December 1st, 2009
08:09 PM ET

Your View: Define success in Afghanistan

President Obama announced his U.S. troop strategy for Afghanistan in a speech at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. In the speech, Obama explained why the United States is in Afghanistan, its interests there and his decision-making process, in addition to his strategy for a "successful conclusion."

All day, CNN has asked its readers and viewers, how would you define success in Afghanistan?

Reader Paul Marshall writes:  "Success in Afghanistan, for the previous administration meant staying as long as possible and giving their cronies no bid contracts and robing the treasury. For Obama success would be getting the hell out." Meanwhile reader Phyllis Sanders says, "Please give our President the support he needs, I know that I will."

What do you think? How do you think the government should define success? How would you define success in Afghanistan?

Or pick up your video camera and share your views for iReport

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Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan • Your View
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Major T

    Been there twice. I would not trade them a goat for the whole country. I understand why the Army would want a military presence there. I understand the mission. I do not understand the end state. I want Osama bin Laden dead. I do not care what crops they grow or who they prey too.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. M,Shams

    As Afghanistan is one of the Under-development countries ,so when we saying Nothing is impossible. In Afghanistan not only success is possible there are many other achievements can be possible along with Economic- development ,Technology progress,Education improvement ,Industrial and etc will be possible.
    First we need to solve the problems in side the government , corruptions ,dishonesty etc.
    Because in Afghanistan in all Government offices or Ministries corruptions, cheating are there, Suppose when an educated student want to apply for job , In first instant he should know a high position man in side that office , other wise no one care wither he is illiterate or well educated man.
    If all these problems along with security been solved in Afghanistan , there will be more success and development with most talented and educated Afghan people , And there will be no need for foreign aid neither NATO , ISAF or US troops in Afghanistan ..!

    March 3, 2010 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jennifer Sanfacon

    Success in Afghanistan will be when girls can safely attend and graduate different levels of schooling. The success of current governments is directly correlated with the education of its women.

    February 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bailey

    Omgs the person on the far right is my friend. He is still there in Afghanistan. come out alive my Indian friend we want to throw you a party!

    February 4, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bobby chattanooga TN

    We need to focus on the war on terror right here at home,u cant make america more secure if all our troops are over seas,what happens if some group tried to take us over there wouldnt be enough military here to protect us. Bring our troops home there is no reason for them to still be there.if those people want to kill each other who cares let them,we need to focus more attention on issues in our own country instead of getting involved in stuff around the world that is none of our buisness.

    January 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. US14ever

    The longer we stay in Afganistan and Iraq, the more we play into the hands of Alkaida [?] to weaken ourselves economically. The one thing that has destroyed many strong nations is involvement in an expensive foreign war.

    Our experience should have shown us that we cannot expect any help from Muslims. Their "spys" play us for fools and get us to hit non-combatants, and non-militants to drive the population from us.

    The Koran says, "If you are friends with non-muslims, you are not a muslim." What part of that don't you understand?

    January 9, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. NMW

    In any situation where you are an outsider going into a country that is not yours,where you kill innocent people and then try to convince the survivors to accept murder as the unfortunate consequences of some higher cause, success in any meaningful form is a highly unlikely outcome.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Antoinette

    The guy on the right is one of my son's best friends. Regardless of what we think of the war, we need to support our young men and women out there and pray for their safe return. God Bless you, Ty. It is because of your sacrifice, and all the other brave men and women fighting for our country, that we are able to enjoy our freedom. We love you and pray for your safe return.

    December 22, 2009 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jacob Schraeter

    He's not defencing our country; he's defending someone else's country.

    December 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dean

    Thats one of my good friends in the picture. God bless him and thanks for protecting our country bro

    December 21, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. steve parks

    There are many critical parts to any military strategy,and not all would outweigh the other.However,if I had to pick one it would be to keep the Afghani people on our side.How much they are really on our side one can only guess,however one could assume it is conditional on the basis that(atleast for the time being)the threat that existed is worse than the "threat" that exists.They,more than likely,tolerate us simply due to the fact the memories of the Taliban are still fresh in their memory.However,if given time and many"mistakes"from our military(ie civilian casualties)only time would tell how long that would last.
    Would that succeed?Keeping the people on our side?It certainly would not hurt.There are many factors besides that ,that could affect the outcome there.
    Such as..........Chinese involvement in supplying the insurgents!

    December 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jacob Schraeter

    That's a really poor outlook on things. Yes, we can have an opinion if we weren't there. Just because you go to a war and think it was the right thing to, because you made sacrifices, doesn't man that the sacrifices are justified. The simple point is how can we expect to be successful in Afghanistan if Russian with all of its strenght–and commitment failed after 10 years of trying and we are a failure after 9 years of trying. Our military budget–ours and what we contribute to our allies is over $550 billion per year. China's is about $42 billion a year and Russia's since it went of the foreign war business is about ^0 billion per year. So, who are the economic and industrial giants these days? We own China $800 billion. We also owe Russia. So who has the real power?

    If we don't get out of the war business we will not survive our own "greatness". It's time to concentrate on being a good country with a small ego. Let someone else strive to be the Great Country of the world.

    December 10, 2009 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ashley

    Right on Joshua!! I am so sick and tired of people whining and complaing about the war when they're not the ones over there fighting. I have a lot of respect and compassion for those who have sons and daughters or mothers and fathers or close family members over in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting for their country and for the freedoms for other countries. As an Army National Guard Soldier, people may look at me as civilian first, then Soldier. But since the War on Terror, it's been the exact oppostite. I will be deploying to Afghanistan next year, which is also my first deployment. I am proud that I will have the opportunity to serve along side brave men and women and also proud that I will be relieving other Servicemembers so they can go home and be with their families. I agree with Joshua...If you're not out there risking your lives and serving your country or have a loved one out there, you really don't have an opinion and you really don't have any right to complain. Most of you feed off the media and gain your opinions about the war from "reliable" news sources. You don't see the good that is happening over there. You don't hear about schools opening, men and women learning to read and write, or about how civilians are trying to gain power of their land. If you really want an opnion, then man up and enlist...YOU OWE IT TO YOUR COUNTRY AND TO THE MILITARY MEMBERS WHO ARE CURRENTLY SERVING AND THOSE WHO SERVED BEFORE YOU. I think everyone should enlist and serve their country at least once. That way you can actually say you earned your rights rather than just inheriting them.

    December 10, 2009 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. joshua

    Everyday I sit in my computer reading political articles and when i scroll down i see how stupid this world is. I mean really. Why do you care if obama sends more troops. He aint sending you is he. I joined the marines in 2002 and i fought in iraq 4 times and afghanastan 3. I was there pulling down the statue in iraq and getting yelled at for putting the flag on his face by my sergeant.
    Trust me as a marine im speaking for all military members when i say this
    "SHUT UP, YOU HAVE NO OPINION ON THE WAR" if you werent there or getting shot at like we were or getting blown up like we were YOU HAVE NO OPINION. you cant have an opinion on something u know nothing about. So speaking for all military members this marine advises america to keep their mouths shut. and let us do our jobs. if you arent getting blown up and killed and shot at and beign away from home like we are then you should quit whining and be glad that were over there protecting you. less

    December 10, 2009 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Oren W. Piper

    I just watched Meet The Press (Dec 6) and learned there was a huge diference in John McCain's exit strategy versus Obam's. McCain has repeatedly stated that we would be successul enough within a year to eighteen months to begin to withdraw troops. The Talban, who admittedly do not have watches and presumably don't have calenders either, can't figure out that eighteen months would be about July 2011.
    Obama made the fatal error of announcing to the world that we expect to be succesul enough by July 2011 to begin transfering combat responsibility to the Afghan Military.
    Turkey is an Islamic nation with a successful democratic central government, Afghanistan has not had any kind of central government for generations, it has been ruled by a fuedal lord system. We will have a significant military presence there for several years but, if the corruption in Karzi's administration can be corrected and the people can be shown to have better security, better schools, better agriculture, better infrastructure, and reasonable expectations of a better future, they win which means Al Qaida loses and WE win.

    December 6, 2009 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  16. The Moroccan

    I had once a dream:I saw the Taliban walking in the streets of Manhattan after conquering it .Indeed you will finance the war waste your money kill your sons and the sons of an honorable humble people tarn your hearts and your souls forever.

    December 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  17. james darnley

    what in gods name is wrong with bringing them home like pete seeger sang? i;ll tell whats wrong the republicans is what s wrong they are and alway;s have been a bunch of warmongers who don;t care how many young boys have to be killed just to be politically can;t tell me that all those troops can;t protect us here at home better then then can then being over there. we should be worried about ourselves and if they want to kill each other off over there fine let them.

    December 4, 2009 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  18. Jeff Meng

    Asking a question to the current Afghan government,how many men do they have who are ready and willing to die for their pride and belief? For such a corrupt government, I doubt there are any. So, dear USA army, to whom can you pass your millitary responsibility in this country?

    Asking Al Qaeda the same question, I think you know the answer. Everyone of them is ready to die for their pride and belief.

    Then, You know whether USA or the allied force can win the war in this deeply troubled country or not.

    The only way to win this war is to establish a different Islamic belief among Islamic people,enlarge the good part of Islam, reduce the bad part of Islam, like the European people did to their religion. It will take a long time. Better to start it now.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tom

    One of our biggest threats is nuclear weapons/material falling into the hands of terrorists. Solution: ask Pakistan to hand over security of its nuclear stockpile to the US or another authority for safe keeping. This will take a big reason for the US being in the region away.

    For Afganistan, I do not see the US having any more opportunity to win over the country anymore than Russia had. We need to focus only on Osama bin Laden and Al-Quida, that is all. And that needs to be done world wide, with all other countries participating.

    A Vietnam Vet...... and yes, Pakistan is another Viet Nam. Long, endless, pointless, and a huge waste of lives, military and civilian.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Joe Zoccali

    I don't really know. We have been there for what,8 years. I don't want to hash out all the reasons that have been discussed. What I want to know is this: WHY HAVE SO FEW, BEEN ASK TO DO SO MUCH, FOR SO MANY?
    If this war is for our security, than why have we all not been ask to participate? No one ask me to sacifice. No taxes on us to pay for it, No war bond program to support it, No draft of men and women, to cut down on redepoyment.My 46 year old neighbor is on his third trip back to the battlefield. What the hell is with that?
    I read the bumper stickers and window stickers: "I SUPPORT THE TROOPS"
    Ok what have you done to support the troops?
    The majority of the folks with these stickers have done NOTHING, to support the troops.
    I'm sick of it all!!!

    December 3, 2009 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  21. vivian

    Obamas plan will work, if karzai will work with Obama,otherwise i don't and i would not put a date out in the open,I realy don't see karzai doing any thing,i realy don't know the exact story,is this a drug war?????or a religion war,and why do they hate us so much,but the way it looks we do need the serge,but it will take more than America to get this war under control

    December 2, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Glenny the Magnificent

    I agree with the decision to send more troops into Afghanistan. This will help with the mission to close with and destroy the enemy by fire and manuver. We need to find them and kill them.

