Turning the war's tide: What some Afghans think
September 9th, 2010
10:53 AM ET

Turning the war's tide: What some Afghans think

NATO is six months into an 18-month counterinsurgency plan aimed at turning the tide of the nearly 9-year war in Afghanistan.

In the coming months, the focus of both ground operations and the rebuilding mission will be on the southern province of Kandahar - the spiritual home of the Taliban. Success here is perhaps one of the last chances to keep support for the war alive among Afghans.

"Failure in Afghanistan is not an option," says Haroun Mir, an Afghan analyst and parliamentary candidate. "Certainly the United States can abandon Afghanistan. But the problem is, al Qaeda and the Taliban will not abandon their fight against the United States."

The Taliban have become a viable alternative for many Afghans frustrated with their government and an international presence that has yet to deliver on all of the promises of security and prosperity.

Many fear that in the end the international community will grow tired of the conflict and simply pack up and leave. "This is the biggest fear among Afghan people: that once again Afghanistan will be abandoned," says Mir. "And this is the reason the Taliban have been able to expand their territory in Afghanistan. "

What do some Afghans think about the status of the war, almost nine years later, and what the future holds?

Soaiba Halif, female high school student
My only wish is to have peace and stability in our country. Humans should live in peace but our lives are like a bird living in a cage. My concern is the war in this country.

Elham Mahdi
Some young guys believe that the United States is playing the same policy as the Soviets played in Afghanistan. And that they are actually our enemy and they have just entered with different uniforms to brainwash the people and to implement their organized plans to establish churches and centers and convert Muslims.

Elias
We have many wishes, but who can we share it with? In the 30 years of war we have lost our trust in our leaders and we can not trust on anyone. If someone really wants to work for this country, we don’t trust them because we think that he might be loyal to another country. ... First they should build trust in the country and then to think about hopes. There is no future for this country – even we can not make a plan for next year. If the borders open up all the people will leave the country.

Masjidi
I wish Afghanistan can be a peaceful country and to separate itself from interference from neighboring countries. My concern is that in our country there is a lot of poverty and no job opportunities. Our government must pay attention to the poor and the rich people but right now the government is only thinking about the rich people.

Mohammad Rashid
We don’t have any wishes for Afghanistan any more, because they are all traitors to this country. The rich people are torturing the poor people and those who have huge assets - their lives are improving but those who have small assets, they get poorer. During the past eight years, President Karzai promised many things but he did nothing. I am 20 years old. I shouldn’t be working but due to the bad economic condition, my sister, my mother and I all have to work to pay for our expenses.

Ghulam Mustafa Sidiqi
We have many desires from our government, as in creating job opportunities [for] poor people and a happy and good future for the new generation. My main concern is high prices and heavy traffic.

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  1. Mariam Reid

    Thank you for putting together Turning the war's tide: What some Afghans think – Afghanistan Crossroads – CNN.com Blogs I'm enjoying the posts. Would you consider a guest article on a site I support run? Do you feel that you could contribute? You may see our post styles at http://allygators.prv.pl/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=3752 and certainly we could be interested in having you post an write-up or two on our blog, what do you believe? In case you are interested let me know via the contacts page on our web site.Turning the war's tide: What some Afghans think – Afghanistan Crossroads – CNN.com Blogs is an interesting name for a blog, keep up the top effort, thanks, from Mariam Reid

    May 2, 2011 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Daniel R.

    What war? Anyone declare war? We are on a rebuilding campaign to improve our bombing ranges in the middle east.

    March 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom2

    We can't leave in 9 months the plan won't work we have to train the afghans more hard and after we leave afghainistan we should not at least go into another conflict for 10 years after we really leave afghainistan

    September 15, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ron

    It allmost makes you wish you had given us Bin Ladin when we asked for the murderer.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ^^^^****^^^^

      That would have saved a lot of trauma.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • LarryKegel(US Army)

        I really doubt that Bin Laden makes that much difference dead are alive!!!

        September 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ^^^^****^^^^

    mitworld.mit.edu/video/729

    September 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. soldier physician

    Omar, your hatred and anger are misguided, and it is you on the receiving end of lies.
    American Soldier, God bless you and bring you home safely soon.
    There is no right answer to Afghanistan, and we can only hope the moderate Muslims will eventually find the path to living in peace. And by living in peace I would offer that includes living without fear of acid in faces or noses being sawed off.
    I believe we break God's heart every day with the atrocities we commit toward one another in His name. He may speak to the world in different ways through different religions, but there is only one God.

    September 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. truth teller

    The real problem is Pakistan they are behind the instability in afganistan I dont know why america keeps supporting a corrupt govt like that. If pakistan stoped interefering with our country afghanistan would be stable at a much faster rate.

    September 14, 2010 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • ^^^^****^^^^

      Seems like it would be better if the people could control their own governments and we could just stay out of it. They probably can't though. It would be better if they could get to a point where they could go in surgically rather than with a sledge hammer though.

      September 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Conservative

    I just want to say a couple of things here. Afghanistan is and always will be a lost cause. Tribal war lords will always rule that area. They operate like gangs and the regular helpless Afghans are to scared or corrupt to do anything about it. They justify their actions with religion and brainwash new recruits with money and the promise of a heaven filled with virgins and riches. This sounds like a pretty good deal to people who have nothing. Wars in the past were mostly fought by countries trying to expand. There was a simple surrender when the other country was just beat to the point of no return. Our military is not designed for this type of so-called war. I know from experience that boot camp does not focus on nation building and humanitarian acts. We have our troops patrolling the grounds handing out toys, water, aid etc. I'm pretty sure in Ranger school you don't spend sixty days learning how to hand out candy bars to children and convince a village elder that we are friendly. Trying to build an Afghan army is hopeless due to the majority of them being illiterate and uneducated. They decorate their guns with bright colored paint and hang bells on just about everything they have. We have the ability through the CIA, Delta force, and DEVGRU to keep tabs on Al Qaeda. We had our chance to take out Osama back in the late 90s but it was called off by the higher ups. Just read Pete Blaber's book The Mission, The Men, and Me. He gives a telling account how he and his Delta Force members had a perfect plan to take out this rising war lord, but politics ultimately kept them from executing the plan. It's funny how the purpose of the war has changed. It was first a response to 9/11 which I agreed with to take out Osama and his fanatic followers. Along the way we had to take out the Taliban due to them being a combative force to our entrance into the country. We have now shifted to nation building for the helpless Afghan people. I do wish we could help those people, but they ultimately have to want the help. Not everyone views America as a Utopia or a model country. It's obvious that we should let the people decide if they want us there or not.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      If You say so it must be true!!! Because You know more than the People running it right???

      September 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. blckdrgn

    "I am 20 years old. I shouldn’t be working but due to the bad economic condition, my sister, my mother and I all have to work to pay for our expenses."

    Why shouldn't he be working? Sounds like afghans are lazy spoiled brats.

    September 12, 2010 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      Your lucky You are working!!! There are a lot of People that would love to have a job today... You have the Republicans and Bush to thank for This Mess!!! If They have Their way it will only get worse...

      September 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jadwiga Stageman

    I was just was doing research and impressed by the info you have. Just exactly what I needed also. Thanks!

    September 12, 2010 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. omar

    To American Rulers and the Misinformed American People.
    You tested all your might i.e. military, political and economic for the past nine years to maintain your occupation over the Afghan Islamic and independent country but you achieved nothing except a dashing defeat at the hands of the sagacious Afghan Muajhideen. Though your general worked out strategies (after strategies) and committed military surge, but still your soldiers are captured alive but your government is not ready to agree to an exchange of prisoners as in the case of the Bobragdal nor they are concerned about him as a US citizen. Even they try to perish them instead of adhering to the recognized way of exchange of prisoners as what they did in Logar with your two prisoners. Our Mujahideen constantly shoot down your advanced military and reconnaissance aircrafts and destroy your military hardware. With the passage of each day, the number of your soldiers’ dead bodies are ascending but your rulers instead of admitting their wrong policies, and seeking a rational exit, want to try the hackneyed and failed process once more as an effort to compensate for their defeats and distract your attention and that of the public of the world from their debacles. These foiled process include the formation of the tribal militias, holding the so-called consultative Jirga, usage of the words radicals and moderates for Mujahideen, holding fruitless conferences, launching black propaganda campaign against Mujahideen with the help of affiliated stooge media, giving the helms of affairs to some most hated, corruption-infested and criminal figures time and again. They guess, in this lies the solution of the problem. But with the help of Allah, (SwT) and the good Jihadic planning of Mujahideen, these ventures failed like their other military endeavors. The Afghans have still further patience to defend their country. They have added new experiences of warfare to theirs after nine-year long confrontation with your soldiers. What we want to convey to you through this message is that withdraw your soldiers from our country unconditionally and as soon as possible. This is in your interest and in the interest of your people and the best option for regional stability.

    After nine years of show of muscles by you and your global military coalition, it has become clear for all the world that the policy of might and coercion has no effect on the Afghans. The subjugation of this free people as per your envisaged plans is impossible. Still if you want to make the “impossible” possible by extending your stay in Afghanistan, then, as its price, be ready to lose the sovereignty of your vast empire. You should know that your rulers have continuously told you lies since the beginning of the aggression on Afghanistan until this very day. They have wasted hundreds of billion of dollars of your tax money in the shape of financial expenditures and your man power in Afghanistan and have still been wasting them. You shall be witness to another economic melt-down. You should use your parliamentary pressures and street power to prevent your rulers from pushing you into the pit of perdition and destruction at world level. Therefore, they should abandon their headlong stubborn policy. Otherwise, the Americans will themselves face humiliation and disgrace before any one else does that.

    September 11, 2010 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      omar,I'm proud to say that I'm not misinformed as I totally agree with you.Unfortunately,the majority of the people in this country are and that both saddens and sickens me.

      September 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • omar

        Who asked for your opinion you feelthy hindu?

        September 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      The only reason why We are still there today was that Bush pulled out Our Troops instead of finish it like He should have!!! Bush messed up This Country and others because of Stealing two elections and staring a War we didn't need...

      September 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • American Soldier

      Omar,
      First of all it's apparent that you believe the usual lies told to you by your Mujahideen (Taliban) brethern. I wouldn't consider you Mujahideen at all really, just poor excuses for terrorists. Why does your religion of peace cause nothing but war, conflict, and even genocide at its borders. Everywhere you religion touches causes nothing but horror. Somolia, Yugoslavia, Sudan, India, the Philippines, countless other countries. Where was your religion during the tsunami, Hati, and the flooding in Pakistan? You know the answer. But, who stopped the Serbs from killing Muslims in Bosnia? Who has sacrificed and donated the most in the process of pulling Afghanistan out of the middle ages? If you didn't have Americans to kill you'd be killing each other. Just ask the poor Hazaras in central Afghanistan. Muslims eradicating Muslims.
      I think we should leave so you will have the right to splash acid on young school girls and cut the noses off of disobedient wives. Most Afghans don't want you there they are just intimidated and afraid of your archaic methods of torture and intimidation. Given a free choice they would pick prosperity and education for themselves and their families. What are you afraid of? How are your methods the work of the same god that created all mankind. Are you sure you don't follow satan? You and your Mujahideen don't have a plan or strategy you are just a bunch of opportunists taking advantage of people who are trying to do good in the world. What do you have to gain by killing an eye surgon trying to help little kids or burning to death a young american woman who is trying to help the military understand how to talk to Afghans. We in America bend over backwards to do and say the right thing. Perhaps that's why all of our friends and allies prosper and are successfull.
      I think by now they are all out of virgins in heaven, but if you need help just let me know and I'll blow you away. In the mean time I will be working hard to build a better world then the one I found in Afghanistan.

      September 14, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric

        Your ignorance is only exceeded by your ignorance!!! Catch a wake-up brainwashed soldier!!! Don't just obey orders like a robot. Taliban are getting stronger because they are supported by the Aghan people. Nine year and the Americans have nothing to show for it except failure. Stop kidding yourself and get out of Aghanistan NOW!!!

        September 21, 2010 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom2

      dude ok here how life goes for us if we lose a war we don't like be silent in the world no we take care of this world because think about this would you rather have China or Russia to control the world yeah we would be screw so the usa does not make everything pefrect but at least we do stuff for people who some of them don't care what we do for them like some Afghans

      September 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mulama

    amadu ur being watch.so what ur talking about let it be true.

    September 10, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. MyPictureOfMooHamMad

    (666)
    – | –
    | |

    September 10, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. AMADU BUBA MOHAMMED

    I AM AMADU FROM KUWAIT I AM NOT LIVING IN KUWAIT DUE TO THE OSAMA BIN LADEN ACT.I AM ONE OF HIS BOYS I WORK WITH HE FOR YEARS NOW AND WILL HAVE BEEN IN HIDE OUT BECAUSE OF AMERICA GOVERNMENT.

    THERE IS NOTHING AMERICA GOVERNMENT CAN DO IN THIS EARTH TO CATCH OSAMA .WILL HAVE LITTLE PROMBER BECAUSE OF 2010 WORLD CUP MENTION THAT HE WANT US TO GO.SO I MANEGE TO GET OUT FROM THE CLAVE WHERE WE ARE HIDING AND THE OTHERS ARE DEATH KILLD BY HE REASON BECAUSE WILL DON’T WANT TO DESTROYED AFRICA.

    I DON’T TRUST AMERICA THEY MAY BETAYR ME AT LAST WHEN I SHOW THEM WHERE OSAMA IS HIDING .HE HAVE NETWORK 24HOURS ON AND HE KNOW EVERTHING THAT IS GOING ON IN WHITE HOUSE HE HAVE MANY NET WORK ALL OVER THE WORLD.

    I CAN HELP AMERICA GET OSAMA ON ONE CONDITION THAT THE WILL NOT BETAY ME .ONCE THE AMERICA GOVERNMENT AGREE WITH ME I WILL SEND TO THEM THE MAP OF THE CLAVE AND THE PLAN OF THE BLUIDING SO THE CAN GET IN AND GET HE.

    THE CLAVE HAVE MANY ROAD OR WE HIS BOYS KNOWS THE ENTERLESS OF THE CLAVE .I KNOW YOU CAN NOT FINE ME SO DON’T EVER TRY TO DO THAT OR YOU LOSS MY INFORMATION.DO NOT CONTACT HERE BECAUSE I WILL NOT REPLY YOU HERE IS MY CONTACT/amadutraore47@yahoo.com

    I WAIT TO HEAR FROM THE AMERICA GOVERMENT.
    THANKS
    AMADU

    September 10, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Dudeface

      Ha ha, wow.

      If you want to contact the American government, the last place you want to do it is the CNN comments page.

      September 10, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • nononsense

      any luck with ur quest Amadu? lol... is it just me, or is this a lil disturbing to read?

      September 10, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • mik

      good speech

      September 14, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FromAfghanistanNow

    I read recently that violence in this country is at a 30 year low. One only need to read about the hundreds of thousands killed by the Soviets in the 80's, entire villages wiped off the map, and bombs disguised as toys targeting children to realize that the U.S. efforts while not perfect, are the lesser of all present evils. Lets hope that the recently discovered minerals will translate into true economic development. Providing initial security on the condition that the economy is allowed to grow is the only way for lasting peace. Even if the ANA is well-trained, they will still need to be paid.

    Keep today's events in the proper context.

    September 10, 2010 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  16. that guy

    Change doesn't start from others if you want change you first need to better yourself. I started work when I was 16 years old in the united states. Find opportunities and build for the future not the now! That's when you will find both peace and success.

    September 10, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  17. GOOD

    Yada yada blah blah blah......

    Are we going to develop the whole world for them?! Lets go develop every country until they are equal with at least Turkey until we go bankrupt.

    September 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Onesmallvoice

    I just wonder how much some of these people were paid to say what they did,trying to make us think that the NATO forces are actually welcome there.People will say almost anything for a price.

    September 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      They would've said the same thing about the Russians 30 years ago had they been paid enough.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      Those People are better off today than They were before we went there!!! Hopefully soon there will be trained like in Iraq and they both will be able to take care of themselves... We will have to have troops there as we have in other Countries to keep PEACE there!!!

      September 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        That's what you think,although not true.

        September 10, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
      • Daud

        Please!!! You got to think on your own and stop taking feeds from your 4 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. drills. Whatever you're told by your officers is not all true. You're trained to obey and hence you loose the power of wisdom. Deploying American troops is causing problems. No country wants another to intrude by letting them sit in! Let other countries live the way they want. If American policies would have been fair, things would not have gone that far as they have! We live in a dangerous world because America is a cause of producing terrorists (brainless people who are driven by others)

        September 13, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
      • LarryKegel(US Army)

        Well put,Daud.Incidentally,I didn't post the above.Somebody's just trying to be funny by posting under my name.

        September 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Daniel-2

    We don't need to "turn the tide" as the right-wing fanatics say but to rightly and wisely seek a negotiated settlement with the Taliban and vacate that country.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      I totally agree,Daniel.I couldn't have said it better myself.

      September 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee

        What planet do you and Daniel-2 leave on? Is everything rose colored there?

        September 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthTeller

      Daniel-2 == You are correct. This is again Propaganda by Pentagon / Right Wing Neo-Con Thugs in Washington. Pentagon Enlists Half-Billion-Dollar P.R. Apparatus to Sell Afghanistan War.

      As CIA Director Panetta said: 50-100 Al Qaeda Members are Left in Afghanistan. And we need 100,000 troops to fight 100 All Qaeda ? Save some Blood / Money. We need to bring our Troops home..

      September 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        Who asked for your opinion? What does a hind(dred) have to say that is worth listening to?

        September 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • soldier

        Uh...I don't know who you heard from that there are 50-100 al Queda members left, but as someone in Afghanistan, you are wrong...whoever said that is completely false in making that statement

        September 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • beachbatt

        I am not sure of those numbers but would agree Al qaeda has been pretty much wiped out there we are fighting Taliban now.

        October 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • notsoniave

      daniel-2, et al,
      negotiation takes two parties. if either party is based on sheer hate with the only acceptable end state of death to the other, negotiation will not work

      September 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carml

      Ultimately it must be the Afghan people who determine how they want to live. When they have had enough of Taliban thugs, they will withdraw their support. Until that time, we can only help. Long term interference in internal affairs is never a solution as it simply never works.

      September 12, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Daud

        You guys came uninvited? I don't understand that why do American people and government think that they were called up into Afghanistan by the people of Afghanistan. Pentagon took the decision of who attached them on 9/11 and there you go: American forces hailed the capital of Afghanistan and sitting there for 9 years. For what? To solve the matters for Afghani people. No matter what problems Afghani people had from the Taliban, this is not way to intrude into someone's matter. America is trying to do the same in Iran. Every country has two sides, one which supports the government and the other against it. If someone enters to America just like America entered into Iraq and Afghanistan, then ask yourself is it a fair deal? If the intruder starts to feed the homeless, every homeless would support the occupier whereas the rest (who were happy with their lovely America) would oppose the intruder.

        September 13, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        Well stated,Daud.Thank you.

        September 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric of Berwick

      There is nothing Left or Right in this war, which has been going on now in my history books for some 200 yrs, the last show was Taliban (heavily supported by the Americans) v Russians (left I beleive) the entire argument is one of who will control this major crossroad which just happens to be a major center for the production of hard drugs and center for modern day extreme hard line Islamic followers. No amount of war will resolve this problem but the world can not afford to not do anything either.Perhaps the answer is to build a large wall around it and let nothing in and let nothing out!!!!! I feel certain it would be much more acceptible to employ bricklayers on contract wages than cover the rising cost of bringing dead men home week after week for families to mourne about. As far as Australia is concerned, we should take a careful look at ourselves and gage just how big and powerful are we really??? 20million who think we can demand a world stage???

      September 15, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • beachbatt

      Thats exactly how it works daniel!!!! Maybe we should do the same thing with all terrorist I'm sure it will have a way better outcome.

      October 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |