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December 1st, 2009
08:48 AM ET

Weighing in on Afghanistan


The President announced his plan for moving forward in Afghanistan and now we want to hear from you.

Leave us a comment, tell us what you thought about the speech and the new strategy. Also check out our iReport assignment: More Troops in Afghanistan?

Then watch for your comments on the air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am — 1pm ET.


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. s.wright

    I like to hear all these monday morning quarterbacks second guessing the game when it has already been played. The President has no choice but to try and stablized the situation over there. If anyone thinks for one minute he is pandering to Mccristal they are sadly mistaken. I support the President's decision.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  2. tom h

    I constantly hear about "winning" in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Winning" is defined by the politicos as spreading democracy and defeating the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and un-named others. Since we don't know exactly who to fight and why, and both countries are not willing to fight to gain their own independance from "oppressors", what exactly are we trying to "win"? Why are the oil companies and the company owned mercenaries (the true direct beneficiaries of this mess) not paying the freight? It's just the traditional government scam!

    December 1, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  3. todd carpenter

    take 30,000 prisoners out of the prison system with ten years or less sentence and send them to afghanistan let them fight and save us tax payers money. then maybe we would not have commuted criminals running our streets and killing the ones that protect and serve our country ! think about it where are they gonna run to. maybe to the middle of the dessert !

    December 1, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  4. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Did the president not say when he was running for president that he was going to bring our troops home and end this war how are we to believe anything he says.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  5. Corwin

    I am a 20 year retired vet.. It's ironic that a lot of people, such as the girl from Kent, Ohio, say we should keep troops in a continuos war when they themselves have probably never served a day in the military. BRING ON THE DRAFT.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  6. Karl

    This idea that we can root out the taliban has been tried before....anyone remember the viet cong? This will be the same. Inf fact, this will be more difficult because terrorism is not limited to borders. The terrorists will just go to another country to launch thier attacks against the US. What will we do then? Send troops to all countries? I think the US should start listening to world opinion. Other nations are not sending in significant numbers of troops. Why are we?

    Its not as though we don't have problems at home....our national debt is over 10 trillion. If we divide that amount by the number of individual taxpayers (around 100 million) we get $100000. This does not include corporate taxpayers, but you can see that we are not in a good economic position to launch another expensive, futile war.

    We cannot win in the fight against terrorists by waging a conventional war. Winning the "hearts and minds" of the Afghans is not accomplished by occupying their country.

    Let's not go to war in Afghanistan.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  7. Mike from Worcester, Ma.

    Hi Tony: Why can't we send the 30,000 American troops into Pakistan and with along with 50,000 Pakistan troops come into the mountains from the back and the American troops come in from Afganistan and try and meet them in the middle, while the American planes are bombing from the air. Everyone says that the mountain areas are a safe haven for the talibon, lets get rid of them all. Mike

    December 1, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  8. Gunter Beyer

    It is time to put America first? Get out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Japan, Germany, and spend the dollars saved feeding the 15 million Americans who are going hungry, the increasing millions who have lost their homes, the many millions out of work, and the deficit. Of course the Generals will advocate sending more troops. That, after all, is their job.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  9. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Mr. Corin thank you for your service I too served but the Draft should be imposed on the Afgan people not ours.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  10. Michael Plemmons

    No matter how you feel about this war our troops need our support and if they need more help we need to give it to them. You can not put a price on their lives.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  11. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    Tony:

    I really hope that Obama is watching Michael Ware's reports about Afghanistan on CNN because Michael Ware definitely knows what he is talking about and he tells things exactly how they really are.

    Michael Ware in my opinion should have had a seat at Obama's table when he was listening to advice from people about what to do in Afghanistan!

    I really hope that CNN puts Michael Ware on as much as possible!

    Mitch Dworkin
    Dallas, Texas

    December 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  12. Eric Jones

    I believe that all of those who are complaining that "the war needs to end", "this is an endless war", or "the war is far too expensive" need to think about three things: 1) the war should end...when we have repaired the damaged we caused by leaving too early two decades ago. 2) this war is only endless to us because we have been fortunate enough to be involved in some of the shortest wars in history (including Vietnam) 3) think of the cost of leaving now...we have already seen the cost of leaving a nation too early, it happened on 9/11. While I didn't like seeing it, I think the media should have covered the people diving off of the world trade center without end. Maybe then we wouldn't have such a short memory regarding the true cost of exiting this war in haste. Put simply, a demand to end the war now, examine the expense of war, or to end a "never ending war" demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of world history, terrorism, and world relations.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  13. Gale

    Tony, I feel the war should end but it is going to take more time then many expected. How can you hold the president responsible for the war not ending when it was going on when he was elected. Many americans want to blame someone and that is what is being looked at.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  14. Tina

    I think we're overlooking the original decision to go into Afghanistan. It was based on our national tragedy on 9-ll. Al Queda and their co-horts the Taliban were targeted for a reason. To break up their stronghold and bring those who committed the crime to justice. Very little of either has happened unfortunately. If all our military expertise, money and precious American lives had been concentrated in Afghanistan instead of being misdirected to Iraq, maybe the situation today would be far different. But that didn't happen, so we have to figure out a way to deal with what we have. If the Taliban are allowed to re-acquire the country, are we then open to a much worse attack than 9-11? Probably. If we flood troops into the country, will we be able to pull off a minor miracle? Hopefully. I honestly don't know. I hope the powers that be do.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  15. lee D.

    let see 800 billion for a war or 800 billion for health care.. One health care please.. get out of there now!!

    December 1, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  16. Hutch Hutchison

    I am disgusted that the President has caved in to the demands of the generals who direct the fighting in Afganistan. It is absurd to think they have any credibility with him. After all, there is not a single general who is active who has any experience at WINNING a war! Each war we have been in, since Korea, has ended with us looking pretty stupid, the Greatest Nation in the world reduced to shame by rag-tag, guerrilla troops, fighting for a cause they were passionate about. Iraq and Afghanistan are no different in the mission, but they are different in the tactics involved, given the differences between jungle, desert, and mountains. The tactics, however, while instilled in the generals by education, still don't result in a WIN! We would be much better off spending the ridiculous sums of money on jobs, food, shelter for our own people, and beefing up our security even more to prevent another 911. Get our troops OUT!

    December 1, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  17. Don McQuistion

    It seems that we are stuck between policies, either we should
    pull our troops out, or as the Powell Doctrine states.
    Go in with overwhelming power, achieve your specific goal
    and get out.
    We seemingly can't decide which way to go

    December 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  18. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Mitch from Dallas thats a great idea Michael Ware is a great source of the facts .

    December 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  19. D. R. Egbert

    We will never "WIN" the Afghanistan War. We are fighting criminals within Afghanistan and they don't wear uniforms. It's like us trying to stop all crime in the United States with a million marines. It will never happen.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  20. Shane in Seattle

    To encourage Pakistan to reallocate resources to the Afghan border ask India to contribute heavily in Afghanistan.

    If India contributed a significant number of troops to fight in Afghanistan along the Pakistan border Pakistan may shift some of its resources from India's border to "reduce the need" for Indian troops in Afghanistan.

    I think that India on BOTH sides of Pakistan would encourage Pakistan to spend more of those American dollars fighting the enemies they were paid to fight instead of fortifying their Indian border.

    Sorry Michael 😉

    December 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  21. Joe

    The Iraq and Afghan wars have drained our economy dry. We should take care of our own country first especially those who are homeless and hungry.

    President Obama must keep his campaign promise to bring back our troops home and end these wars. He could lose his political base if he cannot be trusted with his campaign promises.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  22. Dennis C

    Its above my pay grade to say if we should be there or not. If we pull out and they train terrorist there then send them here I hope they hit the ppl that say we should not be there and not my family. ruff i know, but if we keep them busy over there, they have less time to be over here killing thousands in less than couple of hours.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  23. ER

    There's a PC game the folks that against increase of troops in Afghan, its Commander-in-Chief. Its only $20. While/during the game you'll understand government better. Don't get me wrong, this is real life & real lives. 30,000 more troops are okay for the right reason(s).

    Keep in mind he[President Obama] didn't start this[Afghan war]. The president stuck with it, I'm bitter sweet about OUR current president is our commander-in-chief and NOT Sen. J. McCain.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  24. Rubio, Steven

    I am a future Soldier, In the United States Army. I am for the War on Terror. And if President Obama States that we need more Troops in Afghanistan, I agree.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  25. Melanie/Georgia

    I am a proud mother in law of an Army Drill Sgt., training these young men on how to survive, and fight. He himself has had 2 deployments to Afghanistan, and injured both times. Once, he almost didnt make it when he came in contact with the deadly IED. He will be going again.
    PLEASE, when these boys are sent over there, stop tying their hands, allow them to do the job they are trained, and ORDERED to do. Dont punish them when they come home, because maybe they had to use some tactics unapproved to get that job done.
    Do you think the Taliban cares if they harrass us? Do they abide by the rules of engagement? How can our government see our young people tortured and beheaded on tape, and punish our troops for protecting themselves in any way they have to in a war situation.
    Please dont cost one American life that could have been saved.
    Give all of them the ability to go in and do what they are ordered, trained, and able to do to the best of their ability.
    Do I want more troops to go, NO, I would rather they all came home.
    But I support all the troops, and their families. If they have to go, please let them have the power to get the job done.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  26. OIlWarsDotCom

    Unfortunately obama appears to be no better than bush. bush would have done much the same as obama.
    What needs to happen is to have the President, most of the Congress and the Senate, recalled and elect people who will put America first. Order American corporations and manufacturing to return to the USA to put returning troops to work manufacturing items by Americans for Americans.
    Of course this will not happen because we are nothing more than sheep. The USA will collapse under it debt weight and we will essentially go out of business. Make no mistake, the bankers and corporations will not suffer during the coming collapse. The ordinary citizens will and they will have deserved it for allowing this nation to become the aggressive, world conquering, greedy country it has become.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  27. Ron

    Going into Afghanistan and sending 30,000 or more troops there, will prove to be the biggest mistake America will make in it's history as a nation. This move is exactly what the so-called terrorist want. While the plan is to go in and get out, this simply will not happen and the Obama Administration and ally leadership know this. These types of conflicts are unpredictable and one cannot say with full confidence that we will be in and out in three years. We will be there for a very very long time. Many of our men and women in uniform will go and many will not come home. The expected withdrawal date after the three years will be met with a reason to remain. As a nation we need to stop equating our men and women in uniform as heroes. While their commitment and bravery are commendable, it is all a propaganda gimmick designed to cover over a nation sending our men and women to an early grave. Our leaders – past and present – are murderers of our own. Very few have reasoned that bombing nations into submission do not work. There is no such thing as "ending the war on terrorism" because war itself is a terror and all engaged in it are terrorists to some extent. This phrase "War on Terrorism" has been a subtle lie pushed on the world to dupe it to believe it has a cause to rally around. When in fact, there is only war. A man about 2000 years ago said: "Forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing."

    December 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  28. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Thats cool shane but dont you think that bringing in India to Afganistan might create a wedge between American and Pakistan relations your absolutly right we cant fight this war alone but at the same time we cant afford road blocks.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  29. Donald Harner

    The war in Afghanistan is unwinnable and we must face up to that. We don't even have a truly credible rationale for pursuing it because we can never wipe out the Taliban or Al Queda militarily. It is a war of attrition and we have no means of "holding" the ground even if we were to actually control it militarily. The culture is one of tribal/clan loyalty and the concept of an Afghanistan nation is not as strong as the tradition of local autonomy. Furthermore, the government is so corrupt even the afghani people do not respect it. We can best protect America by strengthening our domestic surveillance and monitoring communications and travel of Islamic fanatics. Not only is ethnic profiling a reasonable tactic it is necessary if we are to avoid repetition of an event like 9/11. The FBI and the CIA were tragically incompetent in the lead-up to 9/11and the political environment created by the Obama administration has further dampened the efforts of these agencies.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  30. Kelly

    I think that before the government adds a war tax to our paychecks he should get input from us and see what Americans want. America is trilions of dollars in debt and now the government wants us to fund something that most of us are aganist. There are so many problems right here in the United States, why doesn't government fix those first?

    December 1, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  31. Troy

    We are the ones who started this many years ago. During Vietnam we pulled out leaving them to die and suffer. Then we went into the Middle East and helped a little and then left them. Now the 1st Bush went into Iraq and then left. The 2nd Bush got us into Iraq and Afghanistan, WE CAN NOT leave.
    Why do you think so many people are made at the USA? We go in and say we’ll help you if you fight with us, and that’s fine. But then we leave and the bad people come back and make the ones who helped suffer, or kill them.
    Let’s say our country was being attacked all the time and we had no way of fighting back. Then Canada says ok you guys have suffered enough we’ll help you. They come in and the bad people say if you tell Canada where we are or you help them we will take your kids. But we give the info to Canada because we know what’s right. Then things get bad for Canada and they pull out. The bad people come and take your kids and kill them in front of you. Now you’re mad at the Canadian’s for making a promise and helping them and they just left ya.
    That’s why the Middle East and many others are so mad at us….
    WE CAN NOT LEAVE, We have to build the trust in us back to what we think it is.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  32. abby

    We are wasting lives and resources by continuing the war in Afghanistan.

    We wasted money and resources in arming and training the "jihadists" in the 1980s just because they were fighting our former "enemy" the Soviet Union.

    Now these same jihadists are fighting and killing our troops.

    How can we be so incredibly stupid?

    Afghanistan is not going to change; the powers that be are corrupt and unwilling to change. Karzai's brother reportedly has ties to the narcotics trade. The men don't want change because they have all the power.

    The Afghans are Muslims and resent non-Muslim interference in their own country no matter what they tell Western reporters. This is a Muslim tribal region - not even a true nation. We cannot force our form of democracy upon them.

    Now we are going to try to "win their hearts and minds" and teach the Afghan army how to fight? Isn't that the same strategy we tried in Vietnam and lost?

    Enough is enough.

    It will cost $1 m dollars per soldier in Afghanistan.

    We need to save lives and resources.

    Let's use our manpower, resources, and money to rebuild America - its schools, infrastructures, green technology, communities, etc.

    Enough is enough!

    GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN NOW!

    December 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  33. Deb

    I dont need to wait for the speech tonight, I can tell you right now I'm dead set against more troops in Afghanistan. I wish President Obama would take a pulse of the people and I think that he'd find the majority of Americans want more peace than war. We have no clear cut agenda that I can see and why not swallow our pride now and back out. We cant afford more war and it seems an endless no-win situation.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  34. DJ

    How hard is it to pull all troops out of both Iraq and Afghanistan and have us secure our borders, airports, and airspace? If we secure our country and do it right, we can't be attacked. And for the record, I am a soldier..I leave for Iraq next Tueday. 2nd deployment. Woo hoo. Another year away from my wife and my newborn son. And for what?? Of course I knew what I was getting myself into – sounded good back in 2005 when I joined..but 8 years after it all started..come on now....

    December 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  35. Leo

    No to War, No money for the war, Congress can stop the funds and bring the troops home. Another manner in which the war can be reduced or stopped, BRING BACK THE MILITARY DRAFT, the elected OFFICIALS will stop the war funding so there families are not sent to war.
    We can't afford health care, jobs and the homeless are living in State Parks, no mortgaging finances, big payouts to Wall Street, K street and a whole lot of advice from J street and Jews. Keep building on the west bank and maintain the largest prison in the world, Palestine...this so called war is for world domination, Iran,China and Russia and South America. Control the oil, the land and the food, then you will start filling up the KBR/Cheney camps. SO WRONG, WE NEED LEADERSHIP AND NOT OVER AGGRESSIVE GENERALS,MOST OF THEM ARE LINING UP FOR POLITICAL OFFICE.............Change, no change from the previous administration.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  36. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    War bonds Tony no more taxes.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  37. Wolfgang Noack

    Hello Tony .

    I am a firm believer in History repeating itself. Russia fought for 10 years in Afghanistan and was not able to win the conflict .

    They cut their losses and withdrew – smart move . The Russians are a very capable Military force and are no Fool .

    What makes us believe , we can be different ? All these years of war along with other economic issues have brought this country to the brink of Bankruptcy . That is exactly what Al qaeda is trying to accomplish and that is why Iran is being so bold , they know already , we can't afford another conflict .

    This whole mess in Iraq ,Iran & Afghanistan could and should be resolved in the same manner as the the second World War was ended . – remember Nagasaki & Hiroshima !

    Yes there was great loss of civilian Life , but if you sum up the loss of civilian life , the waste of time and capital , the outcome with one or two A-bombs would have been a lot more beneficial and it would have gotten the message across , that now the games are over !

    Afghanistan will always be selling and trading Heroin as long as there are consumers willing to pay the price .

    My final quote : This war needs to end as soon as possible – put down rules and conditions and if they are not met pull out .

    Life is tough and very unfair , but we need to direct our attention on getting the country back on its feet economically .

    W.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  38. antionette

    I personally think that president Obama should do what he said during his campign. and that is to get out of afghanistan do not mind the noise in the market do what you think that is right president in your heart. those same people that what you to send more troop is the same one that will stone you in the end.

    god bless you

    Presedent Obama

    December 1, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  39. Cary Ganz

    As a political junkie, I follow not only CNN but several other channels and find it totally frustrating when you guys don't call the pundits on the carpet for the repetitive nonsense they tend to spue.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. That is exactly what is being done in Afghanistan. With 10% literacy we cannot expect to educate a population unless we plan on staying for decades. Without an educated population there will never be change.

    We listen to the generals. When did you ever hear of a military man or woman suggest 'less' troops. That would be shooting themselves in the foot. They will always want more toys, more troops, more guns and bullets. The military industrial complex is self feeding and we are just at their mercy

    Finally, we expect the same people (Congress) to solve the problems they couldn't, or wouldn't, solve for over 8 years. Once again, the definition of insanity.

    We need our troops home. We need the billions of dollars back home. We need to take care of our own and not nation build whether it's for ego or oil. When will we ever learn.....

    December 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  40. I Carscallen

    No point watching the speech, nothing new, you guys have told it all already ...
    I C.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  41. Paul Cummings

    I think we need to pull out all troops from Afganistan and Iraq. Then close down all our bases around the world and bring all our people back home. Our country is in major economic trouble and we need to get back on our feet. Who appointed America the worlds watch dog? These people have been killing each other hundreds of years before America was discovered, why are we naive to believe it will ever stop!! We have 13 Nimitz class aircraft carriers and countless nuclear subs and can direct a missle into a window over 5000 miles away. Lets employ and feed and take care of our people first, pay back our debts and get strong again, educate our children and bring God back into our lives. Well bring God back first....Now that I have mentioned God you won't use my comment!!....

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

    We don't need to send 30,000 more troops.We could bomb the whole country of the face of the earth--it would only take a week and would cost billions of dollars less then we will end up spending.

    Whatever cost the president says his approach will take-just double or triple it.History has proven this to be the case.Not to mention the lives that will be lost.

    If we believe this war is necessary-let's do it right.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  43. OIlWarsDotCom

    Funny, CNN news anchors and others talk of "how the American people will react to obama sending more troops to Afghanistan." Funny, since when did public opinion have any sway in our government. It appears most posting here are opposed to the escalation of this take over of the Mid East. Does any one really think obama and his staff care about what "we the sheeple" think? Most were opposed to the bank bailout. Did we get to vote on that multi trillion dollar tax liability? Will we get a vote for this trillion dollar conquest folly? Not a chance. America is at least $12 trillion dollars in debt. Most to Communist China. "How will the American people react to obama sending more troops to Afghanistan?" Does any one really think it matters.................we are powerless to do anything about it.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  44. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Lets stop this nonsence bring our troops home and if they attack us again then nuke the crap out of them.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  45. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    Tony 30k troops will not win this war on terror! We need to get out and let the Afghans and Pakistanis fight this war it is a civil war that the jihadists will continue until the last man standing this includes all the children that go to these Madrasa's that teach hatred for the infidel! The Muslim community should be the ones fighting this war after all they are the ones who need to stand up against these people who want to live in the 6 century and kill all those who go against the teachings of Mohamed! The Muslim nations around the world should be the ones to fight this war on terror because it is their religion that they are defaming! We should tell all Muslim nations that we are going to leave both nations unless they put as many troops that we have there to fight against these Islamists who would fight to the end to rid the world of the infidel! Islam is supposed to be a loving religion but the jihadists are defaming the religion of Islam! They believe that all other religions are wrong and the infidels should change their religion to Islam or put to death!

    December 1, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  46. Derrick Marsh

    Hi Tony:

    Is the American Govt. have soldiers training police in Afghanistan?
    If so, wouldn't it be better to have United States Police do the training in Afghanistan or the police training done in the US or other US supporting countries?

    What is Israel, Quaite and Saudi Arabia doing to assist the US to fight the war in Afghanistan? Are they suppose to be our allies?

    Also other countries who cannot send troops to Afghanistan should give money to support the war in Afghanistan.

    Thanks to you and your staff.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  47. Judy

    We need to bring our troops home and use them on our borders. Keep our homeland safe. If we have any problems with terrorist go to where they are and bomb them. You cant fight a war and protect the people who are living there. In Afganistan and Iraq we are at war with people that look just like the people who live there you cant tell the terroist from the regular population just like it was in Nam. There is no such thing as a politically correct war. I dont want to see innocent men woman and children killed but when the terroist are using them as shields what are we to do. When the terrorist attacked us in 2001 they didnt care that they were killing innocent men, women and children–they didnt care. If we are fighting a war to protect our homeland, or to stop killing our citizens then a P.C. war is stupid and not possible to win. As for the gentleman Paul Cummings read the old testament -an eye for an eye.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  48. Judy

    Congratulation Michael Armstrong who said basically what I said but in fewer words.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  49. Paul Vosseberg

    I am tired of politics as usual. Lets try something new & almost unheard of in the United States. Take polls of the general population on cont. in Afganistan. If the majority of the population wants to get out , have are so – called representatives make it happen. Besides the obvious WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS WAR , there is such a thing as majority rules!

    December 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  50. Karl

    We cannot fight terrorism by sending our troops....terrorists can adapt to any strategy that we have. It only takes a few terrorists to launch a major attack on the US. That is the nature of terrorism. We could send 40 million troops to Afganistan and terrorists could still attack us. Worst case scenario for them is they might have to reorganize in another country....big deal. Obama knows this, he just wants to stay until some artificial goal has been "achieved" (?). Let's bring the troops home now. By waging these wars and occupying moslem countries, we are helping the terrorists win new recruits.

    We cannot fight this in a conventional way. This is not like WWII, with uniformed soldiers and battle lines. Sending more troops to Afghanistan is just a political move. It will not reduce terrorism. The rest of the world knows this....they are not willing to contribute significant troop levels to this futile cause. I think the best we can do is improve security here at home. Let's not continue this futile, expensive war. The terrorists are laughing when they see the billions in war debt that we are incurring and the american lives that we are losing.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  51. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Judy the best way to get a message across is to say little and get straight to the point.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  52. Bob M.

    I think most people in the viewing public are not qulaified to say whether the war should continue or not. The Iraq and Afghanistan casualties are one tenth those of Vietnam. What is in common, however, is that it is unclear that the afghan people truly favor a western oriented society and the associated freedoms and are willing to fight themselves for those rights. Michael Ware's report today showed the complexity of wars in this region with Iran, Pakistan and India playing a role. I feel the foremost question is :"Is the Taliban still worth fighting and eliminating? Will they plan terrorist attaks on the American mainland or not? Can we fight an enemy who fades into the general population at will? I would like the Secretary of Defense to answer these quetions for the American people.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  53. Brent

    I would like to know if there are steps being taken to unsure that the Afgan military (who are now being trained by US forces) will not use the Knowledge, training and resources that we have given them against The United States in the future.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  54. D. R. Egbert

    We cannot win in Afghanistan. We should remember the Revolutionary War. George Washington had an untrained army of citizens that had no uniforms. The English Army wore uniforms and marched down the street with their guns on their shoulders. Our army cheated and hid in the bushes and in the ditches and shot them in their back when they weren’t looking. The English said that wasn’t fair so they got smart and they soon decided the smart thing to do is quit and go home. George Washington became a great hero. I hope our president reads our history.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  55. MR.AL

    It looks like Mr Obama is caveing in to pressure from Conservatives. they seem like

    December 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  56. MR.AL

    IT looks like Mr.Obama is caveing INTO the WAR MONGERS. Why are we sending more troops to be killed for senseless reasons? iF we send more troops send the equipment and get rid of the Taliban. Do something G.W.BUSH DIDN'T DO "WIN" and come "HOME"

    December 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  57. Cathy

    I think we should get out of Afghanistan, it is just a cash cow; no matter what we do there, it will all be undone when we leave. History has proven this. I don't think they are really interested in change. We need to spend the money here in our own country, on our own people, not in Afghanistan.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  58. Karl

    Excellent point D.R. Egbert. We haven't learned anything from history. Americans who believe we can "win" this war in afghanistan are playing into the hands of the terrorists.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  59. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Yes we can win this war if we drop a few nukes on there heads.

    December 1, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  60. Lynne Burt-Jenkins

    Our mission in Afghanistan should be to find and destroy Al Qaeda. The Afghans' mission in Afghanistan should be to destroy the Taliban.

    We, the US and UN, can help them with the latter, but it is not our primary mission, nor should it be: it is their country, it is their need to defend and control it, not ours.

    If and when our troops are endangered due to Afghan intransigence, and can no longer fulfill the assigned mission using current methods, any and all–repeat: all–methods should be considered and, if necessary, deployed. The terrorists, who sadly cloak their murderous intentions in religious trappings that have little basis in reality OR God's love, will do everything they can to bring about our destruction. We cannot allow that.

    The Afghans need to understand we have some outcomes in common, but if they harbor our enemy, we must do what we can to destroy that enemy. We will not be there forever; the Taliban will, unless the Afghans rid themselves of those twisted practitioners of terror.

    December 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  61. Lynne Burt-Jenkins

    Candidate Obama DID NOT say he would end the war in Afghanistan and bring the troops home. Candidate Obama DID say he would end the war in Iraq, and INCREASE the troops in Afghanistan. We need to hear what he will say, but it sounds like, and looks like, he is keeping his word.

    December 1, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  62. OIlWarsDotCom

    Interesting – It takes 8 weeks to train a US Army troop to go fight and die in Afghanistan, but we still haven't trained an army of Afghani's after more than 8 years! Who is this administration kidding? Now they are talking about just paying them off to quit fighting. Guess who will pick up that bill? How about paying off would be bank robbers in this country? After all, our dollar isn't worth much any more. The American people have to be the biggest suckers on the face of the earth – 8 years, people – get a clue!

    December 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  63. dave fisher

    the us has 68,000 troops presently in afghanastan, nato
    only has 38,000.....despite the fact the taliban and al quiada
    are right in THEIR BACK YARD!
    what's wrong with this picture?
    Why are we putting more than they are?
    President obama...DON.T SEND...anymore american troops...
    OR MONEY...UNTILL....when and if nato wants to reach parity,
    To reach at least an equal number of troops AND MONEY..america
    has provided!!!!!!!!!!!why are we carrying their asses....there ain't
    no oil there...left them start to clean up the crap in their back yard
    first....then go and help! at least we don't have former sec rumsfel
    to ask where is a missing nine billion dollars!\

    December 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  64. Bob

    I guess I'll watch the address this evening to see if Obama can explain this away; from what I gather we're going to schedule three years for the "police action" and use it to build up what we, the Russians, the Taliban, assorted warlords, the British, and Genghis Khan ruined while tracking down the Afghanicong. I'd just as soon we not.

    December 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  65. frank dillon

    We have survived Bush,thank God now we must undo his damage. I think Obama his doing his best to achieve this by getting out as soon as possible, the sooner the better.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  66. Rebecca MacRae

    The President’s speech this evening was outstanding. As a Canadian, the disappointment was with your first CNN “subject matter expert”: Michael Ware. As a seasoned correspondent, I would have expected a high level of tact from him.

    As he spoke of the NATO support and the lack of presence in the ‘high risk zone’ of Kandahar, his hand managed to eclipse the flag of Canada which was squarely situated in the Kandahar region. I recognize that this is an American broadcast, but also realize that the success of the war effort will depend on the “SUM total of its parts”. Canada will never have the resources to match the American military efforts in Afghanistan, but it is worthwhile mentioning that Canada has participated in this war effort for more than seven years. I guess I would have expected some level of acknowledgement from Mr. Ware about Canada’s positioning in this effort, after all he is toted as one of CNN’s top war correspondents.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  67. Harry

    That war has been going on for 8 years as well as Iraq. I remember hearing multiple times that we would pull out the troops as soon as we trained there millitary troops and now were talking about training them again as if it would be the first time, so what gives? How much traing do we get when we sent our troops, not 8 years! We deal in months not years.

    Those countries don't want any Democracy, or us there. We should stop spending our tax money on people who don't appreciate our country.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  68. IonaD

    I thought the President did a wonderful job communicating to our Nation and the rest of the world the military's strategy in Afghanistan.
    I trust and believe in our President and the powerful leaders of our military; they have all the information to make the best informed decisions, we don't.
    It is probably better to offer up a prayer for our troops, leaders and our nation and to move past the negative and mean-spirited comments.

    Also – many people are complaining, " he didn't tell us this, or he didn't tell us that".... The President told us what we need to know ; do people really think the President is going to provide a complete war strategy to us and the world.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  69. Dave from Ohio

    I have heard so many people say pull our troops out, as well as people who agree with troop surge doesn't have thier chldren there. People seem to forget they killed thousands of Americans in our backyard. That will look like playground recess compared to what would happen in they get thier hands on nukes. PEOPLE wake up!!! This just isn't about Afghanistan it is about OUR WAY OF LIFE and the freedoms we enjoy. It is easier if they ( Muslim extremist ) are on defense. Do we want them on the offense???? See where that got us???

    December 2, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  70. Heather

    I don't foresee this going well for the unfortunate troops that are called to duty. Without the much needed combat training these soldiers will be sent into a warzone with no idea what lies ahead. My brigade had a year to train before being sent overseas and we were still hit hard with casualties.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  71. Mark Hohstadt

    With one in six americans going hungry and a nation in disrepair we should get out of this situation that our so called leaders have put us into!
    A continued war is insane!
    Lets take all of those troops and use them to secure our own borders!

    December 2, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  72. Just_my_thought

    Ramping up Afghans to take control doesn't need ground up training like elsewhere. There you will find many who already know how to fight in that terrain. Bringing them to our side will need some tweaks and those should not take years and years... hence the 18mo time to START (not complete) pull out looks reasonable. The President still has control over the pace... So, lets all give this plan a chance and hold back our biases.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  73. brian

    wow how stupid,is are gov.bush with mass destruction,know obama with afgan. Its as clear as day, get the hell out!!!!! declare war or get the hell out. How many t.v,I-pods,wash machines.ect....... what do we have incomin with these people??? someone please tell me.hell for that matter tell those men and women who are in the FMF,AIRBORN,SALORS,AIRFORSE,NATIONALGARDS.wE HAVE A GOV WITH THERE HEADS UP THERE. GODSPEED,AND SEMPERFI SOLDERS. ILL PRAY FOR YA,YOULL NEED IT. IHOPE YOUR 1 DIGET COMES FAST.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  74. OIlWarsDotCom

    Conquering the Mid East does one thing..............We get to suck all the oil and gas out of that area before we throw it away. Those who put their faith in obama, bush and their ilk are delusional and should seek medical attention. We have become a nation of aggressors. You see it on the highways; you see it in the work place; you see it in our foreign policy. We don't do anything that doesn't benefit the bankers and the corporations. We sold our nation out to the corporations when we allowed them to ship our manufacturing to Communist China. Russia had 500 thousand troops in Afghanistan, leveled most of the villages, killed most of the able bodied men, and still left with their tail between their legs. We don't have "right" on our side this time. The USA is essentially bankrupt, when those who are foolish enough to lend us funny money to go on with this Mideast folly figure it out, the game will be up.
    Last question: "Would you fight for this nation if the Communist Chinese invaded?" I guess that is a wasted question, since they already own the ground beneath your feet now!

    December 2, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  75. richard folden

    he's the presi, let him do his job. everyone has an opin.,but it's the man on the ground that matters the most.let them do their job.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  76. Tim

    Tony where was all these folks when Pres Bush went to war and Pres
    Obama is very up front with us all pls stop the hate and lets try to get along to keep AMERICA STRONG

    December 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  77. TJ Holman

    I dont know who to ask or talk to this about, maybe im stupid , but , it seems to me we are in a country fighting for people that do not want to be helped. wouldnt bringing home all of our troops make our country safer and save us grief and money. Why is this so hard to understand.... the more people we have over there the less we have here to protect us. I beg you, please stop all this nonsense and let our fellow americans live happy

    December 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  78. Product84

    Obama has the right idea, if you want to ask me. We are finally waging war on the foundation, the masterminds who swept our nation into sorrow on september 11th. Why is our country still repulsed by fear? The longer we continue in fear, we will show no progress and improvement as individuals and nation as a whole. So I say, God BLESS the United States of America! God bless the entire planet!!!!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  79. CJ

    Ret Col Bacevich of Boston U (whose interview was shown on air) stated the dillemma of Afghanistan, and his opposition to Obama's new policy was well thought out and delineated. Al Quaeda is not just in Afghanistan, and we have apparently learned nothing from history.
    Bring on the draft and a war tax, and then let's see what public opinion becomes.
    -A Vet.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  80. Corporal Anderson

    As a soldier, I find it discouraging to hear & SEE how many people say," how much is this war gonna cost?" As a combat medic, I wonder how many people am I gonna have to send back to the world (US) with fewer than they arrived with. I am no economist by any stretch of the imagination. But what I do know is that the economy is a war based economy RIGHT NOW. You do not have to support what the war is about but at the VERY LEAST support us, your troops. Normally when command states we need more troops it translates to - we arent winning. If you remember nothing else remember this I have a daughter who is nine. I have only seen her over 3 years of that 9. Soldiers are already paying a heavy price. Dont contribute more to our price by saying we arent worth it.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  81. Olu in Canada

    It's so unfortunate that President Obama is caught up in this war, but that's why he ran for President; it's obvious most Americans don't really understand what's at stake at Afghanistan; just like the President stated yesterday, if we make any mistake of getting out, that implies we'll be frequently prone to the likes of 911 incident, and if troops on ground are rotated by now, it means the new guys will have to spend time understanding the terrain which will not be too good for the plan, thereby making our troops more prone to attack easily.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  82. luckii

    I was glad when the president shifted the war back to afghanistan where it was suppose to be in the beginning. mr. obama said he would end the war in Irag and go forward in afghanistan and he is doing what he said. besided we need to get the people who was responsible for knocking America on our knees on sept .11. by killing all of our people and stripping us of our prided because it caught us off guard to terrorism.. they told us it started in afghanistan but we went to Iraq where the people had nothing to do with us.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  83. Paul Cummings

    Sending additional troops requires billions of dollars to build accommodations for them to include food,water etc. Why not spend 20 million or a little more on decent roads and send lumber and cement and solar panels and build hospitals, schools and civic centers in the small hamlets that is Afganistan. Also propane generators for night time with no sun. It's almost impossible to provide electricity all over this massive undeveloped territory . Employ the Afgans, get on the good side of the tribal leaders. Drag Karzai and his political leaders all over to meet their people and get them to support this effort!! If the tribal leaders don't want the taliban in their area they won't be there!! provide the tribal leaders with 14 shot 9mm pistols to protect themselves from the taliban.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  84. Georgina

    I support the President's decision to send more troops. However, I hope that it was coupled with other more difficult but essential plans aiming at assisting the Afghan society to transit from a mostly warrior-dominated job basis for males, to a more productive, less dependent on guns . Societal changes take more time than wining an arms war.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  85. Product84

    And also, why are we on cnn judging the character and actions of other people. If we are trying to infiltrate into the minds of leaders, and we capture positives and negatives, I think it all reflects that we are human. But do what we have to do, to justify our notions and insecurities. This isn't a game of psychology and sociology, but it is a frame certainly to gain unity.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  86. Don

    Announcing withdreawal: War uses tools to accomplish success. One tool is propaganda. I think that announcing a timeline for withdrawal is just that. Saying July of 2011 calms issues with the public and politicians. The only criticism at this point is “how could you announce such strategy!” If this were, just a tool (propaganda), then it may give us a time of less violence while the task of training Afghanistan troops takes place. It would be worth a try to keep our troops safer. The administration knows that CNN and others will jump on the critique wagon and can use that opportunity to mislead the Taliban. You are part of the strategy!

    Presentation of speech: The President looked side to side and this was fine. When he began talking to the Taliban he turned and looked straight at the camera. His lips thinned and you could see his commitment. Very well done!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  87. Darrick B in Cincinnati, OH

    I am confused about something the President spoke about last night. He made the case that Afghanistan is the war we did not ask for and that we are there trying to protect our homeland from radicals and jihadists. If that is the truth, then how can we possibly leave the country starting in 3 years time? Are we going to leave our security to another government? I feel this war will inevitably keep us in the region indefinitely. Not by our choice, but out of necessity in order to proactively combat individuals who want to harm innocent people all around the world. Once the Afghan army is trained and ready, are we going to leave, and expect that they will have our best interests at heart? It's obvious that over a decade ago that they had no concern for these individuals living in their country. They did not see them as a threat then. Are we now going to hope they pursue them with the same intentions and strength/capabilities as we would?

    Unfortunately the Congress is focusing on the wrong part of Obama's speech last night. They should be focusing on what happens to our security once we leave it to a government that is not necessarily aligned with ours.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  88. Richard Stern

    Hopefully, more troops will bring relief to those troops that are being overwhelmed. But, financing this commitment is not going to be accomplished by letting AIG off the hook for $25 billion and then raising taxes on the middle class and below.
    Don't forget everyone in the Armed Forces pay taxes too...

    This is truely a job for NATO to disarm the minority jihadist who have highjacked Islam's true belief of peaceful coexistance with all.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  89. LARRY

    We have a President who obviously is intelligent. He is surrounded by military people and others who are obviously intelligent . We then have people who are criticizing their collective decision about Afghanistan. These are people who have no idea what the intracacies of Afghanistan are, and I'm sure there are many. These critics are akin to the patient telling the surgeon how to do the surgery.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  90. Nancy Hill

    My son has done 3 tours in Iraq and now in Korea. We are spreading ourselves too thin. We need to pull out of Iraq completely if any commitment of sending more troops to Afganistan is considered. Then get of the stick and get it done. Bring our men and women home. We are taking care of everyone but our own, and our "own" who are being taken care of at home are big business and politicians. Both the Senate and House, Dems and Repubs need to be fired and we need to start fresh. As usual the haves do just fine and the rest of us suffer.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  91. Jeffrey

    I think Mcain remains bitter about the Presidency. The time line is a target date, wars are not predicated on deadlines (read between the lines). President Obama didn’t pick this fight, so Stop p…ing and moaning and let our Military forces finish it! What this nation needs is Prayers and Unity. Some of your callers and bloggers are disillusioned about this war; it was started before this administration. Now we’re in a position to close it out. All you née Sayers get on board; come together as a One Nation. (SUPPORT OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN)!

    December 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  92. GUL

    fighting against Islamsit fundamenatalists is a war that will take the US army nowhere. For those Afghan terrorists –mind you not warriors– death means martydom. Therefore they are more than willing to fight for their own cause (I wish I knew what to call it). That is why guerrilla war fare is what they resort to and that is why a big organized army as that of the US cannot succeed against these Taliban-Al-Quieda terrorists.
    Unless a very sound strategy is implemented , going to Afghanistan would mean more loss of lives, economic recession and would only contribute to weapons industry.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  93. Cornelius

    the president did not make his decision by the flip of a coin. he has advisors and unlike us, he believes in listening to others before he makes a decision. we listen only to the news media and make our decision on them and they have no idea what information the president has received. anything that we set out to do we have a goal in mind and a realistic one. to disagree with the president makes no sense.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  94. Ron Mattes

    Tony what you are failing to realize is Pres. Obama is not the cause for the recession,the Afgan war. This is Bush and Cheney"s failure to represent the American people instead of their own greed. It's alot harder to clean up a mess than it was to create it.Govenors are holding back monies instead of releasing it , creating more job loses. Unless if you were doing hard time or freeze dried ,anyone can see what the rep. party is doing. I served my country during the Vietnam war, This isn't the America I know.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  95. David

    Tony! I keep hearing how great Obama is! He diffently told us once again how bad USA is and that he honors Muslim in his speech! However, not U, CNN, or any other news have answered this question? How can we win in 18 months when we can't even keep party bashers out of a State Party? I could care less if they were right or wrong for doing it! I could care less why they did it? The White house said they weren't invited but they got next 2 our President?
    Come on Tony! How does Obama even think we going to believe his plan oh Afghan? Do you really think we that stupid 2 believe it? He had 2 people unvited next 2 him? This shows are National Security is worse then 9/11! So NO...I got no faith in his plan on Afghan, the news media, or government right now! Now get off these party bashers! They just showed how weak we OUR!

    December 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  96. Dodie

    Hi Tony! Love your show

    To be forthcoming, our stated strategy of securing Afghanistan to prevent Al-Qaeda resurgence or regrouping should have been conducted 8 years ago in 2001. Now it would require us to additionally invade and occupy western Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.

    Meanwhile our infrastructure is a mess. Our highways, bridges and dams all need work. Yet we continue to drain this country with war based on “fear” in a country that has been established Al-Qaeda is no longer there. If you want Bin Laden, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, look for the money trail. Look for the 'hawala' money in Saudi, Russia and India which is directly linked to terrorist financing.

    Has anyone thought that we are playing into Al-Qaeda's hand by continuing to drain America of its resources?

    December 6, 2009 at 1:19 am |