    December 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  23. mike doran

    we as americans need to come together like we did right after 9/11. fly your U.S. flags from your cars and your homes. show the troops and the world that we are one and support the troops 100% DO NOT protest the war-this effects troop morale. while we are sitting on our nice soft couch watching tv, a soldier is walking into a war-torn village. while we are driving in our new car, a soldier is pulling a fellow soldier out of a burning humvee. while we are complaing about our job, a soldier is offering a mom a folded flag for her fallen son. thru all of this a soldier keeps going because they are there for the soldier beside him. lets be there everyday for them-keep them in your thoughts. because when that soldier is looking out the plane window landing in Afghanistan he is thinking of you. God bless america and god bless the troops

    December 2, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  24. PW

    The President, Congress, Sentors, The High Court are all in denial, the word of God tells us that there we'll be no peace until Jesus returns.The leaders of America, needs to repent, for the coruption they are still doiing, what happens to standing togather, why do we only pray to God when disater hits America we are told, and deceaved by our own leaders. Health care is not a problem why can't the american people have the same health care as Washington are they better then the people who are paying for therer's.We need to freeze spending fromn Washington.we will not win the war in the middle east until we fight to win as we did at Normandy, we didn't have 68,000 and we won we need to leave the middle east alone take cre home.

    December 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  25. John

    Success in Afghanistan means dealing with the corrupt and deviant gov of Pakistan first. I would say that 85% of trouble that afghan population and American troops are facing is because of Pakistan. ISI is the top of the list who directly has contact and support Taliban and Al-Queda and yet receiving our tax dollars. As long as we support the Pakis and avoid dealing with militants in the Pakistani border side, there will be no success in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

    December 2, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  26. bobby canuck

    Use nato forces to protect contractors from cheap labour countries such as india who can rebuild afghanistan for 1/10 the price it would take western countries. Once afghanistan has basic infrastructure the people will take gladly care of taliban and pakistan influences themselves. You give people 24 Hour electricity and clean water, they will fight to protect it. Our kids come home safe and sooner than you think.

    Somebody in the media please mention the efforts of canadian troops, they have fought some of the hardest fights had many positive impacts. The country that has suffered the most per number of troops in this war can't even get its name said.

    December 2, 2009 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  27. Perun

    You should stop invading and occupying others and instead be concerned with your own first.
    There are 50mil. of you going hungry, millions are unemployed and will remain so for the long time to come.

    December 2, 2009 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  28. Andrev

    The only way we will succeed is through the destruction of Islamic Fundametalist groups. Yes, the Afghan government may be corrupt, and as a world power it should be in our deep intrest to correct that, however, our true enemy are not the tribal politicians who struggle for power, but the violent fundamentalist who strive for the defeat of our western culture.

    Since the the early 1900's, when the Islamic Caliphate was thrown away the fundamentalists have been striving to re-establish this position and have a supreme ruler of the Muslim world. That is their goal, to conquer the whole western world in the name of Islam. With this conquest would come the institution of Sharia Law, which if anyone has researched has uncivilized laws and practices.

    Too help Afghanistan train interior forces to combat fundamentalist organizations would be a corner stone to our mission there, which has been achieved. By viewing the media these days we all see that alot of us want our forces out of there. The extremists what our forces out. But remember this, the Islamic Fundamentalists have nothing but time to harsh more plans to attack westerners in any part of the world. As a country, the US is not the only nation at risk by leaving Afghanistan.

    December 2, 2009 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  29. Roger Kim

    I think let the kabul gov. fails to the Taliban , once Taliban move on to city center.
    let the Taliban celebrates and happy for 2 months. Once they build up the new Taliban Gov. We do it over again with B-52 Bomber and surround them like 2003 start of war.
    This time there is no route for them to escape. no cost of our single solder will die. Because there is no Taliban misssle to shout at us, round them up once for all .
    timeframe of victory about 3 months . Last time we did it only one months .
    The best tools to fight the Taliban is cluster bomb, precision target bomb, bunker buster bomb to root them of the cave again. Good luck President Obama, God bless our soldier .

    December 2, 2009 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  30. Shah Rohani

    For America to be successful in Afghanistan, first the Afghan government needs to be replaced, and under control of American diplomacy. Unless the corruption is cleaned up, it does not matter how many troops are deployed, or how long they stay; in the end they cannot be effective.

    Karzai is a nice man, but he has no power over his own government. The 28 local governments are running themselves, without regard to Karzai. They are corrupt, working with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and involved with drug trade payoffs.

    Obama was wrong about the timetables. The enemy doesn’t care about timetables. The two sides are not fighting by the same rules. Because of the corruption, to begin, we cannot even tell who is the enemy. The Afghan government is the same as the Taliban.

    If the government does not change, the more people we send, the more will die and the more money will be wasted, from the pockets of the American people.

    Shah Rohani
    former Afghan Supreme Court Judge

    December 2, 2009 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  31. Herbert Frei

    No one, not even the British, have really succeeded in subduing Afghanistan. The USA are repeating the same mistake all over again. They are too powerful and at the same time know too little about the world.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  32. Dan, Idaho Falls

    Success in Afghanistan is defined as the use our bases there and in Iraq to squash the Iran Nuclear Threat (INT).

    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  33. greg

    when is a nuff anuff

    December 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Bill Tournay

    Excellent coverage from your panels tonight, after the speech. But I have a rather essential question, that needs to be answered along with all the theories and hypotheticals.

    Aren't we essentially trying to stage manage a civil war in a fractured nation state, now in the process of reverting to its tribal (feudal ) origins? If so, I really question the delusional approach of our country's military and political elites. Obama's delusions are no different than Bush-era delusions, notwithstanding the artificiality of time lines.

    The West's aspirations for imposing western values on foreign societies are no different than our sordid history suppressing our own native American population. Power politics equals power politics, sugar-coated or not.

