December 1st, 2009
10:02 PM ET

Obama outlines strategy for 'successful conclusion'

Update: 8:35 p.m. ET: Obama ends his address saying, "America – we are passing through a time of great trial. And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering."

Update: 8:14 p.m. ET: Obama says,  "It is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan."

Update: 8:05 p.m. ET: President Obama begins outlining his strategy for the war in Afghanistan, a strategy he says will bring the war "to a successful conclusion."

Update: 6:36 p.m. ET:  'Common security of the world' is at stake, Obama to tell the United States in a televised address, according to excerpts from the speech.

Update 12:17 p.m. ET:  President Barack Obama intends to conclude the Afghanistan war and withdraw most U.S. troops within three years, according to senior administration officials.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, White House officials tell CNN.

The president will travel to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, for a speech to the nation that is expected to announce his second escalation of U.S. forces in Afghanistan since he came to power in January.

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  1. maria h

    THE TRUTH ABOUT WHY WE DON’T NEED A MILITARY SOLUTION IN AFGHANISTAN
    ESCALATION: Bad for Afghans, Bad for Americans

    Congress Must Take Bold Action to Keep Hope Alive for Afghan Peace and Economic Recovery for America
    We are pleased that President Obama has changed some of the harmful policies of George Bush. He reversed policy on U.S. detention and interrogation practices; ordered the closing of the torture-stained U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay; and set the goal to eliminate nuclear weapons.

    But President Obama must reverse his decision to increase U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, instead use air strikes in Afghanistan as an alternative.

    “TERRORISTS” ARE RADICALS WHO IMPOSE “SOCIAL CONTROL” BY IMPOSING FEAR, GUNS AND TERROR. TERRORISM IS A “CRIMINAL ACT” MOSTLY POLITICAL IN NATURE THAT SEEKS TO DESTROY AND ERASE THE POLITICAL AUTHORITY IT SEEKS TO CONTROL, IT IS AN ORGANIZE INTERNATIONAL CULT, A MOB, LIKE THE DRUG CARTEL. THEREFORE TERRORISTS SHOULD BE TREATED AS “CRIMINALS”.

    LEADING AMERICA IN A NEW DIRECTION

    OBAMA MUST LEAD THE COUNTRY IN A NEW DIRECTION. THE WAR FOR 8 LONG YEARS HAS CRIPPLED AMERICAS ECONOMY. PEACE MOVEMENT LAID THE GROUNDWORK FOR ENDING THE WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN AND REDIRECTING MILITARY SPENDING. WE WELCOME PRESIDENT OBAMA’S COMMITMENT TO TAKE OUR NATION IN A NEW DIRECTION. HOWEVER, HIS COURSE ON AFGHANISTAN MUST BE ALTERED NOW WITH BOLD AND PRINCIPLED ACTION, WHICH HELPS THE AFGHANS’ TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF IT’S OWN COUNTER INSURGENCY LIKE OTHER COUNTRIES FACING INSURGENCY ATTACKS.

    OBAMA MUST FOCUS HIS DIRECTION TO THE REAL NEED FOR HEALTH CARE, HOME LAND SECURITY, JOB CREATION, IMMIGRATION AND EDUCATION, INSTEAD OF CONTINUING TO CRIPPLE AMERICAS ECONOMY WITH MORE YEARS OF WAR. NOW, WE MUST MAKE THE UNITED STATES RADICALLY CHANGE ITS FAILED POLICY AND FOR OBAMA TO LEAD AMERICA ON ITS ECONOMIC RECOVERY. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME AND LET AFGHANISTAN HANDLE ITS OWN COUNTER INSURGENCY. AMERICA CANNOT INTERFERE IN A CIVIL WAR AND BE ON THE SIDE OF A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT.

    THE FIRST STEP TO ENDING THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN IS TO STOP INCREASING TROOPS AND TO BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!
    THERE IS NO "MILITARY SOLUTION" IN AFGHANISTAN

    OBAMA'S ADVISORS AGREE THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN "CANNOT BE WON ON THE BATTLEFIELD”, AND MILITARY THINK TANKS LIKE THE AGREE THAT POLITICAL, LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PEACE KEEPING SOLUTIONS ARE A MORE EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE RATHER THAN THE INCREASE IN FOREIGN MILITARY FORCE.

    YET PRES. OBAMA HAS ALREADY ORDERED 21,000 MORE TROOPS, WHICH WILL ONLY EXPAND 7 YEARS OF FAILED U.S. STRATEGY IN AFGHANISTAN. AFGHANS MUST LEAD AFGHAN SECURITY. AFGHANISTAN HAS BEEN THE TRAINING GROUND FOR TERRORIST BECAUSE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT ALLOW IT AND GAINS SUPPORT FROM IT.

    THE NATO FORCES AND US TROOPS INCLUDING CIVILIANS WHEN CAPTURED BY TERRORISTS ARE TORTURED, AND THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

    · CIVILIANS AND NATO FORCES ARE HELD HOSTAGE BY THE TERRORISTS AND EXPLOITED THESE PRACTICES. MORE MILITARY ACTIVITY WILL MEAN MORE EXPOSURE OF OUR TROOPS TO AN UNNECESSARY WAR AND MILITARY CASUALTY.
    · THE TERRORIST RUNS A MASSIVE NEGATIVE PROPAGANDA IN AFGHANISTAN THAT THE PRESENCE OF AMERICAN TROOPS WOULD MEAN INVASION IN THEIR COUNTRY, IN REALITY THE PRESENCE OF AMERICAN TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN IS TO HELP, IF THE AFGHANS REFUSE TO TAKE THAT SUPPORT THEN WHY GIVE IT TO THEM.
    · THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT IS UNSUPPORTIVE OF A TRUE DEMOCRACY.
    · THE AMERICANS, EUROPEANS, AND ALLIED FORCES ARE WARY OF FOREIGN MILITARY ESCALATION THAT WILL COST MANY LIVES.
    · AT LEAST 18,000 AFGHANS HAVE BEEN KILLED SINCE THE GOVERNMENT OF AFGHANISTAN ALLOWED TERRORISTS TO MAKE AFGHANISTAN ITS SAFE HAVEN.
    · THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT AND ITS PEOPLE BLAMED THE TRAGEDY TO THE AMERICANS BECAUSE OF THE MASSIVE BLACK PROPAGANDA RUN BY THE TERRORISTS.
    · THE TERRORIST’S COWARDLY ACT OF USING CIVILIANS AS THEIR HUMAN SHIELD HAS CAUSE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE TO BE INJURED INCLUDING NATO TROOPS.
    · CIVILIAN CASUALTIES FOSTER RESENTMENT AMONG AFGHANS AGAINST AFGHAN GOVERNMENT AND DISTRUST OF NATO FORCES BECAUSE THEY THINK AMERICANS ARE SUPPORTING A CORRUPT AFGHAN GOVERNMENT.
    · THE REPORTED DEATH OF 140 CIVILIANS MAY 4 IN FARAH PROVINCE, ARE CIVILIAN SUPPORTERS WHO PATRONIZE TERRORISTS ACTS. THEY ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE EXPLOITED AND USE AS HUMAN SHIELD.
    · THE OUTRAGE OF THESE INSURGENT’S SYMPATHIZER’S WERE USE BY THE TERRORIST’S TO GAIN MORE AFGHAN CIVILIAN SUPPORTER’S.

    AIR STRIKES ARE THE BEST STRATEGY APPLICABLE TO COUNTER-INSURGENCY, INEXPENSIVE AND MINIMIZE CIVILIAN AND MILITARY CASUALTY. IF THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT IS SERIOUS OF ELIMINATING TERRORIST’S CRIMES, LET THE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT INNITIATE ITS AIRSTRIKE AND IMPOSE STRONGER MILITARY COUNTER INSURGENCY.

    NEARLY 1,100 U.S. AND “COALITION” TROOPS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN SINCE THE START OF THE WAR IN 2001. MOST OF AFGHANS THINK U.S. FORCES ARE DOING A GOOD JOB THERE, AND 90 % OF THE ATTACKS BY THE TERRORIST’S TO THE CIVILIANS AND AND NATO FORCES ARE A COWARDLY ACT, AND SHOULD BE JUSTIFIED.

    MAJORITY OF EUROPEANS WANT THEIR TROOPS TO RETURN FROM THIS DISASTROUS NATO MISSION BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT TERRORIST’S SHOULD BE TREATED AS “INSURGENT’S” & “CRIMINAL’S”, AND SHOULD BE FOUGHT BY AFGHANS COUNTER-INSURGENCY WARFARE & LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT NOT BY NATO MISSIONS.

    WE URGE THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS TO STOP MILITARY ESCALATION IN AFGHANISTAN AND TO BRING OUR TROOPS HOME, TO FOCUS MORE ON DOMESTIC ISSUES AND LET AFGHAN GOVERNMENT DEAL WITH ITS OWN DOMESTIC PROBLEMS

    PLEASE NO MORE WARS!!
    SAVE AMERICAN LIVES!!
    NO MORE MILITARY ESCALATION AND BRING OR TROOPS HOME! NO MORE WARS! AMERICANS ARE SUFFERING! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    December 3, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LINDA LUNSFORD

    I won't bet on big allie support.yes!osama bin laden -accomplished- exactlly what he wanted to accomplish.he got us over there,and we destroyed,an rebuild and waste military money and weaken u.s. troops and weaken economy at the same time leaving us vunerable for anything.its hard to fight what you can,t see.BUT IF THEY'RE IN THE HILLS THEN I SAY [ CARPET BOOM & GAS THE MTN. RANGE AN THEN DROP IN THE SPECIAL FORCES & MTN.RANGERS AN DRIVE THEM DOWN OUT OF THE HILLS TO LEVEL GROUND THEN DROPEM.PACKET IT UP AN HAND OVER TO NEW GOV. THEN GO HOME END OF STORY.THEN WE START REBUILDING OUR ECONOMY.THANK YOU.MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.PS, YOU WANT OSAMA BIN LADEN? SEND OVER DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER.HE GETS HIS MAN AND HE DON'T HAVE HALF THE RESOURCES.

    December 2, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sherlene

    I am truly saddened the President has decided to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. I was hoping they would decide to reorganize with the troops they already have, changing guard on occasion. I think about lives being lost in both countries as well as those of our allies. I hope strategic planning is taking place, smarter planning than ever before. This country appears to be a poor, Third world country. With all the technology the U.S. has I do not understand why the foxes cannot be forced out of their holes. I sure hope 18 mo. is enough. I am for President Obama.

    December 2, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James Mkele

    It's amazing that the world thinks Mr. Obama can and will resolve all of the issues that were left unresolved over the past 8 years in 1 year. When will we (the U.S. public) wake up and understand this was not the current Commander-In-Chief's doing, but what was left for him to resolve.

    December 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Judy

    It breaks my heart to listen to the critics of Obama's decision to send more troops to support the Afghan war. All of our opinions are just that .. opinions based on "skewed" perceptions of not knowing the full truth that led our President to make this kind of decision. What people only know is what is reported by the media and written in the news and as our President said yesterday "many reasons" led me to make this decision. What we are not privy to is all of the "classified" information that only a privy few have access to that I believe helped our President make this heart wrenching decision of not only sacrificing our resources and perhaps taxing the already heavily burned citizens of our country, but also the heart wrenching decision of putting our men and women in harm's way. I am sure this burden weighed heavily on his mind as he made this excruciating sacrificing decision. We need to realize that we do not have all of the facts .. only our opinions and in my opinion, our President is has inherited such a mess that I am amazed that he can still see the light of day.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Johannes Amstrup

    Well, atleast the canadian flag was showed on the map.

    I CANT belive ccn would treat Denmark like this. Denmark is one of the countrys with most soldiers in afghanistan compared to the country size, danish soldiers fights in helman, the place micheal wear said there only were US troops.

    My brother was in afghanistan for danish isaf troops. You should see his face when he saw that ccn only had the american and british flag on the map.

    I RLY hope ccn will correct this in thier next show.

    December 2, 2009 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Space

    Amazing how these reports keep straying our minds from such things as the rising homeless population, corporate corruption and the still rising jobless right here on our streets. It seems like every other day we get something new to take our minds away from things that concern and effect everyone right here on mainstreet. People live these problems everyday and it seems like it's constantly hid away from the forefront of the public's eye.

    December 2, 2009 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. josé filardo

    Mr. Obama said that America is concerned with the possibility of Al-Qeda having access to nuclear wapons.

    Considering that Pakistan has nukes in their arsenal; considering that they are muslims, it is only a matter of time until a mole in the Pakistani government gives access to the wapons.

    It would make much more sense if America simply disarmed Pakistan, transferring ALL the nukes to a safe place and hosting the Pakistani scientists somewhere out of Pakistan (not Guantanamo, please...)

    America worries about Iran, but they are a different brand of muslims, and will never consort with Al-Qeda.

    The real threat is Pakistan. America is sleeping with the enemy.

    December 2, 2009 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. hothead007

    ITS HIGH TIME THAT THE COWARD CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS LEAVE OUR REGION FOR GOOD, IF AMERICANS DO NOT WANT TERRORISM IN THEIR COUNTRY THEY SHOULD STOP DOING TERRORISM THEMSELVES IN OTHER COUNTRIES, LET US MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS & AMERICANS SHOULD MIND THEIR OWN, AN ABOVE ALL STOP BEING THE POLICEMAN TO THE WORLD. THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD HATES AMERICANS SO DONOT LET THIS HAPPEN

    December 2, 2009 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. rajesh

    Coming directly to point, US success in Afghanistan very much depends on how it deals with Pakistan. there is no doubt pakistan is a failed state, but US should realize few important things
    1. economic and developmental aid given to paksitan (kerry-lugar bill etc) has to be monitored stringently. Ruling Paki elites are corrupt and dance to the tunes of the army and its spy agency ISI, hence all the aid is directed towards its military buildup against India.

    2. Pakistan's spy agency is using US for its funds, hence hiding/supporting taliban and al qeda fugitives to keep the war in and ON state so that pakistan is always funded for years to come. its a geo-politic double game, i hope CIA is aware of this.

    3. seal of drug trade in afghanistan, which is also regulated by pakistan's ISI can choke the finances of taliban.

    4.get India into mainstream, india is much more stable economy and a democracy which has contributed a lot in current rebuilding of Afghanistan.

    5. even if taliban or al qeda is defeated, they will come back in another form with hidden support of ISI.

    December 2, 2009 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kelly Foster

    I feel that Presiden obama is tring to fix what Bush screwed up. We wouldnt even be at war with if they would have used our planes to take lives of people that we love. I dont understand why everyone is against Obama. I feel that he is tring to set thing right. So that we can all have our family and friends back. I know because I a brother going over this month before christmas. I know that what said to night made everyone upset . But I feel that eight years of war is crazy. I wish that was peace in the world since the 9-11 everyone was so afraide that they were going to try it again no one wanted to try and make a diiference in the world . I feel that he try the fix everyone that Bush messed up. I also feel that if the trade centers would have never gotten hit that we would never be at world . I have logged on to you tube and there was thing out there about Bush having breakfast with binlanden.I know im ready for the war to be over. I want my children to know their uncle and the father. Maybe this will be a way to get them home faster. Just let him do his job. I really support the president's plan. But everyone is aloud to state how they feel

    December 2, 2009 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Leslie Absher

    Loved hearing from Kucinich tonight on 360. He more than held his own when he made the point that Americans are the big losers when we fund two wars, bail out big financial firms and then turn around and say there's no money for health care. But I was blown away by Gergen, who I usually admire. For some reason he couldn't seem to bring himself to acknowledge Kucinich, which appeared childish. Were Kucinich's points too thought provoking? Too outside the box?

    December 2, 2009 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dan Jelly

    So I just caught a replay of CNN's "Decision: Afghanistan". Michael Ware broke down the distribution of US and NATO forces, making sure to point out that NATO forces are largely away from the major military action. He was also careful to point out that this is really a "U.S. and British" war. What he ignored was the ...big Canadian flag in the middle of the "red zone" along the Pakistani border.

    Directly after omitting the word "Canada" from his report, he switched screens and made a point to note that Kandahar is a hot spot and is "under seige". For those who don't know.. THAT'S WHERE THE CANADIANS ARE.

    Does CNN have some sort of on-air ban on mentioning Canada's involvement in Afghanistan? Do your reporters have to put 10 bucks in the office "swear jar" if they mention Canada? I'm not saying we're carrying the war or anything, but maybe it's time the sacrifices of our soldiers are mentioned too.

    December 2, 2009 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bob

    I carefully listened to Obama the candidate and tonight Obama the President. He has been consistent. He and Gates, defense Sect'y (who has abeen doing lots of cleaning house at the Pentagon) have carefully examined all the pieces of the puzzle and the vested interest groups and come to a course of actions. The cost is high but the goal of ending it is no longer debatable.

    Our commander in chief is doing his job to correct the neglect of Afghanistan during the past 6.5 years. He recognizes the work of the Non Gov't Orgs to reduce hunger, open up education of girls, re-start water and agriculture that are slowly taking hold. The Soviets did none of this during their devastation of Afghanistan. See

    One of the prongs of the strategy is getting Pakistan to continue its effort to curb the Taliban. Without our inreased involvement on the Afghan side, we would face the real and radical possibility of putting our troops into Pakistan to protect the atomic missles.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    How many have lost their lives as we speak here tonight in the security of our homes with or without a job, here in our wonderful county? Freedom does not come cheap, but sadly by the actions of those that will never come home. Stand by what Our County Stands For or Leave.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  16. JB Kemble

    Clearly the President has considered the military and strategic issues in detail. But he does not seem to have devoted the same amount of effort to thinking about the cost. The work of Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Professor Linda Bilmes, in their well-known book "The Three Trillion Dollar War", shows that the long-term costs of the Iraq war will triple the original cost - once you take into account things like veterans disability and medical costs and replacing all the weapons and equipment that get used up.

    Therefore, Obama's estimate of $40 billion for this surge is likely to be way too low. We should not move ahead until we have funded - in advance - the veterans needs and also figured out a way to pay for all this - either by cutting spending somewhere else in the budget or increasing taxes to pay for it.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Humble Citizen

    Whole heartedly I support the Obama administration's decision to send in more troops. If that's what the generals on the ground need, they got to have it. Trust them more than the politicos.

    Mr. Obama's speech was very apt, as a strategy it is wonderful. However, the administrations have been missing the key point here. We have been fighting the smoke and not the fire......

    The fire lies in neighboring Pakistan. The womb of all evils. Administrations after administrations have been showing soft corner for Pakistan for about half a century under disguise of being partner in fight against Soviet earlier and now against Al-Qaida.

    Fellow country men, make no mistake, no amount of resources and bravery will result in desired results unless the evil is uprooted at the base. Al-Qaida was conceived, given birth and nurtured by ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) of Pakistani military – junta.

    I did not hear a stern, words or actions on Pakistan. We can send 30,000 or for that matter 300,000 troops. In the stupid political equation (inequation), we are asking our brave men and women to dance having tied their hands. Can the administration not speak out clearly as candidate Obama said during campaign trail, if necessary we will send in our troops into Pakistan? Whose sovereignty we are trying to honor, when the host country has utter disregard for the rule of law. We have pumped in billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan. Where has it gone? Routed to Taliban / Al-Qaida and fattening the corrupt Pakistani politicians.

    Let's call 'a spade a spade' and get on to root out the evil. It's not just Afghanistan government and corruption but the Pakistani area that needs to be combed and cleared, no matter what is said. No doubt Pakistan is holding the world to ransom, calling itself a 'nuclear power'. Let's tackle it. Let’s raise and think longer and see beyond the smoke.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA and the brave soldiers!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Bpin

    Well, he is a good speaker with the teleprompter. I think his approach is an embarrassment. You are either committed or you are not. If your not, pull all our troops out tonight. If you are, don;t give the enemy details on all of your deadline plans. Here is our president, owning up to the fact that Al Q. has just about abandoned Afgan., say we are still after them, but we are going to fight them through the Taliban? Why not just go after them? Why do we have to fight a religious battle to get to Al Q.? Oh well, I believe BHO nailed the coffin shut tonight on his future. I will not vote for him again. This is change??????

    December 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Bill

    It is really strange, everyone seems to want peace, but no one wants what truly makes peace.

    I hope that everyone will one day finds what makes peace.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Karen

    I wish someone would ask the panel do they think the taliban won't be able to wait however long even IF the president had not set a preliminary timeline? All this "telling the robbers when you are going to stop guarding" business is just political claptrap. Unless they expect us to take up permanent residence, that won't change. For those who wish a total withdrawal, a vacuum suctioning would have nothing on the gigantic whirlpool of power suction that would happen if we completely pulled out tomorrow and then, yes, we would find that region back in our laps in jig time. It has to be tried. At least I feel this president is trying to act in the best interests of accomplishing something to stabalize the region instead of, as with the previous administration, who simply paid attention as long as it looked like the good fight. Once it became the tedious fight, they moved on to their paranoid daddy issues invading Iraq. I felt NO thought was given as to why we were there after about 8 months.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Mary

    How naive for anyone to believe that our military presence can stop the ppl from Afghanistan to end their eternal wars. We Americans are not the police of the world. What in the world are we doing there? Our nation is so divided, we can't even care for our own people, economy, health or job creations, much less are we going to solve political/religious issues in Afghanistan.

    Continuing with this senseless war will add to World Violence. So many innocent lives have died in vain, and so many of those young men and women we all saw tonight will
    become victims of war. I support our troops and families if it is to fight for our country and protect our country, but is our military presence in these regions really accomplishing anything, other than adding to our national debt, and dividing our country further?

    This is a very sad moment in time and I am very disappointed in how "HOPE" has been shattered right in front of our faces tonight on national TV.

    There is not one comment that I've read tonight that gives me any indication that this decision in sending more troops is in our best interest or for the best interest of the world. Mr. Presidnet, violence is not the right answer or best answer. You have the power to rescind this decision and do what is needed and that is to seek Peace, justice and other solutions that do not add to violence. Let's not sacrifice anymore of our troops, please end this war.

    May God help us all.....

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Danny

    Hey to my Canadian allies from this American soldier LOVE, and Respect for guys..... See you on the otherside...... GODSPEED to all ... I am not one to sip Obama's koolaid but as my Commander in Chief I will follow my orders to the best of my ability and perform my duties in the best way i can because to me the most imortant part of deploying again is coming home !!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Andreas Andersen

    I support Obama, i think what he said was true. We need more troops.

    On the broadcast. You forgot Denmark, yes Denmark. We have been in afghanistan since 2002. The danish flag was not on the map AT all. I'm dissapointed, mostly because danes fight in helmand.

    As dane i'm offended.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Jeannine

    Have any of you once put yourselves in the President's shoes? Whether you agree with how he's making lemonade out of lemons or not, you have to acknowledge that the man is trying to work within problems and circumstances that were set in motion before he even thought about running for office. Instead of always being in attack mode for anything the President says or does, why not offer positive and constructive feedback. It will be considered. Whether you know it or not, the President's cabinet and staff monitor all modes of media, social networking and public communication. He will hear you. Everyone in our country is stressed out enough for one reason or another whether it's money, job security, health care or family issues. All of this bickering is just exhaustive and nonsensical. Have you ever thought about the fact that the President is not going to show his hand in a public forum to our enemies (who are listening)? Also, remember that any plans from the White House can and usually do change.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Hospital Corpsman

    I watched President Obama's speech regarding the 30000 troop surge, as well as CNN's coverage of this announcement. The majority of coverage has been so far focused on political gain, economic concern as well as other aspects. Another facet that is explored is the "early" exit strategy. What hasn't been mentioned, is what is about to face the 30 thousand troops in January along with those that are already on the ground. From a military strategy point of view, this will be a drastic change from the current course of action. I have few doubts that at the start of the new year we will be involved in Operation Phantom Fury on steroids. In simple terms an aggressive attempt to use all military assets to essentially break the Taliban will(not their will to fight but moreso their ability to actually maintain their resources to do so). Realistically, I see no other reason to set this timeline. With the Taliban's major advantage in maintaining terror on the Afghan people is economic pressure and bully tactics. With the Taliban focused on holding down their strongholds, they will have little time to wage terror on Afghan villages who are afraid to receive NATO assistance due to fear of punishment from Taliban Forces. The President's speech was vague for a reason. For his audience in West Point understand what this tiimeline means. Essentially the President is telling us troops to "mount up" not in a John Wayne way, but in a way that says "We have been dancing around the obvious solution for too long, let's do this now and move on to the next stage of the process." Some things do not need to be spelled out to all. Those that need to know already do, and anticipate the day when we can look back and say "I did what I had to do, so those next in line won't have to endure the same." Pray for our soldiers, because many talk the talk but at the end we armed forces members have to walk it and unfortunately pay the ultimate price for it.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Lunatic Magnet

    The fact that CNN reported that the British are their only ally in Afghanistan is insulting to the other nations who have been in Afghanistan for over 6 years. Canada has 3000 troops in Afghanistan and has lost 125 of its soldiers. Soldiers from Italy, Germany, Holland etc have all suffered losses there as well.

    Canada's contribution has far outweighed other NATO allies and by all accounts have been doing an excellent job.

    At the same time that Obama's announcement was made, Canadian news agencies were reporting that Canadian troops would be moving north of Kandahar. An area of heavy fighting and instability. This isn't even mentioned by CNN. Instead they spin it as if Canadian troops are already boarding a plane home. It's time that CNN acknowledge that NATO is not simply the United States and Britain and start reporting the news and not this sensationalistic crap.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Debra

    I think Obama has done the best he could do in this situation. He is trying to clean up what GWB started. He can't morally just pull everyone out and leave the poor Afghan people who have exercised no choice in the matter. I think giving an exit date was right and it puts more pressure on the Afghan leadership to clean up their act.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  28. gretchen

    I think that this President has so much to deal with on all fronts. It is impossible to know if this plan for afghnistan will work.But for over eight years we have been there,without a plan or getting any closer to Bin Laden. I think in a perfect world President Obama would just pull out all together,but we all know that this is not a perfect world.I hope and pray that he is right,and that our troops come home safely.We don't want war and did not ask for war,he came into office with this mess on his desk he can not simply ignore it. We support our President and the troops.I beleive that we should go in going bezerck on our enemy hitting those mountains from the top using our airforce driving them down into a trap below.I say since we are there go for broke.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Karen

    I don't understand how anyone could think that this speech would rally all Americans? There is absolutely nothing this president could say or do (or really any president) that will some how make everyone in this country be "on the same side" of any issue. I also don't understand how anyone who voted for Obama is surprised or disappointed. He said over and over that Afghanistan was neglected and turned in to a morass because of Iraq and he was going to pay it attention. I mean, do people not listen? I think the president is totally right and this is ONE reason I voted for him. Apparently I was one of the few who paid attention to what he consistently said on the campaign trail.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  30. nand S

    We can't bring peace and stability in Afganistan unless we get various tribe leaders on our side and locals stop supporting Taliban & Al-qaida.
    Lacking that we need to bombard the big pockets of Taliban.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Tim Hill

    The country (and the world) waited anxiously tonight to hear the President’s new strategy for the war in Afghanistan. After hearing the speech, I cannot help but share in their disappointment. He told the USMA cadets, “I owe you a clearly defined mission that is worthy of your service.” Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t hear such a mission in the speech. He vaguely outlined a three-pronged strategy focused on using the military to reverse the momentum of Al Qaeda, civilian efforts to strengthen the Afghani government, and a building a more effective partnership with Pakistan. While I have never served in Afghanistan and was not involved in any campaign planning, I suspect that these three elements were always a part of the national strategy. The only elements of his strategy that seem “new” are the increase in troop strength and a timeline for withdrawal.

    The President stated that the timeline is necessary to instill a “sense of urgency” in the Afghani government. He correctly identifies the need for stable institutions in Afghanistan and Pakistan as critical to success, but I fail to see how planning to withdraw troops in 18 months will contribute to the achievement of these aims. What he failed to do once again was define the terms “stable” and “success.” How do we expect the situation to be significantly better in 18 months to warrant the withdrawal of the surge troops? What if the situation hasn’t significantly improved? He argued against the proposal to “cut our losses and go home,” but his 18 month timeline suggests that he might be willing to do just that.

    While he reiterated his earlier statements that this war is vital to our national security, his speech was also sprinkled liberally with the usual rhetoric blaming the current state of affairs in Afghanistan on the mismanagement and lack of sufficient focus of the previous administration. It’s interesting that despite alluding to their incompetence, he plans to apply the same strategy that worked in the “unjust” war in Iraq to the “just war” in Afghanistan. I fear that he fails to realize that many of the things that worked in Iraq were due to the unique nature of the country and its people and the political and social climates that were coincidentally present at the time of the surge. We cannot necessarily expect lessons learned in Iraq to be applicable in Afghanistan.

    What we were expecting to hear were specifics on how his strategy is fundamentally different from that of the previous administration and why he expects it to work. In military terms, how is this course of action distinguishable, acceptable, and complete? I appreciate the fact that strategy is typically general in nature, but the lack of detail evident in the speech places military and civilian planners in the difficult position of determining not only what success looks like, but how do we measure it? My take-away from the speech was that we’ve been throwing spaghetti at the wall and it hasn’t stuck, so now we’re going to throw more spaghetti, but only for 18 months.

    Tim Hill
    MAJ, US Army

    The views expressed in this entry are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  32. marie josee

    This is for Michael Ware. Did you miss the HUGE Canadian flag below the line that you were showing about the most dangerous fighting in Afghannistan? In Kandahar? It must not have been big enough....My goodness – was it a Canadian flag – are there Canadians in Afghanistan? For your information, there are not only American troops in "the most dangerous area" – we have been in Kandahar since 2001 approximately – and have lost more soldiers per capita than any other nation.

    I must say I am also shocked by the ignorance of Senator Graham and his comment about the combat abilities of the NATO troops – wow! That will really bring them on board.

    It is interesting that President Obama is following what Canada has said it will do. We committed in 2007 to stay in Afghanistan for another four years. We will be withdrawing our combat troops in 2011....but will continue with "humanitarian" assistance.

    Thank you.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Tim Bitts

    Afghanistan is now President Obama's war. The left constantly criticized President Bush as incompetent. President Bush won HIS war. Will President Obama?

    December 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Andreas

    Hello everyone, my name is Andreas and i'm from DENMARK, yes DENMARK, the country YOU cnn, forgort to mention on your map.

    As a soldier of Denmark i'm deeply offended by this, i cant belive how sad this made me.
    And Denmark is fighting in helman, the most hardcore place in afghanistan.

    Danish soldiers dies, and you dont even care to do your homework and mention them.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Bob

    The comment about the political implication of President Obama beginning the troop pullout in '11; I heard that differently. While I concede a possible political purpose, what I understood Mr. Obama as saying is that he intends to end this on his watch. As has been noted, in making this speach, Mr. Obama assumes responsiblity for the conduct of the war. In my hearing of his words he is both accepting it, taking ownership of it by making his decisions about it's conduct. He is also accepting responsiblity for it by declaring that, while this war is among the problems he inherited from past administrations (extending beyond President Bush), he does not intend to pass it on to his successor.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Conor Power

    Hello America, Canadians serve side by side with our American brothers in arms, having been in Afghanistan since 2002, Canadians have shed much blood fighting for Afghan freedom. Although the Afghan war is sometimes called an english war (United States, England, Canada, Australia) we mustn't forget the efforts of French Canadians from la belle province de Quebec (EH? ;). Canadians are proud to serve with Americans in Kandahar. GOD BLESS THE USA

    December 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Don G

    I think Michael Ware should be told that his "this is an American war" attitude is exactly what President Obama does not want Americans to have. The President understands that the NATO allies are a critical component to Afghan war. Mr. Ware implied in his description of the Afghan war that all of the hard fighting is being done by Americans in the Southern part of Afghanistan. Remember Mr. Ware, Canada has been the primary force in the most violent part of the Afghan war, the Kandahar region, for far longer than the Americans. Just like Canada was in WWI and WWII for years before the Americans entered either conflict. Despite Canada's smaller population, our country has sent thousands of men and women to fight along side Americans and they have performed admirably. Just because self-promotion is not in our nature does not mean that Canadians need to be omitted in the discussion of the Afghan war.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Jason from California

    I voted for Obama in the last election, and I have to admit, I actually do like the fact that he is willing to increase more troops to Afghanistan with a timetable. I believe in taking responsibility for our action, we created the mess in Afghanistan by leaving the troop level as it is and let it go bad, so is it a right thing for us to just leave when the situation go bad and say it ain't our problem? Do people stop taking care of their kids when their kids are doing bad, and say it is not my fault the kids are bad, its other reasons? This is a moral boost to the troops oversea, since it gives them an idea of when they can go home (relatively); put the ball into Afghanistan's government by forcing them to stop dragging their feet and get the situation under control, since we told them when the US troops will be gone; and show the world that United States do take responsibility for what we have done.

    Also, when people say there's no way to create a modern government within three years, don't forget, we don't need a nation that have high-speed internet, skyscraper in the city, things that we take as modern. What we need to build is a nation that can stand on its feet and remain stable enough to it can solve its own problem. Case in point, just look at Iraq, after the Surge and the subsequent training of Iraqi troops and other improvements (including a timetable for withdrawal), the situation in Iraq did improve, because Iraqi know that they have to be responsible for their nation after our withdraw. Afghan government and its citizen did not have that urgency to fix its problem, but with this timetable, hopefully Afghan leadership and its people will realize they have to take more responsibility of their nation.

    In the end, before we condemn this decision as a bad one or whatnot, let time be the judge of this policy, and we should look at this decision 6 months to a year from now, and we will see something completely different.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Antonio

    We should remember that the US has a history of fighting many wrong wars and helping dictators all over the world. Where is the moral authority to fight this one? I wished Obama had spent a little more time in explaining that, other than mentioning 911. Besides, most of the 911 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Mammy

    IMPORTANT REMINDER:
    You have mentionned on your broadcast tonight members of Nato who are fighting in Afghanistan. But you forgot an important member, your neighbor CANADA. We have lost more than 125 men and women who have died since the beginning of the war.
    Please dont forget them.
    Thanks

    December 1, 2009 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  41. fldiver

    Who is Obama kidding? This troop deployment is not going to do anything towards defeating the Taliban. You cannot defeat an ideology with force. Obama is just sending more Americans into an unwinnable situation. What we need to do is find a political solution to end the violence in Afghanistan. Bring all the warlords together and find a common ground with which they can live with. Obama is going to find that he has made a great mistake to use more force in this situation rather than use diplomacy. Remember Theodore Roosevelt "Speak softly but carry a big stick". Use diplomacy first, force as a last resort. We have done the opposite in Afghanistan and Iraq and we are paying a high price for that error. History always repeats itself and this will turn into another Vietnam if Obama continues to follow his current strategy. The results will also be the same. Thousands of Americans lost for political gains. How many American mothers are going to have to put a Gold Star in their windows before Obama and the warhawks get the message?

    December 1, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Kirk

    While I think it is technologically fascinating to have instant information, I think it makes it very difficult to run our nation. Unlike WWII, today everything our nation does or plans to do is broadcast to our enemies, and all changes are instantly broadcast too. Have we taken the distribution of information a little too far.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  43. John

    The problem with the Afghan war is that our troops are fighting without air support. Air strikes of any kind are now not allowed under the current rules of engagement. The fighters and choppers circle overhead but cannot drop bombs or srtife the bad guys for fear of collateral damage. Without close air support, how can our guys on the ground fight an effective war? Civilians will die, the bad guys are counting on that and that is why they surround themselves with civilians. It is impossible to not kill civilians. If you want to win, unfortunately tough decisions will have to be made, but it should not be made to the detriment of our guys on the ground. Especially in mountainous areas.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Niels Jespersen

    following my earlier e-mail re. totally missing the danish flag / presence – just f.y.i. Denmark is the country that has lost the most soldiers in the war – relative to the population.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Ahmad Zubairi

    I support a brief surge but President missed a huge point that this is a regional war with players like India,Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, mabe even China and Russia. Unless it is treated as such and unless Pakistan and India made to feel more secure in the region this war will never end. These two will continue to wield their influence. Only CNN's Michael Ware seems to acknowledge it and that is the absolute truth.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  46. SM

    President Obama has made that fateful decision very similar to what the Soviet politburo made in December 1979. We are headed down a slippery slope where there is no victory for US forces. Afghanistan is no Iraq and this area is known in history as the graveyard of empires.

    As for the President's claim that the Taliban are on the verge of capturing Pakistani nukes, it is total hogwash. President Obama is making the same mistake as President Bush made with his high claims of Saddam's WMD.

    It is high time the American people understood what is happening and wake up to the reality, not the concoction dreamed up by the guys in DC.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  47. K. L. Fox

    I have watched President and candidate Obama since the primaries. We all know how elequent he is and he could sell ice in Alaska. President Obama is a thoughtful, sincere, and intelligent man and you Americans should consider yourselves extremely lucky to have him as your leader.
    I just watched his speech about the situation in Afghanistan, and of course, he is absolutely right. You cannot leave these poor people on their own now, not after 8 years of promises. Remember, Pres. Obama has only been in office for about 10 months, and he has to correct the last 8 years in Afghanistan. Not only does he need the support of the American people, but also, the support of the entire free world. Unless his own citizens back him and the troops, how will the rest of the world take anything the US does seriously? Smarten up USA and stand up for what's morally right, now what's politically motivated as so many do in Washington.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  48. theman551

    We need to bring our boys home...

    December 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Bobalink

    winning in Afghanistan is defined by me as killing osama bin laden or completely wiping out the taliban so they can not regroup, whichever occurs first

    December 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Warratah59

    It is an interesting time indeed for us now to witness what has transpired and is,at this very moment. Structuring future global foreign policy in Afghanistan,which is to be announced not only for the US but to the rest of the world from Westpoint instead of the Oval Office. The question that is hanging in the air is, will both of this will be the platform to the future, the strategy'To surge or 'To exit. One of the answer probably the announcement that is coming from Westpoint. Is it Obamas conviction and principle will be delivered, we shall see.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  51. hawlwood

    It is not our business to try and fix everyone else in this world. We need to fix ourselves first.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Andy Davis

    Is our fight with the Taliban, a local issue to Afghanistan & Pakistan, or with Al-Qaeda, an international organization which has declared war on the U.S. and all "infidels" and has repeatedly carried out terrorists acts killing thousands of Muslims and non'Muslims throughout the world. I suggest the root of the probl...em is the funding & terrorist voluteers Al-Qaeda receives from Saudi Arabia. How many of the 911 hijackers were Saudis? We need to cut off the funding and recruits supplied by the Saudis before Al-Qaeda can be truly defeated. Without funding for weapons and pay-offs to local chieftians much of Al-Qaeda's support and ability to wage war would be eliminated. Mr. President, are you politically brave enough to demand the Saudi Monarchy take the necessary actions required? Your predecessor was not.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  53. hawlwood

    I thought he was going to END these ridiculous war games in iraq and afgan when he became president. WHAT THE H*** HAPPENED!!! Aren't there more important problems here in this country right now.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Aziz H

    Well, I guess its pretty hard to say the right sentence about Afghanistan. we do have a strong partner helping us, the US. but our country itself and the governors of this country are not really ready to start a fright against the terrorists and Alkahida.
    I guess President Obama should have really seriously talked with president Hamed Karzai and tell him what his expectations are from him.
    I don't think that we will come far from where we are until 2011.
    Afghanistan has been a Land of war always and it will always be.

    The country must stay on it self. Money is not bringing anything anyways. even for me as an Afghanistan its hard to see Troops dying there and for what?

    For me as a refugee living in Europe it makes me pretty mad to see all these things happening in my country.

    President Obama must give him(Karzai) sanctions and tell him that he should stop his corrupted people and renew their posts.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Dave

    Y Can't everyone live in peace and invest money in more important things than fight each other ... There is a whole other universe out there to explore ... There are discoveries and researches to be made in BioFuel ... Reduce the Pollution ... Ohh man, this is just stupid ...

    December 1, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  56. socal

    Afghanistan should have been the priority during the Bush administration. Our military has been asked too much, too long; the opportunity in Afghanistan has passed,...thx George

    December 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Danielle

    I would like to remind CNN that although on several occasions, it has been said that the only allies in Afghanistan are the Brits. Please correct this, Canada has been serving in Afghanistan for over 6 years, alongside US and British soldiers as well as a host of other NATO allies. Many of those allies, including Canada are dealing with the public opinion concerns, especially as our men and women and uniform are being killed or injured.

    I submit, President Obama is forced to play the hand he has been dealt. The engagement in afghanistan began before he took office. He must now ensure that the US fulfil their commitment to the Afghan people and develop the best course of action to ensure the original objectives to bring stability and peace to region are accomplished.

    Bon courage Mr. Obama.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  58. WillieD

    3 years from now is more than 3 years too late. We didn't learn from Vietnam, we didn't learn from Russia's experience in Afghanistan and maybe we'll never learn. Exactly when are we supposed to get the "change" that Obama promised?

    December 1, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  59. JamesNJ

    We can go through all the same arguments we've heard for years, but for me it comes down to a few, the most important of which is, we're doing this to make the world safe. If the ENTIRE world doesn't pitch in as far as troops and dollars, then we should get out now, secure our country with the money we'd be saving, and... let the world pay the consequences once we leave.

    December 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  60. sylis

    YEAH IT WILL NEVER WORK JUST LIKE IN IRAQ I MEAN WEVE BEEN SAYING IT OVER THERE THAT WE SHOULD GET OUT NOW.....WHAT IS THAT OH WE ARE WINNING IN IRAQ OHHH AWKWARDDD. I MEAN WELL WE DEFINITELY SHOULDNT SUPPORT THE TROOPS AND THOSE WHO ARE OUR MILITARY LEADERS ON WHAT TO DO CAUSE I MEAN WE KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS THAN THEY DO. CAUSE AMERICA IS HORRIBLE AND WE ARE OPPRESSOR'S WHY CANT WE BE MORE LIKE EUROPE .......OH WHAT'S THAT EUROPE IS MORE RACIST, DISCRIMINATIVE AND PREJUDICED TOWARDS MINORITIES THAN AMERICA EVER HAS BEEN, OH BUT WELL YOU KNOW WE SHOULD BE A SOCIALIST SOCIETY CAUSE I WANT EVERYONE TO BE EQUAL AND HAVE THE SAME THINGS ......WELL NO NOT ME I STILL WANT TO HAVE NEW AND STYLISH CLOTHES AND I WANT A HIP NEW CAR EVERY YEAR AND I WANT EVERYTHING I WANT, WELL YEAH I DONT WANT THE SAME AS EVERYBODY ELSE I MEAN COME ON I NEED MY I PHONE YA'LLLL

    December 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  61. mytabloids

    Strip away everything else and you get down to this; it is possible in three years to create a modern, moderate, well-trained, self-aware and non-corrupt government in the empty vessel that is Afghanistan?

    No. This will not work. And putting an exit strategy in place at the outset doesn't change that. All it does is give Obama political cover...

    December 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Asif

    I believe by sending more troops Obama is making the same mistakes as Bush did by starting this war. At that time Al-Qaida was US enemy now Al-Qaida + taliban are US enemy. By sending more troops results in whole Afghanistan + al-qaida + Pakistani taiban becomes US enemy. I think from very beginning US should go after Al-Qaida. US has technology, very good army to fight gorila-war. Showing your presence in Afghanistan only increase hate-rage against west, Opt gorila-war use drones was the best option.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  63. josé

    Bad, Bad Idea...

    Obama will regreat having caved in to the pressure of the military industrial complex that does not accept the end of the huge expenditures in hardware and services...

    Americans are hated and are not accomplishing anything there, more than filling coffins with the bodies of young americans, and building an image comparable to the worst examples of the 20th Century.

    The people of Afghanistan does not deserve it. The people of America does not deserve it. Mankind does not deserve it.

    Stop the killing!

    December 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Andy

    Being a member of the military myself, I do believe it is important what we are doing, however I believe putting a 3 year time table is the wrong answer. I understand the importance of the time table, but I think a time table is something that should be left on the administrative and military side in case it needs to be adjusted due to on the ground circumstances. It should not be public knowledge. Now the terrorists, extremists, NATO, Americans, and other global powers with vested interests have a hard deadline in mind. We will look like fools if the time table is not met or even bigger fools if we leave before the area is stable enough to support itself.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  65. soldier

    Adding more troops Will help the mission in OEF. However the way soldiers are forced to fight it is almost impossible to achieve the goals set for us. Majority Soldiers out on missions are tayght to killl. Soldiers are not trained to be ambasadors or policeman. Also the rules of engagement That is put out by the higher ups makes it too dangerous to fight this type of war. Higher ups have to relize that afghanstahn and iraq is not america, so they cannot expect all our ways of thinking to work in these areas. People from these areas that we live in only respect action and violance. They dont care about us wanting to win their hearts and minds. Because at the end of the day when the soldiers go back home, and the enemy comes back to their neigborhood. all that matters is that we are an outside force and in their country and will be treated as infedels.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  66. maria h

    WE URGE THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS TO STOP MILITARY ESCALATION IN AFGHANISTAN AND TO BRING OUR TROOPS HOME, TO FOCUS MORE ON DOMESTIC ISSUES AND LET AFGHAN GOVERNMENT DEAL WITH ITS OWN DOMESTIC PROBLEMS

    PLEASE NO MORE WARS!!
    SAVE AMERICAN LIVES!!
    NO MORE MILITARY ESCALATION AND BRING OR TROOPS HOME! NO MORE WARS! AMERICANS ARE SUFFERING! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    December 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Bpin

    First of all, why does BHO have to go to West Point to make this speech? Because he is a rock star. Robert Gibbs can only clap and screan so loud in the WH.

    Next, why is BHO promising to be out in 3 years when he knows we will not be? Note that he put the date shortly after the next election. Did he not promse to end the war in Iraq? Oh yeah. Ending the war means bringing a few troops home so if we bring 100 out of 100,000 home, we have ended it.

    Finally, why are we even in Afgan.? GWB started this worthless effort, and in the campaign BHO spoke out about the Iraq war, labeled it as GWB's war, and then adopted the Afgan. war as his. So we had a lame duck president and a new bold one comparing........well you know, while servicemen were and are still dying. The Afgan. war is nothing but a religious war between two different factions of Islam. We do not need to be there. We have enough problems in our own country. If we want Al Q., let's go after them and stop playing ploitics with our young men's lives.

    Get out of both places, today. Leave no American serviceman behind. We have had it with political wars!!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Martin

    I voted for President Obama because I strongly believed that he would end all of that Bush nonsense. It's a year later and things are the same, but the war has gotten worse. I close my eyes and imagine that I am the President and I ask all to leave my office so I can think. I know that no matter how many bad guys and innocent people we kill, nothing will change in Afghanistan nor in the Middle East. So, I have a decission to make – do I kill thousands more and spend my American People's money in order to continue something that that idiot Bush started? NO. I get on the phone and tell Pentagon to withdraw all troops within 60 days. I don't care if ANYONE likes it or not. It is my decission, because my GREAT Americans put me in this chair for that. Elections are 3 years away, I already made up my mind – my next Presidential vote will NOT go to Mr. Obama. He has done the exact same thing Bush would have done and I can't stand for that... To have so much potential and to come up so short is a mistery to me...

    December 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  69. LUCILLE Edmonton, Canada

    RATHER THAN SEND ALL THOSE CLEAN CUT YOUNG AMERICANS INTO THAT GOD-FORSAKEN PLACE JUST HOPEFULLY TO TRAIN THEM–INSTEAD SINCE YOU'RE CLOSING GUATANAMO ANYWAY, WHY LEAVE IT EMPTY? USE IT AS A TRAINING BASE FOR AFGHANINIS-WELL SECURED OF COURSE.

    YOU MIGHT ACCOMPLISH MORE, AT LESS COST AND POSSIBLY LET THEM GET A SMALL LOOK AT WHAT CIVILIZATION CAN BE.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  70. waste of a war

    I DONT THINK THAT WE SHOULD HAVE TO PUT MORE TROOPS IN AND MORE MONEY WERE ARE THE PEOPLE GOING TO GET MORE TAXES TO PAY WHEN HALF THE COUNTRY IN NOT WORKING WE NEED TO LET THE AFGAN.PEOPLE TAKE CARE OF THERE OWN ..........AND STOP GETTING A FREE RIDE WE GOT MORE PROBLEMS TO HANDLE AT HOME

    December 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  71. JoeDuck

    Without a lot more of the "secret" military information – threat assessments, probabilities, estimates of deaths, it's not reasonable to evaluate the complex military strategies of Obama or GW Bush. It is odd to me how people who argued Bush was a "war monger" now seem comfortable with Obama's similar directions. It's as if they are more interested in how we talk about war than how we prosecute these wars.

    Lost in the details of the strategies is the calculation that addresses the single most important concern – do the benefits of US security and help to the Afghans outweigh the losses they and we will endure over the next three years? I can't second guess our leaders on this, but I'd sure like to see the numbers.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Stephanie

    I really hope that our troops can come home soon. And hopefully not to many die in the process.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Paul

    Welcome to the "30-year war" and re-instatement of general draft soon. The approximately 250,000 U.S. troops in the geographical region spanning Iraq and Afghanistan will have less to do with the few hundred terrorists left in AfPak and more with the long-term strategy to gain a foothold in the region to manage the Pakistan and Iran nuclear issues.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Jeffrey

    I cannot send men to there death and sit at home while they are dying , I worry myself about getting alot of troops in and around one position and Iran sends a nuclear weapon amongst our troops , we know these countries do not like Americans why are we in there wars , yes America wanted revenge for 911 why do we feel death will justify more death,
    I see alot of people that are saying send more troops how can a person blogging on web sites send men to there possible death , so when you say send more troops , think of whats the worst that can happen we will be in Iraq, Afganistan, helping control Pakistan and it still looks like Iran before this War could end , I do not see an end to this only death to Americans and the Arabic countries.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Steve

    It is simply NOT our job, nor the charge of our military, to build nation-states out of traditionally tribal regions that have ZERO history of a strong central government, much less a democratic one. We HAVE NO strategic military mission in this land. There is NO threat to our national security from this land that is worth these billions upon billions of dollars that we do not have, and certainly not worth the lives we will lose. More troops will just create more animosity, more cost, more death and injury. THIS IS INSANE. I was a very strong Obama supporter, but now I must not be silent. I will urge all of Congress to stand up to the President and NOT PAY for this fiasco.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  76. ROBERT ROBINSON

    THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN WILL NOT BE SOLVED BY ADDING MORE TROOPS NO MATTER WHO SENDS THEM IN, IN THE END THE ONLY THING THAT WILL BE LEFT IS THE DEBT WE WILL ALL BE PAYING, THE PROBLEM WITH THAT ENTIRE AREA WHICH INCLUDES IRAN IS THAT THE WAR WILL NOT STOP IN AFGHANISTAN IT WILL GO ACROSS ALL BORDERS UNTIL IT HITS ISREAL AND THAN IT WILL BE ALL OVER FOR THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.
    THE GROUPS THAT FALL INTO WHAT CALLED TERRIORIST FOLLOWERS WILL NOT REST UNTIL THEY HAVE PULLED THE WORLD AS A WHOLE INTO WORLD WAR THREE AND THIS IS NOT AS FAR OFF AS IT SEEMS. WE AS A NATION OF AMERICANS NEED TO TAKE A STAND IN A RESPECFULL WAY AND TELL WASHINGTON ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WE CANNOT SOLVE THE WORLDS PROBLEMS, WE HAVE ENOUGH OF OUR OWN TO SOLVE I.E. UNEMPLOYMENT, HOMELESS CHILDREN, DRUGS AND SO, WE HAVE TO CLEAN UP OUR YARD BEFORE WE GO ELSEWHERE TRYING TO CLEAN UP OTHER MISSES, IT IS TIME AMERICA GETS BACK TO BASICS AND THAT MEANS LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT ANSWERS FROM ABOVE

    December 1, 2009 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  77. Barnacle Bill

    We haven't fought a war worth fighting since I was born (Aug '45). This is another waste of lives and money. We can't and shouldn't try to be the world's policeman. We don't have the moral authority to tell others how to live. (Our country was founded on slavery, nicotine, and alcohol after we inadvertently wiped out the natives with cowpox & small pox. We may have improved, yet we now have guns and pollution as major exports. Let's fix our own house first.) I don't understand, and never have, why killing others is so attractive to my fellow citizens – we just don't stop.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  78. Jim

    I believe our being in Afghanistan is worth it because the people there, on the whole, really seem to want a modern state. But it is tricky in the extreme. Somehow, ideas for a modern state must be reconciled with the idea of theocracy for theocracy is built right in to the fabric of the Muslim religion. I find it interesting that Islam was revealed during a time in history when Christianity was itself experimenting with being a theocracy, something that the Gospel being against is a fair interpretation. I know how repugnant the idea of theocracy is to our modern notions of religeous freedom. Historically, Islam, interestingly enough, has a much better track record on systemic religious tolerance than Christianity does. I know there are people in the state department who can see what I'm talking about. I believe these things are possible.

    As far as our being in Afghanistan is part of the war on terror, it is clear that the U.S. must do all it can to resolve the sources of extremism such as the Arab/Israeli conflict and American greed for Middle East oil.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |