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December 2nd, 2009
05:21 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.

Post by:
Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I watched the speach and thought it was unconvincing that the strategy would work there was no promise of Nato help to ashure enough troops to overwhelm the enemy but only enough troops to continue a stalemate and leave our troops as sitting ducks to be shot down there was no promise of total alliance with Pakistan to prevent sanctuary of the enemy or freedom to Nato to inter Pakistan to confront the enemy our troops should be pulled out as soon as possible unless we send more troops and are willing to invade Pakistan to accomplish the mission.

    December 2, 2009 at 5:51 am |
  2. David P Vernon

    All the talking points about Afghanistan, Right and Left, seem to miss some important point. Afghanistan has been an independent country since 1757. It is populated by mostly belligerent ethnic tribes, one, the Hazzara, found nowhere else, the others with common tribal ground across one of the borders – Farsis, Baluchis, Pashtuns, Uighurs, Uzbeks, Tadjiks, etc, Afghans have always hated strong central government, and always break into civil war when one is imposed. The climate in the south will grow nothing but opium poppies and cannabis bushes, crops that have been grown there for millenia. Afghans are not ideological, do hold killing grudges, and have primary loyalty to self, family, village, tribe, and Islam, in that order. Most Afghans despise the Taliban. Afghans are terrific individual fighters, and will take mortal risks for money, but lack discipline and a tradition of discipline.. Traditional law and enforcement are local and tribal, not national. Any American policy in Afghanistan that is not based on acceptance of these facts is doomed. As I heard the Obama speech, he has accepted all these facts, and his critics have not.

    December 2, 2009 at 6:09 am |
  3. sergio

    i think hes smart. he knows whats the problem and hes going right
    for it! we got to give him some credit for dealing with the international
    issues of al-khaida an the national security threat it poses!
    we might not agree an war but it must play a major factor in "OUR"
    politics for this country to stay on top of the global food chain.

    December 2, 2009 at 7:07 am |
  4. Bill

    I hesitate to say that this new troop buildup will not work because I really want to see it work, but we do have to realize that the timeline is aggressive (as it should be) but likely unattainable. Our troops are not dealing with a country per se, but more a collection of tribal provinces that has no real desire to cooperate amongst themselves, let alone with our troops. I am afraid that the only endgame we can sustain is a reactive one that only keeps our heads slightly out of water. Eventually we will grow tired of treading water and drown under the relentless pressure.

    December 2, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  5. Petiole

    Hello Tony It's a excellent speech of president Obama last night to people American and for the people in Afghanistan the word key it's into in force and to leave very rapidly

    December 2, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  6. Jazmin Lovenguth

    We need to look at the long term effects of the war in Afghanistan. Not only is this war a continuous financial burden on our country, it will also continue to be a burden in the future as our country pays for those wounded, killed, and forever changed by what they see while fighting for our country. I support those who fight for our freedom, but we need to give our military the proper support to win this war.

    December 2, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  7. Dan

    We are stuck between a rock and a hard spot. What the President couldn’t say was that if we were to leave Afghanistan there would be a bloodbath. Probably tens of thousands would die.
    It was mismanaged for the last 6 years and now we have to pay the price. Fix it the best we can then get out. The fact is we could stay in the region forever.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  8. Bill

    We finally have a solid, thoughtful, highly intelligent President who assembled a team including those who had differing opinions (something that President Bush never did). After thoughtful analysis including the military leadership, he has forged a plan. We need to get behind him and give this a chance as we did with President Bush's surge. He is commander in chief and our leader. Let's not tear him and his policy apart. Let's recognize his intelligence and that of his team. It is time for us to be united not divisive.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  9. Scott Slater

    I'm excited. All of my conscious life (since 5th grade) has been lived with my country in this war, and I'm interested to see how it will be different. Especially when it comes to my day to day interaction, job, and anything else I can think of.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  10. Gary

    I am retired military and served in the first Gulf War. As pro-military I believe we have an obligation to protect our assets here more than we should overseas...We should not commit anymore troops to that region. They have been at war basically for thousands of years and our presence is not going to change anything.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  11. Roger

    I sat in Canada and watched the President's speech and heard comments from some of my thinking friends. This is a president that approaches such problems with deep thought, consultation and intelligence. What bothers me most is the predictable "hearings" which will follow in attempts to disect this strategy for the world and US enemies to fully digest. These simply prepare the enemy. Sad

    December 2, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  12. LisA


    Obama is doing exactly what should have been done on September 12, 2001 ! Had we sent the troops there eight years ago using the same strategy, we would have accomplished the mission, destroyed Al Quaeda and spared our economy the burden of an unnecessary war. Bush sent us into Iraq under false pretenses, wasted time, money and livesIraq was a costly boondoggle. This is a necessary evil.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  13. Dan in Santa Barbara

    When the President stood in front of the troops and told us that the war in Iraq was coming to an end, the room erupted in applause. By contrast when he told us last night that we were going to add more troops in Afghanistan the lack of applause was noticeable. I think the strategy is to be able to say "we did the best we could" when we leave and the country falls back into the hands of the Taliban, and their hired thugs in Al Quaida.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  14. Gordon Shaffer

    We elect a president thinking that he is the best man for the job and than we question his motives. My opinion on the war in Afganistan is stratight forward. Lets get this job done because if we don't, we leave ourselves open for even more homeland attacks in the future. Let President Obamma, the obammanator, do his job that we elected him to do. Like arm chair quarterbacks, we sit in our rockers and cast stones but we have nothing positive to say or no answers to rectify the situations. Thank you Mr. President for being stronger than most of us and thank you for your courage in making the hard decisions.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  15. Jim Churchwell

    The cost of the "surge" in dollars is $30 billion, but what about the cost in American lives? Any projections on deaths, lost limbs, and destroyed lives?Ask yourself if you would be willing to send your son or daughter to be killed for this.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  16. Jeff

    The speech was unconvincing to me. You do not tell your enemy when are leave it is like me saying that I am going to kill you this week but be gone next week ….so then you would just lay low for that week and come back next week… just does not make any military logic.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  17. dean ny

    Where is bin laden? , kill bin laden and his gaurds , fight the war starting with his capture. once you do this the war will be won sooner

    why? has'nt any one mentioned this where is he exactly?

    December 2, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  18. Ken in Missouri

    Hasn't the great "minds" in Washington got it yet, this is a conventional was to the U.S. and those may be won. But to the Taliban and radical Islam it is a "holy war", and as everyone ought to know, you cannot win a holy war. Get out while the "getting" is good, and let them fight among themselves. If they do not want to act human, then let them be the animals they choose to be. It took the Soviet Union 10 years to find this out, and they "got out", and it shows that they were wise in the long run by doing so. If after 10 years of fighting the Soviets, they did not learn, why do the so called "great minds in Washington", think they can do any different. His hand will be against every mans hand, and every mans hand will be against him." You cannot change this prophecy!

    December 2, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  19. Paul From Texas

    President Obama always has a good speech and this one was no exception he speaks clearly and gets to the point. The only thing that bothers me is he had no real choice not to send more troops at this point. We should have been in full force in Afghanistan for the full prior eight years that is were the bad guys were then now we are not sure. The war reminds me of Veit Nam sending troops to a country where most of the people do not want us and do not want us to stay and are supporting the wrong people.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  20. Dean in los angeles

    I imagine that they don't have to clear the taliban out of the whole country they just have to create sufficient safe zones for people to enjoy modern amenities. places run by the taliban will be in squalor

    December 2, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  21. Andre Gilyard

    Hi TJ,
    Enjoy you and your correspondence each day. I am just a little surprised that CNN would choose to show what I consider or should be TOP Secret or HIGHLY Confidential discussions between the US Generals (McCrystal) and the troops at Afghanistan. And then we wonder why the enemy catches us with our guard down. Way too much information. Some things need to be hidden from us as well as the enemy. This is not directed to you but to CNN as a whole.

    Regards, Andre'

    December 2, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  22. Thomas Ian Duignan

    In 2002 Donald Rumsfeld, filled with hubris, said that Afghanistan was not a quagmire and that success was at hand. Eight years later we are still there and still fighting this war. This president wants to draw a timeline not to bring our people home, but rather to ensure his re-election bid in 2012. If he can successfully bring this war to a close before the elections of November 2011, he will electioneer with that on his platform. If we fight this war, then we should do just that. We should not be trying to caress anyone on either side of the political spectrum. 18 months sounds nice, but I can't see how it will be feasable given the fact that we've been there for eight years with little success. QUAGMIRE!

    T.I. Duignan

    December 2, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  23. Fred

    Why is CNN showing this briefing with Gen McChrystal.? He already acknowledges where he is sending the troops in Afghanistan. Do you think the "Enemy" is watching? I don't get it. Why don't we just send Osama Bin Laden our calendar.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  24. David Druckerman

    We should take the profit out of war. That would be a great way to decide when it is necessity. I don't understand how executives in big corporations can profit from the death of our soldiers.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  25. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Hey Andrey have you ever herd of throwing the enemy off guard you tell them one thing and get them to beleive it and then you do totally the oposite its called a deversion.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:40 am |

    PLEASE TELL ME.....why do we continue to underestimate the people this country is fighting? WHY in H__ is that video conferance being televised. Don't we GET IT YET? Do you really think they aren't watching and listening also?? This is so dumb I cannot believe it.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  27. Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr. MD, MPH

    Dear Tony:

    In response to your request for comments on our new policy to send 30,000 additional troops; I say this: the United States cannot continue to unilaterally finance and fight wars againts extremists. NATO, an international organization formed during the cold war, is not prepared to deal with the threats facing the post cold war world. The UN is too incompetent and lacks strategic and military capability to confront a deteriorating world security situation.

    We must reformulate NATO or create a new international alliance to more effectively and equitably address the security challenges facing the world today.

    Ernesto A. Pretto, Jr. MD, MPH
    Coral Gables, Florida  

    December 2, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  28. Kevin Clarke

    I am writing from Toronto,Ontario. As you are aware,Canada has lost 133 brave and committed members of our armed services. While recognizing the great sacrifices that The U.S.A. has made(Thank You), Canada has lost more service members in relation to number of troops deployed. Could you please let us in Canada know how the latest announcement by the President will affect our troops?

    Kevin, Toronto

    December 2, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  29. Jerome Klosowski

    Pres. Obama said start withdrawal not major or total withdrawal in 18 months. He had to be sure that those countries knew we were not colonizing those countries but would be there until they could take care of themselves and they had better learn how to do that as quickly as they can.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  30. Robert Duffy

    We need to finish what we started over there, Unless Americans want a repeat of 911.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  31. Mel Knight

    When are we going to take action to improve the American way of life instead of putting other countries first. $30,000,000,000 would sure help our unemployeed, hungry, and ununsured citizens that have worked and earned the type of life we used to have in the United States.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  32. Thomas

    President Obama is just another politican, just like all other politicians. He will continue the war in Afghanistan, and will keep the world less safe! We should be sending over food, medical assistance, and humanitarian aid to afghanistan instead of bombs, and soldiers. He will continue the same war policy that all other presidents have since WWI.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  33. Altay

    More lives to be lost !!!

    More families, kids to suffer !!!

    Obama should consider returing the Nobel Peace prize.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  34. COL Dan Berliner, USA

    Coverage of GEN McChrystal's briefing was super. Really would have liked to hear Q&A session following his formal briefing, but your commentary took place during the Q&A session. Perhaps, in the future, commentary could take place following the live coverage of similar events.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  35. tj

    tell obama to bring our troop back and save that billions of dollars this deployment is going to cost and spend it instead to create jobs that we need. if he keeps making those moves he ain't gonna get nobody to vote for him next election. obama we hungry, but instead of getting us a job, you wanna send us get killed.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  36. Deb Mace

    My husband's son was killed in Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009, at FOB Keating. All the troops in the world will not make a difference in this war so long as the Rules of Engagement remain the same. Our soldier described situations in which they were not allowed to fire back unless they saw muzzle fire from the guns shooting at them. While the Taliban do not have ROE, they certainly know how to use ours against our soldiers. These soldiers are being placed in almost unreachable valleys.... NOT on top of mountains, and so are sitting ducks. Further, the valleys are so inaccessible that food was scarce, the soldiers were getting one meal a day and Stephan set up a food bank for his fellow soldiers, using food from care packages. When Stephan was severely wounded, he could not get airlifted out of the base until after dark, when it was safer for the helicopters to come in. He had been wounded around 6am and was kept alive by his fellow soldiers who provided him with blood transfusions. We were aware of 300 Taliban soldiers hiding in the local mosque in late August. Those were the men who killed Stephan and seven others, wounding many more. The Afghan Army soldiers working with this group of Americans fled as soon as the firing started, leaving the gates to the post wide open. Do we think this new plan will work??? No. But we are sure there will be many more families burying their sons and daughters.


    December 2, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  37. Katherine

    I wish we could just leave Afghanistan. Actually, I wish we had never gone to war there, but 8 years ago, I was called un-American for opposing this war. Obama inherited a mess from G.W. Bush and the American public that gave him carte-blanche in the name of patriotism. Now the American people are making the same hasty decisions based on raw emotion and incomplete information. I voted for Obama because I wanted a president who considered his options carefully and made calculated decisions. I believe he has done this. I believe that we cannot just pull out of Afghanistan now that we are there. He did not choose this war, but he is taking responsibility for the global implications of our actions there.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  38. Michael Dash

    More republican bullcrap about exist plans! Of course we can Start bring some of our US troops home if Admiral Mullens statement this morning is correct at the hearings when he said Afgan troop strength could be increase to about 170,000 within 18 month. If Afgan troop strength even gets somewhat close to 170K; surely we can START to come home. Republicans should stop all the Disinformation about the presidents policy; its not Misinformation because they know its incorrect information / lies. Disinformation should be criminal if not treason.

    Mike, Denton TX

    December 2, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  39. Deborah Wells-Smith

    Hi Tony! This talk of whose war this is... it's clear to me... It's everybody's war.... If we're not fighting we should be praying... or hoping...or sending out positive vibes. I watched the President last night and watched Gen. McChrystal this morning. And was never more convinced that an end to this will only come if we ALL do our part. I, for one, will be putting my head down for two minutes every day to fight the fight – I'll be praying.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  40. Thomas

    Mr. Harris, sending more troops is the right move at this time if we want to win there, however, it should also be supported by heavy bombing into all those mountains that are a safe haven for the Taliban. Those mountains are of no use to the population there, then why not help them by flatting them out and at the same time we'll get rid of possible areas for the Taliban to hide.
    Now that Obama told the enemy that in 18 months we'll start withdrawing troops, why can the Taliban just train more troops, wait until the US troops are reduced, then kill those that helped the coalition forces and then take over the entire country. That wasn't too smart of Obama, I guess the next thing he's going to do is let the Taliban know when and where the US forces will attack!!!

    December 2, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  41. David Coldwell

    Memo to Barack Obama: There's never been a war ever where the winner announced beforehand when they would stop fighting...

    December 2, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  42. Diana Canales

    President Obama has a sensible plan for ending the war. We need to allow him to do the job we elected him to do and realize that this enormous task won't happen overnight. We need to respect him with our patience and trust that he has the backing of our best military intelligence and the strength of our troops to get this job done in as timely a manner as possible.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  43. Robert Brown Jr.

    Let's face it Tony. A date was given such as July 2011.Who are we kidding? I am a Vietnam veteran and I have seen and been in a terrible war. Approximate date's can't be adhered to. We will be in this war for a long long time. I feel sorry for the families at home

    December 2, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  44. Adrienne Edwards

    Stop. Leave Afghanistan. We don't honor the dead by letting more soldiers die.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  45. Parminder Gill

    President Obama has not lowered down his guards against Al Quaida. Al Quaida is great threat to the US and her allies security and world peace. US has the responsibility to keep peace in world.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  46. Bob

    If 650,000 troops could not take Viet-Nam, Why would anyone think 100,000 troops can succeed in Afganistan ?

    December 2, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  47. Janet Kocher

    I am terribly disappointed in President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, I thought this was a president for "change" and it sounds like the same old politics to me, in fact I thought parts of his speech were rhetorical in nature. Considering the mess he inherited, it would take 2 terms in office to turn things around but I'm afraid he has sealed his fate to 1 term and we will be right back with the party who has devastated this country, just how much more can the average American stand? We should never have invaded the Middle East to begin with, charity begins at home and we cannot continue to police the world, if the Middle Easterners don't like their government, THEY should rise up against it, it's not up to us when we aren't even wanted in their countries.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  48. Laura

    The difference between a goal and a dream is having a time line. A major problem with not having any sort of exit strategy is it's hard to find the incentive to get things done - and so things draw out and last waaay too long.! So, I'm not sure why the last presidency and people now are complaining about having a time frame.

    Secondly, I don't understand these people who just want to straight out withdraw. Isolationism is dead. These issues have to be addressed and that can't happen by simply backing out.

    The biggest difference between the last presidency and this one:

    Bush was chasing a dream w/o having enough supplies to have a chance at achievement.

    Obama has set a real goal with objectives, time lines, and enough soldiers to have a chance.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  49. George Cohen


    I am a Massachusetts liberal and I am also an Electrical Engineer. When we ran into a problem we gathered all the data, analyzed it and our team determined the best plan of action. I believe that is exactly what President Obama has done. I believe this plan will provide us with the greatest probability of keeping our soldiers safe and bringing them home as soon as possible. It will also provide the highest probability of keeping our country safe and the world as well.

    I applaud his methodology and his intelligence in his handling of the situation we were left with.


    Ocala FL

    December 2, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  50. Kathrin G. from WA

    This war cannot be won by sending soldiers only. Our heros are sacrficing so much every day, let's support them by supporting their mission. We need to win the hearts of the the people in Afghanistan and I believe we here in the US can contribute by donating clothes, shoes or money to prevent more Afghgans from joining the Taliban's deadly missions. ~ Proud Wife of an American Hero~

    December 2, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  51. Mosaku

    Decision taken by the President is on his watch, let him make his decisions on the war and stop playing politics with the security of the country. Most of the attacks has a political undertone and it is deterimental to early resolve of the Afganistan crisis. Attacks and too much chit chat across the isle (Political divide) is exposing the governments plans.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  52. Maria D.

    The reality is, the crucial decision making on Afghanistan happened when we FIRST got involved. Once you get involved especially in that part of the world, you cannot just leave so easily. This is a region that is vital to our national interest both economically and politically. A lot of viewers I've noticed just don't get that. We Americans forget that we are part of the world, we can't just hole up in our homes and pretend that the rest of the world is just going to manage their business on their own. If we are a superpower then we have to accept that there are other responsibilities other than our domestic issues. Furthermore, the biggest issue in Afghanistan now isn't Al Qaeda, it is building infrastructure, jobs, education. If these Taliban had jobs do you really think they would have joined this ridiculous organization in the first place?? It all goes back to putting food on the table.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  53. Lynne

    1st I think it was wrong to air our 3 year strategy on national television

    2nd It's disingenuous to put a time constraint on this war. Only the
    war itself can predict when it'll end, and either you're fully engaged or not!

    3rd How are we going to fight the Taliban and Al Quaida in the Pakistani mountains? When this war moves to Pakistan it will be "War in Pakistan" and then move to India, it will be "War in India!"

    I supported President Obama, but this is not a political game and we need to come to terms that this is a different war than Iraq and this is one that WE JUST CANNOT WIN! We are spending billions and billions of dollars that WE DO NOT HAVE!!! This war is older than US History, how arrogant of us to believe that we can end it, let alone give a time constraint! Yes, we're "America," but we are broken at the seems here at home. We are concerned with pride and our arrogant pride will kill our economy, turn neighbor against neighbor and create 3rd world conditions right here at home if we continue down this road >:()

    Angry Oklahoman


    December 2, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  54. pfc devin brown

    I think they should let our president do his job cause he can not fix everything in 4 years I leave for ovaseas june 10 and I think its a good straghy and I have my president back 100 percent because bush is the reason why we are in this problem

    December 2, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  55. Trapper

    As a Marine and Viet Nam Vet.
    We go in and declare war and get it done, or get the hell out.


    December 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  56. Indar from

    One of the key objectives of this operation should be to curb the and control the funding of Taliban/terrorist groups. The major funding for these groups seem to come from drug trade, weapons trade, donations and routed thru Pakistan and mid east. Grassroots efforts for improving education, infrastructure and employment opportunities.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  57. yawo Attivor

    I strongly support the president's decision to send additional troops to Afghanistan. I just don't understand those who are saying they voted for Obama but are now disappointed because he is doing exactly what he said needed to be done during his campaign! were people asleep? throughout the whole campaign, Obama indicated clearly that we needed to reinforce our presence in Afghanistan, and reduce our presence in Irak.....folks need to pay attention when voting for a candidate....President Obama, please move forward!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  58. Mary Cat Young

    I am a huge fan; yes of you! I am also a fan of President Barack Obama; Honestly, I am just so darn happy that we have an INTELLIGENT president that I trust pretty much everything he does. THIS president is thoughtful, not impulsive, obviously much to the chagrin of Congress and many Americans, who live by the adage "I want what I want when I want it and I want it now!" Bush' popularity was based on that, and swagger, and "do what I say; I don't care WHAT you (we the Americans) want!!" And I, with the emphasis on I, am going to take us, and billions of taxpayer dollars into an ineffective, wasteful, bloodletting, and dishonest war. Let's see was Saddam behind 9-11? I trust this president, because he uses his brain; he does what he THINKS is best for Americans, and he doesn't just say I-he consults with the intelligent staff with which he has surrounded himself. Smart men do that because they are not threatened by those smarter than they.
    I trust this President! I have not been able to say that for 20 years–sadly but truly. This is an INTELLIGENT president; THAT is what the American people wanted; so let us be patient and let that intelligence work!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  59. Kevin Shelton / KY

    Hey America! Get your heads out of your asses! Pres. Obama is privy to information that we are not! He is talking to people on the ground there that agree with his plan. They know what's at stake and have intell that we will never know of about the safety of our nation and its people. Let him do his job, it's what we elected him to do. If you don't like what comes of it, let it show in the next election. Until then, quit being so divisive! You are being as whiny as some of the politicians! SHUTUP ALREADY! YOU'RE NOT HELPING MATTERS NONE!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  60. Mary Adams

    Sure, I'd like to just pull out of Afghanistan; but I trust that President Obama and his advisers, after considering all angles, made the right decision.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  61. Mosaku Olaniyi

    Senator Mccain should please give the President and his team the space to do what they are hired to do. He was a part of the team that brought us to where we are and he seems to realize that his old teamates did a showdy job and the new team may be successful. So he continually rants to discredit the laudable intentions of the president in this regard. If he says he wants us out tomorrow SO BE IT.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  62. Kraig Miller

    Obama Knows that if you start a fire and walk away from it! It's not going to put itself out. Walking away from these people would only come back and bite us later! No one wants are troops over there no one wants Americans to die. But you can not sweep this under the rug and expect it to just go away! Obama Is doing what he thinks is best for our future Not the here and now! Not everyone can see that we are all Symbiants in this world! I think we should finish what we have started!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  63. Harry

    Throughout history great civilizations have Fallen because of division, mistrust, jealousy, and inaction. We must be consistant in our resolve, transparent in our intent, and tenacious in execution. United we stand divided we fall. Support our troops and our country!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  64. Mr.R. Smith

    I think 50,000 troops should be sent or exit the war now. We need to give the job market our full attention and the economy now.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  65. Turan

    How do you fight and expect to win a war againts those who have no expectation of this earthly life, those who only believe in dying as martyrs in the name of Allah and go to heaven?

    The problem is NOT Al-Quaida. It is wrong teachings of ISLAM.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  66. tamara

    As I sit at the va hospital (like I do every other day for my hubby) I am watching CNN report about the president sending more troops to the afghanistain war, I hear many of these fine veterans reactions. Some are upset saying that this war isn't like the ones they were in. One vet called it someone temper tanturm that they are acting like a child. Someone said to get the hell out and let them fend for themselves. I have heard words like ridiculous stupid. Then I have heard others say I hope all of the soliders make it home soon and safe. God be with them. I deeply love all the men and women who are out there serving in the military and I wish the gods protect them from danger. They have given up time with familys and friends to protect them and us, strangers!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  67. Tom Hearne

    Is there really anyone who actually believes that if someone else had been elected President, that in 11 months we would be out of a peaceful Afghanistan, that we would all have jobs and good, low cost health care?

    December 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  68. Justin


    I'm a soldier that is heading to Afghanistan in June, but I would really like to only do one tour and come back and live a normal life. I plan on getting married as soon as I get back and don't want to give my fiance' a hard life as well as mine. What most people don't know is that a soldier's support system is their family. When their family isn't supporting what were doing, its kinda hard to continue on motivated.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  69. Mark

    What makes us think we can rid the Middle East of their 'thugs' and 'gangs' when we cannot even get rid of the 'thugs' and 'gangs' in our own country?

    December 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  70. Jose Grimez

    We voted for OBama to bring the troops home whole. Instead we get a republican clone pursuing the failed policies that have continued since Vietnam..The law should be changed to allow Bill Clinton to return with his administration. We're joining the recycle party .

    December 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  71. kenny

    I would respect the war that in progress if the goverment would be honest and tell the american people this is a never ending war I'm sorry but the truth is plian to see

    December 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  72. Jerry

    Please don't tell the enemy when we plan on quitting. I can't believe that the Taliban won't just relax for a year and then come out of hiding.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  73. Bill Barker

    Although Obama did not start this war, he must stop it. Note that the rest of the world is not stepping forward (Thank you George Bush). The arguments to stay ring similiarly to those of Vietnam.
    As our government is failing we the people – why aren't they focused on new jobs – restabilizing America – getting the debt under control.
    This decision and lack of focus on important issues to the people of the U.S. will make Obama a one time president -

    December 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  74. pfc devin brown

    Hey tony I am a soldier in ft lee I like the president stregy because the more we have the faster we can come home cause we all in the military know what we where going to be in when we raised our hands so I have my president back 100 percent

    December 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  75. RuthieMae, Perry, GA

    Hey Tony, after listening to the pros and cons of the exit date for Afghan., there is another way to look at the reasoning behind setting it. Could it be that President Obama has spent enough time around our soldiers to have complete confidence that , if given a clear mission, our militia is capable of getting it done within 18 months. Just maybe that date is showing confidence in the abilities of our military and to argue against it just may be evidence of a lack of confidence in these abilities. Go Figure!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  76. Joe Sicilia

    If I were a student at Boston University taking this last guests classes I would demand a refund! HOnestly how partisan were his comments? He stated that Bush "had a startegy" in Afghanistan but President Obama does not! What a ridiculous statement. The Bush startegy was to start a war in Iraq – where they had NOTHING to do with our terrorist problems. Bush tied up over 100,000 troops while leaving Afghanistan wide open for OBL to escape. Obama's strategy is fairly clear – certainly more clear than the Bush policy. Obama is sending more troops in an effort to rid that country of the Taliban. He has set a timeline – NOT a deadline as Sen. McCain would have you beleive. His timeline is set in order to put pressure on the Afghan governemnt to get control.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  77. Olivia

    Hi Tony, I listen to your show every day as I enjoy your commentary and interaction with your guest. Today however, I found myself compeled to send an email regarding the President's speech on Afghanistan and the 30,000 troops being deployed. I watched the President's speech last night and thought he did a terrific job in laying out his plan and his decision to send more troops in the region. Tony I see now that no matter what this President does it will never satisfy some of these people, not because of his decisions but because of who he is. President Obama was voted into office to get us out of the mess that the past administration got us into, i.e. two wars, an almost total collasp of the financial system in this country, the collasp of the housing market and on and on. Where were these nay sayers when Bush and Cheney were doing all this damage and lying to the American people as they went along?? Now President Obama was hired by the people to clean up Cheney and Bushes mess and some of them don't like the way he is going about it. President Obama is doing everything he campaigned on and said he would do if he won the Presidency. PEOPLE LEAVE PRESIDENT OBAMA ALONE AND LET HIM DO HIS JOB. He is the first President in a long time when he speaks you know he is telling you the truth and has your best interest at heart. I trust this President and wish him the very best pray for the success in Afghanistan and Pakistan who by the way have nuclear weapons.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  78. Seth, NH

    The war is wrong. It's impossible to make peace by waving a gun around. In this world we live in, resources are finite and population expands exponentially. It's unethical (and stupid) to spend vast resources on killing people overseas; whatever the reason. The fight cannot be justified, and those that die do so in vain. Those resources should be devoted to solving global problems. Water, food, disease control. Moving off fossil fuels is not just about carbon dioxide levels, its the cancer they cause. Military testing is responsible for the high mercury levels in oceans worldwide. Electricity is free, it flows through the ground. This country (and the world) should be preparing for the eventuality that we will have to move into space to survive as a species. If people want to risk their lives for this country they should do so as astronaunts, harvesting ice and other natural resources for the good of mankind; not a political agenda that's long forgotten in fifty years. Which war was the one to end all wars? And how many have there been since?

    December 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  79. Troy

    The powers that be are allowing the war and the middle east distroy this country and i think the presiedent is working with Osama to destroy this country from with in and if we are not carful we will become a third world nation How soon we forget about the roman empire so much for those history lesson

    December 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  80. Mosaku Olaniyi

    Good strategy on the Dems side, the withdrawal of the troops will be close enough to the next election, it will be aplauded by the people and may result into votes. Hopefully!!!!!!!. If it boomerang Whao!!!!!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm |

    tony the afgans have een fighting among themselves for 3000 years. i was appalled at the soviet commanders statement. we don't need any more distractions in this conflict. i just hope to god and pray that history does'nt repeat itsself. terry

    December 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  82. Alan

    I get tired of politicians using my son and his fellow Marines for their political rhetoric – the decision has been made that will make the situation in Afghanistan more secure, thank you Mr. President for taking a stand for the troops!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  83. Renee'

    I have complete respect and confidence in President Obama. This is the only President in my lifetime that has been disrespected in ways that are almost unforgivable.

    The President has inherited these war problems and it is his responsiility to take the mess and solve it. This was that we are fighting is President Bush both Senior and Junior war and it was their personal was I might add. A war for the control of Oil. No one ever questioned his decisions while President Bush always talked about the war but their never was any action until now.

    If you watched the General earlier on CNN he summerized the entire situation. It has never been any action and I would almost guarantee you that his leadership will accomplish the task at hand.

    Hopefully his colleagues will not backstab, contradict, undermind or try to destroy or distract his leadership as they have done in the past 6 months.

    Let's come together, please get beyond the fact that he is an African American and see the eyes of our pure and very intelligent youth.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  84. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    There was a blood bath way before America was ever invented these guys just enjoy killing each other they believe if they kill some one they can justify it by refrasing the words of there Koran to suit there sins and go see Allah it dosnt matter how long were there when we leave it will returne to just as it was before we came you can not tame a wild animal.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  85. Scott Stodden

    Tony first and foremost I support President Obama and the war in Afghanistan. I feel the speech last night was an amazing speech with points made clear plain and simply. This is a war that President Obama didn't start Afghanistan started this war against the United States on 9/11 and we have to rid Afghanistan of Al-Qadia and the Taliban because to withdraw all troops and do nothing would be a fatel mistake on the part of the United States, we'd be open to another attack. As to the people who say we're going to be there forever, no we are withdrawing by the summer of 2011 because by setting this time table for withdrawl it lets the Afghan goverment know that the United States is not playing and is serious about ending this Bush era war. Great Job President Obama!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    December 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  86. Donald Hughes

    Bill Clinton, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention had it right- "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than the example of our power." Much has been made over the 30,000 more troops being sent to Afghanistan, the $30 billion dollars that this escalation will cost in the coming year and the timeline set by the President. I am, however, hopeful that this President understands that military might is not necessarily the way to solve international challenges. In his own words, President Obama asserts, "True security will never come from an endless race for ever-more destructive weapons- true security will come from those who reject them."

    December 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  87. carl

    Tony every one is focused on the increase of troops in Afghanistan but, no one is considering what other plans the President and the generals have in mind. This war is not going to be solved with just the troops on the ground, but with our highest technology in the sky and in space! People don't realize the troops on the ground is just another ploy and with our advanced technology, we will be able to end this war sooner rather than later. Doesn't anyone give the President time to prove his judgement and show the american people just how smart he is? Remember this President is not anything like the last President we had but, realistically speaking, he is a genius compared to anyone in the Republican party.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  88. Kevin McPartland

    I am not a fan of President Obama; however, I respect him for making this decisive and politically unpopular decision. God bless our troops. Hopefully, their sacrifices won’t have been made in vain.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  89. Mary Cat Young

    Tony, in reading these blogs, over and over I saw and read the same thing I wrote and believe. We may have differed in how we presented but we all said: THIS IS A THINKING PRESIDENT; we hired him for that reason; let us let him do the job we hired him to do.
    I would put on the show the comments from: Roger, Lisa, Bill, Gordon Schaffer, and ME of course.
    Did you want me to rerwrite my original comment??
    Thank you CNN

    December 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  90. Ahmad Fazil

    I was born in Afghanistan and I know the country, fighting the enemy over there is not an easy task especially where we do not have enough troops which gives the enemy the option of hit and run, lets send the 30,000 more troops there and take the option of hit and run away from them.

    Ahmad from california

    December 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  91. Tracey

    As I watched President Obama last evening, I considered what he had to make the decision to do. This was was one that he did not start but one that he had to figure out how to end. He made his decision based on the information that he provided. He also had to make the decisions based on knowing what we wanted to know...when would it be over. He has provided us with an exit information. What is interesting to me is that he has provided exit time like "everyone wanted" now some say he being vage while other say he is giving information to the emeny. I am glad he had made the decision to exit but unhappy for 30,000 families that will have to go to make this happen. This is not a fight that he started but had to bring it to an end

    December 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  92. David

    Obama can't even keep party bashers out? On top of this CNN broadcasting the strategy! Great National Security we have!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  93. Anonymous

    At this point we've confined ourselves to a box of thought. The thought is that the only way to fight terrorist like Al Queda and the Taliban is by the presence of more and more conventional troops. It is clear that these people will never be willing to surrender and are prepared to fight to the last man. It is their religion and religion has proven itself throughout history to be the most powerful force in human motivation.

    Perhaps it is time to "think outside of the box". When was the last time we attempted to speak to these people? The US has a policy of not negotiating with terrorist. How are these terrorist different from any insurgency we have fought in the past, such as in Vietnam? It is different in the fact that we do not recognize them as a legitimate political organization even though they have proven themselves more organized and effective than the current leadership in that region.

    Yes, they have attacked us in our homeland and we sought revenge and reciprocation. How is this so very different from the attacks on England by Germany in World War II? We refuse to negotiate with terrorist, but if that refusal to negotiate extends to negotiating a peace which would save American lives then how logical can be?

    December 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  94. Mary Cat Young

    I mean to put on TV

    December 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  95. Bob Landthorn

    When the Japanese attacked us and we declared war, I don't remember any reports about, " What will be our exit plans ? "

    December 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  96. Renee'

    I made some typo's, the word was in some spots should be war. See the president thru our very young and intellegent eyes, they make a lot of sense.

    Obama continue to do your thing, stay strong, I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  97. Ron

    I know the President is smart. If he wants his health bill to go all the way this had to go this way and this makes the prior President look a little better and the other side will now side with the President to let this health bill go through. The only problem with this is the news reporters are going to reflect on the war and not the economy and the need for more jobs will go by the wayside for another year or longer. This is what people around me saying and I agree.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  98. Salvador Arteaga Jr.

    I voted for President Obama because he does not sway to popular opinion or make decisions on emotion, he takes everything into consideration and does what is best. If President Obama feels there is no better option than to send 30,000 troops then let's support him.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  99. Gail

    Blah, Blah, Blah. President Obama consulted with the individuals that know best (Military Personnel) involved in this situation. He made a decision and developed a plan of action with their input. So is the public and Congress stating that these individuals do not know what is best for our safety and security? It is better to be SAFE than sorry. We must stand strong as a Nation, pray for our troops, their families and give them all the support they need as they sacrifice their lives to protect all of us. I don't care what it cost, let's all agree to pay for the end of this madness. We are giving our enemy too much opportunity to divide us and conquer. We all need to chill and support this effort to ensure that the US is not infiltrated once again with extreme fanatical take no prisoners enemies that want to harm us.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  100. Mary Charlotte Decker

    My disappointment in President Obama is profound. His wrongheaded decision to expand the war in Afghanistan comes across as a pipe dream and as wishful thinking.

    The only way to "win" in Afghanistan, especially when the country is broke and in desperate need of much in the way domestic reform, is to get out of Afghanistan NOW.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  101. CM Erpenbach

    It's sad to the reckless use of our armed forces. Another babysitting job...another hot spot around the world? All volunteer force? Not for long. It's easy for the President to throw around buzz words and say that our security is in jeopardy, but is it really worth the lives of our overworked & underpaid military personnel? Do you know why the US troops in Afghanistan are happy to get more troops? Because they themselves don't want to be there and they are hoping to be sent home.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  102. Joe Sicilia

    The Colonel you had on recently clearly had a partisan agenda and was wrong about almost everything he said. If I were one of his students at Boston University I would demand a refund. He claims that Bush actually had a strategy in Afghanistan while President Obama has none. What a ridiculous statement. The Bush strategy in Afghanistant was to invade Iraq (with no aticulated exit plan or goal) with over 100,000 U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan open for OBL to escape. President Obam's strategy is fairly clear – send more troops in order to defeat the Taliban. I also have watched Sen. John McCain try to imply that President Obama set a deadline. No he set a TIMELINE in order to put some finality and clarity on this war. Ultimately one can't "win the war on terrorism." Terrorism is a tactic not a group of people that can be killed or captured. They hate the west because of our freedoms. Only through diplomacy will we be able to reduce the amount of terroist activity. Thanks for your time.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  103. Frost

    Today.. President Obama started earning his peace prize.. He nor American started this war. Nor will we finish it with blood. What he is doing, is offering to the people who have asked for help.. Help.. Help in living a different life. Drugs there will be shipped right here to the streets. So there are more than a few reasons to be there. More than a few reason to support our President, our troops and other nations that see the big picture. It is about our future. Our childrens future..

    We talk about the future of our children... do we want to leave them this?

    Bush went there with revenge.. Obama goes there for change.


    December 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  104. Marla Berry

    If the troops on the ground in Afghanistan say they need more help and want to win this fight, we should give them what they need to get the job done. I am sitting on my couch drinking a cup of coffee and they are fighting a war so that I can live here, enjoying my everyday life. Shame on those who sit and judge their battle. Give them the support they need so they don't have to stand alone. I agree with the President and he is responding to their call for reinforcements. Bless those soldiers.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  105. John Roberts

    I am a Viet Nam vet. I have a new concept for all the War Generals. Go into Afghanistan and stay with the troops until the war is won. No rotations. Stay until the job is done. This would shorten the war considerably. Also all the Officers and troops must stay until the job is done. Just my opinion.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  106. john farnia

    the taliban has waited 9 years ,and as the president said they have the momentum, so what makes us sure things will change in the next 18 month? most people still dont know the difference between al qaeda and the talibans

    December 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  107. Billy from Minneapolis

    I'm getting really tired of people being surprised by Obama's decision to send more troops into Afghanistan. If you're surprised by his decision, then go back and listen to his campaign! He said he wanted to get troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. This is NOT a surprise.

    Secondly, for those who question his use of a deadline, let me express my view on a deadline. This war is not like Vietnam or Korea or World War II, it is like the war on drugs (waged by Ronald Reagon). Like the war on drugs, we won't have a difinitive victory because there will always be people in this world who will plot and execute acts of terror. So, Obama has set a deadline (yes, for political reasons BUT also...) to let the world know that Afghanistan and Pakistan have until July 2011 to get their act together. If Afganistan and Pakistan can't meet this challenge, then they'll have to continue to live in an unstable, corrupt country. With this deadline, he has drawn a line in the sand.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  108. Rayford

    Dear Tony, I think president Obama should stay in the fight. George Bush started this war, but, Obama has to finish it. When he wins , he will get the credit for staying in there and supporting the troops and getting the win for all of us.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  109. Ron James

    Although war will cause soldiers to die it will also save the lives of many. I believe that President Obama took enough time to evaluate the situation. He has many important issues on his plate and we as a nation should support him.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  110. Ash Bat

    The chief executive has set a target. It is general's job to accomplish the mission. Repeated failures in country's defences are not acceptable. There can not be moving targets. The expectations must be made very clearly to generals.
    A few crazy guys planned from the soil of Afghanistan and beat the hell out of the world's most resourceful intelligence agency does not make whole Afghan people devils.
    I must say that US must be careful in its relations with Pakistan. It is a deadly cancer on this planet.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  111. Alex Mitchell

    I trust those who have the most information. I am not a war consultant and know a whole lot less than what the government knows.

    But I trust my president and this trust started when I choose a Democrat over a Republican one year ago.

    What I want as an American second and one who strives for peace first, is to trust those who I love and respect. I believe in Obama's intelligent decision making and trust him to keep our troops safe abroad.


    December 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  112. Scott St. Louis

    Hello Tony,

    I don't agree with the war or the war in Iraq however I understand what the President has to do and agree with his hard decision. I believe this President would not have done this if it was not the right thing to do! Remember this was not created or finished with the last President however President Obama has to clean up all the mess! If people thought this was all going to go away with in the first 11 months of President Obama's term they had a dream.

    I am the father of a deployed Marine who inlisted last year. He knew that being deployed was a real possibility but that did not stop him. I feel for all the families that have loved ones deployed or being deployed. It's not easy trust me I know but with that being said this is a volunteer military and they alll knew this was possible at anytime. I am not wanting to sounds harsh but realistic.

    Let's support those who are defending us and the President as he said so "our Grandchildren will have a better life".

    Thanks and I think your one of the best on TV!

    Semper FI


    December 2, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  113. Robin

    Kudos to Mr Obama for having the fortitude to stick to his guns on the Afghanistan issue. I followed the election closely and Obama always stated that what they were doing there was the "right thing to do" and he supported the Afghan mission. Peace in Afghanistan will only be achieved by negotiation and building infrastructure in the country. These two things can only be achieved through a position of strength. As a Canadian, I sympathize with Mr Obama. A Liberal government here sent our troops in with yours in 2001. Now the party that sent them in to action is clamoring for the Conservative party (now in power here) to bring them home. You can't win.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  114. joe private

    i have fought in afganistan. i have actually been there. and as of lately i have been getting quite irritated at hearing peoples uneducated opinions who believe they have a right to make a discernment. if you have not served there then you should really do alot of unbiased research before opening your mouth to voice an opinion thats been spoon fed to civilians. its a shame.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  115. abdul

    Tony, as long as Osama is around Obama has problems in his hands.we will have to leave Afghanistan sometime.Mr president get out it a loosing war.Troops surge will only raise the numbers of body bags commming home.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  116. Mary Cat Young

    Col. Andrew Basevich; So what do you think we SHOULD do?
    You use words like EVERYBODY and NOBODY. The does not make you sound intelligent.
    Are you attempting to sell your book to the far right wing dissenters of everything?
    It is so very easy to throw out big words and thoughtful comments, to argue and point out errors of others.
    I heard nothing from you that directed a plan of ANY kind.
    Maybe you should go live in a different country. You don't sound like an American.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  117. Brian Van Culin

    Tony, If Patti Wood's comment on the President looking into the camera is a problem, I wonder what Patti thinks when she watches
    Tim Geitner ?
    Thanks Brian

    December 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  118. Sherry Bob

    America has had a war on drugs for over 50 years.
    And it's just as bad as it ever was.
    Now we are at war with Alkida and it's only
    going to take two years.
    Now who's high.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  119. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    So Nato is going to send a measly five or six thousand more troops thats still not enough and theres still the issue of the Taliban taking refuge in Pakistan and more then likely Iran how do we infiltrate there sanctuary and get them without going to war with even another country do we have enough troops to create a blockade to prevent escape there just going to run and hide until the coast is clear I think were just spinning our wheels.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  120. Vanessa

    I believe The President is doing best he can with this war he inherited. Its like damn if you do and damn if you don't. I back him up and pray for the best outcome.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  121. Millie K.

    The US did not begin this war, we were forced into it by the attacks on our homeland on 9/11...How is it that US Citizens seem to forget this? It is a MUST that we ensure that the evil forces in that region are neutralized in order to ensure that WE are safe here at home.

    Millie K.
    Sarasota, FL

    December 2, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  122. Flo

    I am not sure the President could have said anything in his speech to change the opinions of individuals regarding the War in Afghanistan. President Obama is a brave, intelligent and thoughtful leader trying to resolve an extremely complex situation with no obvious solution. Give him a break!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  123. tamara

    As I sit at the va hospital (like I do every other day for my hubby) I am watching CNN report about the president sending more troops to the afghanistain war, I hear many of these fine veterans reactions. Some are upset saying that this war isn't like the ones they were in. One vet called it someone temper tanturm that they are acting like a child. Someone said to get the hell out and let them fend for themselves. I have heard words like ridiculous stupid. Then I have heard others say I hope all of the soliders make it home soon and safe. God be with them. I deeply love all the men and women who are out there serving in the military and I wish the gods protect them from danger. They have given up time with familys and friends to protect them and us, strangers.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  124. Angie

    First they said, Obama is wrong Not to send in the number of troops requested.
    Now they say, Obama is wrong to send in the troops.
    Now they say, We don't have the money.

    First they said, we have to get out.
    Now they say, Obama is wrong to begin to pull out the extra number of troops gradually in 18 months.
    Now they say, we have to stay in longer.

    Well, I believe Obama is right in sending the extra troops now to get the job done right.
    And I believe Obama is right to begin the gradual withdrawal of the extra troops in 18 months.

    And as dead lines go, Obama never called the 18 months a dead line to begin pulling out the extra troops. He merely said, Then we can begin to pull out the extra troops in 18 months.

    Sounds like it may be adjusted as needed.

    No problemo there!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  125. Qiana

    Hi Tony,

    I fully support Obama. Obviously he is making a tough decision. For the people that say "we need more troops," these are American lives we are talking about that we are putting at risk, which means more deaths! I have a husband that already spent 15 months in Iraq. Some Americans can be so blind into thinking we need to go in there and send all these troops and not leave until we won! Are you kidding? This isn't your ordinary war. These people were born and raised to HATE! We are chasing a never-ending saga and in result we have young soldiers that will just be getting killed. Obama wants to bring our troops home, but he has to try and sort out what Bush started. Give the man a break people! At least he considers all options before making a huge decision that affects the whole world! Everone always has an opinion, but probably wouldn't know what to do if they had to face the same decision as Obama did..... God Bless our troops.....

    December 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  126. Pauline

    I think the President was making peace in the middleast ,and that would help us to take our troops home.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  127. ken, nj

    Great speech bad policy. Killing more taliban out of vengence will not make afghanistan or the u.s. any safer. We can't protect soldiers at fort hood from being killed, we can't protect policeman from being killed, we can't protect women and children from being assaulted and killed, and the secret service can't even keep people out the white house. After 8 years we have been unable to train afghans to defend their own country but now obama says all we wil fine by 2011. The taliban did not attack the u.s., and al queda are now in pakistan and 26 other countries so why does obama need 100,000 troops to keep afghanistan safe. What's more puzzling is that 50% of the people are happy with spending another trillion defending afghanistan.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  128. Ruben

    Mr. Obama is correct in his assessment that we should commit more resources to Afghanistan; more than 92% of the world population has been exposed to and embrace the American way of life through State Department, UN and proliferating media coverage of remote regions of the world..!
    Then, there are those who oppose the American way of life and resist change within their borders! If the United States and our Allies do not try to deliver the American way of life to these regions of the world, those people will make every attempt to come to America and bring with them, all the discontent and hostility so prevalent in some of these areas. So, it makes sense to "deliver" the American way of life as opposed to adding to the immigration problem and overtaxing the system. Look at Vietnam! We pulled out of Vietnam and the communists took over but, they still ended up embracing the American way of life and currently have a large number of manufacturing contracts along with import/export agreements and, positive diplomatic relations...!

    December 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  129. doug Morigeau

    Tony: Korean is so easy for the party in power to wage war. There is ,however, a litmus test for us all: (1) tax all of and poor to pay for it (2) initiate the draft or lottery system to fight it..doug

    December 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  130. Carolyn

    I support President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. After our initial involvement after 9/11, we are obligated to follow through and help strenghthen the Afghan people in their struggle against the Taliban and Al Kaida.
    A woman who had to flee Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal stated in a recent CNN interview that if the US left now, it would be a human rights disaster for the Afghan people. Thank goodness Obama has improved relations with our NATO allies, so that we can count on more support from the rest of the world.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  131. Annie

    I am what is described as a liberal. I became a liberal when I was 12 years of age because I formed the belief that when a person is down on his luck the right thing to do is to give him a hand up, not to blame him for falling and walk away. I am firm in my liberal beliefs and over the years, I have never waivered.

    Nevertheless, when it comes to war, I find it fascinating that people like me whose information on the topic comes mainly from the media, can form such firm, unwaivering opinions about the decisions that our leaders should make.

    I have now lived long enough to realize something – regardless of the issue, when, after hearing or reading about it, I become convinced one way and then shortly afterwards, after forcing myself to read an opposing opinion, I think the opposing view is correct, it is time for me to either take myself to a University library and spend a couple of days studying the issue or to stop acting as if I actually know what I am talking about.

    For me, the Afganistan war is such an issue. I simply don't know enough to start telling myself or others around me what is right and what is wrong.

    Instead of taking a stand on this issue, I have decided to trust in my instinct about President Obama – an instinct that tells me that he is a good man who thought long and hard before he made his decision. It is time now to pray that he made the right decision and that he will keep "his eyes on the prize".

    December 2, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  132. Pauline

    I loved the President speech, he never seem nervous, but when I look at these young troops all over him taking pictures and look so happy , to me we are the one s that is wory our self to death. I don't want them to go back I have 2 boys my heart is broken!!

    December 2, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  133. Joe Garza

    I live next to Ft.Hood, Texas whats gonna happen in Afghanistan is gonna happen, but we must not falter in our support of our troops they are Americas best,they need to know we are behind them no matter what our political beliefs may be

    December 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  134. M Anthony

    Re: Afghanistan War

    The American people do not know all the military and civilian facts. Americans elected a President trusting he will make right decisions with the real facts.

    1. Remember the Taliban murder Afghanistan women, cut off the hands of children and the heads of Americans and Afghanistan people. Taliban and Al Qaeda are the same evil in different cloaks.

    2. Insisting on rooting out corruption in the Afghanistan and Pakistan government is necessary to end the war, prevent Taliban control and build a functional government elected by the people.

    3. Governmental corruption breeds more corruption...that is what happened in Vietnam.

    4. To abandon Afghanistan is to abandon the innocent civilians to a humanitarian crises of tyranny and slaughter.

    5. I hope President Obama and the US and NATO Military Commanders are right. We do know it is always right to help an oppressed people to make it possible to create their own security, prevent slaughter of the people, men, women and children and build a new nation free of threats from the Taliban.

    I hope our US nation and generous US soldiers accomplish their task to direct and teach Afghanistan to secure their own nation.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  135. Darrell York

    I'm glad the President is adding more troops. My problem is the use of telling a depatture date. I hope this is able to change as times goes on. The Taliban will simply hide till we are gone. If Russia was unable to remove the rebels before, how are we supposed to remove the Taliban with all the mountains and caves to hide in until till 6/11.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  136. AmericanSufi

    Finally we someone in the Oval Office who is trying to set the mistakes of the past straight.
    I have heard many comments about the new Afghan Policy, some say yay others say nay. Very few realize that this is NOT Obama's war, it is still Charlie Wilson's war which we left incomplete because once USSR was out we folks on the hill felt we don't need to be there anymore and left the mess the way it was. Remember we created the Mujahideens with the help of the Pakistan ISI who was left high and dry as soon as we pulled out of Afghanistan. It was only then that the upper echelons of the likes of Saudi Arabia used that area to get rid of their mess (Osama Bin Laden).
    With extreme economics at play the broken and hungry mujahideens (both from Pakistan and Afgahnistan) who were once our allies turned to any employer in this case Al-Qaeda.
    I am very glad President Obama is will to go back to the (once shunned) partners and make amends, with programs for Economic stability, Education and Infrastructure we can truly win this (Charlie Wilson's) war.
    Good Luck Mr. President and our Armed Forces, this time lets do the job right and finish it.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  137. Leif Eie

    After we leave Afghanistan sometimes in the future.
    What happens then?
    Do we really think we can change their behavior.
    Our efforts will change little
    Remember we are dealing with Tribal and Cave mentality.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  138. Don Nelson

    We are going to stabilize a tribal country whose people and tribal alliances change on a minute by minute basis based on fear? That's akin to sending 30,000 toilets to improve their sanitation, only to realize they have no sewer system. Nobel idea based on their total culture ignorance of the realities they face.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  139. Michael Grubbs - Las Vegas, Nevada - Veteran

    I support Obama whom makes sense and not on a personal vendetta. No falsied reports, slam dunk lies, nor the real reason that we're there. As the former President said, and without no responsiblity demeanor, "It will be up to the future Administrations to deal with". Including Iraq. The republicans are saying he has no plan and that he's making America weaker. I think Obama has answered their concerns.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  140. Fabian Bustamante

    ...................Wake Up......................
    .................... Please........................
    What is our interest in Afghanistan?, National security?, which nation?.
    Considering that this new strategy gets to work, what is our gain?, would this create new jobs?, would this warranty no more "terrorist" attacks on our soil?. What I do know is that we don't have jobs, and to get this nation on its feet it would take a while, and I know that during that time many people in this country would pay the price for this new strategy.
    I live in Oregon state and believe me, if nothing isn't done soon, desperate people would start doing what they have to, to survive.
    Meanwhile the President and the generals talk about building Afghanistan, what do I have to do with Afghanistan?, I need to feed my family, and a new strategy in Afghanistan won't help me at all.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  141. alberto

    A NEW and REALISTIC benchmark: (1) to insurwe we get our $$-worth in this "new" venture: (2) to insure that we DO leave on schedule, and MOST IMPORTANT: leave behind a competent fighhting force of local countrymen:

    FOR EVERY NEW $1 million dollar soilder we send, we should at the one and same time EXPECT, and INSURE that we "stand up" at a minimum, TWO locals, i.e., trained/being trained by our U.S. and N.A.T.O. military: this is a reasonable benchmark, and one that does not require us (non-military, but those paying for this war) to await another 18 months: only to be told, perhaps by a NEW general, that we are not in a position to leave this country, etc.

    ADDITIONALLY: If, as the military claims, the country is now divided up into 38 (?) "grids": let us have a test SOON: not in 18 months: this by insuring the SAFETY OF THE LOCALS, this by building Elementary and Secondary schools and hospitals: thus, insure that (at least with the local prevailing wages) these local institutions are up and running (SAFELY): we thus become more than warriors, even if that is our first obligation, logical duty, onus:

    SCHOOLS and HOSPITALS: built with American taxpayer dollars, NOW: since, per McCrystal's briefing, these various "grids" will, at least some, shortly be safe, under out providence (and our additional 30,000 troops). A test !! (Now.) No need to wait, no need to guess, no need to gamble the lives, the human treasury we are now being asked to offer up: if there is an argument against such an idea, then let those of us in the non-profit community bring to the table the funds to develop, build this infra-structure, or, e.g., use some of the $9 billion promised us by Japan.

    Duncan in Virginia

    December 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  142. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Hey guys heres an Idea lets invite Russia in on the fight do ya think they will go for it or do ya think there to smart to get involved.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  143. Lynette

    President Obama is doing exactly what he campaigned he would do, bringing troops home from Iraq, re-focusing on the Afghan/Pakistan borders and putting a deadline on the Afghan/Pakistan government. Americans need to have a little patience...instant gratification!!!

    December 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  144. Betty Lippold former reporter Kuwait

    Tony – when are you going to research the real reason the US is using our troops for 'Cannon Fodder' for OIL Corporations regarding: Pipe Line across Afghanistan from oil rich areas to India ports? Why are reporters merely passing on propaganda for US Government? Shame! Remember, thousands are killed/maimed and infrastructure set back to the stone age nor ro mention the fact that we need to concentrate on the basic needs of the American citizens: health care, jobs and decent housing conditions. Bring our troops home! Do your job Tony!

    December 2, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  145. U.S.S. Texas C.G.N. 39

    Michael from Texas that comment was to dang funny but really this is no laughing matter we have Mikey Mouse as our fearless leader.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  146. Maxine Flythe

    I completely support President Obama’s plan and strategy for Afghanistan. Those who are opposed should go on line and review the pictures of the aftermath of the horrendous attacks of 9/11/2001. Those responsible for that heinous act of murdering 3000 American innocent citizens want nothing less than to repeat it. We must not let that happen.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  147. Bo

    I am not a fan of PR Obama and unlike some of the women on here crying out about things they know not of, I am for our troops staying Afghanistan, I am a spouse of a U.S. MARINE, my husband has been in over 18yrs and is very proud to have served for his country, I am a HOMELAND SECURTITY SPEACALIST student, I think that our PR, needs to stop trying to be our next top model and start doing as a PR should, That does not mean go on ESPN and talk about Basketball, nor go on vacations while the rest of the country is in this Big Recession.
    Look how easy it was for This man and his wife to get into a VIP party at the white house, yes they said the PR was in nor harm A hello THAT is not the point, the point is, HE got In people are you telling me that's how laxed our PR security is?....... come on break it down, We as the people need to step up and get this type of stuff taken care of,Now imagine our troops coming home only see you see? this is just setting us up for another 9-11, I lost many loved one on that day I refuse to stand by and watch that happen again........ I will voice my opinion as much as possible until my voice is herd......

    December 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  148. Bo

    There is no excuse why we as the people can not vote for this PR to be downed to a but in fact givving our imformation over live prodcast T.V. is just letting our enemeys know our plann of attack, the media has only hurt us in this and every war you guy's post imformation and some ofr you only post what you want to be herd not the truth, but in our world this is what people like,...... Just like our father's of past wars the imformation as is free will to all who want s to know, this is not BugerKing you can not always have it you're way MR PR Obama........

    December 2, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  149. Angie

    Is there a registary for Al Qaeda?
    Is there a controlled government census for Al Qaeda?
    Do those in Al Qaeda sign up and registar for Al Qaeda as you would for a political party?

    So the next time someone says, "there are only this small number of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, or there are none in Afghanistan."
    I will just put them on ignore.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  150. Frederic Rounds

    The speech was great, brilliant. It was all things to all people and it can and will be interpreted in a variety of ways. I believe in the end, however, the speech is about exit. Obama realizes that war in Afghanistan has absolutely no value, but he must satisfy a number of political constraints to get us out. So, the strategy is brilliant: you create an illusion of kicking Taliban butt, while really paying them off just to calm them down for a short while. Then you declare that the job is done and leave. Perfect. Of course, you insure a big success in 2012. Obama is a hero and gets re-elected. Everybody wins. My predictions is that wed'll be completely out of Afghanistan by the end of 2011. Now all Obama needs to do is make the Taliban happy for a while just like we're doing right now by paying the Taliban for allowing us to drive vehicles down Rt. 1. Beautiful. Bravo Obama.

    December 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  151. Sylvia Edwards

    My comment has more to do with the so-called "body language" expert who Tony Harris had on his show. This woman went on and on about how President Obama couldn't maintain looking directly at the camera during certain parts of his speech yesterday, so that meant that he was conflicted about what he was saying. What a bunch of baloney. He didn't "look away", the camera cut away to General Petreaus, then went back to the President, STILL LOOKING DIRECTLY AT THE CAMERA. Mr. Harris just accepted what she was saying and congratulated her on her sharp observations." This "expert" said the same thing about the last "look directly into camera" moment and that was wrong. CNN has a really bad habit of moments like these. Just go back and LOOK for something like this. And this was a relatively benign situation. I've seen this happen in REALLY important matters, too. Come on people, if you're going to have an "expert" spouting statements, do your job and replay the moment or at least show that you're listening and challenge things on your audience's behalf. And please, no more "body language" experts. You're calling yourselves a news program. Stop bringing people in that belong on "Entertaiment Tonight." 'nuff said.

    December 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  152. Christy

    We need get out from over there and start taking care of the U.S.A. Nothing that we have done as help.Get our troops home so they can take care of there familey's.

    December 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  153. Patrick McGinnis

    It amazes me that so many people, including some whose opinions I usually respect, are so puzzled (just “don’t get it”) about the portion of President Obama’s Afghanistan policy that has a target date for withdrawal… As a Veteran and an Engineer with many years in Management of manufacturing plants and multi-billion dollar industrial projects, I know that SCHEDULES AND DEADLINES FOR COMPLETION are mandatory! – – – Although naysayers will quickly shout… “this ain’t no manufacturing project”, many of the same rules of Effective Management apply – – – I will bet $10,000 that many, if not all, of the Cadets, Senior Officers and Civilians in the audience at West Point have had Management classes and fully understand the reasons Obama set a deadline for withdrawal. – – – WITHOUT A SCHEDULE FOR ACCOMPLISHMENT AND DEADLINE FOR COMPLETION, THERE IS ONLY CHAOS!

    December 3, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  154. peggy richardson

    Tony question? Re:: the singing sensation from Britain?
    Why do all popular singers have to be blond,....boobs hanging out, short skirt and sexy looking?

    You mentioned "no one expected a beautiful voice to come out of someone who looks like her." SHAME ON YOU AND THE OTHER GUY WHO WAS TALKING WITH YOU.
    This country is so biased against anyone who isn't beautiful ....IN OUTWARD APPEARANCES. I watch your show daily, but today I am truly ashamed of your reporting. thanks.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  155. 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 11:52 am |

    There is no military solution in Afghanistan ! This is clearly a war for profit.! Obama made the most disengenuous statement of all time when he said that its not another Vietnam ! They did exactly what they did in Vietnam. They pretended they were attacked on 911, just like they did in the gulf of tonkin to get into Vietnam THATS 100% FACT ! and obama is 100% the opposite of what he claims to be

    December 3, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  157. fred davis

    the current troop deployment is the most recent decision to continue what charles beard/gore vidal called "perpetual war for perpetual peace". you cannot have a 600 billion dolllar/year machine sitting around doing nothing. it is time to reduce that obscene figure to that of other civilized countries. this country can accomplish what ever it wants . it seem war against weak countries is our goal,to set up bases, and grab cheap resources. at the same time, we neglect our own huge problems. also, if the republicans support this and even more troops we should know that something is very wrong.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  158. Griffin

    I think that Obama is doing the best possible job with what information he has. Is everyone on the same page with him? No of course not, but he is doing what he feels is right even if may come back to haunt him in the end.

    Also, I live in Dover, DE. Everytime I see a C5 or C17 flying overhead I just have to stop and think what is in the plane. It could be remains of a mother, father, or someone's child "returning from war." It's a chilling thought.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  159. fred davis

    tony,if the republicans are so disgusted with the stimulus what do they want to do other than spend it on the the new version of the war. does anyone remember who was running the store when the collapse was created and occured. how fast do people think we turn the economy around after living in a fantasy with bush and company.the economy does not behave like a part changing machine that can be fixed with a few quick changes.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  160. frances quattlebaum

    No matter what Obama does your network is critical – there is no support and you simply stir controversy.

    It is incredible how critical you are of Obama, that he thinks through problems and consults with other experts. This seems to really upset you.

    Personally I am more concerned we go back to shoot from the hip decisions with no discussion we experienced in the last 8 yrs. Bush just took off to Texas every week when the economy went south.

    Furthermore what you all are doing to Tiger Woods who is perhaps making mistakes, but at least he does it with his own money unlike our politicians is disgusting.

    When are we going to hear about the private lives and scandals of some of our newspeople – sorry I forgot you don't make mistakes.

    The middle class is being eliminated in this country – I am 68 yrs old and because everything I have saved has been devalued and prices increasing am continuing to work.

    I want things to improve for myself and my children and grandchildren – I am alarmed at the divisions in this country and the inability of poeple to respect each other and work together. All you appear to want is to fan the flames of division

    December 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  161. John

    Hello...can you say Vietnam? Announcing a release date is just ludicrous? Are these people this far out of touch with the world? This is why we need term limits in Congress...these people live a sheltered out of touch life!

    December 3, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  162. Jose R

    I think the unemployed 55 and over,should be out of the race for employment ;and let the jobs for the young people,anyway nobody is going to hire someone against a younger person with better education.
    What I am thinking is to pay unemployment to all citizens over 55 register unemployed,and hire them to help at schools,create a system like car inspection for people and you will have hundreds of jobs,that this people could get involve,so the state or the city would not have to pay for their services,and that could improve,education for kids,and everybody's health with a regular check up.Well i am pretty sure there must be a lot things this people can help,,,,,but been hanging around feeling depress good for nothing.....What do you think ?
    Tony keep you good work you are the best we trust you.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  163. Rob HuntingtonBeach

    Yesterday, Obama lost a very large % of his votes. Bottom line is that America is sick and tired of Wars and would like to see HOME get reconstructed before any other country. Specially now. Doesn't our Mother Land deserve this?.. Our People first our Country first? The President that has this mentality without any hesitation, will be the Greatest president of all time. I don't think Obama has what it takes to do this. We are in very deep trouble and our politicians are not taking care of HOME! Obama, Can you spell IMPEACHMENT?...

    December 3, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  164. Barbara Florida took GW Bush 8 years to get us in this will take Obama more the 9 months to get us out...

    December 3, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  165. Randy kendall

    The preset date to start leaving is a message to the People
    of Afghanistan to pick up the fight and load to get Their country
    back. No war can be won without the average person fighting
    for their country and that war.
    We could stay for a hundred yrs and fail without the aid of the
    people of that country getting on board.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  166. Alex

    Neither Republicans or Democrats seem to like Obama's Afghanistan plan... but the American people do! When you discount the fundamentalists on the left and right who's opinions will never change Obama has given the rest of us what we need. I hope the 46% approval before and the 66% approval today speaks for itself.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  167. Jacqui Walker

    We have a moral obligation to the Afghans and to those who have already sacrificed to finish what we started. Also, if we don't persist, what encouragement will that give Al Queda?

    December 3, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  168. Bill Carr

    Send 100,000 and destroy the Taliban once and for all or this will never end!

    December 3, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  169. Brenda McDaniel

    This comment regards Job Forum.Tony, let's face it. American manufactring jobs were sent overseas were wages were 70 cents an hour and Rebpublicans rewarded corporations with tax credits for doing so. Will CNN ever report on this rape of American workers and the middle class?. How could so many millions of Americans vote for Obama because of just such a fact and it be considered unimportant by CNN? Fox we understand, but CNN confuses us. How can we expect Obama to put back in a few months what it took Republicans years to rob us of. If you don't talk about this you will be responsible for allowing people to continue in their ignorance and they'll reelect the very ones who gave us all this fraud in banking and insurance. What they did for profit is treason in our book.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  170. Jose R

    Tony : the end of this wars,It is going to be as soon as we run out of money,no matter whose winning.,if they really want to do something,they would have to get Russia,China, Iran,Pakistan,India,EU,Nato and us to reach and agreement to do not sell arms to this people,this could be a good test for the group of the 20 plus...and we'll see if they really want to change this world.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  171. John Berkeley Heights, New Jersey

    President Obama is a highly intelligent man and I hope he intends to do some things that were not in the speech. Afghanistan is not really a soverign country, but a corrupt collection of warlords and tribal chiefs. They exploit the poor citizens.. We need to bring the leadership on board. Think money.
    This surge will not have a great ending and I believe we are putting far too much on our fine troops. The fur would fly if the President suggested bringing back the draft and spreading the risks across all of our citizens.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  172. Bill Riley

    I don't get it. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are largely funded by drug money stemming from acres and acres of heroine poppies grown in southern Afghanistan. Even without this war, the world's largest producer of heroine is killing poeple and ruining millions of lives all over the world. In WW II we would bomb ball bearing factories to slow down the Nazi military machine. But take out the poppy fields? Oh no, we want to win over the hearts of all the Afghan farmers. Are you kidding me?

    We have herbicides that could effectively eliminate the poppies without ruining the land (they are used all over in modern agriculture). And we have incentive programs that could help these farmers grow other cash crops, like pistachios. Why not a guaranteed 'we'll buy all the pistachios you can grow' policy, even if we end up feeding them all to livestock! Surely Americans could rally behind such an effort yet the 'kid glove' strategy employed to date (limited use of herbicides, if any) to eradicate poppy production has been dubbed an abysmal failure. So it's nowhere to be seen in Obama's new strategy. Maybe attacking this huge source of Taliban funding would even help draw these terrorists out of hiding in the mountains up north? Regardless, serious poppy eradication should be a major part of any strategy for Afghanistan. Send in the drones – filled with Roundup or whatever it takes.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  173. John Klein

    When we went into Iraq, it was said that we would pull out when the Iraqis are trained to take over their own security. We are no hearing the same thing on Afghanstan.
    Like the Iraqis, Afghanis have been at it longer than America. Like Iraq, Afghan security forces are made up of people with various political loyalties. America is ill-equiped to train Afghanis. The country needs a plan or program to build a viable economy.
    Afghanistan is a landlocked country whose economy has long rested on trade and opium that doesn't work any more. For fifty years, America and Russia have been competing for Afghanistan's favor without really changing the economic equation. This is the problem that everyone seems loath to address. Obama should take some steps to get neighboring countries to join an effort to provide for long term economic and political stability, while providing just enough short term military presence to keep things from going down the U tubes. We can't fix the world. If we could, let's start at home.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  174. Ms. Carroll

    I think we should get out of afghanistan; if it's not been fixed after 8yrs.what does that tell you ?? Let them fight it out amongst themselve's. The American government needs to focus on our own people!!!!! It awe's me, what the American government gives other country's/people.
    as an American I think it is "outragious".

    Ms. Carroll, Illinois

    December 3, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  175. Fred Rounds

    Peter Bergen believes that Afghanistan is the central focus of international terrorism; hence, we must pursue our military strategy there. Mr. Bergen is a learned individual and I respect his viewpoint, but I believe he makes the same error as Sherlock Holmes' does with Moriarty, i.e., there's something innately evil about Afghanistan that creates international terrorists. Counterexamples to this viewpoint are Dr. Hasan, Richard Reid(Shoe bomber), and even Zazi who was born in eastern Afghanistan but came to America 10 years ago as a teenager and he grew up in Pakistan since age 7. We also need to remember tha all the 9/11 terrorists were from places other than Afghanistan. Why do we blame Afghanistan? The answer lies in the fact that because of the lawless, fractured nature of this country, criminals can act with impunity. Please note that 40% of the Afghan GDP is based on poppies. Can we end this criminal aspect with Afghanistan? Did prohibition end alcohol production in our own country? No, we legalized booze.

    December 3, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  176. Jim Hamilton

    Job Creation by small business with not occur because of
    the following:
    Small business owners are afraid of future cost of heath care
    to them to cover any new employees the might hire.
    With the debt of the U S and how to pay for wars and health
    they are afraid of additional taxes either direct or indirect i.e.
    Gas Taxes
    Health Care benefit taxes
    A war tax
    Until small business owners can be reassured that for the near
    future their taxes or their employee health care benefit costs are
    not going to increase they are not going to start hiring.
    Jim Hamilton
    Dubuque, IA

    December 3, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  177. Chaney

    Hi Tony..... love your show.......I support President Obama's decision on Afghanistan, and hope it works ....I do have a question ... I would like answered, Why is it we can train our forces in 3-4 months and it takes years to train Iraq and Afghanistan forces?.... is it the dismal illiteracy? I also think we should have Elizabeth Warren[overseer of TARP funds] head up a special division of fraud, waste and abuse in both private and government entities, the money saved would pay for this unit and also help solve our debt problems......but we would need Congress to develop some guidelines with teeth on enforcement and punishment.....which could be a problem.... this body of people can't seem to do anything right, on either side.....

    December 4, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  178. Jhon

    Hi Tony,
    Have been following the developments in Afghanistan, since earlier 1980's. Babrak Karmal and the russians were working to make it a better country, to allow the women to go the schools, universities and find a job away from home. At that time, the superpowers were controlling the world and deciding we was entitled to live or die.
    Ronald Reagan, was President and George Bush, father, was Vice President.
    Ronald Reagan, said at that moment: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". (A thing that was also applied to Saddam Hussein in Iraq vs Iran).
    The goverment of Reagan, gave money, all the military support to the Taliban, without restrictions.
    And, yes, US and the Taliban won the war.
    The CIA and others, were training the Taliban, including Bin Laden and others.
    They gave a nice response to the US, in 9-11. I do believe, Reagan and Bush, are responsible for that, but the people in US are blind and with lots of lots of memory and like to look only in the other direction
    The double moral, the arrogance and the lack of understanding about free determination of other nations for the governments of US, will bring, just more wars and more hate among human beings. US is a country who likes to make terrorist of State. Using the clones in Pakistan is just another sample of that, before was Iraq
    Afghanistan for the Afghans and they could like or die accordingly with what they want.
    Congress-men/women are debating about health care and the almost 900 billions, that can be invested for the good of the people of US, but they are willing to waste more money on those dirty wars than the money that is necessary to make a country healthier. Country First??
    I am still young, but I do consider US, one of the most dangerous, abusive and criminal country of all times
    <US is eager to win a war, (after Vietnam), not matter what: The made a war against Panamá; They make a war to Grenada; they won, but who is militarily Panamá or Grenada?? The marines, kill 100's of innocent people in Panamá and Grenada. They do need more practice when/while shouting the rounds
    Perhaps, there will be a winner, but who is the actual winner?? The US, the allies, the Taliban, the Afghan??

    December 5, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  179. Dodie

    I find it saddening the reasons we are asking for the spilling of bloodshed and sacrifice from our young men and women who are fighting in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan War is now becoming the Afghanistan-Pakistan War. Afghanistan and Pakistani are angered at the civilian casualties resulting from the US combat tactics. The war in Afghanistan is
    becoming atrocious for both our troops and for the Afghan civilian population. The strategic benefits are non-existent and the risks of expanding the war are alarming. The humanitarian consequences are appalling.

    December 6, 2009 at 12:34 am |
  180. Harold G

    Time will tell but if the Afghan government cannot provide their own security then the mission will fail. It's been 8 years and now Pakistan is in the center of the AlQeada and Taliban bandits. The US and its allies cannot change a doctrine or false religious following, so it cannot win the war, just like in Vietnam.

    My question: Is the Taliban a threat to the US? What have they done iin 9/11...Nada! And who are we fighting??

    December 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm |