November 9th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should Obama heed Gorbachev’s advice on Afghanistan and prepare to withdraw troops?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev who has "been there, done that" when it comes to Afghanistan says that instead of sending more troops, President Obama should prepare to withdraw U.S. forces. It's advice Mr. Obama may want to consider as he weighs sending up to 40,000 additional troops into that eight year old war.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/09/art.gorbachev.jpg caption="Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev ."]
You see, the Soviets occupied Afghanistan in 1979. A decade later, they picked up their toys and went home after intense opposition from Afghan fighters, backed by the U.S. and Pakistan.

13,000 Soviet soldiers - and more than a million Afghans - died during those 10 years. At the time that Gorbachev withdrew his forces - he called the occupation of Afghanistan a "bleeding wound."

Gorbachev now says the Soviets talked about sending more troops back then - but decided against it. Instead, he says they chose to work on domestic development in Afghanistan and promoting reconciliation between the various factions in the country.

Gorbachev acknowledges that terrorism can't be ignored... but that the overall emphasis should be on dialogue and ultimately a withdrawal of troops.

Meanwhile President Obama has been holding meetings for over a month now with top military and foreign policy advisers about what to do next in Afghanistan. Maybe some day he'll make up his mind.

Last month was the deadliest in the eight year war for U.S. troops.

Here’s my question to you: Should President Obama heed former Soviet Pres. Gorbachev’s advice on Afghanistan and prepare to withdraw U.S. troops?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Floyd writes:
So Jack, what should we do? Concede Pakistan's nuclear weapons to the Taliban and Bin Laden? There is no doubt if these hostile terrorists ever gain possession of any of these weapons of mass destruction, World War III is just a missile fired at India away. Think of it this way, terrorists are willing to blow themselves to pieces for their ideology and I don't think they would hesitate to blow up an American city to achieve their objectives.

Amy from Indianapolis writes:
The Afghans know that we can punish them for hosting terrorist camps and welcoming terrorists. We need a better strategy for controlling the terrorist threat than just sending more cannon fodder. A cold war with the Afghans might work as well as our cold war against Russia, and it couldn't work worse than the hot war we're currently in.

Kevin writes:
When has the Soviet Union ever had our best interests at heart? How will withdrawal defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists? How will "rebuilding" be successful without military forces to maintain the peace? How will you live with yourself when the Talban wreak havoc after you pull out and bring Afghanistan back to the dark ages? Oh, I forgot, you're a liberal, easier to pull out and let someone else die at the hands of the Taliban!

Tom writes:
Absolutely! We need to withdraw. If we intend to do away with terrorists, target only them. We have no right to change the world just to fit our model. Protect our friends, if asked, but stay out of other countries internal affairs.

Peggy from Spokane, Washington writes:
Gorbachev listened to us and "tore down that wall." Maybe it should be our turn to listen to him, and get out now! Just sayin', Jack, he knows of what he speaks!

Filed under: Afghanistan • President Barack Obama
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Lou from North Carolina

    Yes. Did you listen to Fareed Zakaria and the past president of Pakistan. There are some people smarter than our military leaders. In this world, you better be able to speak with people who know what is really going on in the country. The Russians might have good insight and I know the past president of Pakistan has to be smarter than your normal bear.

    November 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  2. Ruth from Wisconsin

    We should have learned from the Russians quite some time ago that this was not war we should have entered into and Obama should most definitely listen to the advice Gorbachev is offering. Bring our troops home!

    November 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Hubie lee

    Yes jack as soon as possible

    BartonMS 38611

    November 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  4. pat

    no.protect the poppy fields and al quida will come to them.that is what this is about!

    November 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  5. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    YES! Finally another politician from another country...and he should know since it was Russia that got it's butt kicked the last time someone tried to take over Afganistan.

    November 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  6. Ed

    If not, then he must challenge the Pentagon on why there strategy is better than that of Ghengis Kahn, Alexander the Great, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union who all failed to conquer Afghanistan.


    November 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  7. Jayne

    One word: yes.

    November 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  8. Lisa, San Jose CA

    Obama has more information about Afghanistan than we do. If Gorby's advice makes the most sense given the information that Obama has, then yes he should follow it. If it doesn't make the best sense, then he shouldn't.
    Advice should be followed based on its pertinence and merit, not necessarily its source. On the plus side, Gorby dealt with Afghanistan himself. On the minus side, our relationship with the Russians has sometimes included a willingness to obliterate each other.
    But, I think Gorby is old enough to be past politics, so I don't think he's trying to hurt the US with his recommendation.
    Base the decision on sensibility, not trust.

    November 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Russ in PA

    Sooner, rather than later...

    November 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Willow, Iowa

    Yes, The Soviet Union tried and couldn't win in Afghanistan, and we've been there for about 7 years? I am surprised that anything was done in the old Yugoslavia. Anywhere you have loyalty to family and tribes over country, its like swimming upstream. When the US has a problem, the ethnic groups pull together. In countries like Afghanistan, when there is a problem, their loyalty is not to their country, but rather to their tribal areas. We are never going to win in Afghanistan, I am sure, until the last little old lady with an Uzi is brought down.

    November 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  11. Susan Frost

    We should heed the lessons of history, as the Russians eventually did, and get out of there. That paleolithic narco-state is not known as "The Graveyard of Empires" for nothing. By any estimate, we have a great deal to lose and absolutely nothing of value to gain – unless you count the profits of defense contractors – by pursuing our military adventures there any further.

    Tuscaloosa AL

    November 9, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  12. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    Yes, and he should know. Afganistan brought down the USSR and can do the same to the US.

    November 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  13. mywildpitch

    yes ,I do believe it strongly,its waste waste -waste

    November 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  14. Dennis North Carolina

    failure is not a answer.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  15. David in Raleigh, NC

    Obama is under Gorbachev's control. He'll abandon Afghanistan the same way that he abandoned Poland and the Czech Replublic.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  16. Joe CE

    He should give Gorbach's advise no consideration. However, he should come up with a plan to start a drawdown within 2 years. Of course, such a plan cannot be announced

    November 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  17. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Yes! They don't call it the "graveyard of empires" for nothing, Jack.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  18. Matt


    Is the Pope Catholic? We should learn from history but unfortunately few ever do. Afghanistan is becoming this generation's Viet Nam. We need to focus on home not try to change a culture and country that have successfully resisted change for hundreds of years.


    November 9, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  19. Penny Muleshoe, Texas

    I think what Obama needs to do is get our troops the hell out of Afghanistan. These troops would be better served here at home defending our own boarders airports and shipping lanes. Terrorists live all over the world not just in Afghanistan. They can come from any where and at any time. Some reside in America right now. We do not know who or what we already have walking around among us because anyone can walk into the United States from any border North South East or West. We are not winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. We are alienating them by our mere presents. This war on terrorism is our war not Afghanistan's war and they know it.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:16 pm |

    When we had Reagan and the Soviets had Gorbachev, that was the only time in history they had the better leader. Putin vs Bush? KGB Leader vs oil brat? That's kind of a toss up. Gorby was the great leader who "opened the window" in the Soviet Union and allowed some exchange of ideas. Remember "Glasnost" and Peristroika"? Hardly the idea of Ronny who was too busy toying with how to destroy incoming missiles so we could nuke the Russians without them doing it to us. That'll get you a peace prize.
    Gorbachev has good advice for our president. Bring all of our troops home. No, not for Christmas, bring them home for Thanksgiving. Then we'll sll see how cheap health care can be for all Americans. I'm 71 and if there's one thing I've learned in those years it's if you're making a bone-headed mistake, the best thing to do is stop.
    Terry DeLoughary
    Bark River, Michigan

    November 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  21. Steve

    No troops should be withdrawn until Bin Laden is either captured or dead!

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    November 9, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  22. roger

    As if the Russkies were successful!

    November 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Only a loser listens to the opnion of another loser on how to win. Then again 'win' isn't a word Obama uses much. I guess if we're fighting for a draw, we might as well leave.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  24. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    it is good advices from an experienced leader except I think it it is better to know how to better look at the situation and readjust the troops amount, placement and respective jobs just as we should have a plan that includes also a future exit strategy with keeping in mind that the U.S. and NATO Allies have a moral obligation as well as a respectful attitude of continuing to build stronger diplomatic and economic development relations with Afghanistan and all its neighbors. If and when we leave Afghanistan, we want to leave on good terms while knowing we are staying connected and working on having open communications and building stronger bonds for a stronger Afghanistan.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  25. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    The sooner we get our troops back on American soil, the better. We should bomb the crap out of the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan to try and snuff out as many radicals as possible, then pull our folks out.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  26. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Gorby might be a good facilitator for a peace conference to redraw the Afghan border, which would work better than trying to transform the country. (In other words, the answer is yes, kinda).

    November 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  27. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Yeah, maybe the President should take a listen.
    Gorbachev helped us get out of the Cold War by cooperating with Reagan. He got the Soviet's out of Afghanistan when he realized the mission was a terrible and costly mistake. The net result, there is a hell of a lot people walking this earth that wouldn't be because of him. Staying in Afghanistan means there will be those who won't get to walk much longer. WHY?

    November 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  28. George-TN

    Yes...we had no business there in the first place. It was just a "smokescreen" to deflect attention away from the things the previous administration had gotten wrong in Iraq. The President had the right idea, to clean up the threat the Iraq war posed on the region, but when they came to the conclusion there was no military solution to the problems in Afghanistan, he should have begun withdrawing our troops immediately. Perhaps he could have helped Pakistan beef up their forces, but in either case, it's time to bring our troops home. They're battle weary...

    November 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  29. Loren, Chicago

    I've already seen a number of comments that Obama would be wrong to heed Gorbachev's advise. My response is the quote "those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." The Afghanis were successful against the Soviets because the Soviets couldn't close the Afghanistan borders, which allowed US funded munitions, particularly anti-tank and ground to air missiles, to be supplied to the Mujahadeen. Guess what? Those same borders are allowing the Taliban to move back and forth with munitions to attack US and UN forces from safe harbors in Pakistan and Iran. While the Pakistanis are seeking to end the hold that the Taliban has over the Pakistan borders, anyone who believes that Pakistan will be able to close off the borders are not students of history, military or otherwise. The only solution in Afghanistan is a political one, and even that will be a poor compromise. We must face it, Afghanistan will be slow in joining the modern world and the best solution is one that limits the damage that it can cause the rest of the world. Unless we want to continue to suffer losses in a losing effort, we must let the Afghanis decide their own future without a superpower behind the winning side.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  30. Terry from North Carolina

    There will never any kind of order in Afghanistan untill we withdraw. The Russians couldnt reach their objective and they pumped many more troops into this country then we have and look at the result. This is another Vietnam they dont want us their and the American people want our troops out of there.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  31. Tom from Philly

    Ok why doesnt anyone else get the afghan solution. Lets round up all the screaming conservatives who pout and cry for the land to be restored to the land of our forefathers...... instead of tearing down the roads rails airports power and phone lines internet electricity highways water and sewage HERE, lets send them to afghanistan: a rugged terrain that needs to be conquered an indigenous population that needs to be taken over and none of the modern conveniences that require public funding.

    Afghanistan is a no win situation, if we build infrastructure they will send us heroin for our addicts. Why is it these republican wars always end with everyone's line being tapped the vets on heroin and some ollie north coke dealer on the cia payroll dealing drugs at the same time....

    America needs to get its house in order

    November 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  32. Tina Tx

    He should have never said he would chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell. Jack, America was teetering on the brink of being bankrupt just like Russia did. If we do not leave soon we will join them and China will become the greatest nation in the world. How sad will that be?

    November 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  33. Carl D.

    We should get out of there as quick as we can, the United States should of never got involved in the first place. If we got out of Iraq and Afghanistan the money saved would easily pay for nationwide healthcare.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  34. Thom Richer

    No. Gorbachev's advice or opinion are of no relevance to Obama and his decision making on the Afghan situation. However, the American people's advice and wishes are and should be a huge influence on his decision. I believe the majority of American citizens want us out of Afghanistan and Iraq and want our troops out immediately if not sooner. So, Gorbachev's advice is good advice but not a deciding factor. Obama must make his decision on his own with only American's wishes guiding him.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 9, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  35. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    We're after Bin Laden .If we need to be in Afghanistan to destroy him, then so be it. The United States Military goes and does as it see's fit . Where it chooses and when it chooses for reasons of there own discretion. The cowards of 9/11 who destroyed the live of innocent cvilians now hide among the same for refuge. No flag of honor these are uncivilized barbarians Our country did not select this war. The dirty business of finding Bin Laden is ours and ours alone. Only when the dead of 9/11 have been avenged and our enemy vanquished will we be at peace. I personally don't care what the courts in Italy beleive either
    To believe that withdrawl will end the fighting is unrealistic.
    A glance on the 6 pm news of turbin headed flag burning radical zealots should answer any concerns about the war.
    This war more closely resembles the Indian wars for the American West
    This is an ugly war of atrician. Only the truly strong should apply

    November 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  36. Ray Kinserlow

    I originally supported the invasion of Afghanistan. I have come to regret that support. While I think we should stay as long as the U.N. asks us, we should make it clear we want out.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    November 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  37. Tony from Southport

    Probably yes. He can't make a decision on his own.... no executive experience, no experience with foreign policy, except to apologize for the USA and bow to Muslim leaders. So he should look for all the advice he can get. At least we can vote him out in 2012.

    November 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  38. Fred R Deleon

    Bringing troops back home regardless what any political party might say, will be a logic and common sense to do. NOT a political issue.
    What are we still doing in Iraq? What are we doing in Afghnistan?
    What will we be doing in Pakistan in the near future? We can't win a war if don't know how. We have the most powerful army in the world but can't find a squirrel on a tree. (this is dirty, so called rules of engagement don't let our soldiers to see the squirrel up on the tree).

    November 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  39. Uncle Sam in Florida

    Sometimes the voice of experience is the best advice you can get.
    Bring the troops back home.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  40. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    President Obama has plenty of qualified advisors, which don't include Gorbachev, political opponents nor the media. I think we're in good hands.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  41. Sherri-Illinois

    Absolutely and the sooner the better! We have had our fill of wars from Vietnam to Iraq AND the mess in Afghanistan. Enough is Enough! Bring our Servicemen and women home because just like the 2 previous mentions wars, Afghanistan also is an unwindable war thanks to President Bush!

    November 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  42. richard a. winkler

    Absolutely, bring all troops home now.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  43. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Actually I think our president should heed the wishes of most Americans and begin to withdraw troops from Afganistan.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  44. Melissa

    The job in Afghanistan needs to be finished. It was neglected too long. The problem is that I don't think its feasible to continue the battle during a very very bad economic recession. The money can be spent on the United States instead of being spent on a foreign war. For that reason, its time to bring the troops home. Each country should take care of themselves first and worry about other country's second, the United States included.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  45. southerncousin

    Take advice from the man who lost the Cold War, that sounds like something our loser president would do. They both won the Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing, so they share that common bond. Obama one and done.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  46. Jesse of ATL

    Yes, at this point starting over where the Bush admin failed is a WASTE of human life....

    November 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  47. Jane (Minnesota)

    Yes. I've felt we never should have gone there when it first started. No country has been able to change a place that frankly doesn't look like it wants to change. Change needs to come first from within before it has a chance of succeeding.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  48. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    He should just withdraw the troops from Afganistan simply because it is the right thing to do.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  49. Richard Sternagel

    Unless the Afghan Government works to improve the lives of it's citizens, then yes we should look for an exit strategy from Afghanistan! We can't continue to support a corrupt Afghan Government without looking ridiculous and hypocritical in the eyes of the world!

    November 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  50. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    He souldn't wait. He should bring our troops home from all foreign countries today and start fighting the drug lords and gangs right here in the good ole USA. Oh, and on the way out destroy all of the poppy fields. There are no winners in WAR except war itself.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  51. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,we need to go all, in and do what needs to be done or just get everyone the hell out there,half measures only get more people killed!!!

    November 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  52. Ken, DE

    Yes he should, but he will not because he is as stubborn as johnson was during the vietnam war. After we spend another trillion or so we will stop the killing and leave.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  53. chaney, La.

    Yes... Yes.... Yes get out, If we cant afford healthcare reform,we cant afford to be using up valuable resources, chasing phantoms. Bring the troops home.....

    November 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  54. jyll from TX

    I think we need to withdraw all our troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan ASAP.......look at all the lives we would be saving not to mention money....probably enough to pay for health care for everybody.......

    November 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  55. JENNA

    Should President Obama heed former Soviet Pres. Gorbachev’s advice on Afghanistan and prepare to withdraw U.S. troops?


    They lost so many and understood that they were not fighting a war but multiple wars by tribes..

    It is time for us to leave.

    We are not there to nation build and Al Qaeda has moved on..

    Roseville CA

    November 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  56. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    Yes and it can' t be too soon – especially for all those families that have children there.

    We can't be everywhere and sending more troops in is not going to make us safer. It might keep some promises that politicians make however and to me that immoral.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  57. Mike in Greeley, CO

    Gorbachev makes a strong point. It would be wise of us to start withdrawing our troops. The Afghan people will benefit from economic and social reconstruction then an occupational force. If we buy out the militants, educate the women, and napalm the poppy fields, then we stand a chance at removing terrorism from the nation once and for all.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  58. A Southern Lady - Raleigh

    Yes – withdraw our troops immediately. Afghanistan is ungovernable and not one inch of that county is worth an American life.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  59. BOB WHITE, Kansas

    Yes, let's leave Afghanistan. It doesn't mattter where the advice comes from, when it is the right advice the US needs to follow it.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  60. Terry

    Either change the rules of engagement for in country forces or begin packing. More troops for the same rules are not the answer, a change of engagement is.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  61. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    I would if I were President, but I am prejudiced. I well remember Vietnam and all the arguments advanced in favor of pursuing that war. They are the same arguments currently being pushed for staying the course in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    I think we will have the same result now as we did then.

    Arlington Texas

    November 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  62. BILL, WI

    In the 80's the Soviets pursued a war of "if you don't agree with us you will die". Which was the way they conducted warfare and "reconciliation", remember re-education classes, when dealing with Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary and other countries that crossed the Soviets. In fact the estimate runs much higher than one million dead for the years they were in Afghanistan. Of course if we conduct ourselves like the Soviets did, then we too will fail. However, if our conduct is not one of total annhilation then there is a chance of success. P.S. the Soviets failed in everything they did.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  63. Terry

    The "Rules of Engagement" for Afghanistan need to be changed from "Hearts and Minds" to a more aggresive take out the enemy approach. If we are not willing to do that, then why send precious blood for unfertile ground.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  64. george

    I don't really need any advice from anyone to do the right thing, and the right thing is to leave Afghanistan soon, if not sooner. Too much to lose, and nothing to gain.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  65. Thomas in Tx.


    November 9, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  66. Maria

    Obama already knows for certain we need to get out of Afghanistan. He doesn't need to draw that conclusion from outside advice.

    Just do it.


    November 9, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  67. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, yes, he should heed his advice. How is the situation going to get better for the U.S.? You already mentioned last month was the deadliest in 8 years. Sending more troops isn't the answer. The capture of Osama Bin Laden is now becoming a distant memory. The viable solution would be as Gorbachev suggested for domestic development and dialogue between the various factions. This would mesh well with Obama's election promise of engaging the U.S.'s adversaries in dialogue rather than needless confrontation.

    November 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  68. Rashad

    Pres. Obama should heed Gorbachev's warning. History says the Afghans will not allow themselves to be governed by an invading power under any circumstances. Wars not only destroy people, but economies as well.

    Rashad from Oklahoma

    November 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  69. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, NO! He should commit the required resources to Afghanistan, as requested by his Commander, and finish the mission he assigned to the military. I'm betting he won't, because he doesn't have the stomach for a prolonged fight and neither does Congress. The military does, the civilian leadership doesn't and that is sad!

    November 9, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  70. pat in lexington, Ky.

    Yes. It's high time that the U.S. brings our soldiers home. Whatever we do, it's not going to stop Al Qaeda or the Taliban – they are expanding all over the world and will continue to do so. I am praying that Obama will decide to withdraw our troops very soon.

    And Jack – some day Obama WILL make up his mind. Try to leave your sarcasm out of it, will you please?

    November 9, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  71. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    Gorbachev knows the consequences of making the wrong choice. President Obama should listen. It's either that or learn the hard way, and I think we've paid a big enough price already! My family certainly has. We lost a 26 year old family member last May. How many more till enough is enough?

    November 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  72. Linda in Arizona

    Yes, he should . We're wasting time, money, and lives there. He won't though. He's afraid of being called a wimp and a quitter by the dirty, lying, deceitful, nasty republican traitors. It's a macho thing now. He'll send more troops.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  73. Jim from Chicago

    I'd say Gorbachev is not only a smart man but a realistic one. We will never win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people at the end of a gun barrel. We need to figure out how to combat terrorism with development. It may take more creativity, but we are supposed to be the most ingenious nation in the world.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  74. Stacy St.Augustine Fl

    Obama should invite Gorbachev to the WH to share his information with the Generals and the VP at those meetings he has been holding. They need to pay attention to Gorbachev.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  75. Jerry

    Yes, and Iraq too! I am tired of perpetual war.Jerry/ Iowa

    November 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  76. Gigi Oregon

    After the Bush years why would we want to do anything smart.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  77. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, I have reversed my long standing position on this issue and now believe we should withdraw immediately. It will be cheaper for us to get out and keep supplying weapons to various warlords and keep them fighting each other than it will for us to pursue total victory. We just cannot afford this was any more.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  78. Marion/Alabama

    Only if he is prepared to deliver a bigger bomb to the next country or area that attacks us in any form,be it an embassy,school or military base.Where is Union Carbide when we need them?

    November 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  79. al pearis

    He's been there, done that. If anyone knows from what he speaks it's Gorbachov. While he might not agree in full with the former Soviet Premier's reccomendation, he should give it a lot of weight.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  80. Cheryl

    YES!!! This country has a long history of bleeding countries dry who try to occupy it for whatever reason. We do NOT have the resources to squander now.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  81. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    YES! Jack, we all know that eventually the U.S. will pull out. Its a matter of time. The warmongers want to continue the fight. But 62% of Americans do not want to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  82. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Personally, I believe we should stay there & very publicly show no mercy toward those who victimize others for personal gain. In fact, we should be doing the same here at home. Let's start with the former administration. I believe rounding up Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rice & Rumsfeld, lashing them to stakes & setting them on fire would greatly reduce future Government corruption and put us back on the right path.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  83. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I do think we should pull our troops out of a useless war in a country that is quite happy to be run by terrorists! Didn't sending troops to Iraq prove that by the volumn of deaths we incurred, that they didn't want us there exerting our beliefs over them? Afghanistan is a no win situation, and we should be taking care of our own people now and let the Afghans take care of their own country.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  84. Anita from Tennessee

    President Obama will have my support no matter what he decides regarding troops in Afghanistan. However, I am against war in general and would prefer that he pull all troops out of all countries.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm |

    Yes, we need to get out of there now. I'm not saying give up the fight . I'm saying we need to fight them in another way.
    Let the Afghans regroup, let them get comfortable and attack them when they least expect us. We cannot fight a dispersed enemy in that kind of widespread and rugged territory and think we are going to win overnight.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  86. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Nothing speaks louder than the voice of experience. I would hope that President Obama gives serious consideration to the advice from Gorbachev.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  87. Rob in NC

    Absolutely! If anyone knows about Afghanistan it's Russia. It took them a while to figure it out, hopefully it won't take us as long. ps. you can't win on someone else's home turf. Rob in NC

    November 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  88. Frank from Peterborough

    Of course the troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan. It's a no win situation.

    The NATO troops will soon be on their way out as the public in these respective countries seem to be better informed than the majority of Americans and simply won't tolerate a continuation of this lost cause.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  89. John Ca

    The United States vs The Soviet in the Cold War? I thank god everyday that the World in still here and that the World 's Powers at that time did not drops BOMBS on one another. For the futures of the our Nation I hope the United States is the winner of every war we fights but, that is just a dream.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  90. Homeless D

    Yes, he should bring ALL our people home.

    The people in that part of the world have been fighting and killing each other FOREVER and nothing we do is going to either stop them or make them act like civilized human beings.

    I remember seeing the news footage about the Russians in Afghanistan. It washopeless for the Russians and it is useless for us.

    To think any "superpower" can defeat a bunch of people who are willing to fight tanks with rifles, and sit around smoking hash on their breaks is totally stupid.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  91. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    Yes... we would be better off letting the Taliban make the illiterate tribesmen angry and then supporting the revolt against the Taliban.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  92. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Probably the best advice he could take. There are a lot of Hasan's in Afghan who are willing to blow themselves up along with anyone close to them. You can't win a war with these people that are willing to commit suicide for their belief. You may kill all of them but you can't kill their belief.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  93. Matthew from Orange,CA

    The Soviets withdrew their troops and then "chose to work on domestic development in Afghanistan and promoting reconciliation between the various factions in the country."

    Yeah, that worked out well, Gorby.

    November 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  94. john ..........................marlton, nj

    Yes, he should consider Gorby's remarks. History only repeats itself...

    November 9, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  95. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    Have you ever wondered why history is so long? If we don't learn from the past, then we are doomed to repeat it. We need to do exactly what Gorbachev advised. Instead of sending more troops we should work on domestic development in Afghanistan and promote reconciliation between the various factions in the country. And maybe swap out pomegranates for poppy fields.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  96. John Ca

    Pull out of Iraq put put the troops in Afghanistan it is the rights thing to do unless the Pres. Obama does not want to make the Russia 's mad we needs the troops form Iraq to Afghanistan and at lest try and win one of these wars the United States But, in my opinon the White House does not want to win these war because to the America people in war there is nothing more honorable than victory. Again, Troops pull out from Iraq Transpack to Afghanistan. Give the Gen. The Troops they needs them yesterday!!

    November 9, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  97. Ken M, Millington MI.

    Hello Jack. Yes i think we should prepare to pull out of Afghanistan. It won't be popular at first and the President will be raked across the coals by the kill everybody who doesn't go along with our bullying others attitudes, but it will be whats best for America in the long run. We are as a nation being bled of our resources, manpower and equipment . The best thing is to come home focus on strengthening our economy and healing our nation. We can still fight terrorism.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  98. Harry Havens

    Not sure that I would heed the sage wisdom of a guy that oversaw the breakup of his own country's power, influence and borders.

    Millersburg, Ky

    November 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  99. James Pennsylvania

    Love Obama and everything he does but Afghanistan is a lost cause.
    Our body count shows what kind of progress we are making! NONE!

    November 9, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  100. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Not only Gorbachev's advice, but the opinion of many Americans. We're in a war we can't win, in a country that doesn't want our intervention. I don't think we're stopping terrorism by being there. I don't want any more American lives spent on this country.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  101. Mike S., New Orleans

    Bring our troops home.... alive.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  102. The Broker.

    As for this question? Yes he should. But nothing to do with Russia.

    Well not really! You are fighting in Afghanistan for Russian eventual Real=estate. You have noithing to gain there. Bomb all those drug farms, if you must. But do it from a much safer exit. Like India...

    You could even make a better arrangement than you have with pakistan..

    November 9, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  103. floyd berry

    So Jack, what should we do concede Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons to the Taliban and Bin Laden? There is no doubt if these hostile terrorists ever gain possession of any of these weapons of mass destruction World War III is just a missile fired at India away. Think of it this way, a terrorists is willing to blown him/herself to pieces for their idealogy and I don't think they would hesitate to blow up an American City to achieve their objectives.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  104. David


    Spend our money on health care. Forget wasting it on losing battles.

    David in GA.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  105. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Afghanistan is the 21st century Vietnam. It's a no-win situation. Let's come to that awareness before we lose 50,00+ American lives again. I think that now that our President sees the full picture due to intelligence briefings that he now has access to, he will change h is mind on our strategy of a surge there.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  106. donna marie calix

    yes. leave afghanistan
    donna calix
    monticello georgia

    November 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  107. Allan Hanson Placerville,Ca

    Yes. No matter when we leave Afganistan will go back to where they were when we invaded them.We cannot win this war and should not have tried. We had no excuse for invading .The whole thing was an ego thing.
    It is time to stop this insane war now, it is unwinnable.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  108. TJ Tampa

    It doesnt matter how smart you are or how deliberate of a thinker you are.. If you cant learn from others mistakes you are an idiot. Or thats what our parents told us or we tell our kids.. How many countries have tried to concour this country and failed.. Any body who wants us to stay in Afganistan, cowboy up and enlist the military has a shortage. Bet the cowards wont risk their own neck..

    November 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  109. Lucy

    I see the comparison, but with one glaring discrepancy: we're not Russia in the 1970-80s. Call me stubborn, but I think things that are started should be finished. It's the indecision that is weakening the US right now. Set a goal, and keep to it.
    SF, CA

    November 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  110. Dr. Patriot

    Look at it this way Jack, Since we can't "Tear down those Mountains",
    we may as well "Bring Those Troops Home".

    November 9, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  111. Pat Stiles

    Turn Afghanistan over to NATO or the U.N. Bribe NATO if we must, just as we're doing in Pakistan, Iraq, Korea, Japan, Germany....on and on!

    America has to give up this constant ego trip, that we are the only ones to solve world problems... What conceit ! (And, let's not forget those here in the U.S. that continue getting richer from our "wars" !)

    NATO is the answer...

    pStiles Crossville,TN

    November 9, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  112. Mode (PDX, OR)

    I don't think we should leave Afghanistan until we've regulated the opium trade there. Its worth the lives of our soldiers and the cost of their deployment if we can establish a stable opium industry in Afghanistan–one which isn't run by terrorists.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  113. Ron from South Carolina

    Absolutely, lets not spend anymore lives, money and resources on a war that we shouldn't be in and that isn't winnable. Bring the troops home and let this remain Bush's war.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  114. Megan

    Obama should definitely heed Gorbachev's advice and get the troops out of Afghanistan. hardly anything has been accomplished. Sending 40,000 more troops over to the war will only increase the violence and tension they feel against the U.S. already.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  115. Rob Treiling

    Gorbachev should know since Russia was involved and did not succeed. You can't change a primitive society into a modern democracy within our lifetime. Despite the atrocities of the Taliban, the Afganis seem to accept it. They just don't know any better.

    November 9, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  116. kevin

    When has the soviet union ever had our best interests at heart?

    How will withdrawal defeat the Taliban and Al quaeda terrorists?

    How will "rebuilding" be successful without military forces to maintain the peace?

    How will you live with yourself when the Talban wreak havoc after you pull out and bring Afghanistan back to the dark ages?

    Oh, I forgot, you're a liberal...easier to pull out and let someone else die at the hands of the Taliban!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  117. John, Fort Collins, CO

    President Obama would do well to strongly consider President Gorbachev's experienced advice about the quicksand that sucks up armies in Afghanistan. The recommendations from the Secretary of Defense, and from our generals and admirals, are not necessarily in the best interest of the country or our troops. I will always remember the huge sign posted in front of our Army advanced infantry training barracks at Fort Dix in 1967 that made this so clear: "War is Our Business, and Business is Good".

    November 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  118. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    From my experience in Vietnam I learned that in that war and in any war, we go in, reek havoc, kill one another, and always in the end it is dialogue that ends the conflict.

    As human beings after millenniums of waging war, you would think we could learn that dialogue is the solution, not the result of our atrocities against each other.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  119. Richard P. Wise

    President Obama is taking time and seeking consultation to form an appropriate reponse for the war in Afghanistan. This is something that should have been done seven years ago. My assumption is that he has, or will, should have. It is sad to think we have been at war with no clear plan for Afghanistan. In short this president is catching up in everything from the economy to the foreign policy. We need to give him some space. He was elected one year ago and has been in office for 11 months. Having been in administration for many years I know that it take anyone a year to get up to speed. Yes, consult with Mr. Gorbachev and anyone else to help us clean up this mess.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  120. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Sure...withdraw. We can all pretend 9/11 didn't happen. We can pretend that Afghanistan is harboring terrorists. We can pretend that if we promise to go home they will not continue to plot against us.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  121. Sue From Idaho

    He sure should,it is past time we were out of there.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm |
  122. Annie, Atlanta

    Definitely. Gorbachev has seen what war in Afghanistan gets you. We need to bring our troops home now. Why are we still there? The mission keeps changing and our kids keep dying. This is insanity. The costs are way too high.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  123. Ken in NC

    Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has been down that road and knows what’s down there. Might be a good thing for President Obama to listen to him. Problem is, will he listen.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  124. Karl from SF, CA

    Yes, listen to the man who knows. We have to remove ourselves from this age old civil war like every other invader has over the centuries. We are targets and recruiting tools for the tribesmen and nothing more. Whether we stay or go we will have no influence on their situation or the eventual outcome, if there ever is one. We need to leave for our own survival and the sooner the better. Some wars just aren’t winnable. Can everyone say VIET NAM???

    November 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  125. Amy from Indianapolis

    The Afghans know that we can punish them for hosting terrorist camps & welcoming terrorists. We need a better strategy for controlling the terrorist threat than just sending more cannon fodder. A cold war with the Afghans might work as well as our cold war against Russia, and it couldn't work worse than the hot war we're currently in.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm |
  126. Jimmy

    President Obama should heed this advice. It is indeed a 'bleeding wound.'

    November 9, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  127. Debbie

    We shouldn't spend one more day in any country in the Middle East! We are the alpha and omega of terrorism on this planet. The United States had better begin minding it's own business.

    By the way, Jack, the Constitution was written in secret. Lots of things get done much better that way.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  128. Stewart Hearn

    Withdraw troops from Afghanistan??


    November 9, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  129. Julie Austin, TX

    It definitely does not appear that we are trying to win the war anymore so I think they have no alternative but to pull out. By not making a concrete decision one way or the other, more soldiers are dying needlessly.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  130. Pauly

    Our President should not be taking advice from the Soviets. He was elected to his position on his own merit, not on his ability to take orders.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  131. Eric Jubert

    Yes, I think the President should make the hard choice and change the strategy. I'm behind pulling out the troops and creating a different mission, one based on bringing that country into the 21st century.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  132. Sherwin

    Gorbachev knows. We should get out now.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  133. Ann Perry Garland Tx

    Yes YES I think he should.They are going to fight until they die so why should we get our youg men killed for them.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  134. Bob in Dallas

    You should always listen to someone's advice who has " . . been there, done that. . ."

    Bring everybody home and let's focus on our future !

    November 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm |
  135. Morgan from Texas

    I think it would be best to withdraw from Afghanistan at this point. We've lost the true cause that we set out to do when we jumped into this. I think we can accomplish our goals through military advisors on the ground rather than have our men die for nothing. More good was done in Vietnam when we only had advisors in the southern military.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  136. Bernadette Loesch

    My money is on the former Soviet leader. We cannot rush Pres. Obama into making a decision about sending more troops to their possible deaths. Would you want one of your children to be sent overseas into harms way? Bring our troops home and take that money to fund Health Care and every other program that is needed for the United States. Bush/Cheney left Obama one of the worst messes in history. How fast can he clean things up? I'm prepared to wait.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  137. Tom C.

    Run away from Afghanistan – Walking out is too slow!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  138. Don Hall

    Yes, it' time, lets get our troups back and secure our boarders and take care of home !!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  139. Shelia

    I think he (Obama) wants to get out. But he won't.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  140. nigel, ontario

    well jack,
    that is part of american military arrogance trying to do something russia could not do,it would be unthinkable for american forces not to be able to do something russia could not

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  141. Colt

    Fighting in Afghanistan is going to be the last thing on our minds, when Iran has their finger on a button to launch a nuclear weapon.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  142. Kyle - Denton, TX

    YES! Troop-dumping is not going to stop terrorism. Terrorists are all over the world, and if we somehow rid Afghanistan of these people, they'll still be all over the world. We need to protect ourselves, but flooding ONE middle-eastern country with U.S. troops will not save us from attacks.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  143. Reid

    Since we elected a president with zero experience and very little backbone, we need to cut our losses now and bring all the troops home. No more casualties!!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  144. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    What they should do Jack, is become Allies. Look, bin laden is still alive. Iran is lying. And China wants the World. It would be wise for the U.S and Russia to become Allies and for once put their petty philosophical ideals aside and help this World to right some very bad wrongs.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  145. A person

    If we look at Afghanistan's war history... no country, so far, has been able to actually "win" in Afghanistan. We never hear any progress in Afghanistan, but instead, we hear tragedies. So what exactly are we doing there? Are we even sure if Bin-Laden is even alive. We must look at all factors in this war... do the Afghans even want us there? Who knows?

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  146. Zimmie

    You Betcha! Get the hell out of there.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  147. Bill, Kansas City, MO

    Yes, the president should listen to Gorbachev. We need to begin pulling out now. We've lost enough lives in a fruitless effort. Should have stayed out of Iraq and gone into Afghanistan instead in 2001. Too late now.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  148. astrid fuller

    Yes. Afghans do not want superpowers in there, and have shown they can make it stick.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  149. Ethan from Toronto

    When the Soviets couldn't win their war in Afghanistan, it's very unlikely that the US will win their's. The US has been in Afghanistan almost the same amount of time the USSR spent there, which was ten years. The US has been there for eight years. So yes, President Obama should begin to prepare withdrawing US troops. Prime Minister Harper has Canada slated to leave militarily in 2011, and to continue civilian operations. It's hard to believe that the people we are fighting in Afghanistan are the same people the US supported in the Soviet-Afghan War.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  150. Huma

    Pres.Obama should do what every American president has done in the past and ignore foreign critics. America has always done things different from other countries from the way we handle education to the ways we deal with health care. This is America, not Russia and we will do things in our best interest, not in the interest of a former Russian president.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  151. Doug - Dallas, TX

    You bet we should get out of Afghanistan. It is going to turn into our next Vietnam; the scary part is they're using some of the same arguments that were used in the 60's to increase our troop strength over there. The only thing we got for our efforts was more than 58,000 names on a wall. Losing one more person in Afghanistan is one too many and completely unnecessary.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  152. Shirley Mesquite

    Leave. Leave now. Why are we there? Let their troops handle (Al –whoever). Is this why terrorist are always trying to blow us up because we are always somewhere in the world causing "Hate" and "Discontent".

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  153. CECarroll

    It is past time to leave. The U.S. should have learned from history and never invaded in the first place. The Brits and Russians were far more brutal and without television biased reporting. They couldn't conquer that land and neither will the U.S. It is just a drain on our economy.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  154. Redd

    I totally agree. Its past time that we withdraw. If the powers that be really wanted to get Bin Laden we would have captured him by now. I dont want to see another American life lost in this futile effort.

    From Raleigh, NC

    November 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  155. SandH - Pekin, Il.

    President Obama should listen to his Top Brass and then decide what to do. I would like to see an end to both wars. Bush should never have started them, they were unnecessary. He started something that will never be straightened out. I compare them to killer bees. They have lived that way forever and will not be changed.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  156. Craig in CA

    Yes. The entire Middle East region is in a perpetual state of instability. We need to quit wasting our time there and focus on stopping terrorists from destroying targets within our borders and those of our allies.

    This whole idea of "fight them there so we don't have to fight them here", fails to take into account terrorist attempts outside the middle east, such as the british arrest of 24 terrorists plotting to bomb airlines headed to U.S. cities in 2006. Fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't stop that plot, and it won't stop the next.

    As for nation building, they're just going to tear down everything we do for them as soon as we leave their countries. We need to quit wasting American time, money, and most importantly, military men and women.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  157. safiyah

    Follow his or any other figure from the past's advice on this region-the U.S. needs to leave. The Russians had to leave, the Britons before them had to leave and every other group throughout time has had to go. There is only shame in believing that the same actions taken by others that ended in defeat are going to yield a different result just because it is the United States doing it.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  158. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Advice from the Soviet Union to withdraw from Afghan as they did, we need to ask ourselves is this advice or a threat because to withdraw isn't something our President hasn't been told.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  159. Gretchen in Los Angeles

    Neither President Bush nor President Obama have ever articulated exactly what "victory" in Afghanistan consists of, what our exit strategy is, or just how long our troops will remain there to secure the "peace." If victory means propping up the Karzai regime and injecting enough cash so it can fight the Taliban and any other opposition force on its own, then this will be a war without end. Let's take Gorbachev's advice ... and the advice of nearly every sane person who's commented on this page, and get the hell out.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  160. james golden

    Yes, the President should heed the warning from the soviets. They slaughtered the Afgans and still loss. Losing more Americans (My son) is not worth it. The country is corrupt and that will not change. I hope the Pulls the troops out and stops our young men from dying. As an X Marine I believe the war is unwinable. The republicans hawks that want this war to go on have no sons or daughters fightinh there do they. My Marine son will be there soon and I fear for him.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  161. Fred (New York)

    The hawks think that we should send in more troops regardless of the costs in lives and taxpayer money. Just to get rid of Al quaeda and the Taliban.

    We've been there for over eight years and just what have we accomplished?

    America has lsot lives and money for absolutely nothing!

    Pull out the troops out now and save the money to fund a healthcare system that works for all Americans.

    We spent over three trillion dollars of Taxpayer money in Iraq and Afghanistan already, but we can't fund a healthcare system for all Americans?

    Spare America the right wing hype.
    War is money for the elite wealthy, and taking care of the middle class isn't!

    Get out now.
    It's another Viet Nam!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  162. Shawana

    President Obama is a very wise man and I pray he does listen to President Gorbachev's advice. They will never win in Afganistan most of the people they are fighting are Afgans who are defending their country against an invader, they are not terrorists. The west should be their only to help rebuild the country. The Afgans are a very strong proud people and they have their own culture and we should accept that. Our form of democracy does not fit everyone. Education is the key but most important educating the young men so they will accept their females being educated. All I hear is we need to have girls schools believe me if you do not educate their men first it will never work.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  163. George

    Bring them home , let thier own countries sort out thier own problems.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  164. mirza

    I believe he should. Best policy would be to hold army against the pakistan border and let pakistani army force taliban out of pakistan. I

    November 9, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  165. Karin Murzic, Melbourne, FL

    President Obama should definitely listen to Gorby's advice, coming from a bitter experience of Russian war efforts in Afghanistan. History will repeat itself, and the US Military will enter a blood-bath of unimaginable cruelty. Afghanistan must heal itself – IF their government has the willpower to do so. Our business in that country was to find Osama bin Laden, and he is not there any more. The Taliban is a most powerful tribal organization. They will rule there for centuries to come – the U.S. must get out of Afghanistan, because we do not have the know-how of warfare with the sword. Big tanks and all our mighty weaponry will never win there.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  166. john s johnson

    Gorbachev advise should be taken into consideration, since we should have never gotten involved in Afganistan. This conflict is another Viet Nam. Bring our men and women home.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  167. Leonardo Martinez

    We are not in the Position to be the World solving problems anymore Leave that job to U.N NATO and train those afgans and Paquistanies Inteligence to get the job DONE . ONLY THEY KNOW THEIR CAVES.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  168. David Harrison

    If we ever leave Afghanistan, it should not be on Gorbachev's advice.
    He seems to be covering for the mistakes of the USSR. We are not in Afghanistan for the same reason they were.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  169. Dan

    We will have to get out because our people will not tolerate participation in
    a war without an end game insight, and the increasing costs in loss of life,
    and material.

    The other side will wait us out,, and whatever good we accomplish will be undone in weeks, or months after we leave.

    There are Afghan kids being born as we speak that will be killing our people eventually.

    Get out today.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  170. George Pateman

    Given the number of people who have been killed, the lack of an exit strategy, the climbing number of suicides and the huge expense, it's time to go.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  171. tina Brush

    yes. Let us take care of our own country who is not doing very well in all aspects. This war is another Vietnam....... Bring ALL of our troops and contractors home!!!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  172. docb

    Obama takes in all advice from people with experience..Gorbachev's will be no exception.. He is not speaking from a strictly military viewpoint -which is good...and has had much time to consider the results of Russias actions!

    Yes, Jack, he will listen but times and circumstances are much different..The terror attacks are frightening and the violence through out the World is appalling!...What I have read is thoughtful advice but must be filtered through Todays reality!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  173. opinions2

    I think President Obama should pull our troops out of Afghanistan. Gorbachevs been there done that. Like they say theres nothing like experience.When will our government realize that other countries tell them what they want to hear so they can continue to collect billions from the United States. Its time to get our troops out of harms way.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  174. Dean in California

    Yes...it's always best to listen to those that have been there done that...
    Bush was wrong terriorism is now on our shores after the Ft Hood incident!!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  175. Ky Mankind

    At Mode (PDX, OR)

    Nothing is worth the life of one more American soldier. If you're not too old, will you be willing to enlist in the army and go sacrifice your life in Afganistan ... because it's worth dying for? If you're old already and have children would you like to send your son in harm's way? It's too easy for you to seat before your TV, sipping a drink, and postulate that people should go and die in the middle east!

    Enough of this stupid war!
    May God continue to Bless the USA

    E. Stroudsburg, PA

    November 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm |
  176. Enrique

    Absolutely, Yes. How come the politicians in Congress and Obama don't send their sons and daughters to War???? So nice to send Our friends and family to die in a pointless war so they can get richer every day.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  177. Eric, NY

    Eric on Long Island

    Unfortunately, Gorbachev is likely correct. We do not have the respect necessary to establish a legitimate government. Incidentally, we DID have that type of legitimacy back in the late 80's/early 90's! We had our shot at democratizing Afghanistan right after we supported the Mujahadeen against the soviet occupation. We left and chose not to support the nation afterwards. The nation was destroyed by a war we helped to fund, and so we lost their respect. Now nearly twenty years later, we ARE the Soviet Union, and the Taliban are the mujahadeen. G.W. drops the ball, and Obama is forced to handle it. What a shame! Make that your next question, Jack!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  178. Dale Huffman, Gallatin, TN

    If you mean, should Obama break faith with his own military commander, who was specifically tasked with implementing Obama's own surge strategy, and listen instead to the Russian voice of past failure counselling weakness in the face of a virulent foe, the answer is NO. NO, NO, a thosand times NO (and if he does, impeach him as a traitor).

    November 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  179. Gordon Miller

    If the Soviets couldn't control Afghanistan with their lack of concern for democracy and human rights, what makes anyone think America can?Gorbachev is right: Obama should announce withdrawal of U.S. forces and admit that the Bush administration made a horrible mistake in starting this war and it serves no purpose to expand it. It is impossible to find all the terrorists in Afghanistan, just as it was at Ft. Hood. Why add to the death toll of our troops when no successful conclusion to this war can be expected no matter how many more die trying?

    November 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  180. Rager

    Can we just not learn from the history! Many have occupied Afghanistan over the course of the history-Ancient Indians, Persians, Greeks., they all had to leave the land of Afghans, some times with a bitter wound. In more recent history, the English lost two wars against the Afghans and the Soviets in more recent times. What makes Americans think they can win this war! Take Gorbachev's advise but also contain the Afghans in their land.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  181. Emmet Wilson

    Obama should listen to most Americans not only on the war he did not start but all the other issues he promised us.
    Remove all the troops from Afganistan and Iraq. Russia has been there and done that and did not win, I was in VietNam, been there and done that, and we lost. We are chasing ghosts and can never win. Obama needs to use his head and not be lead by congressman who have never served in the military or Generals whose only being is to have a war. Step up to the plate Obama and let these other Countries deal with their own people and problems.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  182. Richard Brooks

    What is our goal? How would any kind of a victory there benifit the American people? My feelings are that there already been to many lives given up, BRING OUR TROOPS HOME.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  183. Capt William Walker

    The media needs to stop calling Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Congress has not declared war on anyone; these combats are Presidential Initiated Conflicts. The sooner the country realizes we are not engaged in declared wars, the sooner we can disengage from these Presidential Initiated Conflicts without the stigma of losing a war. By placing the responsibility totally on a president for his decision to enter into Presidential Initiated Conflicts, the less like a president will act without a declaration of war!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  184. lynne from nc

    Yes, listen to the man. Enough already. Get the troops out of the Middle East and concentrate on a world wide effort against al-Qaeda.

    These folks have been fighting forever and a day as a friend of mine stated. And they'll continue to do so when we leave. Just leave quicker and this time take your toys (weapons) with you and burn off the opium fields as they hit the border.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  185. Bill Bowman

    Get out! Mission Accomplished! Al Queda is non-existent in Afganistan now so why are we even there now. It looks like we partnered up on one side a civil war that will never be solved militarily. Let's give technical help to Pakistan to finish off OBL....period.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  186. Maurice Hickman

    First, let me establish that I recently spent a year of my life in Afghanistan having more extensive experience in first hand daily interactions with Afghans in security negotiations, humanitarian assistance, and development. Many of the suggestions and comments made by politicians in reference to President Obama's decision on Afghanistan are not informed ones. To simply pull troops out of Afghanistan would be an egregious error.
    You cannot apply the Gorbachev's comments to our situation as those situations differ on many levels. Our mission in Afghanistan and the way we have been approaching it our very different. You must understand that the focus of what we do there is to bridge the gap between local Afghans and the Afghan Government, not completely defeat the Taliban. To even begin to grasp the complexities of that concept you must understand that Afghans' primary care in this world is Security. For the most part, Afghans do not enjoy some of the very simple ammenities that we are afforded everyday to include electricity and running water, thus living their lives securely is their only ammenity. Because of this lack of security, Afghans will not side with their Government over the Taliban out of fear of protection from the Taliban and other foreign fighters. Simply put, in order to bridge the gap between the government and Afghans, we must be able to: A.) Give them a reason to support their own Government, and B.) Provide the security for Afghans to support their Government Freely.
    Now there are several reasons why this is difficult given corruption on all levels, limited funds, an unsecure border, and a lack of insentives for the people, but mainly because of the VAST land and obscuring Terrain that allows the enemy to move freely in order to harrass soldiers and intimidate local Afghans. This is why we are struggling to provide that security. There are not enough troops to cover that country. Which is why we need more soldiers in Afghanistan.
    Again, I experienced this and was heavily involved in my year in Afghanistan from the Company Size Element, which is where the rubber meets the road.
    Now you will probably ask me whether or not the effort to assist Afghans to live freely and support an Democratic Afghan Gov't is worth our while. The answer is YES. We cannot kill or capture all terrorists, but we can develop a country known for harboring terrorists and breeding terrorists to the extent which terrorism is no longer accepted in Afghanistan. We owe that to our country and our people. And we should honor the support we have already given to the Afghans rather than turn our backs on them after having made so much progress with them.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  187. Ernest G. Barr

    Absolutely, he should follow Gorbachev's advice. The guy has been there and done that; he knows what it's like. Obama should also look at the experience of George H. Bush. Apparently he didn't learn anything in eight years, or hasn't the moral stamina to admit it's a loosing cause. Whatever else you want to say about Gorbachev, he learned his lesson and acted on the evidence.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  188. lilli

    President Obama should consider whatever he suggests because he has been involved. Anyway you put it war is hell and any peaceful manner possible should be highly considered over war. Supposedly that is a hot spot for terrorists who are out to harm many.Obviously terrorists within our own country already need to be dealt with in a tougher manner. If you go to war outside of our land to protect us you should also protect our land from those inside it who claim to be americans yet hate what it stands for.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  189. Thurnell Green

    Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! I cannot be loud enough about it. President Obama must listen to the words of wisdom coming out of the mouth of the former Russian President.
    If the President withdraws from Afghanistan, he can use the billions of dollars we spend monthly in rebuilding the economy. The wise books have said..."HE WHO HAS EARS LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRITS SAY.
    In addition, those that are clamouring for him to send in more troops are the same caucuses that have openly pronounced that they want him to fail.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  190. Michael Bartley


    yes, indefatigably yes, get the hell out of Afghanistan today. I served the US Army during the Vietnam War and I saw than what I see now, no exit strategy. We can no longer afford to be the world's police force.
    Our president needs to follow through with his promises made to the American people. They should bar the lobbyist that are only interested in corporate greed. I worked in Washington DC for four years trying to represent the working class railroad workers and I must say it was almost an impossible task trying to compete with the corporations that could buy and pay for Senators and Congressmen then write it off and charge it to the taxpayers. Yes Jack, let's get the hell out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  191. Drew (North Branch Michigan)

    Hey, SouthernCousin, Our current President is a thinking man, unlike those before him who where simply trigger-happy war mongers. We've never had anything to gain from trying to build nations in poor, ungovernable territories, inhabited by religious fanatics who do not want our kind of freedom. Why do Bible-Belters like you follow along with whatever the GOP wing-nuts tell you to vote for, or do. I just listened to McCain explain why President Obama should have been a cheerleader for the Iranian resistance after their mockery of an election turned violent. Our President gave a mature response, not some empty rhetoric as McCain's GOP would have bellowed. Don't forget, those are the same religious fanatics that sat the Ayatollahs in control of their new Islamic Republic (THEOCRACY). The same people who burned our embassy and took our citizens hostage. I believe the Southern Bible Belters would love to see a Theocratic Government here in the United States as well. We could all worship as you tell us, and engage in whatever Holy Oil Wars your Mullahs would dictate. Oh, and you're still in the Land of Dixie. Amen.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  192. Nate Strausbaugh

    I wonder if withdrawal of the troops would mean that the job was done. I think the bleeding wound as the war in Afghanistan was called eventually clots up, but unfortunately the scar never goes away. To prevent the minimal size of the scar and the assurance of further bleeding is what president Obama must consider before withdrawing troops.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  193. Gordon Miller in Memphis

    If the Soviets could not control Afghanistan with their lack of concern for democracy and human rights, what makes anyone think America can? Gorbachev is right: Obama should announce quick withdrawal of U.S. forces and admit that the Bush administration made a horrible mistake in starting this war - and it would do no good to expand it. It is impossible to control all the terrorists in Afghanistan, just as it was at Ft. Hood. Why add to the death toll of our troops when no successful conclusion to this war can be expected - no matter how many more die trying?

    November 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm |
  194. cwalter

    We are fighting a war and others are calling the shots.
    President Karzi on TV stated we cannot destroy the poppy (the source of insurgent funding)
    We are told we cannot use drones and air attacks too may "civilian" casualties
    General Mc Crystal states he will not concentrate on insurgents but on making things safer for the Afghan people with the 40,000 more troops he requested..
    I feel the mission is ill defined and former President Gorbichev is giving good advice when he advises the U.S to pull their troops out of Afghanistan.
    Dover De.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  195. Bruce - Delaware


    November 9, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  196. Marilyn from Columbus, OH

    I think Gorbachev hit the nail on the head. It is time for us to leave Afghanistan. We may have had a mission 8 years ago, but we need to realize the mission now is to bring as many men home alive as possible.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  197. gerry luimes

    This message may come in too late;A former soldier,now militrary journalist talks about crumbling schools without teachers.Schools rebuilt do not have teachers.The average yearly income of $300 but the averageAfghan soldier now earns $200 a MONTH ! So there go the teachers who were never considered essential workers.
    This is one of the many stories about what has been going wrong in Afghanistan.The Hamid Karzai regime is corrupt and grossly illigitimate.Karzai himself would not last long without Western support.And the country generally continues to be ruled by a patchwork of warlords and tribal chiefs,some bad,some terrible.
    Taylor says:" If we are going to pretend democracy exists,we need to getr out now.The West should accept that democracy in Afgh. is not possible in the near term.The current strategy,according to Taylor, is a mistake.Of course we support the troops,but at the end of the day each and every deathe will have to be justified.We have failed to make it a safe environment. Get out and save money!

    November 9, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  198. Larry

    Com'on Jack! Pres. Obama is a true American patriot and politican. As such he has no choice but to bury his head and blame any/all persons within sight for his wrong-headed decisions. As the Supreme Commander of the Military and Leader of the Democrat Party he has, so far, abdicated to lackeys without remorse.
    If Fort Hood and the House of Reps. doesn't mean a wake-up is needed, the world view of Americans will remain in the toilet. Bush brought us shame and disgust. Must our inept "Government by the People" be allowed to prove it?

    November 9, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  199. nate

    no sense in fighting other peoples matters in afgan when those troops could be fight crazy people on us soil. theres so much in the us that could be changes how would we feel if some country took over and sent troops in.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:55 pm |
  200. Ryan from Terre Haute

    Soviet Premier Gorbichev knows what he's talking about. The Former Soviet Leader knows that it's pointless. Every Empire from the late 1800's up until now has tried to bring it under subjection but has failed due to it's contentious terrains. Let's remove our troops and concentrate on keeping America's borders safe.

    November 9, 2009 at 7:57 pm |