December 1st, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Around The Web: Some increase troops, but Canada withdraws

 A round-up of news and commentaries from CNN as well as other media and Web sites.

The United States is adding 30,000 troops to the Afghanistan theater in the next six months, according to White House sources, and expects its allies will also send more forces to the war zone.

The new  U.S. troops will be sent into Helmand and Kandahar provinces to help reduce open battle spaces, CNN’s Mike Mount and Larry Shaughnessy explain. The first troops will come from Camp Lejeune, a Marine base in North Carolina.

The top U.S. general in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, had asked for an increase of 40,000 war fighters. The Washington Post reports that President Obama will ask NATO to send 5,000 more troops, a figure that would nearly make up some of the difference between McChrystal’s request and Obama’s order.

The Post also reports that the president “began a carefully orchestrated strategy rollout,” by calling leaders of the U.S.’s major allies.

On Monday, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown said his nation would ship 500 more troops, bringing the British contingent in Afghanistan to more than 10,000 troops.

One country Obama didn’t call was Canada. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was to deliver the news to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, according to the Globe and Mail.

Canada is set to withdraw its 3,000 troops with 18 months, the paper says.  "I don't sense a desire on the part of any party to extend the military mission," Harper said this past weekend, according to the paper.  FULL POST

December 1st, 2009
11:16 AM ET

The battle for Afghan hearts and minds

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - "Why are the Americans in our land? What can I say, we are powerless" - The words of an Afghan farmer, Khan Mohmad, who fled war-torn Helmand province, leaving his land behind and finding refuge in a dreary camp on the outskirts of Kabul.

He's not the only one discontent and scared of America's intentions when it comes to the war in Afghanistan.

"The Americans are bringing us devastation, they are not helping. If they were helping us, then why are there 770 displaced families freezing in this camp?" says Juma Khan.

In Kabul, you sometimes get a different Afghan perspective. Many here say that they welcome the international community's efforts and a possible troop increase. They say their country is not ready to do it on its own.

Read more perspectives from the Afghan people by CNN correspondent Atia Abawi in Afghanistan

December 1st, 2009
10:58 AM ET

The supply challenges of deploying

From CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence, who recently returned to the U.S. from Afghanistan: A few weeks ago, I spoke with several soldiers who said their supplies did not arrive ahead of them during this latest deployment – that they had to work a few months before all their supplies caught up to them. And that was a much smaller deployment than the 30,000 coming next year.

December 1st, 2009
10:40 AM ET

Barbara Starr inside the Pentagon

From CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr: Army officials are concerned this deployment will in fact delay the ability to ensure all troops get two years at home between deployments. The goal was to make that happen by 2011 … that could now be delayed, a senior Army official tells me. But the Army will ensure, he says, no more extended 15 month tours, and no "stop loss."

December 1st, 2009
08:44 AM ET

From the AC360° archives

CNN's Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Michael Ware reported from the front lines of the war in Afghanistan in September about how troops are battling insurgents in the region. Explore an archive of their reports, including a patrol with Marines in Helmand Province.

Post by:
Filed under: Behind the Scenes • Decision: Afghanistan • Taliban • Troops
December 1st, 2009
07:27 AM ET

Muslim-American soldier's stance on Afghanistan

Sgt. Ayman Kafel joined the military after the September 11 attacks, and served in the Iraq War. He says that his experience has shown him the "goodness of the Arab service member and his/her contributions to the war and to the country. ... I will always continue my service to this country and the citizens of this country."
CNN.com asked Kafel for his view on America's role in Afghanistan.

Post by:
Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan • Your View
December 1st, 2009
12:03 AM ET

Crossroads of history

Macedonian-born Alexander the Great led his armies through Persia and Afghanistan around 330 B.C. While Greek rule continued for the next two centuries, civil unrest and revolts were common. And in 1273, explorer Marco Polo crossed northern Afghanistan on his voyage from Italy to China. Soon, the nation became a critical, if dangerous, stop on the "Silk Route," an ancient trade route that linked Rome and China.

As the United States and other countries plan to send more troops to Afghanistan, take a look at some of the struggles in the history of this ancient land, where war and economic upheaval are nothing new.

Explore the different historic events that have made Afghanistan a crossroads of history.