February 15th, 2010
07:41 AM ET

Operation Moshtarak so far

NATO troops in Afghanistan launched their biggest offensive of the war early Saturday Afghanistan-time (Friday ET), attacking what they call the last Taliban stronghold in Marjah, in the war-scarred southern province of Helmand.

Get up to speed with some of the highlights leading up to the offensive and the days after, below.  (Or read all posts about Operation Moshtarak)

Monday, February 8
Worst-kept secret of the war in Afghanistan
It’s the worst kept secret of the Afghan war and is expected to be the largest NATO operation since the war began in 2001. Military officials have been saying for months the next major battle would be in Marjah. And still today, the voices are more abundant and even louder on the impending battle.
Related: Why is the military publicizing its upcoming operations in Afghanistan? | More about Marjah Q&A: Why Marjah, why now?

Tuesday, February 9
Generals rally troops for Operation Moshtarak

Friday, February 12
Military: Leaflet drop warning a prelude to major Afghan battle

Friday, February 12
NATO troops launch major Afghanistan offensive | More about Operation Moshtarak

Saturday, February 13
Day 1: 'So far, so good' in Marjah | Video inside Marjah, day 1

Sunday, February 14
Civilians killed as Moshtarak enters 2nd tough day | Video inside Marjah, day 2

Monday, February 15
Afghan officials: Taliban resistance waning

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Filed under: Operation Moshtarak
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Mammad

    Dear CNN
    i am very disapointed of who ever wrote about silk road history. if you dont like Islamic Rep of Iran doesnt mean you can deny the greath history of Persian empier, if you dont know the history of silk road it go back to Persian not a Greck or Roman besid Afghanestan got seprated form Iran during the British running the India. Alexcader the Great came to persia arround 560 B.C. so there was only Persia border by China and Persian build that road, so next time have your reporter take some history classes about Greath Persian Empier called Hakhamaneshian and thier King was the Syrus the Greath who brought for the first human right which is right in front the United Nation. Alexsader never could rule the Persia but he bright to Europe how to rule goverment and learn so much from Persian that he never want to go back to his home land!
    please stop these nonsence article at least check with Amonpour who used to be my naighbor in Tehran. God Bless America and all our trope.
    thank you
    Mammad

    February 26, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Emily U.

    Who cares if you agree or disagree. WE ARE in a war WE ARE America and claim to be the best place to live but do not stand behind those who are risking thier lives to keep us from terror, Yes i understand we are free to believe what we want but shouldnt people be glad we have the military to protect us when we need it, shouldnt we be glad we have people that are willing to risk their lives everyday for months and months??? I dont know maybe im wrong but it just doesnt add up to me. People are ungreatful and could care less if someone dies to help them or someone else and its because we are America and take things for granted.I personaly dont agree with war i believe that there are better ways to handle things BUT if there is no other way and it must result in war than so be it. Be quite and stand behing your country that you "love".....

    -You can thank my husband who is in Afghanistan as we speak

    February 20, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Alex

    Be it war or peace, indifference is always present. Support is necessary. But how when so many disagree?

    In order for a "whole" to function properly, each "part" is required to function properly. Fighting the war on terroism is a "part" necessary for the "whole" of this nation and world to successfully function. Support our Troops and miiltary families, in turn you will support the better of our nation and yourself : )

    February 17, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Devis Sri lanka

    Re: Jason ..you must write often to CNN. wake up the whole nation Rebuild America and get rid of enemy.we are finally breathing free because we defeated the enemy after 28 years of war. US can do even a better jobnot within 28years but very less time than that..I agree with you as the economy is getting bad and the enemy is happy about it. But we cant have a enemy either and have fear in day to day life. yOU ARE CORRCT USA cant be and cnt be every where fighting terrorist every day. yet US did well in Iraq. with every day prayers palestine and Isreal is better now.within Few more months last battle will give the enemy its final doze. Believe in your dream. see you are wining .Be positive. few more months.....

    February 16, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Devis Sri lanka

    Re:David What you say is true. Yet ..at the same time no one can forget the threat US had and it is mostly controlled now. It i good to finish the job completely and then build up again with the money us can save from withdrawing troops from where their service is less demanding. praying daily to see this dream come true and it will.I have been to US many times and I want uUSA to gain back all what they have lost due to terrorist attacks. We want the same here in Sri lanka. We are recovering now and I wish same for USA as they deserve it for their dedication in defending terrorists all over the world.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John

    For several years now I have read and heard quotes from the "arm chair critics" about the pros and cons of war. Most of you haven't seen a street fight let alone combat. We had the same thing during Nam. However, what you all do not have now is forced military draft which would make you get off your backside and really think about war.
    My generation had no choice when our number came up unless we wanted to run to Canada. Perhaps that is what we now need to relieve our troops who are being forced to go over 2-3 times. Maybe your children need a draft card to get your damn attention?

    February 16, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. jason

    if u aint over here shut up my fellow marines died in the past two weeks cause of this we here get over it

    February 16, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Anthony

    Dear Rick Indiana,
    It is obvious you don't understand the language most foreign-born US citizens speak-hardwork and going to school to better their lot in life. What proof do you have that every immigrant gets free education in this country?
    Please stop the xenophobia, go to school and leave the hardworking "foreigners" alone. We're talking about parasites who milk the system while everyone suffers. I am a registered Democrat but CANNOT stand some acquaintances who choose to live off welfare while Nam and I get up everyday and work harder.
    I, too, worked hard, got 2 college degrees and own a nice house without every touching welfare money!
    Long live the American dream!
    Long Live all hardworking newly-arrived immigrants and Naturalized Americans!
    Long Live the US of A!
    I love my new country!

    February 15, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KB NC

    We absolutely must defeat the Taliban and stabilize the region or we can expect more terrorism and perhaps another 911 magnitude attack. Mr. Trainer, I recall the devastating impact that 911 had on our economy, and yet you cite economic concerns as a reason for pulling out!? You equate homeland defense to heathcare!? Are you serious?! How can you propose that we accept anything less than victory? Then what – let the terrorist have Europe also!? Why don't we just hand America over now and save them the trouble of having to fight for it! Let's all convert to Islam and let Osama Bin Laden be our dictator. I think you're a disgrace to the Air Force and also to all of the troops fighting the wars that you seem to be so against. I won't ever forget 911 and I'll teach my children and grandchildren not to forget also. WAKE UP America. We're at war and our way of life is very much at stake. We just had another attempted terrorist attack a few weeks ago. Don't let the Harold Trainers of the world convince you to surrender or ever stop fighting for the freedom we cherish. Mr. Trainer, why don't YOU move to Afganistan or Iraq and or anywhere else but here since I think you seem to be more aligned with the enemy.

    February 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SamRam

    War is always HELL!! Remember our fathers and grandfathers had to drop bombs on Hiroshimo, Japan and a few weeks later on Nagasaki, Japan that killed somewhere around 150,000 to 250,000 people to end a WAR. We all lose when anyone on the planet dies before they have the opportunity to make their contribution to their family or to society. We could have done much more with our blood and tax dollars during the last eight years if the people who attacked us – and cut short the lives of thousands of men, women, children and infants – were not allowed to take refuge in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the words of Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start the Fire."

    *******************************************************************************************

    "As with the estimates of deaths at Hiroshima, it will never be known for certain how many people died as a result of the atomic attack on Nagasaki. The best estimate is 40,000 people died initially, with 60,000 more injured. By January 1946, the number of deaths probably approached 70,000, with perhaps ultimately twice that number dead total within five years. For those areas of Nagasaki affected by the explosion, the death rate was comparable to that at Hiroshima."

    February 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Samuel

    I support the War in Afghanistan and all of the other parts of the wider Operation Enduring Freedom because I still cannot forget the horror, rage, and sadness of watching almost 3,000 American civilians die before my eyes. I find it shocking that the majority of Americans do not support the War on Terror because the same people who planned the 9/11 attacks are still at large, and at this very moment are planning anonther attack on U.S. soil. Don't confuse Afghanistan with Iraq, and especially don't confuse it as a political issue. this war is as much one of neccecity as World War 2 and despite what the average American might believe, has nothing to do with Bush, Obama, Democrats, Republicans,the Reccesion, or health care. This only has to do with the hatred of people who would love to see all Americans, no matter what age or political affiliation, burn alive. I personally cannot stand for people like this to survive and I would sacrifice my own life in Afghanistan before I see the lives of my countrymen sacrificed.

    February 15, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. HADO

    As a Vietnam veteran ,It's sad to see that our youth is still being misused by our so called patriotic leaders. Common sense dictates you do not fight terrorists by invading countries. Having the best intelligence and using special forces.surgical strikes,and limited effective actions should be the way to go.

    February 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rick Indiana

    Dear Nam....Lets see you got your education for free and Government loans for 1% for all those houses. Something US citizens are not entitled to.

    February 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DaNiMaL

    Just in case everyone forgot... The 9/11 attacks were conceived & born in Afghanistan (in Al Qaida base-camps)... Why did they originate from there? Because, the environment supported their development (the Islamic-fundamentalist Taliban regime, the relatively weak nationwide governance and real lawless nature of the place, the proximity to like-minded and supporting regimes in the region [Pakistan], etc.)

    Why did we invade Afghanistan with the full-support of the UNSC & international community (which occurred completely separately from the Iraq-invasion... so don't lump it all together...)? Because the UN & IC understand the importance of establishing a strong & legitimate central government in Afghanistan to provide security, governance, & basic services to the Afghan people whom have endured three decades of violence and poverty, and who could care less about fundamentalist ideologies.

    Why have we been there for 8 years with little success? It has nothing to do with Iraq... again, completely separate. The real problem lies with the structure, strategy, and continuity within the UN Assistance Mission (UNAMA) and ISAF.

    Imagine the problems involved with consolidating the command of troops from several countries, none of which want to cede their sovereign control of their armed forces. ISAF had 3-4 commanders from just as many countries in the first 2 years of ISAF, until transfer to NATO. Now, under the command of Gen. McChrystal, at least the military mission will be coordinated internationally consollidated... now that he is in command of US-Enduring Freedom forces, NATO, and NATO-led ISAF...

    Also, imagine the problems involved in coordinating the delivery of foreign monetary aid to Afghanistan, where the central gov't has little real power or legitimacy outside of Kabul, and has rampant "corruption" because the social order hasn't changed in 1000 years (tribal patronage is the rule of the day). The Afghan government doesn't even have a taxable economic base to speak of, so it is unable to meet its demands without donations from the international community. Moreover, the donor countries are accountable to their respective populations, and are tying their financial assistance to specific outcomes – as demanded by their populace – which may not align with the needs of Afghanistan. How does UNAMA coordinate all of that?

    The U.S. does have a legitimate national security interest in creating a secure & stable Afghanistan, which will deny transnational terrorism an environment in which to thrive (e.g. "safe-haven"). The last 8 years of Afghanistan's history are not the result of one particular President's failing... they are more the result of humanity's failure as a whole.

    February 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Nick

    My bad everyone, I thought this article was about the war in Afghanistan, you know, the one where American soldiers are giving there lives for the safety of you, me and the people of Afghanistan. I'll leave you all to hash out whether or not we should pay a couple extra hundred dollars a year for our own medical expenses like the rest of the world, while I take my condolences for the dead soldiers and their families to a less intellectual crowd.

    -Nick

    February 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Roger

    Seems to me that we would have no problems if we simply give in and let the democrats run every aspect of our lives as they see fit. We don't live right, hell, we can't even tell by the large winters storms we've been seen in recent years, that the earth is warming too much and it's all our fault. Does anyone really know that Carbon Dioxide is what trees and plants need to survive and that in return, they give off oxygen? We on the other hand take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. So who's really responsible for the "greenhouse gas"? It's time to trot out the pork police and send all the fatties to farms to get healthy. Make it illegal to put anything in your body that isn't good for it. OOPS! There go all of the restaurants in the world. Time to get out the soylent green. Believe me, Government is intrusive when it's become your mother, telling you what to do every minute of every day. Anyone see the movie "Demolition Man"? As for our defense, don't worry, all we have to do is bow and scrape before the rest of the world and keep on apologizing for our meddlesome ways. But, let's keep that foreign aid coming, some countries can't live without it. Damn! George Orwell was right, but figured on the wrong year.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  17. James Horn

    Yes, we do need to pursue Afganistan to keep AQI and the Taliban from having a stronghold there. We must , also Pursue Pakistan and Iran. They both boarder Afganistan. Everytime we have chased Them (AQI and Taliban) they flee to a safe haven across the Iranian an Pakistan Boarder.You would think Bush would have caught on at Tora Bora! You would Think Obama would have caught on, too. It is Congress' fault though.In 1972 they were afraid of a Joint Military Service called Military Inteligence Service that was made of all Service Branches. That did not answer to Congress. Congress disbanded it. Now we have no Military Inteligence. No one to make plans to AmBush the AQI or Taliban.
    Osama is sitting across the boarder in Pakistan with his 40 wife's an still training Americans to bomb Americans.He goes across southern Afganistan to Iran an goes on Vacation with his 40 wife's. Makes me think in 1972 Congress Disbanded All Inteligence Services.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Lokes

    It cracks me up, reading all the comments by you arm chair quarterbacks. How are you making your 'informed' decsions? Obviously by what you hear in the media. Until your sitting in the oval office at the next briefing, shut your holes, and support the officials you elected to make the right decisions and support our troops because they believe in what they are fighting for.

    I'm not saying we are right or wrong for being in these wars, because I don't know or claim to know why we are really there. You think they'd really tell us. So think about that for a minute. You can let your emotions guide your responses, but at the end of the day, you really don't know what the hell you are talking about, so don't claim to.

    ~Nuff Said

    February 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jason E. Cloninger

    Dutch, you are correct in your statement, "It is irresponsible to not connect the threat of terrorism to the economic security of both the Unites States and the rest of the world." In fact, it was stated from gathered intelligence, as well as within recorded statements given by Bin Laden himself, stating that the ultimate goal of the Taliban was to destroy the United States by financially crippling our nation.

    Every terrorist attack has a negative financial, as well as social, impact upon the world. However, president Kennedy was 100% correct when he stated that, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." In the face of adversity, of hardship, and of terrorism, the worst thing that we can do is roll over and do nothing. While Americans, and the world, are afraid of the impact that fighting these issues will have upon us financially, we cannot lose sight of the alternative. These problems will not go away and, in fact, will grow in size if we continue to do nothing.

    Yes, we as a nation are facing financial difficulties. Yes, we are fighting a war on terrorism, and the war costs money. Yes, we are facing healthcare issues. However, the last two of these issues have been present for decades. We, as a nation, simply looked the other way because we were living in prosperity and we didn't place them as a high priority upon ourselves as Americans. We've always had an imperfect healthcare system. Terrorist organizations have been present on our planet for decades, or longer. However, the difference today is that they both have finally grown to be sizable issues that we can no longer afford to ignore.

    We cannot afford to continue looking the other way upon both of these issues, however, any individual with common sense can eventually arrive to the followinbg question – "What good is a perfect healthcare system if you, your children, or your children's children, can be killed by a suicide bomber today, next year, or ten years from now? How many drastic impacts can our nation's, or the world's, economy take before we begin to take action? With great power, comes great responsibility. We are doing our best as the world's leading nation to spread that responsibility across all nations who share our common goal of eliminating the world of organizations who use terrorism, drugs, and murder as political tools of influence.

    What should you do as an American?

    1) Educate yourself upon the actions that your representatives are taking in regards to both issues. Let your voice be heard, so that you are represented properly. If you don't tell them what you think, then you can't complain that you're not being represented properly.

    2) Stop complaining and bickering amongst yourselves and unite behind our leaders behind both of these issues. If you don't agree with how one, or both, of these issues are being handled by your leaders, then tell them directly. Write your appropriate representative, and then write their boss if they fail to respond to your correspondence. Continue this until you work your way up to the president himself if needed! If you want to be more effective, find political organizations who share your concerns and views and place your support behind them as well.

    Talk is cheap, and action is the only currency that is recognized in the United States, and in the world abroad.

    February 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I'm proud of the sacrifices our troops are making despite the Afghans who have chosen to deceit them under the pretense of fighting with them.

    February 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  21. David

    The US does not have the money anymore to be an empire. The military industrial complex has too much power as it is (not to mention the influence of foreign powers in US foreign policy) and is one reason the US is bankrupt.

    The founding fathers of the US did not want it to be an empire. The US needs to follow its constitution and drop out of permanent alliances with other nations. It should withdraw its troops from all over the world – keeping only key staging bases from which to hit anyone stupid enough to attack the US. In this way it can significantly reduce its military spending and still have the ability to "reach out and touch someone" if necessary.

    As a strategic measure the use of oil should be replaced by other technologies, this will reduce the need to defend oil, deal with kings and other unsavory dictators and non-democratic governments. It would also improve the trade deficite significantly. The way to do this is to increase the tax on oil products. This would improve the nations finances and leave it to the private sector to come up with alternatives – which they would. The green aspect of this is a 'nice to have side benefit' – not the reason to do it.

    February 15, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Ken

    Yeah, get our preople out and start using tactical nukes. We have zero intrest in the gound there, but 100% intrest in eliminating the terror threat. it moves then nuke it. problem sovled. after a couple of nukes the people over there will start to hand over the trouble makers. If terror is all they understand then give them as much as it takes to stop them.

    February 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  23. uri nadabba

    Why don't we bring our boys home and just let those popple solve their own problems. Don't we have enough problems here with healthcare, the economy, and crime to keep us and our budget occupied?

    February 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Devis Sri lanka

    soldires cant return home when their job is half done. Any government will not tolerate something like 9/11 attack .Lets hope for the best and be positive about the final goal.There was no troubles for past few years after 9/11 because troops are guarding your land and controlling the enemy.
    Thanks to the effort of these brave men who contribute to defeat terrorists.wish them for their victory and it will do good for all of us and for future generations so they will not see planes flying inside offices where their parents work. All the citizens has to sacrifice something while some others are fighting in a strange land far away from their families. stop murmuring and wish good health for troops first before worry about our cough and cold . At least many of you are in your home land to live or die.Focus on these young men who fight far away from their mother land to make a better future for you.

    February 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Bill

    Agree with John and Nam: what happened to Americans working hard and pulling themselves up? Why does the government have to do it? Why do I work my butt off to pay other's health insurance? Finally, in the end, Iraq didn't make sense to invade. But Afghanistan, seriously? Who doesn't believe Al Queda and Taliban aren't terrorists and have a bead on America? Who doesn't believe they didn't pull the trigger on 911? My friends in Pakistan tell me that the Taliban is a big problem and their own government can't deal with them. That's why we are there. America is doing it's best to go after these guys and set up the best government possible.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  26. rlibed@as39.navy.mil

    I certainly agree 100 % with these three retired USAFs. We have to take care our own people. No wonder some of these senators were fighting so hard against the health care,
    for three milion dollars for only one of them? How many "heads" in congress and senate,
    representing American people? Let's put all the heads together with different ideas and they cannot even settle down a single bill? They should not be fighting each other, they should work together and make it happen, set aside politics.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Bob from Hewitt

    Go Harold. I agree. Lets get out of these places and spend out efforts, money, and lives on things that will actually help our people here in the US. Nothing at all is being accomplished in Iraq or Afghanistan that will help our cause. Going to Afghanistan because they allowed AlQuieda to train there is rediculous. End this stupidity.
    Bob, Father of 2 time deployment soldier.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Layne

    Nice, all comments that do not favor the Deomocratic Party are removed from this website. CNN sux.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  29. stephenrbryant

    Why ask "why",the boys have lost thier minds.you cant get any truth from a lie.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  30. John Herman, military retired

    America flexing its muscles in SW Asia? Sure seemed like it under the previous regime. In any case, we need to stay. Our reputation these days is for deserting our allies, as in South Vietnam, and, more recently, the Kurds and Iraqis who rebelled against Saddam after the liberation of Kuwait, only to see the USA just "go away".

    The Healthcare issue needs to be treated as a war as well. Education would be a great starting point. When people eat junk and put drugs into their bodies, no wonder they get little support when they need health care. How about a new tax to support the "War for Healthy Americans"? Fatty foods, candy, soda and energy drinks, tobacco, and alcohol would seem to be a good starting point.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  31. Old hag

    First one country, Iraq, where terrorists are subdued, then they move across the border to a second one. And a third, And back to the first. On and on. This illusive target leaves our forces and our finances stretched to the limit, and beyond. What to do? What to do? Unfortunately, we are looking like the little dog hoping to find a safe place to hide his bone. The UN is no red umbrella!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  32. Layne

    Quit your whinning you bunch of babies and go get with Hanoi Jane and have a bawling party. As for your healthcare, do you want your inept government who you think can't manage a war, managing life and death decisions? For God's sake man, get a grip!

    February 15, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  33. Ken

    OK let's just leave Afghanistan as a failed state and allow AQI to do what ever they want to do. Sure we will take our chances and pretend there is no threat out there. We can lob a few missiles to send a message when something bad happens to us.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  34. Michael Cale

    We need to be there to prevent the Taliban and Al Queada from ever getting a foothold in any country again to use against us for acts of terror. This is one of the few things that government can do well. We do not need to have national healthcare. It is not a role of government. It would grow exponentially like social security and medicare entitlements untill it was out of control. There are better ways to handle the issue of affordable healthcare. We don't need a nnany state. As US citizens we are constitutionally entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No guarantees.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  35. mitchell feinberg

    you have to give all his guys the death penalty to make shue that you can get them because the minute they are released they are going to go walk into peoples houses

    February 15, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  36. Dutch

    The 9/11 attacks also resulted in a halt in world economics and trade. Additionally, terrorist attacks are taking place around the world and take place in countries that are our allies and are highly influential in the world's economy, and have resulted in many more deaths. Afghanistan is a major harbor for terrorists, which threatens our country's freedoms and prosperity. We are not only preventing further attacks on the United States and our economy, but on other nations as well. The United States is a leading nation of the world, and MUST contribute to the fight against terrorism at the source, which is not here at home within our borders.

    It is irresponsible to not connect the threat of terrorism to the economic security of both the Unites States and the rest of the world.

    Everybody has access to preventative health. If people quit smoking, they can easily cover the cost of a health care plan, as well as prevent many illnesses that they would have otherwise gotten. There are parks all over the country, go run and get some exercise so that you can avoid obesity and naturally cleanse your body of toxins and give your body the strength to fight illness beforehand.

    Our country thrives on innovation and persistence. We should be able to solve our countries health care issues without putting our citizens and the rest of the world at risk of terrorist attacks that are planned and organized in terror harboring nations.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  37. Danny Davis

    I do not know whether or not we should be at war in Afghanistan. I do not know whether the war in Iraq was justified or not. What I do know is that the citizens of this country are in desperate need of affordable health care that both Democrats and Republicans have been reluctant to pass.

    Until we have elected officials who are more concerned about doing right by their citizens, rather than being politically correct, we will never see any progress toward universal health care. We may even be seeing the ultimate demise of our country as we know it.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  38. Nam

    Harold,
    We don't spend on health care? We spend 2/3 of ALL our hard earned tax dollars on entitlement program every year and for who? I came to the US 15 years ago with our parents and $50 from the sale of our house in Vietnam. We have been supporting our parents who still don't speak English. We graduated within 5 years, bought multiple houses 5 years after and live a comfortable life today. We don't expect entitlement for us (of course) or even for our parents. Why are any other Americans who have the abundant opportunities beg for others to give them free stuff? We left a poor-as-hell communist and socialist country, and we do not want useless people to drag this beautiful America down with their life.

    February 15, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  39. Winford Sadler

    Harold Trainer got it right. Need more people like him to speak up.

    February 15, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  40. John

    it doesnt matter wether you call a president a " war president " ( like its acceptable.. )

    People are starting to get the mind set that we are invincible and made of concréte and other nations are not capabale and have short term memorys.. whats important are the reasons we have gone to war are totally honorable and justifiable.. which seems not at all to be the case in the last ten years...
    The word consequence is a very special word.. nations cannot go to war without understanding the long term consequences of what they have done..we go into war with great thought on the way its done.. but totally lack the wisdom to see that if the wars have been comitted without justifiable reasons that these actions will have profound consequences on the middle and long term actions of other nations who see it as an act of aggression and faschism...
    People might lack the economic power but they sure as hell have great determination and emotional justification and energy in turning there lot around when there backs are too the wall..
    Its not possible in this global world we live in too do things that are quite clearly not 100% justifiable and honourable without reaping some sort of consequence later in time,
    and the degree and type of consequence which will confront us could take us all by surprise...

    February 15, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  41. Lt Michael O'Neill, USAR (Serving in OEF)

    2,973 people died as a result of the attacks on Sep 1tth, 2001. Not "over three thousand", not "around three thousand", not "close to three thousand." Two thousand, nine hundred and seventy three (not including the 19 terrorists).

    February 15, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  42. rop

    bare in mind that we are all not parmanent in this world,so leave the security of the world to God.ok?the so call coallitionin iraq n afhanistan?

    February 15, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  43. james s roberts

    And the music keeps playing, and debts get bigger, average American quality of life worsens, more destruction, more destablization, more hunger, more poverty.

    The miltary coined this definition of instanity: "doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome". I couldn't have decribed better what's going on in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.

    We're there because military needs to improve their weapons capabilities and continue its propoganda American needs to contine investing in military toys.

    February 15, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  44. brandon

    Harold maybe you should pull your head out of your rear and stop trolling the CNN comments page.

    February 15, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  45. Raza Holland

    I can anticipate the end results very well. Do you know what will happen? Most of the people will flee the impending battle field and so the Taliban without offering any major resistance to forces but as soon as Nato establish their posts Taliban will emerge form no where causing them either to abandon their posts or just to adhere with them. Thats how the end result of every military operation in Afghanistan. don't see any hope.

    February 15, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  46. Harold Trainer, USAF RET

    On 911 terrorists attacked the United States and killed more than 3000 people. In response we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and spent trillions and thousands of lives on homeland defense and protection from future attacks.

    Every year since, millions of Americans have been attacked by illness and disease and each year 30,000 plus die because they do not have health insurance to protect them.

    Health insurance is homeland defense for illness and disease. However, our President and Congress refuse to pass a comprehensive health homeland defense bill because many, both Democrats and Repubulicans say it is too expensive and violates some of our market principles.

    They also say it will adversely affect the healthcare industry's profits from which members of congress receive many millions of dollars. Our own Senator McConnell, defender of the health care industry, received more than $3 million from health care industries over the last several years.

    Why will we spend trillions on wars and not spend money on health care insurance for the defense of millions of Americans who need it for their own protection and survival?

    February 15, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  47. Harold Trainer, USAF RET

    The Republicans have been successful in kicking their can of war worms down the road to the new president. Obama is now a war president and will be for many years. Maybe it is good being a war president. It gives you some real credibility on national security and helps to mitigate some of your failings.

    February 15, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  48. Harold Trainer, USAF RET

    We need to get out of there and stop spending our troops' lives and huge amounts of money. The war is all about supporting our economic power in the region. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and start using the money saved for our own homeland defense including healtcare. Our national debt much due to the costs of these wars is way too high and unnecessary. Also our 708 billion defense budget needs to be cut by twenty percent and stop funding think tanks and other corporate welfare.

    February 15, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |