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December 1st, 2009
10:36 AM ET

Track the War Online

This is one of my favorite sections on CNN.com. It tells you so much about the state of the war and the larger story of Afghanistan. Learn who the key players are in the country today, follow its complex (and often turbulent) history, and see photos of everyday life all over the country.
One of the most important sections: remembering the fallen. See the troops who gave their lives in this war, from around the world. There have been more than 1500 coalition deaths - more than 900 of them Americans.


Filed under: Josh Levs • Tony Harris
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Josh during the Vietnam war the death toll was one American soldier to 10 Vietnam soldiers what is the toll poll for this war.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  2. Gene

    Josh, now that Dick Chaney is no longer Vice President, does he get part of the enormous profit that Haliburton and othercompanies of that ilk are getting from the American taxpayers who are financing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars?

    December 1, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  3. whatamothersays42146

    Tony,

    The War:

    I think our troops should come home immediately, and no more troops should be sent...However, I am sure that President Obama is doing the best he knows to do and has more information than I...I do pray for him in every way and for our country...

    Healthcare:

    I had heard a Sentor from my state say that his health care cost is $42 per month...My thoughts are that politicians should pay the same as all citizens and receive the same health care as those who are not as fortunate...He also said, as I recall, that he has no cap on his coverage; whereas the average citizen has limits...My question to any politician would be, "Who benefits from the rules they make?"
    Everyone, I believe, should have appropriate health care, not just a few being privy to having their health concerns addressed...I am an RN of 35 years, and even I, having served the ill and infirmed, now even wonder if I will have my health care needs met...

    I enjoy your show very much...

    Juanita Pittman-Brown

    December 1, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  4. Kasirye

    Karzai is not the man for the job, he is like a rich kid who was left to look after his fathers empire when the daddy passed away,no experience,ridiculous commander in chief, has no idea whats going on outside his compound and this is your man in the dug-out? good luck guys. Kasirye

    December 1, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  5. Rachel

    What about the Afgan women? What happens to them when we leave? Remember what it was like for them with the Taleban in charge. Even now girls face death or acid attacks when they go to school. I do not support war, either traditional military type or a war against women. We are in a lose lose situation and I have no solution. Somehow, some way Love has to have an opportunity to flourish with respect for everyone's vision, wisdom and energy.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  6. Tauheed

    Our ground troups should only be focused on the Pakistini border area. This is the area where Osama is being protected and where the Pakistini government is dealing with their Taliban/Al-Qaeda problem. This is where progress can be measured, not in Afganistan where the government has proven to have corruption and not a protecting ally.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  7. June Harris

    Hello Tony, First I commend you and your colleagues for jobs well done and for your sensitive reporting of news. I would like to add my following personal commentary on the news medias choice of information released publicly regarding on US and Canadian troop movement in Afghanistan, Pakistan and it is troubling. I watch CNN news and especially looked foward to it since I was performing in Qatar during the World Trade Conference and 9/11.

    Please see the attached opinions below; that I just emailed your equally talented colleague Anderson Cooper. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity. Sincerely, June Harris.

    Hello Anderson, First let me compliment you and your staff for your professional journalistic comentary;colleagues Tony Harris and others for the informative content and delivery.

    My questrion is this: Why is troop deployment broadcast on TV? This seems to give the Taliban and Al Quaida an edge. Are you following me? The enemy is not stupid and having been in Middle Eastern and Far East countries during some of my performance tours; seen the disparities between poor, uneducated (some living in run-down metal-roofed shacks (Jakarta) with crude electricity watching, guess what? News).

    Revealing Canadian and American troop movements may not only give viewers a false sense of security; but alert our mutual enemies as well. To conclude: The enemy seems to have a strategy to try to attain 'world domination'. Only ducks and geese hold their heads up towards

    December 1, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  8. Jarred Tedino

    The War:
    The president inherited this mess. War is messy and confusing and spinning the wheels with the small number of troops that are there is obviously not working. Simply pulling all troops out immediately is not the answer. Sending more troops in can only do one of two things, succeed or end up the same way its going now and no one knows the outcome. If Pres. Obama believes that this will work I will back him. Remember that the majority of our country voted for him so maybe we should back his decisions unless he proves that his decisions actually don't work. It is pretty ignorant to bash his policies before seeing if they actually work.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  9. Tom Harris

    Tax us and Draft us if the decision is for America to be at war. All American's need to have a real "stake" in this decision. If that is not what we want then we need to make changes in our elected representation and hold all of them fully accountable. It is far too easy to "discuss and study" something and "make a decision" when you have nothing really at risk. Once all of America's greatest treasures are "at risk" the discussion will get serious and move from "noise" to action.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  10. Carol

    Some folks need to check out the definition of 'war' before presenting. Also we, US, need to understand this is not a Boy Scout outing. This alone has cost too many American lives. Yes! it is ugly but boy scout rules cannot be used when facing an advesary who's rule is no rule. Success is as guaranteed as taking a plastic fork to a fencing contest. Our soldiers are trying to defend themselves and this country in this setting knowing that if they miss out on a 'golden rule' their own leaders will do all they can to make them wish they were dead. It's ok for 'them' to behead and drag our sons through the streets but Oh My Gosh!! don't let one of us sneeze without a hankie...the decision isn't for how many or any troops, the decision is do we need to 'chit' and if so 'git er dun' ....if not then get off the pot. It's not a right or left here, it's Mr. Obama and the rest of Washington, send your sons/daughters into that savage situation with a bow and arrow and his copy of Nice Laws. Oh, and make sure they inquire of each person encountered whether they are one of the good guys before pulling their bow. People...it's called war.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  11. D WILLIAMS

    I am a disabled veteran I have my oldest son and 2 of his best freinds heading to afghanistan the public needs to get back behiind this war this is where it all started people need to remember that horrible day in 2001 if we do not bring some kind of security to this region it will haunt us in the near future and this negetivity towards the war does hurt military moral even if they say they back the troops they need to just do just that thank you

    December 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  12. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Tom wrong we need war bonds not new taxes .

    December 1, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  13. Eliza Leadbeater

    Let’s not forget that the President inherited the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan along with the economy and healthcare. It takes time to turn these situations around.

    I would like to see us chance our approach. Replace our weary troops, but do not add more. We should be training their people and helping them rebuild, redirect, and strengthen their economy. This is a ground up approach working with local leadership and using NGO’s as advisors. (I believe we could engage our allies in this approach also.) Let us use our dollars to build schools, provide skill/business training, develop local leadership that can be trusted, enhance services/infrastructure that the Afghan people need, and help them develop a new economy. I would like to think we can eliminate and replace their dependency on growing drugs and replace this with crops that can feed their nation. Maybe some international companies who contract with China for cheap products could transfer some of their business to Afghanistan. We need to start from the ground up beginning with the people and give them a positive ending.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  14. Rainer Scarton

    We can not invade a country, take away its governmental infrastructure (or system we deem unworthy), and then abandon that country. The void would without a doubt be filled by radicals, much like Iran, if not worse. Obama has taken the safe route of nurturing the current government, by protecting it militarily. The additional troops will also allow the U.S. armed forces to occupy after winning ground, rather than to retreat after winning ground, which leads our military to fighting for the same places repeatedly. This will save American lives. We will not and cannot leave Afghanistan until it is a secure, stable country where terrorism does not thrive.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  15. Kenneth Tomms

    Nothing will change those people.
    Generals always say how much they hate war but they lie.It is their occupation and your sons and daughters are their tools,as General Patton said during world war two. "God forgive me,I love it so"

    December 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  16. John Wilhelm

    Tony: Did I hear her right?? Did your correspondence just say that 9-11 is a "faint memory"???
    Where did she get that false information from? That's bogus! 9-11 is neither a "faint memory" nor should it ever be to an American!

    December 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  17. Rubio, Steven

    Im a future soldier in the United States Army, And if President Obama needs More troops in Afghanistan, I agree.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  18. Roger Blain

    As we enjoy the holiday season here at home I often think of our soldiers in foreign countries who would like nothing more than to be with their families at this time. I think it's worth noting that our "real" Nation's Christmas tree is not the one on the mall in Washington, D.C. but actually the General Grant Giant Sequoia in the mountains of California. It was designated by President Calvin Coolige as the Nation's Christmas tree in 1926 and President Eisenhower proclaimed the General Grant as a National Shrine "in memory of those who have died in war". This giant tree, nearly 40 feet in diameter and 3500 years old, is the only living shrine and we should note that it is both our Nation's Christmas Tree AND a living shrine dedicated to those who have fallen. God bless our troops.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  19. Mary

    We can't even take care of ourselves. How can we help anybody else? We are in terrible shape here at home in the US. We need to fix our own problems and there are plenty. We need to protect our own boarders.
    I am afraid that the new people that come to the land of the free are trying to change it into what ever country they came from. They need to learn the language we speak here. They have the freedom to speak any language at home they want, but out in the world they need to communicate in English, that includes schools. Why should we pay for interpreter's? Especially if they are illegal immigrants.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  20. Jason B

    Tony,

    The American people must realize that the Afghan people cannot fight off the extremists by themselves, they need more training and equipment. In addition, if we do not provide enough troops to make the country secure long enough to train the Afghan people, then we will create a safe haven for the Taliban and many other groups to use in the near future.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  21. charlotte gladstone

    I do not have to hear a speech to know that our president made a very
    wrong decision. I am an old lady and lived through world war 2 . We knew who our enemy was at that time. Now we will be fighting straws in the wind. Our economy will be in disarray and we will end up a weak country. The bad guys will leave and go on to another country. Do we have to fight that country also. Please Mr. President reconsider your position.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  22. meher

    As president Obama has said recently,we must have an exit strategy. After-all, how long America can support these people?These people think Americans to be fools feeding and protecting them.Earlier we laeve, better it will be.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  23. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Heres my exit strategy retreat dont advance.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  24. Bill Dopf

    President Obama's adding troops in Afghanistan is a huge strategic error. The cost of one soldier for a year in Afghanistan could finance the building of 20 schools. With 90,000 troops expected to be there that's 1.8 million schools per year. And with the population of Afghanistan at about 30 million, we could build a school for ever 16 residents EVERY YEAR. Consider the number of people that are school age and that number is much much higher. Why are we creating misery and suffering when we could be educating and putting every Madras out of business? Wars over, case closed. Has the industrial military complex managed to destroy our sense of reason? Eisenhower warned they are capable of hijacking America and they seem to have done it.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  25. ken lazar

    I am writing to urge you to take swift action to avert economic catastrophe for millions of families and communities across the country. By January 2010, one million workers will become ineligible for unemployment benefits unless the extension programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are reauthorized. Any delay in reauthorizing the ARRA will have devastating consequences for workers and their families already facing difficult times and an uncertain future.

    Recently Congress overwhelmingly passed HR 3548, which provided extra weeks of unemployment benefits-but only to workers who qualify before December 31, 2009. The job market will be rough for many months to come in 2010, and so further unemployment benefits are needed too.

    I implore you to come together to reauthorize the program for another year. Without the ARRA, the number without federal jobless benefits is expected to swell to nearly three million workers by March. With long-term unemployment at and all time high and the unemployment rate rising to 10.2%–the highest rate in 26 years, it is critical that the program be reauthorized before December. Most of those depending on jobless extensions have worked all of their lives, and are desperate to return to work. But there are now 6 unemployed workers for every 1 job opening nationally. Please act now on behalf of America’s working families.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  26. ROCKY -QUEEN'S NY

    Hi Tony, I think that everyone should allow this president to do his job, a job that the prior president/administration failed to complete. It seems to me that some people forgot what happened on "September 11th ". It's a shame that the TALIBAN who was harboring ALQUIDA in Afganistan still exist today and we are fighting war in IRAQ.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  27. jake

    anyone who thinks we should send more troops should suit up and go. it is easy to send someone else go yourself.young or old man or women.go over there and fight for their right to grow dope and send 90% of it to us.that is their means for survival.how about someone in our country without a job they should grow some too their way to survive.Obamas talk tonight a big joke. what happened to his promise for troop withdrawal.talk is cheap followthrough not working.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  28. Sm

    Why does the US & the media feel the need to reveal every detail of a strategic military plan to the enemy? If you were in a fight.. Would you tell that person the day & time you planned on punching them in the face?

    December 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  29. D WILLIAMS

    I hear some of your viewers that there is no threat from afganistan wow short memeories of how the war on terror began, yes president bush took his eye off the ball and went to Iraq but President Obama is juggling a very hard domestic agenda and foriegn one at the same time we need to get the afghan people some security so they can create some kind of economy which would bring the stablility to the countr it needs instead of the opium trade and there is two nuclear countries bordering afganistan do we just want to leave qiuck and see what would happen if the extremist took hold of either one or both of those countries, I do not like war but this would have been finished if we would have finished it in the beggining

    December 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  30. Sm

    If you were in a fight.. Would you tell that person the day & time you planned on punching them in the face? Why does the US & the media feel the need to reveal every detail of a strategic military plan to the enemy?

    Sm Columbus, OH

    December 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  31. D. Dixon

    What are we accomplishing by sending more troops to Afghan? More money spent that we can ill afford and more losses of our young men and women and for what? These tribes will continue to live and govern how they choose after we eventually pull out.....so what is the point? To save face because we couldn't accomplish anything in 8 years or is it all about OIL.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  32. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Been there done that Jake I think ill sit at home and fight this war on the blog. Bring our troops home.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  33. Marvin

    I am shocked, the thousands of the young men and woman who have died, their parents making the ultimate sacrafice and the rest of the people sitting back in their comfortable life contributing nothing, they should be glad to help and what is it going to cost them a few dollars, their sons and daughters are safe.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  34. George

    Tony,

    First off I am a struggling 20-year-old college student at a prestigious university.

    The discussion of the war surtax makes me sick. The projected amount for a $50,000/year household is ONLY $50. Let's look at Black Friday. People had no problem spending money on themselves and all Americans were consuming consuming consuming!!

    These are the men and women who are not just fighting for our country, but for the world. I am not weighing my opinion if we should be in this war or not. The fact is that WE are and need to stand by our troops.

    Throw this one at American families.....Pay the surtax or let's start the draft up again. Where is our patriotism??

    Thank you,
    George

    December 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  35. Mark

    Afghanistan is such a very complex question. Just trying to separate the Taliban from al-Qaeda is difficult. But what I like about Obama's approach, is that he has spent a good deal of time in discussions with people with a variety of views, unlike his predececessor, who only wanted to listen to those who agreed with him. Now I don't know if the current plan is actually going to allow us to obtain our goals or not, but at least there seems to have been a lot of thought and discussion gone into it. I pray that we are on the right track. We must do whatever is necessary to disrupt al-Qaeda so we don't have a repeat of 9/11 or worse. People seem to have forgotten what that was like. Don't think it can't happen again.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  36. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Heres a good strategy bring our troops home and if they attack us again then nuke the crap out of them no more mr. nice guy.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  37. Jerry - CO

    2 comments:
    Please recommend reading The Middle East for Dummies to all those who think we should send more troops ANYWHERE in the Middle East
    Also, please remind viewers (like myself) how much profit Defense Contractors are making & the connection these companies have to U.S. Congress Members, their families, as well as current & retired generals. Isn't what this so-called "war" is all about – $$$$$?

    December 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  38. Jim

    Lets look at the reason we went to Afganistan in the first place. I thought we were chasing Usma Binladen? How did it turn into us re-structuring this country just as we are doing for Iraq? We just cannot afford to rebuild every country we chase rebels to! Lets get back to the job we started and then get the heck out. We have m ore trouble here at home than we can handle.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  39. Carolyn Greeley

    Please discuss the troop surge that includes Army Veterans in the In-active Army Reserve Pool, ordered to Active Duty in support of the national emergency declared under presidential proclamation 7463, dated September 14, 2001
    Our son enlisted in Nov 2003, and began serving his country, 29 Jan 2004. After serving for 4 yrs, including deployment to Iraq for 18 months, our son was put in the IRR pool for 4 more years. After 2 yrs, Sgt Greeley has received his orders to report back into active duty( not to exceed 0400 days unless extended or terminated). Purpose: Partial mobilization -operation enduring freedom.
    How much more do our Veterans have to sacrifice !!!

    December 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  40. Michelle

    It is obvious that many people oppose the war in Afghanistan, but is the opposition really about the war or is it towards the current president. No matter what the president does it is never good enough for the many people who did not want him to be the president of the United States. I feel the people who are giving him the most hell are probably the people who turn out at any of Sarah Palins events.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  41. Terri Thorne

    Tony:

    President Obama is our elected leader who is diligently educated by his staffers. He is taking proper responsibility as the commanding chief of our nation for our participation in a hostile and complicated war. I trust his fundamental intent to do what is right for our troops, for our nation, for the Afghans and for the world. He is more aware of the facts than any of us, and I believe in his ability to provide a well structured plan for victory.

    President Obama, if you see this, please know that we, ordinary United States citizens, appreciate your deep contemplation on this matter and the other serious issues that face our nation such as the economy and health care system. We support you and appreciate your heartfelt leadership.

    California Resident Terri Thorne

    December 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  42. Walter

    Tony, this is Walter from Florida,a Retired Command Sergeant Major, I just want you to know that you and your partners are doing a great job, but there is one thing that I am very concerned about, you guys are always talking about the presidents decision to send troops to afgan, now do you think that all those experts that you have on your program know how to fight a war or do you know anything about strategic operations in a war. I am a vietnam veteran and I absolutely support this young president, all of you is taking polls after polls to insure that the president fails, but I must inform all of you that we the veterans all of us support his decision and leadership. I also need to know, what does CNN STANDS FOR IS CONSERVATIVE NEWS NETWORK, I really need to know. Leave the President alone and let him do his job, Stop asking people their opinions on the war, they don't know, Bush had 8 years to get it done, this wonderful president has only 10 months so let him do his job. It is amazing how you guys turn people against the president, there wasn't this much coverage when George Bush and Cheney was in office because the did not do anything good. So stop being so bias with this president, be like CBS 30 min and it is over thanks to Brian Williams he is a natural and not bias he tells it like it is. Thanks

    December 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  43. D. Williams

    we need to listen to the President first and and let the round table discussions give thier views but most of all we need to let the military do there job without worrying about polotics

    December 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  44. Dave Austin Smith

    good day, i am following the war that the Al qaeda is fighting with the american it is inpossible for any nation to win the type war that is fighting now one side is wearing uniform the next is not how will you know ur enemy.what i am trying to say is that the army dont know the enemy if i was the president i would take home my guy them.on let them the enemy come out. i am writing from jamaica

    December 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  45. norbeweckerle

    Instead of sending more (our troops) into war zone. have their men come here and be trained as police. comments thank you ,new

    December 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  46. joe

    I can only hope that President Obama realizes how fragile the Nations
    trust in our goverment is right now. We were looked right into our eyes and lied to about the reasons to invade Iraq. We have witnessed the inmature, play ground tactics that both parties have used to either increase their own personal wealth or extend their political careers.
    And most Americans are fed up with the lies and mistrust.
    Americans are being asked to Trust in the President and this administration once again. We will be sending more young men and women into harms way. And only those of us who have seen combat can fully appreciate the hardships that combat can offer.
    I pray that the President realizes that this decision and how it is carried out , could be the begining of the end of having a united country. The Presidents legacy is now on the line.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  47. Rmy

    The Presidint Obama must think as human being,we lost so many citizens on 9/11 and Iraq, we keepon loosing our peoples in Afghanistan. Please President Obama put a full STOP on that eight years old War and bring our troops home. We still need you for 2012.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  48. Jacqueline Davis

    Re: What would I like to see Obama do regarding the troops in Afghanistan?

    I would like to see him do what he said he would do. "BRING HOME OUR TROOP" That was the promise he made that got him my vote and the vote of many people who were teetering on who to vote for, or if they should even vote at all. Sending in more men? To teach the Afghanistan's to fight for themselves? We have already been there for 8 years. If we haven't taught them by now then it's not gonna happen! It's time for the United States to stop spending money on the Middle East and start spending it here, where it is so desperately needed. But most of all for the son's, Daughters, Mothers,Fathers, friends, family and loved ones. Not one more drop of blood from our brave soldiers should be spilled on the soil of the middle east.. That was the mindset of many of the people who truly believed we had our voice in the white house with Obama....

    December 1, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  49. JamesJoyce

    Rick,

    Proposed is a .40 cent tax on gas to fund a war effort which perpetuates a energy delivery system where .75 cent of every American dollar spent on "gas" is wasted? America has been gutted by corporate protectionism sure as the King of England raped the colonist!

    Corporate Slime in colonial crime all the time! John Cusak of CQ stated by the time a gallon diesel gets to Afghanistan, it cost $400.00 .

    DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  50. Catherine Kaloustian

    It is said that the way to win a war is to know your enemy well. Those in our country that formulate and dictate what our policies will be in the regions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and the entire region in general, have no idea what "The Mind Set" of these people are. Just as the Bush administration was naive into thinking that the Iraqi people would meet our invading troops with flowers and laurels, this administration is severly mistaken into thinking that sending in more troops will bring the Afghan people around to aid us in defeating the enemy. Simply put, the Afghan's are a tribal people, that have been ruled by a Feudal War Lord system for centuries. They have been under the rule of the Persians, Greeks, Turks, and Monguls, just to name a few. They defeated the British in the early 1900's, defeated the Russians in 1989, and have been in a civil war since the 1970's. These people are warriors in every since of the word. For them, it's so much a part of their culture, that to be an Afghan, is to be a warrior, and to them-there are no rules of war. Until America carefully educates itself on the workings of the Middle Eastern mind, they will continually find themselves being surprised and dissapointed from the outcomes of it's Middle Eastern policies. We will NEVER be able to bring our brand of democracy, or anything similar for that matter, to these regions. The sooner our government learns that, the more our brave men an women in uniform will be able to return to our shores--alive.

    December 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  51. LARRY K

    If it is true that Ben Laden should have been captured in 2001 but Cheney and Bush said no, what possible reason could they have had. My guess is this, Cheney tells Bush that if they do eliminate Ben Laden with a third of the country against going to war in Iraq there would have been no compelling reason to attack Iraq. If this would be the case I think both Cheney and Bush should be tried as war criminals, since over 400,000 Iraqis and 4,000 of our own died so these guys could go ahead with their war plans.

    December 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  52. perez

    I am highly upset over the media's decision to title President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan as a ownership of the war. As if this is a war that belonged to former President Bush and not the American people. I remember how patriotic most Americans were after the 911 attacks. When President Bush decided to send soldier's to Afghanistan as a revenge for 911 there was so much support from the public. I think you guys at CNN have the poll numbers and how high the support was at that time. Even President Bush said that his "resolve" would be unwavering, but now that it seems that more American lives will have to be sacrificed, there is a sudden protest against the war. What a joke. If we dont finish the job now, al qeada will be more dangerous then ever, and thats the problem. The American public is too comfortable worrying about money, then and enemy that wants to destroy American idealism...ashame

    December 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  53. Anjali

    Hi Tony,

    i am in concordance with President Obama , on his decision of sending further troops to Afghanistan.
    If we dig from the canals of History , it has always been Pakistan and Afghanistan who is hub of all terrorist activity in world.Not only this but also a shelter for all underworld Criminal like Osama Bin laden and Dawood Ibrahim, list is endless.

    This time there should be an end to all anti terrorist activity, if it is not now then never and ever.

    Great work ! Sir obama.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  54. Neeraja Sathyamoorthy

    I thought having President Obama speak at West Point was a brilliant strategy. I dont mean this in a jaded kind of a way. It created the right backdrop for his talk – the earnest faces of the young West Point cadets brought home the seriousness of the situation, the gravity of this decision of whether we should remain in Afghanistan or pull out. I am very hopeful that the President and his men will do the morally right thing, as well as do what is best for world-wide security; that they will go about accomplishing what America wants to in terms of making the Taliban and the al Qaeda non-entities. Most of all I hope his address helps to lessen the vicious, toxic debates that seem to be dividing our nation. A country at war needs to remain united.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:50 pm |
  55. sean

    i heard the speech by the president about afghanistan and no surprise more troops are going there and this war is creating problems for the president, we hear about corruption in that country and the opium that is growing there and being sold and we see the fight against drugs in the u.s and in afghanistan nothing is being done about it. the president is going to have aproblem getting other countries to send troops and canada we have contributed to the war and it as been costly , soldiers killed and the financial cost, canada should not be asked to send more troops

    December 2, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  56. Patrick

    I think its not right for us too be sending more troops, and i know we have the power too throw the president off his presidency, by the declaration of independence. We the people! this government is corrupt.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  57. Paul L.

    The president should have kept the speach to the approval of troops and left any stated details (although short) confidential. It seems that providing details to our enemies as well as the continuous stream governmental leaks can only be detrimental to the success of the mission at hand.

    "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results"

    George Smith Patton

    December 2, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  58. Pat Lee

    We have heard this before just a few more men (30,000) Yes and for each one of our own that dies or is effected for the rest of their lives
    it is for the support of "THEIR JAHAD" They win with each death theirs or ours. People grow weak and emotionally drained at the hopelessness of our country. They don't need to fight just keep it going until we are so drained emotionally, financially and spiritually we will loss the last hope we have in our own.. We will be a nation with "post traumatic stress syndrome" of all of our people not just our military. In my lifetime I have seen 8-10 wars or military action or what ever name you give it. We learned nothing. We have Veterans Day. They died for democracy? We didn't learn to use our resources to strenghten US. We have less education, less trained personal, less iniative and a generation of young that have given up to "lack of a dream". We have given our people and country away. It is ours to lose and we are! This conflict is like cancer that never goes into remission it takes away everyones quality of life or life in itself. We do not have a cure for man's inhumanity to man.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  59. Adrienne Edwards

    Get out now. It's cost us enough. Not one more life, not one more dollar is worth it.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  60. LRose

    I am old enough to vividly remember WWII and all the young men killed and injured as well as several from my home town. I was old enough to be in the Korean war and saw with my own eyes the many young men that we killed and injured there. I also remember all the men killed and injured in the Vietnam War and saw many young men killed and injured in the Iraqi war and now all the men killed and injured in the Afghanistan war. ENOUGH ALREADY. !!! Does anyone really believe that winning the Afghani war, which is highly unlikely, going to deter any individual or individuals from committing another 9/11 if they set their minds to it? And, why are we supporting a government which derives most of it's income from the sale of poppies which is turned into heroin when the U.S. has been fighting drug trafficing for decades? None of if makes any sense. I had such wonderful visions of Obama changes things and now sending 30,000 more men to Afghanistan only to come home in body bags. He sure has lost my vote.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  61. Ms. Parker

    I feel that our president is doing exactly what we voted him in office for and that's handling these serious issues that has been long avoided. What i am disappointed in is some of the American people should practice more patients and get behind our president.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  62. Rick Amores

    As a Vietnam Vet I see the new kids coming back from war as I did this morning at the VA. Nobody talks about what happends to us as PTSD and other wounds mess our life forever. I wish the news would cover how hard it is to get help from the VA after the wars. "WE support our troops" is something you all say but do nothing about it.

    Rick Amores

    December 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  63. Max

    Hi Tony,

    As a Canadian, the announcement is bittersweet. On one hand, Canadians in Kandahar will finally get the support they need, which the rest of NATO hasn't been providing. As usual, the US is stepping up and we're grateful for that! On the other hand, I no longer understand what either of our countries are doing in Afghanistan, how any of it is relevant to the War on Terror anymore, why we're losing brave soldiers,and wasting their efforts and a huge sums of money while we allow our own people at home to suffer. I hope Obama lives up to the Nobel he preemptively received.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  64. Gordon Hyska

    I hate to simplify something that CNN is spending hours of chatter on but my question to all of the Presidents critics right now is this. What are you offering for an answer to the current situation in Afkhanistan/Pakistan and what are the information resources you are using to support your idea? Whatever your answer is I bet your resources are no where near the ones the President has in both volumn and quality. Ergo all criticisms are moot and lacking in facts.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  65. Tamera

    I believe President Obama is doing the wrong thing in sending more troops into Afghanistan. First, I believe it is not the United States primary job to babysit other countries we should have other countries helping and sending troops in as well. Secondly, financially the United States is not in any situation to be spending money. People in this country are hurting severely financially and this (30 billion) burden will only add to this problem. Why not focus on our own country instead of getting involved in everybody else's business. I feel this is partially to reason why the United States is hated by certain countries and/or individuals. The main point here is get other countries to send in troops (as well as the United States), why should we loose our servicemen and service women. Thanks ~ Tamera in upstate New York

    December 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  66. Walter

    Hi Rick, this is Walter from Fla. I just don't understand some of the negative things are being said about the Presidents decision to send additional troops to Afgan, I am a 27year Vet and a vietnam disabled veteran, I strongly beleive that the president had to make this decision to send troops because first of all he did not start either war, there was no negative actions against the previous administration, they keep talking about paying for the war, well let us all step back and take a deep breath and remember who got us into this mess in the first place. All President Obama is trying to do is keep us safe and get this country back on track, when Bush and Chenye messed up this country no one said anything but, since this prersident been in office all of the nurds and haters come out in negative flocks, this is sad, our nation treat this president worse than any other nation on this earth, I wonder why, and you have the former vp making remarks about he President, he should be ashame of himself and go back into hiding.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  67. sally

    I love the United States of America but she's fast becoming the Divided States of America, no longer one nation uder God but states with many gods. How can a nation with so much diversity and division win any wars? Pres. Obama said he would end the war and bring our troops home – but the Puppet Masters, the Powerful Special Interests won't let him because war is profititable for them. Pres. Obama is just spinning his wheels – he's allowed to makes changes and policies geared toward the New World Order and the wars in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan are involved. What did JFK, RFK and MLk have in common? Needles war opposition. Americans want our troops to come home but someone/something is keeping them there. My prayers for our nation, President and troops.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  68. Anita, Michigan

    Islamic radicalism has existed for centuries. In my opinion there is no way to stop it. War is all these people live for.

    The United States was pulled into this destructive no-win continuous war 8 years ago. We are no closer to providing peace there.

    President Obama said that we are sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan to protect the Afghan people, stabilize the Afghan government, and find and destroy terrorists.

    Those were the same statements made by President Bush when we first invaded Iraq.

    Have we accomplished stabilizing the government in Iraq? Are the Iraqi people safe now? No - so how can we pull out of Iraq?

    The same can be said for the time we spend in Afghanistan.
    Al Quaeda and the Taliban radicalism is going to exist forever. This society is a different breed of people than we here in the United States. All we are continuing to do is mame and kill our service men and women and drain our Country’s strength and financial stability - for countries that despise us.

    When initially going into Iraq and Afghanistan we were a wealthy Country. Now we are not. We can not continue to be the World’s protectors and be a strong America.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  69. David Lassmann

    May I offer one Canadian point of view? It takes a long time for a culture to evolve. Look at how long it is taking the U.S.A. to get over racism. Do you really think that you can change a country with an Arab/Moslem culture into one with an American/Christian culture within a single decade? By using military force? Lots of luck!

    December 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  70. Gordon Hyska

    All of these varying views here and at some blogs are screaming with an issue that most folks are not seeingh. That is that (sadly CNN included) todays News Media is NOT doing it's primary job which is to inform the public. Just read the above letters and you will see most of the opions being stated are either absent of modern fact or ignorance of just how our Government works. Today's news media would much prefer to keep the populous uniformed because that way they can "sensationalize" moot issues. The media are aware of the facts, but even when one of their Talking Heads purposely spew spin and often outright lies, they prefer to not correct them because contriversy sells. It's no wonder that our young college students get their news from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The truth in humor is more informative than misguided nonfacts. Both formats are entertainment. One is a Comedy the other is a Tragedy

    December 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  71. Karen

    I think our Troops need to be brought home NOW!! I think 8 years is more than long enough for our Men and Woman dying. We have been the only Country to send thousands and thousands of troops and it is just not right!!! I really do want the Afghanistan's to have a normal safe life, but it is up to their Government and Military to provide that not any other Country!!!! There are Children back here in the US that need their Mom's and Dad's home, so they can bond and people don't even think about that. Why hasn't any other Country sent thousands of troop's like we have!!!! The worst part of it is our troops have done 3-6 tours over there!!!! Why doesn't Israel or France or the Brit's send thousands of troops!!!! We will NEVER see that happen!!!! Our President NEEDS to focus on AMERICA and all the jobs and homes being lost!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  72. Gray Grantham

    Afganistan has only one natural resource. Heroin. We are essentially fighting a War to prop up the world Heroin Market. How nuts its that. American Soldiers are dieing to get Afgan heroin onto our streets and Police are dieing to get it off our streets. Do you think Poor people invented thsi game? We need to get out of Afganistan now and turn their poppy fields into a perpetual Napalm Fire.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  73. Gary

    3 things on my mind.

    1 Those who voted or had any part in moving their company out of the USA are resposable for the job market today. Bring the companies back.

    2 Make the government employed people have the same health care we do. Then they will fix it. And when they leave office they get ins. just like we do.

    3. Get... all the judges & lawyer out of Washington and get business men in their place for a maximum of 2 terms. When they leave they no longer get paid for some thing they no longer do.

    Gary

    December 3, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  74. Amy

    Why don't we have some of the Muslim nation help in Afghanistan! Like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and other peaceful nations who are Muslim.

    They are part of the UN!

    Why are we telegraphing our moves to the terrorists?

    They wait for 18 months and threaten local leaders who are working with us and kill them when 18 months are up!

    Casualties are small compare to WW2, Korean War, and Viet Nam!

    People we are at War!

    Freedom isn't Free! And your freedom of speech is one of them.

    The Troops know what comes with putting on the uniform.

    Bring us home with honor! And stop breaking promises to the Afghan people; they have long memories!

    December 3, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  75. Susan Rand

    This whole unemployment mess started when jobs went overseas. Bring those jobs back home where they belong!

    December 3, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  76. Darrell

    I want to know if people just love to talk and not listen. I just watched the General correct Anderson on what the President said in the speech yet people only here what they want. If people are going to weigh in on the president and the economy and how he is doing first have them check on how we got to this point. Then see what the president is doing and is what he is doing putting us further in the hole or has he and his administration helped. People love playing the blame game on everyboby else then looking at themselves.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  77. Darrell

    Sounds like Republicans are all talk and no action. They talk bad about what the White House is doing and not offering any answers like most people. What did the prior administration do to either help get here or do better then what the current administration is doing.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  78. Bill Duncan

    I own a successful small business in this poor economy. As an inventor, consultant, and manufacturer, I have carved a small and highly technical niche in the industrial/commercial world which shows no sign of decline. I have so much work that I cannot fulfill clients' demands.

    The proper course would be to hire more talent and expand, which is what I have been working toward for the past 10 years. Now at that point where I could dramatically grow, I must face a set of political changes completely contrary to what I have always known.

    Right now Obama and the Democrats intend to tax me to death. Hiring more people to work means more personal income, which means the siphoning of my hard earned income to pay those who have no interest to work or be productive. As a successful person, I am viewed now in a most negative light by both government and the media; opposite the admiration I grew up with for those before me who well succeeded.

    If I hire more people, the combination of forced new healthcare taxes, upon other taxes, upon new corporate taxes, upon new income taxes makes the decision to expand one of almost self-destruction. The media is terrified of the "S" word, but the fact is that this nation is now a Socialist one where hard work, inventiveness, risk, and intelligence are frowned upon. Politicians, despicable scoundrels beyond contempt, view people like myself as individuals to prey upon for more tax money, their life blood, rather than the historical solution this country has know toward prosperity.

    Its time to recognize that this is no longer the country it was. Last November, the American public elected a self described Socialist to run the country, and a political change toward Socialist wealth distribution. They are getting now exactly what they asked for.

    People like myself, are realizing it is better to do nothing than to work harder and get penalized for it. Its easy to understand.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  79. Bob Karl

    Tony,

    While this idea may be politically incorrect, one of the most cost-effective things that the US could do, regarding the Taliban, would be to provide small arms, ammunition and basic firearms training to the villagers and other citizens of Afghanistan and Pakistan... particularly handguns to the women.

    The common people's greatest fear is of the native guerillas (Taliban) who will come out of the shadows as soon as our military troops aren't around... either for the day, or when they return to the US. Women – Afhani, or those of other Muslim fundamentalist cultures – are the most common targets of those fundamentalists... even in their own domestic lives.

    The Taliban will remain strong until their core daily rhythm is disrupted, which includes the extreme harassment of women. Imagine the consternation engendered by the possibility if a loaded pistol or revolver under any and every burkha. As is the basis of our own Second Amendment, an armed populace is tyranny's greatest nightmare.

    Of course, this move would be unacceptable to the UN – and even – those of the far left in the United States. It's long been accepted dogma that firearms must be kept out of the hands of the common people, the results of which include the mass murders, rapes and other horrors of Bosnia, the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, and so many individual Muslim fundamentalist households.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  80. Gordy

    TEACHERS...
    Please teach your children what Socialism really is. Also send home worksheets about true Socialism with your students to help the students teach what Socialism really is to their parents. It is obvious that most people(i.e. Bill Duncan above) throw the term around at anything the government collects taxes for to fund programs that benefit the general populous. They don't realize that includes roads,airports,defense,police,education,health,corporate welfare... America is nowhere near being nor is it heading towards true Socialism.Regardless of what Faux News and Rush Bimbo say!

    December 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  81. F. Hannum

    I believe in free trade, but as it stands today, we are way behind. We do not have an equal balance and there should be. With us importing all produces and not exporting enough, we will just keep getting further in debt. Our government should tax U.S. Companies who take jobs outside our borders. They are causing a great deal of the unemployment here in our country. Until we keep jobs here, we will continue to decline as a world leader.

    December 5, 2009 at 11:26 am |