne

    I donot believe 2000 pages is to much. Hopefully, it is enough. In the past, people took the laws as they were written. Today you must try to spell out every possible scenario to aleviate anyone putting words in that was not stated. The law must be complete for those who will try to manipulate the law or sue. It is a sign of the times. Everyone looks for a loophole just as management does in a union contract. And the law is a contract.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  160. Mike from Florida

    Jack, the war didn't start yesterday and the request for troops didn't come yesterday. The Obama Administration has had this in their lap for 9 months. Just now they are working on a strategy. Granted Bush didn't help matters, but that was then and this in now. Real Time. Real Time life and death. Don't you think the Taliban have taken this up a notch, because our President can't make a decision? Too many are involved and its convoluted with what's right and politics.

    October 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |