FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
When it comes to Afghanistan, President Obama better be right. After months of meetings and criticism that he was "dithering" and "weak" on Afghanistan - he finally made what may be the most important decision of his presidency.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/02/art.obama.w.pt.gi.jpg caption="President Obama spoke at West Point last night. He laid out his plan for an increase of 30,000 troops in efforts to eventually begin to transition U.S. forces out of Afghanistan starting in July 2011."]
But the announcement to deploy 30,000 additional troops is cloaked in contradiction. We're going to rush more troops in so we can begin to rush them out in 18 months. The Taliban and al Qaeda will probably make a note of this timetable.
You don't suppose the decision to withdraw in July of 2011 would have anything to do with the President's 2012 re-election campaign do you?
There was no mention of how we're going to pay for this. The 30,000 additional troops will cost an additional $30 billion in the first year.
Where's that money going to come from? Some Democrats are calling for a so-called "war surtax." But With a fragile U.S. economy, an unemployment rate topping 10-percent, and a costly health care reform plan on the table - there may not be much appetite for that.
Meanwhile - a new USA Today/Gallup poll suggests the American public has just about gotten its belly full of Afghanistan. Only 35-percent approve of what President Obama is doing there. That's down from 49-percent in September and 56-percent in July. 55-percent disapprove… not the kind of numbers that are likely to lead to a second term. Can you spell Vietnam?
Here’s my question to you: How optimistic are you about success in Afghanistan?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Joe from Chatham, Virginia writes:
I recently read that a Taliban leader said Afghanistan was their home and they will be there long after we have given up and gone home. Nation-building there will be hard. They have few resources upon which to build a stable government and the area has always been and still is governed by tribal fiefdoms. A strong central government is an alien concept. Also, this region has historically been the graveyard of empires. I don't understand how we can be an exception.
This had better be good because this is exactly what I did NOT vote for last November. Otherwise I would have asked McCain to finish the job.
Amiri from New York writes:
Jack, It depends. If my people in Afghanistan get help to rise up from the poverty and have a loaf of bread for their families, of course everyone will succeed in Afghanistan, including the international community. It is the Afghan people who are suffering from poverty and have nothing else but to join the insurgent groups for earning a piece of bread.
I could be optimistic, if I only knew what success would be, and how to recognize it.
Rob from North Carolina writes:
There is no optimism. There is no way to "win". The Russians figured this out after about 10 years of trying to "fix" this country. We need to get out of all the countries we are in and attempt to "fix" our own problems.
Hey Jack, You aren't the 1st one to compare a recent war to Vietnam. I think you and your friends were already using that reference when I was standing in the Iraqi desert in late 2003. The difference is that no one really cared about Afghanistan back then. Let's finish the job and bring our troops home... not tomorrow, not ten years from now, give the plan a chance. Something tells me you people won't be happy with any proposal... go put on a uniform.
As a Vietnam veteran, why do I get that old feeling?
The definition of success with any of these war actions is always dubious. But I am certainly more confident in a POTUS that actually has a strategic plan, speaks openly & honestly to the public rather than spewing lies in order to expand an illicit war. I support Obama's actions and feel that we will be much coser to success than with any of the far-right extremists that never have a plan.
Success for whom? Us? Doubt it, as we shouldn't be in there in the first place. We're darn lucky that the Taliban are so ruthless to their own people, otherwise there would be a whole lot more Pashtuns fighting alongside them, and kicking us out of their own country. Like Paul says, the wars will end once the money dries up...
I would be more confident if Obama had given a stronger speech without naming a date to start withdrawing. It's war, you cannot predict how things will go and when you can start to come home. If we are going to do it, we need to be committed to finish the job, whenever that may be.
I believe that if you ask me that question again in ten years, my answer will be the same - not very. Unfortunately, a few thousand Americans servicemen won't be alive to hear me say it and the Osama binLaden will get a sentimental chuckle about the futility of it all.
I still don't understand the meaning of "success" in Afghanistan. If the terrorists are in Pakistan and the nukes are in Pakistan, what are we doing in Afghanistan? This isn't the change I voted for.
You play the hand you're dealt. Obama has done that about as well as he can. I'd say he has a 60% chance of succeeding.
If we are committed we can succeed, but we have to go into this 100% and stay until the job is done. We cannot put a deadline on when we will leave. We have to understand this will come at the cost of more lives.
Fairly so. I won't be stupid enough to say we'll win for sure, but we may.
My opinion on this war is that it is not winnable for several reasons. First Countries do not like to be invaded by outsiders and innocent people become casualties. Each innocent casualty is only fuel for contempt. We are not popular in that country as it is. Now send in another 30 thousand troops and see what happens. This will be Obama's Pyrrhic victory. We will have lost so many troops that even if we did somehow win it would not have been worth the cost of life or money loss to our own economy.
This is a losing battle, not only for American lives, it's also a bottomless money pit. I can't believe this is Obama's idea of change. His speech last night sounded just like George Bush, Obama needs to keep his promises and get us out of these hopeless Wars.
This simply comes down to trusting the president. I do, and I'm sure there are millions who don't, but it's a highly complex problem. The president doesn't cherish having to deal with all the problems that Bush/Cheney left behind any more than you or I, but it's his job. I voted for him to fix all of those problems because I believe he has the intellect, knowledge and sensitivity to all facets of the problem to make the best decision, and I trust him (much more than anyone else) to do what is best for America and the rest of the world. It's amazing how naive the electorate can be about these issues. They adopt the view of their favorite pundit who has virtually no input from truely knowledgable sources. Most of what you are likely to hear is simply going to be anti-Obama for the sake of their own politics.
About as optimistic as success in a Free South Viet Nam. Most in the know say it is not like Viet Nam but I beg to differ. Afghanistan like Viet Nam both countries that did and do not want us "helping" them. The local troops fight in a half hearted way like Viet Nam and sometimes even give us "friendly fire" like Viet Nam and again like that old war most of the people if a true free election was held would vote in the person we do not want. We as a nation made a mistake on what I call the split and run by trying two carzy wars at once when one was enough and oh yeah by the way Afganistan is where they were then now who knows where they are. Pakistan, Chechnya, or Muslim China? I voted for Obama and wished he did not keep this promise only because I feel our time ran out on Afghanistan when we reduced troops there and went to war in Iraq. I hope Obama was not mislead by others that will make him seem as a push over and be known as Obambi.
Well,Jack,I guess it depends what is considered success,I don't think the adminstration is committing to enough troops for an all out "We Win!" victory.If success means to go in with not enough troops and half -ass the mission and get out,then success is just around the corner!
I will be optimistic IF he listens to those commanders on the ground. I will NOT be optimistic if he thinks he can really set a date to pull out. I would be more optimistic if Hillary were president, the phone would have been answered months ago and the situation dealt with. It's funny how the Democrats can find all the money they want for their huge spending sprees and 3,000 worth of flowers for Nancy Pelosi to buy courtesy of the tax payers, but they want to create yet another tax to pay for the war.
Not at all Jack. 30000 more troops against whom? An enemy we can not see, against corruption from the top down and enemies that just retreat into other countries. 30 billion, I thought we were broke, we could have done so much good here at home. Obama is done for me. We NEED JOBS not WARS.
The words "war" and "success" are mutually exclusive to me.
About as optimistic as I am that the US will have full employment in 18 months. And it could, if the wages in India rise above US wages and information technology jobs come back, and if the wages in China rise above US levels and manufacturing jobs come back. Similarly, the Afghanistan startegy could be a success if the Taliban commit suicide in the next 18 months and if the Karzai administration suddenly becomes honest and competent.
As Optimistic as I am about the Economy.
After watching that finger pointing speech last night....Not very confident. Obama doesn't come across as committed to finishing the job. This is war, you cannot go into it with an exit date. His concern is and always will be campaigning for re-election. If he would only understand that if he did his job and did it well, he would be re-elected.
Afghanistan is the biggest mistake Bush/Cheyney made and it was dumped into Obama's lap. The fact that no one went after bin Laden for many years has
strengthened the terrorists hold on that region. The more of our troops are murdered, the more they feel all-powerful. This mission is one we don't need.
I am not optimistic about the prospects that a tribal collective like Afghanistan can function like a country or that a wild card like Pakistan can or will impose order on its border region. However, unlike Obama–whom I continue to support in most of his endeavors–I believe we can protect the "homeland" against terrorism without being successful in Afghanistan (or Somalia or Yemen or . . . ).
Not very, Jack, but this has to be done. If we use the 18 months to train Afghan forces while at the same time coordinate an offensive with the Pakistanis, it might do some good. We know the Pakistanis have been hurting the terrorists (hence the terrorist attack on Mumbai), my fear is that we are about 7 years too late.
I am more confident of success under the Obama administration than the prior one. The war on terrorism is not a regional war – it is global. Spilling blood within certain borders will not stop terrorism, so let's set a timetable, get out of someone else's civil war, and fight terrorism globally.
Not at all. Lets see Russia tried to change them and Britain and then you go farther back in time and the Afgans are still doing what they have done for centuries but here come the Americans going to train them to step up and be soldiers? Please. If we must waste money why not keep it here fixing our problems and leave them in the dust where they belong.
Yes, we will succeed in Afghanistan. This is one of the many reason's I voted for Obama. As Obama said during the presidential campaign, he'll pull troops out of Iraq and focus more troops on Afghanistan. He's doing exactly what he campaigned on last year.
I am not optimistic about success in aghanistan nor do I care if there is success in afghanistan. We have been unable to protect the 13 dead soldiers at fort hood, unable to protect u.s. police officers from being killed , unable to protect u.s. women and children from being assaulted and killed, unable to prevent crashers at the whitehouse, and unable after 8 years to train the afghans to defend their own country. It takes 6 weeks to train a soldier so if we have 20,000 trainers we should have been able to train 20,000 afghans every 6 weeks for the last 8 years. Maybe we should hire the taliban to train the afghans. What is suprising is that 50% of the people in the u.s. think this is a good idea and are willing to waste another trillion dollars in afghanistan.
Not optimistic at all. Obviously we haven't listened to "lessons learned" from the Brits and Soviets. Time to leave is now. Our country is broke. We need to focus on issues right here in the Homeland.
History has much to teach on this issue. Given our nation's unwillingness to hang in for the long haul, I am not very optimistic. I recently read that a Taliban leader said Afghanistan was their home and they will be there long after we have given up and gone home. Nation building there will be hard. They have few resources upon which to build a stable government and the area has always been and still is governed by tribal fiefdoms. A strong central government is an alien concept. Also, this region has historically been the graveyard of empires. I don't understand how we can be an exception. It's not that I don't think our mission there is worthy, it's just that I am a realist.
Give him a chance, its not his fault Bush decided to focusn on Iraq and ignore Afganistan.
It does not matter at all. If Pres. Karzai and the other guys (Taliban, tribal chieftans, warlords-whatever) cannot get their act together and live in peace and harmony by the Jan. 2012 deadline, we are packing up 100% of our stuff and leaving, aren't we?
Considering it took him almost 4 months to make the decision, Not very confident. He is going into it with an exit strategy and leaving us feeling like he isn't committed to the cause. The soldiers were looking less than enthusiastic, they are the ones that will be paying, with their lives.
I am not optimistic at all. This is not change I can believe in–this Bush/Cheney revisited. I think that we need to draw down the troops we have there and bring them home. There is nation buildling to do here in the good old USA. Our chances of improving Afghanistan are slim and none. For a detailed discussion, see Thomas Friedman's column in this morning's New York Times.
Not at all. Why can't they know that Ben Laden has vowed that he will break our backs by breaking our economic and financial status and then he or someone else will own us. He told us to get out of Muslim land and we don't believe him. When we were attacked on 9-11, we knew where it came from. Why didn't we react in 12 hours and we would have solved the whole problem by turning them into glass and there would have been no Iraq or Afghanistan. Why is it just the women would understand this?
More so than under the Bush Administration. At least he has an exit strategy, and now he is still taking flak from the Republicans. Can't win, can he?
More optimistic now that we have an actual goal and objectives, Jack - but still not very optimistic. I think that this is a vacuum to suck lives and resources down that will not give any return.
This is an enormous job that lay's ahead for our Military
and if sending more troops is the best option than whom
am I too disagree. I am not on the ground in Afghanistan
and I trust the Military Leaders whom are there. Only time will
will answer the question if we succeed or not.
I'm neither optimistic nor pessimistic about "success" in Afghanistan, because "success" hasn't been defined and bearing in mind that there's an endless supply of terrorists-in-training over there. More importantly, however, is how our country is going to serve its VETERANS, which was a subject untouched in last night's lackluster pep rally at West Point.
After watching his speech last night I really don't know what our strategy is–I don't really think he does either. If we are going to stay in Afghanistan we should ONLY be there to totally annihilate Al Queda and the Taliban and then leave. Did we not learn that these controlled limited "wars" are pointless and a complete waste of resources and young soldiers. Didn't we learn that in Vietnam and Iraq? This is not a game of touch football–war is hell on earth and we can either do it now or wait and do it later. Later it will cost a lot more.
No, this strategy will not work Jack. This is exactly what the Russians tried as a last resort.
Obama continues to make decisions to show he is a one term President.
Why are we treating President Obama as though he has created this mess? The US has forgot that G. Bush created this mess and President Obama is just cleaning it up. Hey everyone get off his back and join in helping him. Oh Yeah Mr. McCain you did not win the presidential election, so keep your opinions in the white house as
senator where you belong and hope you will stay.
Quit whinig and start helping oh that means all of you. Let's join together and if you have two shirts and your neighbor has none give
them one. Let's Stand Together.
C. Young from Morrow, Ohio
The right-sided talk show hosts, and Conservative politicians have always talked about "winning wars". No problem, since they have no children involved in combat.
Apparently nobody in high places within the current administration majored in history. Please recall what happenned to the USSR in Afganistan, of course with help from the US. Can we believe that todays Putin isn't licking his lips at the oppurtunity to pay us back?
Nobody has ever won a war in Afganistan, and never will.
I am very optimistic that our government can spin a success story out of any situation even the "Little Big Horn". The Paris Peace Agreement was a success and we know how that turned out.
There is no definition of 'victory' in which we can succeed in accomplishing. It is time to leave without sending additional troops. Now!
I imagine 5he most definative question would be is "what do we mean by success"? I can't imagine that any war could ever be called a success, since there are many people who pay the ultimate price for them. So my answer is NO, success was lost when we first invaded Afghanistan. Now we can only hope not many more die to pay for this undertaking, bought, and paid for by the people of the United States, just because a couple of wartime NO-SHOWS , Bush, and Cheney wanted to make a name for themselves, and they have done that well, their name is MUD !.
The cadets seemed to be happy with the decision.
I believe in our President, that he will listen to all of the generals etc. He won't just blunder around like Bush did. As far as paying for the war, I guess we will pay for it the same way the others got paid for. Look at all the money that was wasted in Iraq and no reason to be there for almost nine years. Bush/Cheney put the war, in Afghanistan, on hold for eight years, pretending they were doing the job. Let's be fair, put the blame where it should be.
we'll be leaving there just like the Russians did. Its a big waste of our tax payers dollars. All that money could be better spent in the U.S.
Jack, I'd give it a 50-50 shot. Ultimately, the map lines need to be redrawn on tribal/ethnic lines. Until that happens, it will be dicey.
Let me present an analogy, Jack. You go to the doctor and he tells you you have cancer and have three choices. Do nothing & you have about an 80% chance of death in about 5 years (withdraw now). Have a very costly surgery that will cause you intense pain and you will have an 80% chance of surviving the cancer, but you will be bankrupt, homeless, and crippled, and will be open to other diseases which will likely kill you in about 10 years (a 10 to 15 year war). Have a less expensive and less painful surgery that will give you about a 70% chance of living with some additional medications - this option will still be costly, but if you make it through you have a good chance of living a long healthy life (Obama's option). I think our president made the right choice.
It does not matter if we are successful.If Pres. Karzai and the other guys(Taliban, tribal chieftans, warlords-whatever) cannot get their act together and learn to live in peace and harmony by the Jan. 2012 deadline, we are packing up 100% and leaving, aren't we?
Jack I'm not optimistic about anything these days when our Government is involved. We have no clue as to what's important to our lives or our people here in the USA. It's still about power, money and greed. Review the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still", the words in that movie ring true toward the human race; we are too stubborn and selfish to change!
Steve, Nashville, In
no confidence what so ever. We're not fighting an army or a country, we're fighting a mindset. Those nut jobs can find safe haven in many countries around the world, including the USA. We're so politically correct, we wouldn't shut down a training camp if we found one because they would claim we've infringed on their "freedon of something or other". Just another big waste of time, money and the life blood of our children. But what do I know, I'm just a 180 pound old granny in the room.
I'm optimistic for the people of Afghanistan. This war and the country should never have been abandoned under Bush but it was and no matter how tired we are of it the Afghan people deserve to have something resembling a semi functioning country and a chance to be part of their country and not under control of terrorists.
San Angelo, TX
I think that we need to go find bin laden and get out like we were supposed to in the first place. We need to secure our own borders first and then we can take the fight to them. The strategy of we need to fight them over there is a good one but, we have to secure our country first. I am with the president on this and I cannot stand war for any reason. The fact is the former president started this mess of a war in our name and now like so many other things he screwed up, we have to clean it up after him. We should never allow ourselves to be put in a position that we as a country are allowing one man to be the "decider". I will say this that when the 18 month time frame comes due I don't care what the state of that country is we should get out within the next six months. I am sick and tired of these wars that the greedy men have started The citizens of this country really need to move on from 9/11. We have killed more of our own because of these wars than they did on that horrific day. We cannot continue to blame the rest of the world for our governments misrepresentation of preforming, protecting and doing the business of the people when it counted. Those days are gone and each government angency, every congressman, and each president should and will have to be held accountable for their decisions and actions.
We cannot win if the Afghan people do not have the will or the motivation to win. We cannot win by supporting a government that is corrupt and is only concerned about personal gains. We cannot win by buying support for our efforts to get Osama Bin Laden and his supporters. I don't think the Afghan people really care about what happened on Sept 11, 2001. Why should they? They were not our allies at the time and probably are not now. The only good coming out of the Strategy presented by President Obama is that President Karzai has been given notice that he will be responsible for his own protection after July of 2011. The number of dead and wounded as a result of this war will never justify the outcome we will be left with on Sept 11, 2011. Success? No!
I am not optimistic about Afghanistan I was'nt when we went in and I am not now.....but we are there and I dont see how we can just screw up their already screwed up country a bit more and just leave...This is the war we should have been fighting all along.... but George and Dick talked up Iraq and WMD's and the rest is history....... speaking of which Dick is yacking it up again today , I wish he would "shut Up" and go away.....
Now that the Bush/Bin Laden family friendship and business dealings are out of the way I really believe that there is reason to believe that success (victory) is possible in Afghanistan. That family friendship was the reason for the neglect of the war in Afghanistan and the creation of the phony war in Iraq. It wasn't an accident that we didn't get Bin Laden at Tora Bora and that most of our troops went to Iraq instead of the place where the original 911 attackers came from. Money is thicker than blood!!! Yeah , we can do it "NOW" !!!!!
I'm not very optimistic at all. It's a total flippin' mess over there. Apparently the only thing that's working in Afghanistan is the lucrative business of growing and supplying the world with opium. It's time to get the heck out of there.
Nobody can never predict the outcome of a war. Obama claimed he is an historian so, he should know better.
Maybe most of the Afghans will fight against the American invaders, maybe thousands of Muslins from around the World will come to help their brothers, maybe Pakistan forces will help their friends.
Americans people will be horrified by the casualties after the surge, Afghanistan might be worse after massive bombing , the small group of terrorists so quiet now might gain popularity, help and strength.
No, really nothing good can come out of it....
It's decision tiime and we elected him to lead this country. We should support him, our troops and all freedom loving people who respect womens right's. Al Queda's twisted idealism must be met with diplomacy, support of the Afghan people, and yes force. Many lives hang in the balance of our idea of our freedom vs.how much we want the world to have their freedom. But the feedom of Afghani's or frankly anyone else may be taking a back seat to our domestic issues and yes ofcourse our pockets. Freedom isn't cheap. Can you spare a dime?
I'm not confident, Jack. Not at all. The war was already lost the second we decided to invade Iraq. At this point, the purpose of the war, despite lip service from politicians is to further the grasp that the military industrial complex has on this country.
President Eisenhower warned us of this. Vietnam, and now Afghanistan are one in the same. The only difference is that we haven't had nowhere near as many casualties in Afghanistan that we had in Vietnam...yet.
The report that came out the other day which states that we had Osama Bin Laden dead to rights back in 2001 and let him go says it all. We had our chance to end the war but we didn't. On purpose.
What's the point of continuing now? And beginning a withdraw in 2011? Really? Right before the 2012 elections? How convenient...or rather, disappointing and disgusting. It's a politically motivated timetable.
The public doesn't want this, but once again, our Government is giving us the finger and doing what it wants to do anyway.
All I can do now is hope that whoever takes the White House in 2012 puts an end to this nonsense, but I'm not holding my breath.
Afghanistan will be Afghanistan after all the troops and billionsare wasted. The Afghanis are a practical people who simp;ly want to live in some semblence of security and have enough to eat. They are not burning with desire for Democracy and the boys over there are not anxious for the girls tpo go to school or drive cars. When we leave the Taliban will return, the Muslim laws will be imposed to the extreme and we will be on the road to complete bankruptcy. The worst part is the loss of American life this adventure in Republican style foreign policy will cost. Surely the Republicans will gladly support a tax on their friends and contributors in the higher tax brackets to pay for this change of war ownership from Bush to Obama.
How confident am I?
On a scale of 1 to 10... less than ZERO.
Afghanistan is not a nation. It is at best a very loose confederacy of tribes and clans, most of whom share the same religion.
If we are going to do this, we must also make two essential changes in our Military Policy. One; we must pay for this war up front and that means levying a war tax. Two; we must reinstitute the draft. A real draft. Everybody goes unless physically or mentally unqualified. No deferments.
ZERO. That's my optimism level regarding Afghanistan. I remain so totally against sending more troops – for any reason – and wish we would just get the heck out! I don't understand how the President can think this will make any difference. The only thing that will increase is the number of dead soldiers and Afghanis, and of course the money – money that needs very badly to be spent in America, for Americans.
Define "success." Afghanistan will always remain a backward, feudalistic country. There is not much we can do about that.
Obama's mission is simply to create enough stability for Afghans to take over their own defense and to enable us to withdraw in an orderly fashion. I am sure that if Obama called for an immediate withdrawal, you'd be equally opposed to that.
Obama recognizes that the future of Afghanistan belongs to Afghanistan, not to the US. Obama's critics want more war, not less. And we do have an end date in mind, something the GOP will not give us.
Imposing a surtax on the superrich will not affect the economy, because all the super-rich do with their money is gamble on the stock market. The super-rich started the Iraq war; the super rich should pay for it.
I do not particularly like Obama's policy, but it is really the only alternative we've got. And remember, Obama inherited this war. He is trying to salvage an unsustainable position. Give him credit for that.
About as successful as Korea, and Vietnam, and Iraq. We will lose the best our country has to offer in the blood of our children. We will lose billions of dollars in tax dollars and we will gain zip.
Maybe if the government would STOP letting Muslims and Arabs into our country, we wouldn't have, such a security problem. The Russians fought in Afghanistan for 10 years, and they pulled out.
Koreans went back to being Koreans, Vietnamese went back to what they wanted, as will Iraq, and ultimately Afghanistan.
We need to vote our people out, who vote for yet another war.
Alexander the Great couldn't conquer Afghanistan (although he did give his name to the city now known as Kandahar).
To paraphrase former Vice Presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, President Obama, you're no Alexander the Great.
Hard to have a lot of confidence.
It isn't going to work - there is no way to "win" in Afghanistan or Iraq. Calling it a war is a joke - if these countries really are a threat to our security, why hasn't the President asked Congress to declare war and reinstitute the draft?
I sincerely hope Congress will pass a war tax - if we can't afford to do health care for our fellow citizens, we certainly can't afford to throw good money after bad in the Middle East.
The ONLY way to end terrorism is to treat the terrorists as what they really are - criminals not combatants.
I guess it depends how you define "success". Was the US successful in Nam? Depends on who you ask. Nixon instituted Vietnamization, brought the US military home, achieved the Paris Peace Accords, arranged for a release of US POWs, and in as much claimed success by the end of 1972. South Vietnam fell to the north in April 1975 when the northern Vietnamese forces defeated the southern Vietnamese forces. Neither the Viet Cong nor the North Vietnamese military forces ever defeated the US miltary. Therefore, the US was successful in Vietnam, the southern forces were not; still the US cost in personnel, killed, wounded, missing in action, and psychlogical wounds has been very high. The situation shaping up in Afghanistan looks lke deja-vu with a new cast of characters. I guess the saying still holds, "It don't mean nuthin"
And what success are you talking about Jack?
Success meaning transferring 1 Trillion Taxpayer dollars into the pockets of the Pentagon and huge multi-national Defense Contractors? YES, they've been hugely successful with the Republican lawmakers they have in their very pockets!
Success meaning flooding Russia and the Middle East with cheap Heroin? YES, under the Bush-Cheney administration Heroin production skyrocketed to 300% what it was, a all time high for that terrible plague upon humanity.
Success meaning propping up yet another corrupt foreign leader by the gun barrels of the US Military? YES, and the moment America pulls out, President Karzai is either killed or exiled to a luxury resort paid by US Taxpayers for the rest of his life.
Jack, none of these success's have anything in common with the core of American values.
I think it's a very bad plan and a betrayal of the American people. He was elected to end the wars. Not to escalate Afghanistan. How could he stand there last night and look the young men and women at West Point into their eyes and tell them that our national security rests on our success in this war? Ask them to make the ultimate sacrifice. My heart went out to all of the young people who will be affected by Obama's poor decision. Today the Taliban put out a release saying that this plan will not work. Obama better get in all of his free world travel and White House moments because he won't be asked back in 2012.
Hopeful the plan will work but of course the critics have started talking more about giving the enemy a time table for withdrawing and how horrible that it. Do they think we should stay there forever? I love the fact he is going to speed up deploying the troops, getting in doing the job and get OUT. At least he wants to do something and hopes it will work.
Tell one child "You must do your homework" . Tell another child "You must do your homework before you can go out and play". Which one will get done first...if at all? President Obama seems to have thought this through correctly. The rest of the politicos are waiting for the "F channel" to tell them what their opinion is.
Just what IS success in this particular case, Jack? If you mean that when all troops are brought home that Afghanistan will be a democratic society with no al-Qaeda and no Taliban ... I think not. If you mean that Bin Laden will have been captured ... I think not. If you mean that even more American troops will be killed ... unfortunately I think so. I really don't think that there is a valid reason to be fighting a no-win war in Afghanistan. Use the troops to protect American soil ON American soil and let the Afghans fight their own battles.
Not optimistic at all, Jack. Did you see the lackluster reaction of the cadets, every time the cameras showed their weak applause? Not a good sign from our future military leaders.
There is no optimism. There is no way to "win". The Russians figured this out after about 10 years of trying to "fix" this country. We need to get out of all the countries we are in and attempt to "fix" our own problems. Rob in NC
We'll eventually "succeed" in Afghanistan even if we have to redefine "Success" to fit the circumstances. I detest the way Bush/Cheney forgot about this war and support Obama's efforts to bring it to an honorable conclusion. I don't see how we can turn our back on Afghanistan knowing that the Taliban will take over if we do, al Quaeda will have its safe haven back, and the poppy crops will multiply like rabbits. This is the war we should have been concentrating on since 2001, not some half-baked adventure in Iraq. I don't believe for an instant that the President will be pulling troops out in 2011 if the situation has not dramatically improved.
We actually have a PRESIDENT who has the real ability to make some tremendous accomplishment as our leader and he is faced with "hell to pay" no matter what he does. He has tried to be accommodating to both sides of the fence – to no avail, he has made every effort to be understanding to both sides of the fence – to no avail. Now he has had to make a decision to try to clean up one of the messes of the past administration and some of the people in this country has had a laps of memory as to what he inherited from "president Chaney"; oh my bad, I mean Pres. Bush. He is up against a rock and a hard place where he is damned if he do and damned it he don't.
About as confident as the jobs created from the stimulus spending.....not confident. It took months to come to this conclusion and Obama seems to only be looking at a an exit date and not committed to finishing the job. It can only work if Obama turns the decisions over to the McChrystal and supports him on what he needs.
We cannot win that war with more troops. War has changed its colors since WWII. We can no longer find our enemies. They are woven into the fabric of thier culture and come out to kill us when they want. Its a ghost war that unwinable, even with all the technolgy that the US. posseses.
Afghanistan needs to be treated like a disease and should be quarantined from the rest of the world.
Less optimistic, Imagine Al-Qaeda saying they were sending 30k terrorist to Afghan, but they will only be there for 18month,,Wars over, great. Thats why Al-Qaeda is celebrating today, we have just handed them a victory.
No, If the Russian couldn't defeat the Taiban How due you expect America to win. It is a lost cause. We need to bring home our troops and invest in America.
One can only hope the dithering of the past 60 days of the inexperienced Obama administration will produce better results than the 6 years of failed Bush policies.
Most Americans were lead to believe the war in Afghanistan was won and the enemy had escaped into Iraq. The Porta Potty turned out was not a moblie lab churning out WMD. Good thing we have all that Iraqi oil revenue to pay for the war. Because Ole George Bush turned the treasury upside down and shook it like it was Halliburtons piggy bank.
One thing for sure if we continue buying oil and drugs from the bad guys it could be a very long day.
Good news is arm sales are up because al Qaeda/Taliban have no infrastucture or manufacturing base. (a lot like the US) They're pretty much limited to poppy,chickens and fertilizers production. The cave dwelllers it turns out are pretty good at destroying the US Army in spite of a very limited budget
Overall I'm optomistic of absolute victory as long as we don't run short on drugs. oil or money
I'm always optimistic and I trust our President.
Zero confidence, but great leadership to say one more chance to get off your butt and learn to protect yourself. Obama played the only hand he was delt.
Jack, the question is really what exactly defines success in Afghanistan? Sending more troops isn't going to solve anything. The only measure of success is for the U.S. to maintain the puppet government of Hamid Karzai to keep enough of the factious elements of the population feeling that they have some say in how their country is governed. Michael Ware on CNN last night made allusion to the many moving parts of the society that have to be placated in order to bring a modicum of stability to the region. At this point the deployment of additional troops is a smoke screen masquerading as a solution for a political situation that has not been tamed in the past eight years.
It all depends on how you define success. We are not going to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, we will not leave behind a democratically elected fully functional government, and a peaceful productive 20th century country is out of the question. However, I define success as getting our troops out before President Obama leaves office and that is something that I think is still possible. Why would you ask about how we are going to pay for it? America doesn't care about the cost, when it's for the military or a war. We only talk about cost when it's a social program.
Mountain Home ID
There’s no united Afghanistan or Afghans. There's tribal regions. Can we even relate to them, their wants and needs? How? Yet we will establish what we deem proper as a society, along with a “democratic” government. How many more of our kids have to die for this cause? It’s arrogant and absurd on our part.
There is no such thing as success when you choose the war option. If there is such a dramatic threat that all of our lives are in danger then Obama needs to level with the public as to what it is and go about ending it like WWIII. Anything short of that is just perpetuating the war profits of military contractors and endangering the lives of U.S. soldiers in a half ass attempt bound to end in a stalemated quagmire. GO ALL THE WAY or DON'T GO.
I closed my eyes and listened intently to our president's speech and all I could picture in my mind was...GEORGE W. BUSH! My God, doesn't anyone in Washington get it? We do not want another day of war in these countries of perpetual war. Had I known last November Obama and Congress or McCain and Congress, would follow the errors of the Bush and Cheney madness, I would have chosen not to cast a vote for either. These wars are wrong and hurtful to not only the citizens of America, their sons and daughters in uniform and the innocents murdered, but all of the peoples of the world. To profess otherwise is an untruth and not worthy of any member of the U.S. government. Enough time has been given to any possible solution in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and our coming occupation and war in Pakistan. All in Washington have professed that war is not the solution...then why do we continue to send more to their deaths? I have never been as disappointed in our Congress and presidents than I have been for the last twelve years. Anyone can govern wrongly.
In afghanistan I am your biggest pesimist. You cant win there. It is an unwinning sittuation. Just like CNN have with me. You can always depend on conflict from me. I want the truth!
Not optimistic at all. There is no mission in Afghanistan that behooves the United States of America, plain and simple. Obama’s speech was full of rhetoric masking a disorganized and contradictory policy (alleged policy). Obama’s remarks that we are not a “conquering” nation are disingenuous
Essentially, by Obama’s own acknowledgement, we are there supporting a leader and government whose recent election was rife with fraud. Let’s be real why are we there? We are there for the same reasons we went to Iraq, to surround Iran. We are positioning ourselves to support an Israeli attack and invasion of Iran. The Israelis are well aware that every Arab nation on earth, as well as Russia, would retaliate against them if the occupied Iran, so they have suckered the USA into being their surrogate occupier. In the same way we ousted Saddam and installed a puppet government we would install a puppet government in Iran.
A little history, we actually supported the Taliban or Al-Qaeda in the early 1980’s. The CIA and the ISI (Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency) provided arms to Afghans resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the ISI assisted the process of gathering radical Muslims from around the world to fight against the Soviets. Osama Bin Laden was one of the key players in organizing training camps for the foreign Muslim volunteers. The U.S. poured funds and arms into Afghanistan, and according to some accounts by 1987, 65,000 tons of U.S.made weapons and ammunition a year were entering the war. FYI, we supported Saddam Hussein (IRAQ) during that period also. What has changed.. ?
Ask yourself, what is in the best interest of the USA? Should we maintain balanced relations with the oil and resource rich nations in the Arab world or Israel alone? Why not Israel? Because Israel’s only nationalistic action in recent history was the invasion and occupation of a neighbor in 1967. Is this their plan for others in the oil rich Arab world. Are they looking to steal the oil??
If Obama were to consider anything, it’s in the symbolism of the fight we have been suckered into. They still use nooses and hangings to humiliate and kill their prey…… and that speaks volumes!
Jack why all this talk of money now.Why no talk of money for the 8 years cheney was lining his buddies at haliburtans pockets?Is it because Obama has a plan but you and the other no mind media types have to get in some negative crap before his plans have a chance to work.You follow the moron bush blindly for 8 years but critize Obama at every turn.SO SAD.
I'm not optimistic, but I am hopeful. I think no matter what President Obama decided with regard to Afghanistan, he was going to catch hell from all sides, and he is.
I do think it's interesting that the news media is, after eight years, starting to ask about an exit strategy for Afghanistan...something you were obviously afraid to do during the bush regime.
At least Obama came up with a strategy. What did Bush do for seven years while we wasted time in Iraq fighting a war we didn't need to fight.
The bottom line is that we have to win in Afghanistan. And yes, I am optimistic that it can be done. We are in better standing with the rest of the world now and probably can count on our allies help.
For seven long yeasr Bush alienated the rest of the wolrd and Afghanistan languished. Now with full attention focused there qwe have a good shot at success.
This war is a waste of time..we will NEVER win and it's costing us a fortune in dollars and lives..we should cut our losses and leave now..same goes for Iraq..
I just as optimistic about victory in Afghan as I am about winning the Powerball lottery. Neither one will probably ever happen, but I continue to spent money playing every week just as we will spent billions on the war in Afghan.
If the country believes that 9/11 happened the way we have been told they should support President Obama to continue the fight in Afghanistan. If this was Bush saying he was about to send an additional 30,000 troops, the country would be praising him.
The only people who can be optimistic about this are those involved in Military / Indudustrial corporations that must have an endless war in order to survive. Other than that, the whole Mid-East is a waste of time, money and human sacrifice.
This had better be good because this is exactly what I did NOT vote for last November, otherwise, I would have asked McCain to finish the job.
The chances of success are about the same as that of closing Gitmo.
I am about as optimistic of success in Afghanistan as I am about the chances that Rush Limbaugh and President Obama ever agree politically. In laymen terms, Afghanistan will be President Obama's Vietnam
Jose Mauricio Valles
I agree Afghanistan may be a quagmire, but unlike Vietnam. See, in Vietnam we weren't necessarily worried about them coming over here and murdering innocent Americans like al Qaeda. We have to maintain some presence. I disagree with a timetable for withdrawal, but we can't just leave as that would surely be a precursor to the next 9/11.
I'm as about as confident of Obama succeeding in Afghanistan as I am of me winning the lottery. Oh, by the way, I don't buy a ticket for the lottery.
Theres no way we can win this war as long as the Taliban can go play hide and seak in Pakistan and Iran even with a hundred thousand troops we can not blockaid the borders to keep them from running for sanctuary all were doing is prolonging a stalemate were spinning our wheels unless we start invading the places were there hiding and thats just going to cause a war with another country lets just pull out and wait for Ben Lauden to get careless and take him out.
I do not think we will win in Afghanistan...What defines a win there does anyone know. We are spending too much money on a country that will live the way they have always lived despite what we think is best for them...meanwhile here at home...we are suffering.
Jack, it depends. If my people in Afghanistan are helped to rise up from the poverty and have a loaf of bread for their families, of course everyone will succeed in Afghanistan, including the international community. It is the Afghan people who are suffering from poverty and have nothing else but to join the insurgent groups for earning a piece of bread.
Often, we hear of the comparison between Afghanistan and Viet Nam. But, what is it? What are the particular correlations between the two? In addition, questioning less than a day after the announcement as to the possibility of "success" is premature. Before all of us (that means the "Fourth Estate" as well) start criticizing and going after what are essentially phantoms, let's see what the plan is. We need to take our time before we determine how we truly understand this very complex and layered issue.
People need to stop comparing Afghanistan to Vietnam! These are two different countries and two different wars. Comparing the war in Afghanistan to the Vietnam war is practically condemning it to defeat. That is not what the American people need to hear, especially since the President is sending 30,000 more. They need to have faith in our military and leadership that we will in some way win this war.
I am not confident at all. There is no way we can win. For thousands of years this area as defeated all armies. So, why are we there?
Don't we every learn from history?
The President clearly understands that we need to beef up our efforts in Afghanistan and help restore stability to the region. It's our best shot and fighting terrorism. Sure, he's got appease his base who oppose the war, which is why we have this soft troop draw down deadline. But, I believe he is committed to winning in Afghanistan and his commitment of more troops is the right decision.
I could be optimistic, if I only knew what sucess would be....and how to recognize it.
absolutely no confidence Jack. The Russians tried and failed and others before them failed too. It would be nice if we could gather all Taliban idiots in one area and ship them on another galaxy but that will not happen. I worry sick about the cost and asking where are all those BILLIONS coming from to pay for this war???? considering the shape of our current economy. This is all so depressing.
The Afganistan war will be going on LONG after we will all be here. The Taliban and AlKaida will simply sit back and wait for us to leave, resulting in a waste of money we don't have, and most of all, the loss of our men and women for a war that always was and always will be.
Lets worry about America and its problems,and not our Image with the world.
You aren't the 1st one to compare a recent war to Vietnam. I think you and your friends were already using that reference when I was standing in the Iraqi desert in late 2003. The difference is that no one really cared about Afghanistan back then. Let's finish the job and bring our troops home... not tomorrow, not ten years from now, give the plan a chance.
Something tells me you people won't be happy with any proposal... go put on a uniform.
My optimism for success in Afghanistan faded years ago (political concerns over necessary troop requirements by the Bush administration stifled our efforts there & in Iraq).
Fast forward to President Obama – his hand picked NSC & military advisers recommended troop buildup, but after painful delays he cut the numbers & added exit dates – conveniently a year before his reelection. The Talaban has been holding on in Afghanistan for over 80 years, so what's another 18 months to them??
Yogi Berra should be in the White House – ' Deja vu all over again'
NOT.I'm a Viet Nam Vet and I've been there and done that.
I'm not optimistic at all. President Obama is just doing the same thing President Bush did before him, getting mired down in a war that can't be won. We need to realize that our presence in the Middle East is just enflaming more people to join those who want to do us harm. It's past time to leave Afghanistan and Iraq, but President Obama isn't really interested in peace. Apparently war is still the health of the state.
im very optimistic about this of importance based on the pure truth that has come out repeatedly that afghanistanis the birth place of the 911 terroristic attack was orignated to begin with my good friend jack
Very very optimistic. The Prez got it right. Go in, neutralize the Taliban thugs, train Afghan troops and police, give them the power and return American troops home in 18 months. Now that Afghans have been told to grow up or perish, they will grow a spine. It is a good strategy.
I’m very optimistic. After seven years of no real working strategy we are finally going in the proper way, cleaning house, getting out and ending this stalemate. As for telling them we are going to come in, put them out of business and leave in 18 months isn’t giving up a war plan, it’s stating a fact. As for paying for it, we can’t afford not to. We can’t just leave and we can’t go on forever. Halliburton got the gold mine for seven years and we got the shaft.
I am 100% confident that if we pull out of Afghanistan, it will create a vaccum that will be filled with every kind of terrorist imaginable because they will feel and be free to plan, supply, and initiate any kind of activity they want. Then, we will have to go back in again and start all over, but with zero local support because we always cut and run.
No one would dare be seen even talking to foreigners of any kind.
Optimism and war is an oxymoron. Lyndon Johnson learned that. Nixon learned that. Obama will learn that. It hearkens back to "Peace with honor." How'd that work out for us?
South Burlington, VT
Optimistic? Ha! not at all, sadly. U.S. has no money for this, no stomach (as you said), no ally in Afghanistan, and we can't get troops in and out in 18 mos Like the old 60's song "what R we fighting 4?" If we haven't caught Bin Laden by now, is it really worth killing another several thousand of our young people? "Whoopee, we're all gonna die!" as Country Joe sang. Tragic mess!
Jack, the Russians tried this in the 1980's and met with absolute disaster with a country festoones with caves and rough terrain, and thry rolled in from next door! How did that turn out? This time we are trying from half way around the world to remedy a situation in a land with the same terrain and same fighters; not to mention trying to hold up a government which has become increasingly more corrupt as time went on. There seemed to be little if any forethrought to fighting this war in the first place, and this lack of forethought is being continued with this administration. It appears that the lesson of the Soviet failure were not heeded at any time during this conflict, and the half-hearted surger in troops can only lend itself to more failure. Unless there is a change in thinking about how to fight in Afghanistan, we are wasting even more blood and treasure only for more futility.
I am not very optimistic about success in Afghanistan after what I heard Michael Ware say on CNN last night. Michael Ware knows exactly what he is talking about, he is credible, and he is truly objective.
If Afghanistan does not work out for Obama and if the job market has not improved very much where most people can feel it, then I predict that Democrats will see another 1994 in 2010 and that Obama will be in the same position in 2012 that Jimmy Carter was back in 1980.
I really do hope that Obama succeeds but he is doing a lot of very risky things in my opinion!
How optimistic are you about success in Afghanistan?
I am not.
The Russians couldn't accomplish this with a million troops in all the years they were there.
Why GW Bush failed to take care of this war that he started is beyond me. Just another mess that Obama has to clean up.
Nothing will come of this except more loss of troops and more loss of our hard earned tax dollars.
As for Obama, he was damned if he did damned if he didn't. He has sent more troops to Afghanistan in his 10 months in office than GW Bush did in 8 years in office – what does that say??
Jack there is no winning in Afghanistan. many countries have tried it before and have gone home in defeat. It is not about Afganistan at all. It is about Pakistan. As long as the Talibanm can cross the border when things get ruff into one country or another and no one is allowed to pursue them we will never win.
I am not optimistic at all since Pakistan, once again, is not going to deliver on their end of the bargain. We know the history of Pak double game.
Phyllis I applaud your take on this issue. I have never seen a president having dealt such a smorgas board of garbage to deal with while holding back the "tidal waves" with the other hand. You cannot enjoy good healthcare or have a job if you are dead. National Security is probably on the top of the list. If Bush did his job, the president would not have been put in this situation. Optimism Jack is a luxury, Realism is a necessity. Lives are at stake and we cannot afford another 9/11 whichever way you slice it. This president has one hand tied to his back, he did not have a chioce.
I have complete faith in our military's ability but zero faith in success in Afghanastan with Obama in charge. There used to be a saying- "A slip of the lip can sink a ship". Our military is more than capable but announcing our strategy and date of retreat to the world is about the stupidest thing a Commander-in-Chief could do. Even establishing a date of retreat gets him a pinhead award. Either get in it to win or get out of it.
Why is everyone dissapproving of our president's decision to finish the war in afghanistan. Lets not forget, how we (Americans) were deceived by the Bush Administration into believing that there were tons of "weapons of mass destruction present." The only weapon of mass destruction we have encountered was an incompetent president who has gotten us into one big mess. President Obama is simply trying to make lemonade with the tons of sour lemons the Bush Administration left him. Stop hating on him, and let him and his team sweep up the filthy mess our Republican Counterparts left for America to clean up. Bryant
Very optimistic Jack. It is possible that we have it all wrong about the exit strategy. Could it be that President Obama has enough confidence in our military that, if given a clear and concise mission, it could be completed in 18months. If that's the case, then, it would follow that those opposing the strategy, just may not have confidence in our military's abilitities.. President Obama's speech clearly explained that our reason for the increase is to bury our enemies and do whatever we can to help the people of that country during the time we are there carrying out our mission. Sounds like a plan to me.
We are a Christian Army of Occupaiton in a hostile Muslim land run by drug dealers, war lords. and with 10% literacy. This is madness.
Afgan war will never end. The Taliban can't be defeated. They are training fighters that weren't even born when this war started. They have an endless supply of fighters. You can't defeat a religion.
I am very confident that we can win this war. I'am a democrat and I believe that Obamas decision was the best course of action. I only regret that he did not send 65,000 troops. We have to win this war, if not the Afghans will attack the U.S. again.
I totally believe we should be getting out of Aghanistan and Iraq both. I am a Viet Nam veteran and I remember where that war took us. Let's get our troops out. Bin Laden will show his face again some day and I believe we have the proper forces to take him out. Let's bring our troops home to defend this country here. Peoples in that part of the world know fighting and that is all they do. Let's get out. And we don't need to spend the 30-45 billion dollars additional to get the troops there and back. We have spent and bailed enough!
Afghanistan is an abyss that sucks armies in and doesn't let them out....
plus it's costing us a ton of money which should instead be spent here to develop jobs and grow the economy......
Obama did not make this decision because he believes in it but rather because his advisors feel he had to do it to get re-elected.
I am 100% confident that the war in Afghanistan will be declared a success.
After all President Bush declared victory on June 15, 2004, don't you remember?
Canon City, CO
Few seem to get it...It is NOT about success in Afghanistan. There will be no such thing. The evaluation was that the STATUS QUO for our existing military there is dangerous – lots of lives were getting lost, and this is a last-ditch attempt at defeating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan, and trying to stabilize Southern Afghanistan. Pulling troops out now would look like a total failure and surrender to the terrorists. The 30,000 troops in Afghanistan is only part of the deal. There was some amount in the defense budget already, and 30 billion isn't a lot compared to all the money thrown at Iraq. Letting Afghanistan know that we aren't going to be there for long may give them an incentive to start cleaning out their own act as well.
Doe anybody remember Charlie Wilson's war? We've got to stick with our fight in Afghanistan and stabilize the region, otherwise we risk increased anti-American sentiment from the people we abandon...a sure way to help terrorist networks recruit new members. I support President Obama's decision.
Dear Jack: I am about as confident of success in Afghanistan as I am about President Obama's chances for re-election in 2012. His reckless decision has all but ended his political future, and anyone who supports it , in this or any other country.
I don't know if we will win in Afghanistan, but I do know what would happen if we pull out right now and there is another attack on the U.S..
Remember we wasted 8 years in Iraq when we should have focused on Afghanistan. No war is good, but we were devasted by Osama Bin Laden in 2001, it cannot happen again.
What if George W Bush would have done this?....how would you feel?..will your aswer be the same?...The only way to win this war is with Pakistan's help, but apparently they are milking the U.S. for more money every chance they get and that is the reason for their limited help.
Jack first of all I loved President Obama's speech last night I thought it was very well brought forward, to the point, and crystal clear. Iam very optimistic about success in Afghanistan now that 30,000 more troops will be deployed there because to do nothing or withdraw would be a grave mistake on the part of the United States and would make us more open for more attacks the only thing Im not so sure about is setting a time table right away because the Taliban and Al-Qaida will probably withdraw and lay low there people until 2011. This is a war that needs to fought and won no matter what way we all look at it and the Defense Team led by Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates and Gen McChrystal I don't think we can go wrong, I appllaud President Obama for the courage to do what alot of people are against but Mr President Iam on your side.
Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)
The assertion that Afghanistan is not another Viet Nam may literally be true, but it is a distinction without a difference; this military adventure bears an-all to- striking resemblance. Then, as now, no formal Congressional declaration of war has been made, and we are being drawn deeper and deeper into a region we do not belong in, one whose language, culture and way of life are vastly different from our own.
The events of 11 September, 2001, were not acts of war, they were crimes – monstrous crimes – but crimes nonetheless. Bush and his regime used those criminal acts to create the debacle Obama is now responsible for. Rather than following in the footsteps of FDR, who rescued our economy while expanding and improving the infrastructure of both our nation and our society, he taken a path starkly similar to that of Lyndon Johnson, who tried to have both guns and butter, but ended-up with neither.
This is manifestly not the "change I could believe in" for which I voted in 2000, and I now realize what a great shame it is that Obama left the Senate.
ZERO confidence!!! This war only benefits the big corporation reaping the profit from this war on account of sacrifice of young lives. One big question remain to be answered – what are we trying to WIN anyway from a bunch of runaway tribal nomads.
It was a mistake to go in there to begin with. What our administration and military do not understand is that this is a gerilla war; there is no end to it OK. It does not matter how advanced our guns etc, gerilla war is the worst war that we can be in and should not be. How nonsmart it is to expect to have those bad guys coming back to their territory once we withdraw. We have so may problems at home and why we do not concentrate on this. Obama despite his word of change in the campain, he is becoming and following the exact same policies of Pres. Bush. Focus at home, people are losing their jobs, homes, healthcare and look what we are doing more dept, God knows our future?????
On a scale of one to ten.
Ten being absolute confidence in the President. And zero being no confidence.
I give the president a two.
I am offended that folks in Washington are so keen to hurl this country further into deeper into debt with little or no security benefit.
Russ Feingold has it right. Because by the presidents logic we should occupying 10-20% percent of all the countries on the planet. There's no money for that. Then there is the issue of sovereignty. How can we protect our sovereignty if we never respect the sovereignty of other countries?
This will be worse than Vietnam. Less lives will be lost. But the cost will be greater. We'll lose our freedom and our rights.
After last eveing's speech my optimism was greatly reduced. Although, President Obama was well pspoken and avoided using terms such as smok-em out, let's roll, etc. The Policy is quite clear
Afghanistan is a mess. Both wars have been poorly prosecuted and the waste is indescibable.
I am flabbergasted at those who are suppose to lead this nation, making such poor decisions for our country, our miltary and our economy.
As the wife of an Iraq veteran, I must say that those putting forth this troop increase have no idea of the long term effect this will have on our troops, their family and our country. We are exghasted and broke. Oh, by the way the Veteran's Admisntraton is incapable of taking care or our current veteran's needs. Has anyone accounted for this in the strategy session??
The US is not in position to "fix" this country and has to bring our troops home. A couture so inbreed with wars, hunger, anger and hostility is doomed. Change must come from within and they are not capable of this nor want it. To be more aggressive … will bring on more aggression. Create jobs at home by deploying money into "middle American" companies, bring back "investment tax credits", make incremental in-roads (till our economy rebounds) into health care and rally the American spirit again!
Michael, Pine, CO
Jack I think it would be as close to success as possible considering the history of the country. The way I see it the President was faced with two realities: either pull out immediately and allow the country to disintegrate into utter chaos resulting in no doubt horrific revenge killings by Taliban and AlQaeda or send in enough resources to pull out responsibly that will at least gives the Afghans a chance. What I don't understand is how anyone can blame the President. I'm sure he wishes that we hadn't wasted a trillion dollars fighting a war that nothing to do with 9/11 or at least I'm sure he would have preferred the previous administration to have finished the job and made these decisions themselves. Where were all of these naysayers before he took office. Thought so. Politics as usual! Give him a break he is simply trying to clean up their mess.
I'm not optimistic. All three of General McChrystal's predecessors believe that no more combat troops should be sent to Afghanistan. All three of them have significantly more Afghan experience than either Gen. McChrystal or Gen. Petraeus. They are pragmatists while the (Bush) generals in charge now are playing politics.
San Clemente, Cal
Success has not been clearly defined, for the DOD contracters if it is at least as long as Obama says it will be, then it is a success, but the longer the better. As a democratic representative process, it is already a dismal failure since less than 36 percent of the people support his war plans. The peoples vote and belief in him was his lifeline and he is ignoring it. No optimism here, Jack.
It depends on how you define success Jack. I support the troop surge, because you need to bring down the conflict to manageable level, and then leave it to the Afghans. Also, Afghanistan is no where close to Vietnam, so stop beating that drum. Unfortunately, you are as illiterate on the issue of Afghanistan as many liberals. It seems to me that Republicans start wars in Afghanistan and liberals/democrats don't care about that country.
As an Afghan, this bickering over war or withdrawal makes me and many of my countrymen sick. If you are serious about this, then stay and get the job done, and if are not, get the hell out and don't come back again, when another unfortunate event like 9/11 happens.
Our involvement in Afghanistan will never result in success. I wrote to our President before he gave his speech yesterday as follows: “I am a very active 75 year old grandfather and was a Republican all of my life until you ran for president of our United States. I switched and voted as a Democrat to get you elected. I was convinced that you are our last hope to save our great nation. I believed you; and believed in you. Please, please do not go back on your word. Get our troops out of Afghanistan and out of Iraq as quickly as possible. Our enemy is no longer in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq remains an illegal war. Our presence in the Mideast countries has always been all about oil and nothing else. Expedite alternative fuels here in the U.S. and bring our troops home. Do what is right and in the best interests of our country. Do not allow the rich and powerful to run our government. We can no longer tolerate government of the people by the lobbyists for the rich and powerful.”
Not at all. When are going to realize we cant americanize these muslin countries. Didnt we learn anything from the whipping the Rusians took over there. Osama knew he couldnt beat us military, but he understood he could break use economically. Just look at the mess we are in here in america.
We can not win this war. The Russians left and Uk also left. There is no way to "win". . We need to get out . It is a waste of time and money. America is complete is broke. How much more we can give. I feel we make a mistake to send troops.
I am very optimistic about the presidents plan for Afghanistan. It is time for us to meet our enemies head on with a strong force, and not leave when we are half way to the finish line like we have done every other time we have sent troops to Afghanistan. It is great to see a president who takes time to view all the angles and consider both the positives and negatives of a bad situation. Our troops and military can do a great deal for Afghanistan and against terrorism, now it is up to the media and capital hill not to twist this plan and kill hope for a better Afghanistan and safer America.
I am a huge supporter of President Obama's, and have a great deal of faith and trust in our President. President Obama is a good man who inherited a terrible mess from the failed Bush Administration.
However, I am very concerned about Obama's decision as Commander in Chief to significantly increase troop-levels in Afghanistan. The United States will never be able to totally eradicate extremists or terrorists or those who wish to do our country harm.
We need to vigorously protect our homeland from terrorist attacks. This can not be accomplished by having tens-of-thousands of military troops in Afghanistan, a lawless and corrupt country that is beyond repair.
My concern is that the President allowed political considerations to influence his decision in this matter – a decision made out of concern that he would appear weak on national security issues if he decided to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Vietnam was Lyndon Johnson's War. Now, Afghanistan will be Barack Obama's War. I am very concerned about the implications, the chances for success, and the potential fall-out.
Of course we are all sick of war, especially after W lied us into war in Iraq. Americans feel we blew our wad in Iraq and now want to Half Ass the war in Afganistan. The bottom line is we need to finish the neglected job left by the Bush regime, and kill those who attacked us on 9/11. I just hope 30000 great American troops are enough.
I am not optimistic about Afganistan because Afganistan will not love us when we destroy their country and leave it in ruin. I know how to pay for this. We should put war tax on president Bush and Vice president Chenney because and moral majority republicans because they are the ones that wanted this war. We need to tell the thruth. Afganistan people did not attacked us. All of the hijackers were Saudi Arabian nationals and president Bush went to Saudi Arabia to dance with Saudi king.
I'm very optimistic. A family member is on his 3rd tour and absolutely sees the necessity of more troops. I think after considerable thought and discussion with those who know, Pres. Obama feels the same ole game has to be changed–we can't stay there forever, however we MUST NOT allow them to reach the nukes in Pakistan-they're on the border now because the last president gave them 8 yrs to fortify and move forward with their agenda-he walked out and went to Iraq illegally for money and profit for friends and family! If the Taliban reaches Pakistan's nuclear installations, we won't have to worry about funding the additional 30,000 troops , we'll have to worry about how we are going to pay for and recover from a nuclear attack which will make 9/11 look like a blip on the map! We've got to think ahead and protect our country!
This president will not be successful at anything. This president inherited a mess throughout the world and at home. No one will succeed when people are out of work and the economy is in a mess. But most of all the talking head need to get ratings. This president is stuck and cant win at anything as long as the politicians and the news organization play to the right. 10 months and you should be able to fix all these problems. I dont think so. God you president Obama.
Zero Confidence. Feingold (I'm no fan, normally), just said it: OBL got into Afghanistan with money; more to deliver to the tribal leaders. What's wrong with the engine of capitalism sharing , say , 25% of what it will cost in dollars (nevermind lives), to motivate some folks to help 1) find OBL henchmen and 2) collaborate on some nation building. We could then use the savings to repair things here, at home....maybe....?
I have been behind the President from the start however, with regards to Afghanistan, not a chance. Thanks to the previous administration we are in a no win situation. We have no money, support at home is minimal, lets get our men and women home and worry about health care. Has anyone stopped to think that if we left Afghanistan that maybe they wouldn't be so mad at us, I mean if i looked out my window and saw some foreign soldiers walking around my town with there guns out I'd be a little mad and would probably try to screw with them.
I was a combat Marine in Vietnam who after months of witnessing the suffering, pain, sorrow, and devastation of war came upon the realization that the majority of Vietnamese people did not know why we were there, didn't care that we were there, and resented us being there. It was not their war, but America's war.
Afghanistan is not our war. It is a war based on vengeance, not a glorious purpose. The virtuous purpose that must be the measure of success lays with the Afghan people. Success will grow out of overcoming their suffering, their pain, their sorrows, and their devastation. I grow tired of weeping over the ignorance of mankind.
I am optimistic that we could be successful but Afghanistan has nothing to offer us. They signed a deal with China to mine their copper. They signed a deal with the Taliban to fight against Americans and the sign deals with anyone that will buy their poppy. What's in it for us? NOTHING.
I am very confident and optimistic about the success in Afghanistan and President Obama. Let's remember that this is a war that President Obama inherited. You just cannot pull out of a war or leave thousands of troops in jeopardy. No wonder our President took a long hard look at this situation. Obama is sending in additional troops and yet setting an exit strategy that the former administration could not set. I agree, we should not be in a war for a long period of time as we were in Vietnam. Remember that Obama did not vote or want the war in Iraq and he is no warmonger. He understands that our men and women in Iraq need help and leadership needed to hurry to get out of Afghanistan. Those who vote against extra funding should be voted out of their office in 2010. President Obama also recognizes that we have a war on the economy in the US as well. Give President Obama a chance for God's sake rather than always finding something to criticize him about. Obama inherited a mess and we need to remember that it's going to take a while to clean up the mess!
Sickening how analysts and critics want to bash president Obama, for finishing off those who were responsible for, and sympathetic to those who attacked us on 9/11. Most of us Americans have such a short attention span that they forget that's why we're there!!! They aided in the attacking of the UNITED STATES! I bet the families of the loved ones lost on 9/11 still want justice, and removal of the threat that this could happen again.
I do not think the U.S. troops will be able to train an illiterate police force in Afghanistan. I think we will have countless casualties among our troops. I think we should wind down this war immediately.
Alice Danielson', Palo Alto, CA
Jack: Throwing more troops against the Taliban will only have marginal if any results. Most of the Taliban fighters are doing it for pay and job security. That's right, not out of religious beliefs. A more effective solution is to cut off the Taliban income by getting rid of their source of funds, i.e. opium income from the poppies.
I'm very Optimistic now. If president Bush would have done over 8 years ago what President Obama is doing now, we won't be talking about this mess. And i would also remind most of the American people who feel that our troops should not be in Afghanistan because of what happen on Sept. 11, 2001, "Screw You".
I believe this President will do the right thing–he has been advised by the best Someone should remind Dick and many of the "talking heads" that there are not privy to daily briefs. We should support this effort. Lord where were you all during the Bush/Cheney years? Are you all trying to make up for your jounalistic neglect then when we needed you?
"Success"??? Never gonna' happen. We still don't get it here in the U.S.-repeat Vietnam-there is no "winning" in a country we invaded, bombed, and maimed thousands. Making "friends with them" now ain't gonna work either. But, since so many idiots here don't understand the actual realistic politics of this situation, much less even less that STILL do not even know where Afghanistan actually IS, the conversation and the understanding stalls out completely. Bottom line; Let's get the hel out of there, and let Pakistan deal with the regimes and tribes and all the other nefarious vagaries of the country, which has so many problems, and always will. At least they know what they are dealing with.
We dropped the ball eight years ago, and attacked the wrong country. Yes, we have to catch those who killed on citizens, but, it's been eight long years. I still think we need to go after Bin Laden's money, and his family's money until someone starts talking. No money, no al Qaeda.
Jack, those who did not loss family member in the 9/11 attack do not feel that Acaida ploted from Afghanistan ,supported by the Taliban. Obama did not cause this war, Bush could have finished it but instead he went for a unjust war with Iraq. Those who are clamoring Obama to stop this war have to know that he has no option than to finish this Afghanistan war of necessity. Let Obama continue to finish it in success .
Russia tried and failed. Now we want to give it a try. Afganistan is a rugged area with people that will resist outsiders no matter how long it takes. Its a lost cause with no outcome other than defeat for our troops. We should pull out, let the bad guys surface, and send drones and small crack troops to get al Quaeda.
Our President's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan is the most ludicrous decision that I have witnessed in quite a while.
The United States is in a no-win situation, and one doesn't have to be a Harvard graduate to realize that our country can't continue to pour money or troops into that country.
President Obama should begin our troop withdrawl now, not in eighteen months. The regional ,tribal, leaders in Afghanistan are not about to willingly give up their respective control of their areas to answer to a central government in that country.
Russia,as well as other countries, have tried to win a war there, which didn't happen.
I was a supporter of Obama; however, my support is almost nile.
This will have to be more effective than that of the last administration who did almost nothing. This is not Vietnam, Vietnam did not attack the United States. Al Qaeda attacked this country eight years ago and opted not to bring the perpetrators to justice. We let them regroup and plan other attacks against us with little fear of retaliation.
Obama said he was going to do this during the election and put addition pressure on Osama and the Taliban. Pakistan is also going after Osama and our activity in Afghanistan keeps them from escaping back into Afghanistan. It's tough to plan an attack when you are running and hiding from attacks. This policy is flexible and was in a response to the needs of the military and may have to change as the situation on the ground change.
The information that surfaced last month about not going after Osama in the mountains set the stage for what we have to do now. I hate to blame Bush but doing nothing made this necessary.
it will work, if Gen. McChrysthal asked for more troops, now he have them, now it`s time for him (McCrysthal) to use the troops to get the job done. Remember, the republicans pressured the President when the Gen, asked for troops, so he must`ve had a plan on winning.
Jack not at all. Both of our wars smell so much like Viet Nam and by the way I am a Viet Nam Vet. Most of the people in Afghanistan do not want us there and their troops like in Viet Nam fight but their hearts are not in the fight and often shoot at our troops and not the bad guys. The mistake we are making is making this a police action and not a war like we did in Viet Nam. It is a loss going in now we lost our chance when we went to war with Iraq. We should carpet bomb the poppy fields and destory all roads used to transport the crops and if that does not work plow salt into the poppy fields so nothing will grow maybe that is what they would understand, Jack you can explain carpet bombing to the young ones out their.
Hey Jack, have you forgotten who created this mess that President Obama has to clean up? Oh, and lets not forget the horrible financial mess he left. At least he is trying to do it in a responsible way and get us out asap.
We need to get out of this war. It is huge mistake continue sending troops to Afghanistan. we will loose.
Exremely. President Obama is our President so LET HIM LEAD.
This war is not even close to the finishing line. I am very skeptical about the war in Afghanistan and the future of the United States. President Obama just took away his only chance of winning the next election. I can not understand after 8 years what the US is still there and so worried about the people in Afghanistan rather than its own. What exactly is the US mission there in Afganistan? Is it for security or protection of the poeple? Is it for the public interest? Is it for oil or for other reason we may not know about like building a military base. Are the US citizens and its allies being mislead about the true mission of the United States in Afaghanistan? I think this war has just begun. All my best to the troops there.
Why in heaven's name do we think we are the ONLY people who can fight in Afghanistan? If the Afghanistan people can learn to fight for the Taliban - Why wouldn't they be the best ones to fight against the Taliban. Remember they don't want either one of us there.
It's time we started thinking 'smart.' Old Dick Cheney left them to fight for themselves in 1990s and they won....
I can't believe what I am hearing. When we went in to Iraq it was almost un-American to question the decision. Money wasn't an issue because we were told that our military leaders and Commander in Chief should not be questioned. It was also considered stupid to compare Viet Nam with the Middle East. What has happened? Has Congress all of a sudden developed some great insight they did not have eight years ago?
My goodness, Jack, we finally have figured out which country to fight and people are up in arms about it. As much as I was against going in to Iraq, I think we must finish the job in Afghanistan.
I have been a supporter of President Obama since the primaries, however, I believe that he is wrong about Afghanistan because no one has ever won a war there! He is throwing good soldiers and money after good. The comparison to VN is military not the political one the President chose to reply to. VN was a guerilla war in the jungles that we couldn't fight and fighting the Taliban is a geurilla war in treacherous mountains that they are familiar with and we're not is a losing proposition.
Additionally, if we DO manage to get them out of Afghanistan they're already entrenching in Africa and other locations around the world, Are we going to engage in global warfare?
Love ya Jack,
Remember in 2001, Bush came and addressed the country that we were going to hunt down these people that were responsible for 9/11? That hotspot for that was Afghanistan! There was no debate about it. Now, people want to play politics? How long are they staying, what's the cost? Those are simply dumb questions! That underminds every branch of the military and all of the members that are affiliated! Chaney needs to sit down and shut up and Democrats better get on board.
Jack, I am not optimistic at all. Establishing a timeline for withdrawal ensures that failure is the only outcome possible. All Al Qaida and the taliban have to do is hunker down for a year or so and resurrect in force as soon as the withdrawal starts. In the mean time, we'll be paying the taliban to be good little boys, while they bide their time on our dollar. Stupidity of the worst kind.
I'll be completely honest... the U.S.' success in Afghanistan will only be achieved when both parties stop their tireless bickering and actually start laying out a plan together. It's a shame that our former V.P. is blasting our president in this time of need. After 8 years of failure, you'd imagine they'd have a clearer picture on how to move forward. It just seems those against president Obama want to shatter his image as our Commander in Chief. And this is coming from an illegal immigrant from Ensenada, Mexico. I'm only 19, yet still support this government despite its unclear path to a better world.
While I think Obama has good intentions for the nation, he may have allowed politics get in the way of his decision. His strategy, which is really policy (the Generals in Afghanistan have to operationalize his "strategy"), may make politcal sense, but it definitely does not make military sense. First, by all accounts and assessments (to include McChrystal's), it will take at least 3-5 years to train a viable Afghan military and police force. Second, most experts would agrue that it 's doubtful that Karazi will make a difference during his second term. Lastly, it's almost infeasible to ramp up to a military force of over 140k and start ramping down a few months later-what a waste of US dollars, if not precious young American Lives! Yet, to a President seeking a second term–it makes good political sense.
Not very. I was and continue to be a supporter of our president but, I fear that even one as smart and thoughtful as him can be misled by the vast ring of 'experts' and 'advisors' that influence presidential policy. Somebody told George W. that Saddam Hussein had W.M.D. I don't believe that was something the last president dreamed up on his own. I fear that President Obama is being equally misguided. I also fear that he won't be re-elected.
Let’s just “cut and run”. Maybe the third time can be the charm. Cheney did it in 1991 as Sec. of Defense after helping the Afghans run the Russians out and again in 2002 as VP when he went in to get Bin Laden and cut and run to Iraq for the oil. Maybe the third cut and run will work out better.
Very optomistic. The military industrial complex ran out of israel, connecticut, and new york are making out like gangbusters. America on the other hand...not so much.
I am as confident in our government succeeding in Afganistan as I am our government doing what is right for the voters. ZERO!!! The only way to end the war in Afganistan in 18 months is to nuke them and that is not an option. We, the United States, need to bring our troops home. We can no longer be the worlds babysitter. Who appointed us king?
Let's be clear about this, Let the military handle the Afgan War and keep the Politicians out of it and the American people. They do not need our help, just our support. And Let's go after Alkida, where every and when ever we can. And by the way, I think that all of or so call "(Allies) should step up and send some real forces. How about we send 30,000 troops and our Glorius Allies send the other 70,000 troops.
Well, Jack. If I sound pessimistic it's because Ghengis Kahn, Alexander the Great, Great Britain and the Russians didn't succeed either.
How can I be optimistic about success in Afghanistan when I don't know what "success" means? We will never defeat the Taliban - it's their country, they will still be there when we leave no matter how long we stay. We will not defeat Al Qaeda by fighting in Afghanistan - they aren't there. Our troops are not tasked with establishing an effective, ethical, non-corrupt, popularly elected (in a fair and honest election) national government, so even if there were any remote chance of that happening in the next eighteen months, which there isn't, that wouldn't constitute military success since it's not the military mission.
Obama has never said explicitly and specifically "success in Afghanistan will mean X, Y, and Z happening. If those are accomplished, we can truly say "Mission Accomplished" and mean it."
I don't think even he knows what the definition of success is. In which case, how can we possibly say whether success will be accomplished?
This decision is just more money and more American lives down a rat hole which will never be plugged. It's time to declare victory and bring our men and women home. And never again fight a war unless, as General Colin Powell said, we know going in exactly why we are going in, exactly what we intend to accomplish, and exactly how we will know when we have accomplished it. Anything else is not only irresponsible, but stupid.
Jack, I think now that Obama is finally ready to rally behind our troops we can get the job done right and then bring our troops home. We have been short handed there for years with our top generals having to beg for more troops. America needs to rally behind our president and our troops can take care of the rest, as long as we listen to the generals and focus a 100% on finishing this war right!! PUT healthcare on hold untill this Trillion dollar war is over.
I remember every time Bush needed over 200 billion dollars for the wrong war, he was given a blank check. Almost a trillion was spent on the wrong war. Now that 50 cents is needed for the wright war we must put up a fight. ? Setting a time table for a pull out on a war that all parties don't want to get behind the the President and help support our troops is the wright thing to do. Besides roaches come out after you turn off the lights. This is more successful than nuking them out.
I'm not optimistic about much these days, including the war in Afghanistan, but Pres. Obama, at least, is tackling the problem that Pres. Bush should have tackled 8 years ago. I am optimistic that he will do the right thing, not the convenient thing or the expedient thing. And yes, I believe there should be a "war tax" on the rich. The rich started this snowball down the mountain back when it was considered "Charlie Wilson's War" and they were sneaking missiles and rocket launchers out to the Taliban because they were fighting Soviet occupation.
Afghanistan has never been a nation functioning as we think of in the West. Tribal leaders rule their areas of the country with an iron fist. To expect the stand up of a national militia in 18 months is dreaming in blissful futility. Maybe we can recruit some of those leaders and achieve a bit of success, but a national militia wont be achieved. Maybe even in18 years.
I am very optimistic Jack. What do you think our troops feel if we were not.
Independent Joe (Mn)
Not that optimistic at all Jack.
For a government that is supposed to be for the people, this
government sure has a talent for going against what the majority
of what people want.
Our country is in a downward spiral in which there may be no recovery. Just for once, if other couintries are going to help us in this effort in Afganistan, I wish they would step forward in bigger numbers.
As for fighting al Qaeda, they can't be defeated by only fighting them in Afganistan.
I'm actually pretty confident and applaud Pres. Obama's decision to send more troops. I know it wasn't a popular thing to do but it is necessary. I hope that Obama follows up the troop surge with more emphasis on helping the country rebuild – more schools, hospitals, businesses, etc. so that the country can get back on its feet. Once it is stable, the taliban will have little appeal to most Afghans.
I'm semi-optimistic. I wish President Obama would just cut the bull crap that we have some sort of a joint front, or a joint effort on Afghanistan. We need 40,000 American troops not 30,000 American and 10,000 foregin troops. With the exception of Brittan and Canada, our other so called coalition members may as well be positioned at all bases as the cooks, because as far as I'm concerned our cooks can fight better than their infantry. We have always believed that American Exceptionalism is true, and real. This war goes to prove it. We can't rely on the rest of the world to help win our fights, when they won't even fight a war that effects them as well. I really wish we could stop playing politics with this decision and just go flat out to win this war. Every war needs more dependable boots, and German and French boots have proved unreliable. If you think the Germans and French are reliable, I've got a bridge to sell you.
I am FAR more more confident and satisfied with the plan than anything that Bush, Cheney, or the other misleading GOP phonies have offered for 8 years. We finally have a leader that explains a plan and strategy...without all-out lies. Imagine that! A year from now we may be cheering Obama's every move, including the economy.
If through our negligence Pakistan's atomic bomb falls into the hands of the Taliban or Al Qaida, we won't be splitting hairs over the meaning of the word "success."
We will be as successful as we need to be.
Ask those Cadets how optimistic they are about getting killed for nothing.
If you're talking about the success of the opium trade, I'm very optimistic. If success is measured in the loss of lives, I'm optimistic. Anything else, forget it.
i dont see any win in this war..either way you look at it we lost..by that time our economy will be in shambels.....what i dont under stand is these 2 countries can help pay back of th cost of what was spent...iraq its oil and teach the afgans how to grow corn that can be usd for eating and gasahol.
I support what the president is attempting to do...period.
However....the passage of time, lack of action following the grand rhetoric of the Bush administration and the insane invasion of Iraq have left the US public and our allies weary, and unconvinced.
Perhaps if Afghanistan were rich with oil fields...this would all be over by now.
If Pakistan gives us full cooperation instead of milking the U.S. for more money every chance they get, we will succeed in Afghanistan. The only country that benefits from us being there is Pakistan.
Frank (Miami, FL)
I am as optimistic as anyone can be given the circumstances. These difficulties were created by the former administration, and yet the media and the GOP is hell bent on saying this is now "Obama's war". Bush left this country in the worst shape it has been in in 65 years, but instead of supporting our presidents efforts to clean the mess, the press is eager to drop any bomb it can on him. I am so fed up with the media, that I think I will just turn off the TV set and read a good book until you all come to your senses.
Jack, I do not agree with sending troops to war, but I do trust this President to do the right thing. It time to support our President, troops and thier famlies.
Optimistic, Jack you've got to be kidding? Devastated, horrified and disgusted would be more like it. We don't belong in Afghanistan any more than we belonged in Iraq. How would we like it if we had Iraqis, Afghanis and Pakistanis in our backyards? We are the interlopers, the invaders, not the liberators. The more troops we send in, the more the fighting will escalate. We're in the Middle East for three reasons, oil, money and power. I voted for Barack Obama, but last night we parted company. He's starting to sound just like good old George W. Bush.
I think our chances of success are 'as good' as our chances were in Vietnam or Iraq. Our President promised at his inauguration to do something like preserve, protect, defend our constitution, our people, his electors. I think ending the mid east wars period and spending the money on that health care thing he wants; or medicare or social security or helping people with mortgages. The
Afghans didn't elect him; we are not the world's saviour. There are 100's of other nations to help over there; we need to recover from Iraq and the republicans now.
Jack I'm very optimistic about afghanistan because for once we are fighting for the people of afghanistan, to give them stability and to free them from the taliban and give women the right to go to school so they can learn that they can be more than just a wife. I am happy that we are fighting a good war, not a war for oil, money or land and I do believe that AL qaeda will come back to afghanistan if we don't get rid of the taliban.
I not Optimistic about U.S. winning the war. If the United States pulled out all of it's military toys and played with them in the play ground of Afghanistan then we stand a chance. When a country fights a war that uses rules against a power that does not there is no hope. The United States should stop caring about what the media thinks what we are doing is right and just do everything we can to stop the enemy with the least amount of American lives. A professional boxer can't win a fight in a dark alley brawl. If you opponent fights dirty then do what we have to do to even the odds
Our President was wrong about Vietnam being different. We ARE fighting again a large natural insurgency - a multi-national insurgency of people who don't want us in the Middle East at all. Secondly, Karzai's government is no stronger or effective than was the South Vietnamese government. And we got more support troop-wise from our allies during the Vietnam war than we ever will from are so-called allies in NATO.
We will lose this war for the same reason we lose every war post World War II-we don't fight them like our national survival depends on it. Consider the opium trade. A major source of funding for the Taliban is sales from poppy plants. Instead of burning every field we come across and jailing people for growing it, thus strangling a major source of revenue for the Taliban (who cares if it upsets the locals), we will "encourage" people not to grow it.
We have a saying at work, "come heavy or don't come at all". Might as well go home...
Define success; define peace. Sending in more troops will produce neither.
Not even Jack Bauer can save us now.
In order for me to belive in the success that may come i will need trust in Obama... and like many other americans that trust is crubling. But i think that all obama needs is one BIG victory for him that will gain our trust 100% and this might be it if it is a success. I have some trust in him. So ill go with it. But i dont know if it will stay this way... I guess we will see.
Jack, the USA financed and gave the Taliban weapons to fight Russia. Great Britain fought to occupy Afghanistan. The USA helped the Taliban, therby defeating Russia. Great Britain went there for imperialism. We would not allow any country to occupy the USA. Most would fight without worry for their life. And that is the most dangereous enemy.
Well first things first. Let's get this right. This is not Obama's war. This is our war. I am an American and im proud of it. It shows how shallow the people in our country are and how unappreciative we are about our history. We have come a long way. Instead of cherishing and celebrating a beautiful moment of our history we constanty critcize our African American president. No one can deny the fact that he is extremely intelligent. He has only been in office for approxiamately 11 months. We as American people should learn how to support our president no matter what. We should also learn how to be confident in our armed forces. Our negatively doesn't encourage them want to go overseas any more than they already want to. When Bush first put us into this mess we were content with the decision and now that our African American president wants to add to the total of troops us as Americans approval rating goes down for him. We claim to be nervous about this decision when all it's going to do is help us finish the war faster and bring the other troops back home as well.
I "TRUST" President Obama's (and his Administration) decisions on ANY and ALL areas of BOTH wars in Afghanistan and Iraq "COMPLETELY". President Obama has done so much in his first 11 months of Presidency, so why "NOT" believe that he and his Administration (TEAM) will fall short with completing the mission in Afghanistan over the next two years? What "craziness" these Republicans "sale" to Americans in knocking President Obama on EVERY issue. And Jack, stop listening to these Republicans' bag of 'non-sense' 'cause the last eight years did "NOT" work, LOL.
Oh, btw that poll you showed was dated NOVEMBER 20 – 22, 2009. Today's date is DECEMBER 2, 2009. In just the last TWO weeks ALOT has happened regarding the Afghanistan War. Wait for NEWER poll numbers before your making wise cracks on such an important issue. Wink, wink. LOL.
I pray we will be successful in Afghanistan because I believe, as the President said, our security depends on it. I think the border region of Pakistan is unstable, and the prospect of extremists gaining control of nuclear weapons is not exaggerated. I do not believe that the timeline the President has posed is because of the election, and Jack, you are cynical to suggest it. I believe the Afghans need a timeline, the American people need it, and most of all the soldiers and their families need that assurance.
Optimism? Like hope? Like change? More sarcasm, and rhetoric, huh Jack? There wasn't any success in Afghanistan. There isn't any success there. And there will never be any success in Afghanistan. I am very disappointed with my President's decision to increase troops. I've realized last night that he wasn't any different from his predecessors except for maybe skin tone....I guess that explains the blood relation (6th cousins) between Mr. President (Obama) and Mr. Former Vice President (Cheney). It seems Al Queda is a myth. Our military officials don't know who they are, where they are, or when they'll attack. And our allies are against sending troops to help us. So what are we fighting' for? Seek and destroy comes to mind...Can we say genocide? I wonder how Mr. Obama feels about going against the word of 65.5 million people that voted for him based on hope, change, and transparency The question should really be about pessimism and opposition, Don't you think Jack?
P.S. Mr. Roland Martin knows the President is wrong for this. He should stop defending the president based on the fact that he is Black. Our government officials should be put in check if they are making wrong decisions. After all, this is a country based on checks and balances.A government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
I am confident that 30,000 young men and woman will be put in harms way...for what?
Are our allys sending 30,000 more troops? No they are not...so why should mothers and fathers watch there children leave maybe never to see them again.
Osama Bin Laden is in Pakistan...is sending 30,000 more of America's finest to Afganistan going to get Bin Laden in Pakistan? No again!!!
President Obama's success in Afghanistan is the U.S. exiting in 2011 after 8 or 9 years of a war that can be endless. Just ending the GROUND war will save billions of dollars that can be spent here in the USA and we will be saving the lives of our men and women in uniform. We will give the Afghans enough time to get their act together and still be in good standing with the government in case we need airspace clearance in the future to pluck out Al Qaeda remnants with quick, cheap air strikes. (manned or un-manned). We can still keep the enemy running over there without having 200,000 boots on the ground.
Jack, I support President Obama's decision and its about time this country starts supporting him too. The President took his time and made the right decision.
As for Cheny's comments, he should shut his mouth because he and his former boss are the reasons President Obama has to clean up what they started.
I'm ashamed that Sen. McCain, former war prisioner, etc., who dedicates his service to country, should fully support the President's decision. McCain should walk the talk.
After all, McCain never complained, but went right along with and didn't question the former administration about the snowjob that put us into this 8 year war.
No one in the republican party questioned how that war was going to paid for. Now, they're all crying foul. Plus, some of the democrats legislators in Washington should back the President with his decision. If they don't, I'll not vote for any of them in the future!
I feel the President took the time for one good reason : to win!
But not to win according to old definition of winning. We have been in Afghanistan for eight years and I assume this is why he said in his speech it is the war or necessity to get the work done; his exit strategy based on ground conditions sends the right signal to Afghans since they too want to be in charge of their country and they must be looking to some peace at home after so many decades of occupation. Leaving now sends the same message when we left them in the past and allowed Al-Qaida. Time to learn from past mistake! This time around, there is a better relation with Pakistan where there has been a realization that they too are part of the solution. Frankly, I have faith in President Obama as well as the professionalism of his administration and Generals such as Gen. McChrystal!
Jack, your coment about Oboma's chances for a second term is so backwards. Tell me jack who will he be running aganst,a republican right. Think hard Jack,republicans don't want an exit in war. I think Oboma is our best chance to get out of war.
sucess in afganistan depends on whether the afgan army wants its country back.. the leaders are very corrupt and as soon as we leave as obama wants, it will be business as usual. a very good red army had no sucess there and neither will we along with our allies.. i say, lets consistently bomb the poppy fields with armed, unmanned drones and if ahmed and his stoogies are tending them, too bad when we bomb..this way we take some of the revenue out of their war, bring the troops home ,station them in stratigic places around our borders with very tight security, especially the airports, waterways etc. we cannot be there for years to come ..obama has a snake by the tail and he has to figure how to destroy it before it gets him
Sorry Jack, but history is not on our side. Out of everyone who's ever gone to war in that area hoping for victory has lost. What makes them think that it'll be any different for us. It'll end up being Vietnam pt2, unless they plan to bomb the entire country and everyone in it, they'll never defeat the taliban/alquida. Same with Pakistan. All these Warhawks need to wake up and face the reality of the situation. Bush and his cronies took their eye off the ball for way too long, they let Bin Ladin slip through their hands, who's most likely long gone by now probably hiding in some other country. To top it off the government there is corrupt, the people dont support it, which is why they cant keep any one in their own military ranks for long. Its just more money going down the drain that'd be better spent pulling our wrecked economy back out of the ditch.