    Further, most of the successes against terrorism since 9/11 have not been military victories - they have been a result of hard work by intelligence agencies around the world, followed up with effective enforcement. The argument of denying a base-op to Al Queda rings hollow.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Garnik

    I think thew problem of corruption in Afg is systemic.
    Instead of us asking Karzai to do the job we have to make him agree to replace critical agency leaders, like IRS, Customs, Interior etc wqith well tructed western companies – he has to outsource the jobs that are 're\sponsible for corruption' to us.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Edward J. Yen

    Success in Afghanistan should be measured by success on the ground vs. the benchmarks set forth by the Administration, the military and our Afghan partners. It should not be framed by a specific date for withdrawal or disengagement–i.e., some type of "hard stop". Such a framework merely serves to allow our enemy, the Taliban and Al Queda in this case, to merely lay low or offer artificial "olive branches" of cooperation until that date arrives. Once past the date, and our troops come home, all hell will break loose and any cooperation or supposed agreements to respect the soverignty and right of self determination of the Afghan people will fall by the wayside and any progress made duing our committment there will be negated. The outcome will be the opposite of our mission and efforts.

    We should learn from the lessons of Vietnam and the Russian experience in Afghanistan–we must work to win over "hearts and minds" of the people before we set any timetable today for finishing a job that is far from over.

    Pakistan, as Obama mentioned tonight, is the real key to long term stability in the region. Let's dedicate as much effort, covert or overt, to this "ally" as we are willing to in Afghanistan

    December 1, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Debi Lima

    If we protested Bush's war-your a hypocrite if you do not protest Obamas war. I can not be a Democrat anymore – changing to the Independant party.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  38. daphne karmel

    In watching your coverage on CNN Live: Decision Afghanistan I am offended that your commentators did not even mention Canada's involvement. Canada has lost more soldiers in Afghanistan per capita than any nation so far (including you Americans). Yet your Australian commentator calls it "an American war" and doesn't even mention the Canadian contribution. He should know better. Anyhow, it's about time that Obama made his mind up. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if Fareed Zakaria was President.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Joe

    While I agree with the President that we must begin to work towards an end strategy in Afghanistan I am confronted by several points which cause me to feel that this goal is physically impossible and thusly, contrary to what the President said, another Vietnam. First, the fact is that the agricultural diversity is nonexistent. The reason this is so is twofold. First the land which the Afghans have to plant on is not able to support any crop save one, opium. Now this leads me into the second reason which is that the agricultural hopes of the President cannot be met because the opium which the Afghans grow is to price productive for the Afghans. We do not need troops for this, we need money. However, money is not the goal here, instead what we need is to get rid of the Taliban which we can't do because of the fact that they are to engrained and also to powerful to be rid of. Moreover, the fact is that the terrain of Afghanistan does not support this. The terrain is to difficult to control and thusly will lead to a new Vietnam. But the most important reason that I feel the President is skewed is that he does not account for the sentiment that exists in the nation. The Afghans have turned towards the Taliban because they are like them. They are of the same religion and race. The fact that we are foreigners will inevitably lead us to fail. They will not support the foreigners but instead the native son because that is how their culture operates. So while I agree we must do something, this is not it.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  40. 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 whether in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, or other such save havens, 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 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Dodie - California

    I find it saddening the reasons we are asking for bloodshed and sacrifice from our young men and women who are fighting in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan War is now the Afghanistan-Pakistan and India War. Unless the US pulls out of Afghanistan,. The survival of Pakistan now depends on the US pulling out in Afghanistan. Afghanistan and Pakistani are enraged at the civilian casualties resulting from the US combat tactics, especially the rising number of air strikes.

    The war in Afghanistan is getting much worse for both our troops and for the Afghan civilian population. The strategic benefits are non-existent and the risks of a expanding the war are alarming. The humanitarian consequences are appalling

    The governments of both India and Pakistan are on a road to disaster. The Indian and Pakistan economies have one sixth of the world population. They both have more than 70 percent of the world’s poor. The economic impact of this war will be disastrous for both. Pakistan’s economy is already on the verge of economic collapse.

    To be forthcoming, our stated strategy of securing Afghanistan to prevent Al-Qaeda resurgence or regrouping would require us to additionally invade and occupy western Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.

    This is a Lose–Lose war. This is even worse than the Vietnam War!!!
    President Obama, please bring our troops home!

    December 1, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Thomas Moroney

    I'm a bit illinformed about some overseas affairs, so my answer seems too strait forward and unintelligent. But, what the heck.

    To me, success in Afghanistan would be killing as many Terrorists as we can. I don't think we'll be "Gettin' the hell out of there" any time soon.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Matt Holzmann

    The president is long on specifics and short on strategy. Exiting in 4 years is not a strategy. It only gives the enemy, the world's largest group of narcotics traffickers, a timetable to work to.

    It is foolish to call the war a waste. Every gram of the heroin produced there ends up in the veins of another Western junkie and they will only expand production even more when we leave. Think of China after the Opium Wars and what it did to the Chinese economy.

    That money is then used to buy the weapons and ammunition used to kill our troops. Afghanistan requires a 10-20 year timeframe, not 4. Is it worth it? Think of the next major terrorist attack or bankrupt governments or your kid OD'd on horse. Think of Afghan women driven back into the Middle Ages. Think of the ultimate Narco state.

    The president's strategy guarantees defeat and the death of even more American and ISAF soldiers to no purpose. He should be ashamed of himself. You always fight a war to win. Of course, he does call it a contingency operation, so by playing semantics, he never takes responsibility.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Jacob Schraeter

    Rock on, brother!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  45. robert clive thomas

    Lets protect our country! Afganistan aint our business we be better of protecting our borders and preventing home grown terrorist!!

    December 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  46. ken

    Afghanistan is not winnable. We went there to get BinLaden and he isnt even in the country anymore. He is in Pakistan. We shouldn't even be there. Russia couldn't do it and we won't do anything either. We should pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq and bring them home. Our troops are dying for what? Trying to radicalize the irradadical extremists? Get BinLaden or get out. Let the afghans fight their own battles.

    December 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  47. mal

    This war in Afganistan is a totally sad waste of lives for all the countries involved, the Afgan goverment will never stop coruption in its own ranks, and a Afgan civilian joining the security forces will change sides if the price is right, this has already been demonstrated by the loss of British troops killed by a rogue policeman. The quicker we give the country back to the Afgan people the better, no amount of troops sent to this country will win this war. You would have to occupy all of Afganistan to win, and that is impossible, we here broadcasts of Western troops going out from there base to patrol other towns, some troops sadly are killed by roadside bombs doing this patrol, and after they have completed there mission the troops return to base, as soon as the troops leave the town, the Afgans replace the roadside bombs ready for the next days patrol.
    Winning in Afganistan will not stop terrorists, we would have to occupy and rule every middle east country in the World to acheive this, and even then we would still get terror attacks, these people do not wear a uniform, they do not need there followers to be a certain sex, and any age is allowed, if we are at War, then it is about time we treat this as a War, but we in the West have to abide by Human rights etc, I dont see any terrorists reading about human rights when the committed 911, my son is in Afganistan fighting for the safety of us all, but will winning in Afganistan be enough.

    December 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Soldier

    Hey, Paul...there are WOMEN who will also be missing from YOUR neighborhood. Just FYI, don't forget about the women Servicemembers.

    I believe it is a mistake to send more troops out to Afghanistan. Servicemembers are already tired from serving multiple deployments from both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Welcoming them home with open arms only to turn them around and send them right back to the sandbox isn't anyway to treat our own men and women who sacrifice so much for their country.

    As a Soldier myself, it's heartbreaking to continuously hear, read, watch news, commentaries, and opinions about the war in Afghanistan. Those of us who are currently at home are constantly reminded that our turn for deployment is drawing near, some of us will be deployed sooner than expected. With Obama's announcement of sending 30,000 additional troops on top of the troops in the process of deploying within the next year causes all of us Soldiers and Servicemembers, some who have served two to even four deployments, to realize what is asked from us will never be enough. We are tired. We suffer from our haunting experiences from our deployment. When can we rest? When can we live a normal life? We have families. We have civilian jobs. Yes we enlisted into the military under our own free will. However, we deserve to be treated as humans rather than expendible resources. It saddens me how quick our country is to rally in support of our military but forget about them when they are deployed.

    I urge all Americans to open your eyes and see what this war is really doing for our military men and women...what it's really doing to us as a country. We are tired of fighting for a cause that no one seems to support. If no one supports the war in Afghanistan, then why are we being sent over there? If you don't support the war, at least support those who are fighting in the war.

    December 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Paul Marshall

    Defending our way of life is not to occupy a country on the other side of the world it is to go back to tarrifs and end WTO and NAFTA so Americans can work and earn real wages. Reform health care, and stop corporate lobyists from running our country. Lets fix America instead of trying to fix Afghanistan where they dont want our help.

    December 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Nadya

    I cannot figure out hove to separate where is "terrorism" and where is the Afghan people's frustration and disappointment with foreign occupation. I don't think that Soviet occupation looked exactly like the NATO's because of evident differences between the Soviet and Western civilizations. However, I see one, in my opinion, huge mistake of Obama and his advisers: they all too much TRUST today's Russia. They urge the Russian leaders to WORK TOGETHER with us! What's an absurd! Do they realize that the current Russian leaders wish only a revenge against the West and the U.S. especially? Do they see the terrible REALITY (not propaganda but everyday life) created by them in Chechnya??? The Stalinism-styled state terror with nothing for the Chechens, with self-styled Kremlin-created Mafia, and their terror only feeds the insurgence there. Do we want the same fate for the Afghans???
    My advise for what NOT to do regarding Afghanistan. DO NOT GO TO RUSSIA'S "HELP"!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  51. anthony

    the way to success in afghanistan is for them to be able to secure themselves. right now there are not enough troops on the ground to accomplish that mission. Yes russia had to pull out of russia defeated and it eventually led to the country's collapse. That is because the U.S. was supplying and training the afghan. everyone wanted to pull out of iraq and say that we would not be able to win their either and look what happened. although you never hear anymore of those people saying anything about iraq. i guess all the soldiers that have died there and given so much would be happy to see that what they fought and died for was for us to run away home defeated. or what about the people of afghanistan whose lives have been damaged because of this war, should we just leave now without fixing the problems that have been caused or fulfill the promises that were made to them. im pretty sure that is one of the reasons we are in this fight now. right now the talliban and al qaeda control the people through fear due to the fact that their are not enough troops on the ground to 1. train the afghani security forces and 2. at the same time secure the populace. most are right this war will probably not be over in three years but it could be dramatically different.

    i also love how everyone always says that they support the troops but those are some of the same people that curse everything that they do. yes afghanistan does not have natural resources that we can take but they do have something worth more cause if we were to pull out before securing that country it would show the rest of our enemies that we are not going to fight for the long haul, this is one of the reasons osama bin laden planned attacks against us cause he believed after somalia in 93 that if america took heavy casualties that we would back down. the same people now saying to get out, are the same people who have blackberry phones and drive hybrid vehicles and own 3 different ipods and personal laptops. hate to break it to you but the majority of the world dont have all that crap. you have it because someone somewhere is standing a post holding off the wolves.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  52. harry elliott

    Islamic fundamentalist terrorism must be defeated. We cannot allow our
    enemies to be emboldened and to have as thir goal to annihilate us and our way of

    It was in this God foresaken place where the plot was hatched and the thugs that
    perpetrated the atrocity that became 9/11. The thugs that call themselves
    Al Qaeda,, the Taliban, or Hamas must be defeated and humiliated in order
    to keep us and our allies safe. This is more about defending our way of
    life than international politics.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Jim

    Beware curse of history: Those who do not study it are doomed to repeat it.

    We as a country are on the verge of turning isolationist, many on the left and the right want us to concentrate on our own problems, and take care of the people here in the united states. This sentiment was popular in the 1900's through 1915, and from 1929 through to 1941. Those dates should ring a bell to anybody that has more than a 6th grade education. These are the dates that the USA was drawn into global wars that killed hundreds of thousands of US servicemen, and put our national livelihood at risk. We are not on the cusp of such a conflict now, nor is there one on the horizon, but if we turn our backs on the world, the world will most certainly take this as an opportunity to put their collective mark on us.

    Take a lesson from two very unpopular presidents, Nixon and Bush the first.... in order to keep potential enemies engaged and remove the possibility of conflict, engage them with trade and discussion.

    What this means for Afghanistan is there likely won't be success in 3 years, only an election. Many of the other comments have touched on the fact that Afghanistan needs to be able to secure itself, and not project a threat to it's neighbors. That country has the potential of being the Nicaragua of the 70's, exporting marxism and anti-us feelings across the hemisphere. Pushing them away will only hurt the US in the long run, we must keep them engaged and help them overcome the terrorist threat.

    One more note..... Afghanistan is not the end, but the end to this chapter of the war on terror. There will be more.

    December 1, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Jacob Schraeter

    Success in Afg to most of us means turning it into Vermont. That's not happening. This is a very primitive country. Its people respect their tribal leaders and run their lives accordingly. The best thing for America–immediate and total withdrawal. If the Talibgan or Al Quaeda strikes again we can always deliver another attack against them, but our strategy has to be in and out. Ours is a country that suffers far more from its retaliation against attacks than it does from the attacks themselves.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Asbury H. Williams

    When the Soviet Union was at its mightiest, they tried for years to defeat Afghanistan, which was right next door to them. The country is mountainous with many hiding places. What makes us think that we can win there when we are thousands of miles away.

    December 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Matt from Boston

    Success in Afghanistan means no American troops in Afghanistan. Theree is no oil in the country; no natural resources except poppy for heroin; and no strategic benefit to the US. 3 yeara or 30 years will not make a difference. There is no ilitary victory in Afghanistan for us. Even if we were to drop nuclear bombs along the entire Afghan-Pakistan border, Bin Laden would simply move to another friendly country – Yemen, Somali, Iran.

    The only way I know how to end a War -is to simply ened it. Bring the troops home. Strengthe our own borders. SOlve the immigration problems. Strengthen our seaports and airports. Increase funding for undercover ops – drone missions – and human intelligence gathering in the Mideast. and to really stregthen this country, get our economy going and create jobs

    December 1, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Diana Morgan

    My comment will likely be an unpopular one, especially for those who, for self-interest, would like to revise history. Following 911 the United States of America declared war against Afganistan because its Taliban government was openly protecting a militant terrorist group responsible for murdering thousands of people ... a government that would have continued to provide that support if left unchecked. America's action was the right thing to do for the right reasons. Therefore, when you asked for support in this effort your allies and friends agreed to help. Canada has stood by your side from the beginning and thousands of our young and courageous men and women (including my son) have been deployed there. Hundreds have been killed or have returned armless, legless or emotional damaged, as have those from the other countries you asked to help. Then America started a war in Iraq, one that the UN as well as most countries around the world could not support. Given this folly, at no time until your fine President Obama increased troops a few months ago, has America lived up to the troop numbers it promised at the beginning of the Afgan war. However, your allies did not let you down and have stayed the course for eight long years. Now, regardless of the price tag, you have a President willing to do the honourable and just thing. Help your allies finally end a war America started. God bless him.

    Summerside, Prince Edward Island

    December 1, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  58. John

    We don't have a chance of winning Russia spent 10 years there and went bankrupt doing so and look where it got them!!! We need to bring are troops HOME! and spend the time and money here in this country

    December 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  59. wazir

    Samantha 25% of world oil is only in Saudi Arabia so just figure it out other gulf countries take it to 50% almost only in middle east may be more

    December 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  60. David Rader

    The attack/invasion may have been valid, but with no success within nine years, we should come home. My opinion, is that the honeymoon of blaming the past administration, is over.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Terry

    Pulling out? What does that say to all the faithful American soldiers who have fought and given the 'ultimate' for their country? Why not just go in and end this war??? Screw "politically correct" .. go in and END THIS WAR! Obama is a mamby pamby leader who shows no emotion when he speaks and is fearful of his people being harmed by our people.

    I know you won't post this, but I feel better typing it.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Joe Fattal

    I don't see the necessity for the President to go to West Point to tell our young graduates that you will be soon leave for Afghanistan. What is the purpose of it?. To gain approval, to get a hand of apllause, to explain to them that President Karsai is unable to control his country, or maybe the Taliban are wooping Afghan women for not behaving accordingly. I just can't see a reason for his visit except that President Obama wants to clear his conscious out of sending more troops when they are not needed. Either way you cut it, I don't think Karsai, or Afghanistan is worth the lives of our young men and women to fight a war that is not even ours. No Afghan citizen threat this country, neither the Taliban, nor any Iraqi for us to be there. We have our own terrorism to worry about, such as the shooter that killed four cops in Washington State. Let them worry about theirs, and we should worry about ours.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Ann

    Possibly off subject but I have to get this out. I just saw some guy on his web cam give his opinion. I have had this discussusion with all my family members who aren't out there seeing theses soldiers drawing away.

    It really bugs me is people who have the opinions like the ones I have heard who are sitting in their "coosh" jobs or behind computers that have no part of the military can say send tropps, rotate the troops, shorter deployments. As a dependant in the military my kids have yet to really get to know thier father. He is here to make them then when home inbetween training gets to see them sleep. Shorter deployments means shorter time with families due to training. They will train continously until their next deployment so rotating the troops are already there is easy to say when you are not sitting there behind webcams talking to your soldiers & trying to tell him how his kids are growing up. Then every twelve months go through what some call a "honeymoon" period when they get home which anymore is a nightmare.

    I hope if he sends more tropps he has really thought about all aspects to his decision. And it will make a difference. This life is hard enough! I certainly do not want anymore soldiers lives taken away & their families destroyed. There has to be a way to get the support the soldiers that are there now. But shorter deployments I do not think are the answers. We knew what we were getting into when we chose this lifestyle but freedom for our kids was one that just seemed to be what he wanted to do even now 14 yrs later.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  64. sarah

    I am a soldiers wife who is currently serving in afganistan. We have lost friends who are close and become your family. I dont understand why there is such a problem in sending more troops when the help is needed. I want my husband to come home safely and I dont want to see anymore wives go through the grief of losing theirs just because the soldiers need more support and it isnt comming soon enough. Why should we question the support of our soldiers. If there is a need for more send them thats what they signed for and are trained to do. Let them do their job.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  65. aaron

    I will define success by troop survival. If we have lost 1 troop then we have failed and no amount of deaths will make up for the first. pull our troops and let these people manage themselves. focus on protecting our borders here at home. Even better focus on our own problems and let them deal with theirs. We can change a government but we will never sway an extremists ideals or beliefs. Welcome our newest war president B. Obama. !@#$%

    December 1, 2009 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  66. William of Iowa

    Success in what context? Our intention to destroy those who perpetrated and assisted in the horrific mass murders on 9/11 and deny them safe haven or when we believe that a nation state has been coerced to accept our definition of an enemy and will provide the front line defense necessary to defend our way of life. If the decision to construct Afganistan into a nation state we envision as trustworthy and acceptable in order to feel safe within our borders is made – then we must steel ourselves for a commitment that will last for years, cost many lives and take trillions to pay for. Forget success, forget a ticker tape parade to celebrate victory – instead, prepare to be forever vigilant, capable of securing intelligence and acting swiftly around this globe to destroy those who wish to do us harm. The Presidents initiative should be our last major offensive – execute and then bring our forces home.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  67. Samantha

    We need to pull out of the middle east. Stop all export and import of oil (we have plenty in our own country..with untapped resources in Alaska) and not allow travel to or from the middle east (we did it with Cuba). Shut them out completely and take care of our own problems here..we have plenty of them. It's been too long and I for one am tired of seeing our men and women being killed in a no-win war. I'm tired of seeing people from Brittan or the US or some other country get arrested for allegedly stepping foot over the Iran border. It's ridiculous that any country would do such a thing. The middle east will never be at peace with each other or any other country, they have been fighting amongst themselves for centuries and will continue to do so. The world just needs to cut them off in trade, tourism, everything. Let them figure out how to survive on their own.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  68. Paul Marshall

    Success in Afghanistan, for the previous administration ment staying as long as possible and giving their cronies no bid contracts and robing the treasury. For Obama success would be getting the hell out. We have no objective, No chance of success, No support from the people of Afghanistan, and nothing to gain there. If we spent the money we have in Iraq and Afghanistan we could easily pay for National Health Care and we would actually gain something from our money spent.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  69. phyllis sanders

    I do not want more troops to have to go into battle, but I support our President,

    We as a nation, have to give him a chance, to bring this to a good end, hopefully
    the people of Afghanistan will be able to take care of their own selves, in the future.

    We can not stay in their Country for ever, they have to learn to help themselves, at some point and time.

    I will pray for these people, and ours hoping that everythings works out ok, for everone concerned.

    I hate to see our Armed Forces, have to fight a never ending war, so we need to do all we can to teach these People of Afghanistan to defend their Country.

    The People of the United States, need to realize, that President Obama did not start this,
    we all know who did, and we all know who left before the job was done.
    So everyone needs to remember how this all got started in the first place.

    So please give our President the support he needs, I know that I will.

    Thank you.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  70. S. Khalid

    My name is Khalid from Kandahar, Afghanistan. Currently living in the US since 2008.

    The troop surge in Afghanistan will not bring significant change in secruity situation in Afghanistan, long term commitment is the way to achieve in Afghanistan. Americans and its allies must understand that victory in Afghanistan is costly and takes time to make things right.

    It is too late and even harder to succeed in Afghanistan but possible. Barak Obama's long awaited strategy to be announced qucikly but emboldened the insurgents well to continue to resist against Americans and it is allies because of its delay. Talking of exit strategy is too early now, even sucess in Afgahnistan is not on the horizon.

    Deployment of 30,000 troops is nothing in comparison to vastness of Afgahnistan nor it will have an immediate positive result.

    The US and its allies should fight in Afghanistan until victory, no matter how long it takes, failure in Afghanistan has very dangerous consequences for the region and the Western coutnries. If the Taliban succeed in Afghanistan, then extremism will spread through out the middle East and threats to US and its allies will reach to their own shores.


    December 1, 2009 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  71. Chris

    There can be NO success in Afghanistan. The Lessons Learned from the Soviet engagement should be enough to warrant a full redeployment of our troops back to the states or other world wide locations.
    But if Obama is bound on trying to fix the misstakes Bush made he can settle for using the troops as an infrastructure creation protection force.
    In other words, use our troops to protect UN and NG orgs that are in Afghanistan to help create a viable infrastructure.
    Time limit two years, Why? Because we can't even decide on how to help all Americans get effective medical care or keep our own social fabric from trying to destroy one another, how the heck are we planning to help another country reach Utopia?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  72. mycuntree

    Success for America in Afghanistan would be its ability to extricate itself without loss of honor, whether militarily or politically. If the US need to leave Afghanistan ala Vietnam or the way the Soviets left Afghanistan, than America would have failed, and failed miserably.

    The war in Afghanistan cannot be won militarily. I'm surprised America seems ignorant of that. Does not the history of that country teaches the US anything? American has neither the fortitude nor the required patience to deal with the complexities that is Afghanistan.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  73. Sandy Estabrook

    Nation Building is defined as the process of constructing or structuring a national identity using the power of the state. This process aims at the unification of the people or peoples within the state so that it remains politically stable and viable in the long run. The decision to increase troop levels in Kandahar and Helmand provinces indicate a commitment by the US to Nation Building. Sucess will be achieved when Afghanis believe that it is possible for them to stand safely behind thier government without fear of Taliban retribution. Once areas such as Kandahar, Helmand, Kunar, and Kabal are stablized by the "surge", sucess will ultimantely be determined by the determination and moxy of the Afghan people.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  74. Edward B. Nowak

    How will President Obama define success. If he goes back to our initial reason for going there, which was to destrioy Al Quada and kill Bin Laden. Then we could be successful in achieving this goal. We are not obligated to make Afganistand a democracy. Maybe that was the idea in invadeing Iraq. We all know how that went. Military sccess could be achieved, If the Taliban still insist on harboring terrorist, leave them in such a weak state that an Afgan government can sweep up and we leave.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  75. Tyler

    Right now we are in a war that is not worth fighting for anymore and if you look at the past 8 years of Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes we have made success, but we are overduing our presence in these countries and are just losing more and moe money. As President Obama said "I will make chang" what chang is that I don't see any major change what so ever and this will just put us more in debt and lose more jobs and also on another note has our President ever served in the military? Does he know how it is? Does he even know what he is doin?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  76. Rulinda Price

    Success in Afghanistan for the United States means capturing or killing Osama bin Ladin & dismantling his terror network. We are not there as nation builders or to make human rights available to all or to establish democracy. We are losing our focus.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  77. Brm

    The government is a bunch of manipulative wusses. The government doesn't participate in the day-to-day combat. Because they're not on the terrain, they underestimate the will of the men whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by people coming from other countries. If a man is a man, he will fight tooth and nail to protect his family and his own culture's way of life if it's under attack. That's what our soldiers THINK they're doing. That's what the Afghans have been doing for an entire generation, first against the Soviets, then the Arabs, and now the US-led coalition. It's easy to manipulate young people into defending "our freedom" and "our allies" because they don't know what that actually means. They don't understand that the military was created to protect merchants who invaded other countries, just so some royal idiot could steal the riches from somewhere else. The barbaric tit-for-tat that the military is engaged in has been ongoing since men started exploring other peoples' territories. When young people stop joining in, and tell the corporations that grew out of ancient invasions to protect their own ill-gotten "interests", and to leave the rest of us out of it, that will be our greatest success. It's not like the corporate thieves are sharing their dirty wealth.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  78. Bob Franks

    Firstly, it means a security lock-down. This means a surge and a draft in all western countries to meet the military needs. Just as we did in Germany and Japan, we need security first, then development.

    As for Afghanistan's long-term development, that will be in the hands of the Afghanis. They can dictate the pace and level of development: that's their business. If they want to be the Sweden of the steppe, then so be it. If they want to be the Saudi Arabia of the steppe, so be it.

    Our issue is security and to prevent a repeat of 9/11 and any other threats to western security.

    Suzaanne C has it wrong: she is asking for a loaded agenda of western development goals that have nothing to do with what Afghanis want.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  79. Jacob Schraeter

    I am dismayed. Up until now our only welcome mat in Afghanistan is woven from our indirect and unintentional support of that country’s heroin trade. Karzai is on top and answers to no one except his brother who is perhaps the largest heroin kingpin in the world. Of course, Karzai doesn’t like theTaliban—they're bad for business. Of course, they appreciate American arms and military support—and financial aid—who doesn’t like a free army to protect their drug trade.

    Before I would make a committment to help another country I would want to know who I am fighting and who I am helping. For the last nine years it seems that every time we make up our minds to fight we are making friends with all the wrong people and enemies of potentially valuable friends

    This is a no win situation. Obama’s theory that we can bypass Karzai and still turn Afghanistan into Vermont (or N Carolina) is a pipe dream (yes, as in opium den)!
    It costs $1 million to keep one soldier in Afghanistan for one year. Now we are sending 40,000 more troops. This is neither smart nor sober.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  80. Julian Kamazima

    Success in Alfghanstan is possible if at all the indignous people become conscious with theit nation. It is important to the Alfganstans to take into consideration their brothers and sisters that lost their lives. Yes, this may seem nonsense to some people but so long as development is their prospect then what is suicide for?
    I believe in OBAMA and its my great conviction that all the inconviniences will be dissolved and the situation will revive to the origin.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  81. Brian Barbour

    As long as islamic extremists exist that truly believe that they are instead of terrorists, a "resistance" force, success is impossible.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  82. Anita Frauenshuh

    We need to concentrate on problems at home! 18,000 homeless children attending school in our little Florida community – how many nationwide? No jobs, foreclosures on the rise,
    healthcare for all being "sold out" in congress again. Who is making all the money on this war? Investigate that please, CNN.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  83. Jan C.

    Success in Afghanistan? Who's kidding who? Better stated: Victory in 2012!

    December 1, 2009 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  84. Jessica

    Well, see the SURGE is how we defined success in Iraq – granted, we didnt actually succeed at ANYTHING other than driving Al Qaeda OUT of Iraq and INTO Afghanistan.

    So, naturally in order to define success in Afghanistan, we must drive Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan and into some other country – preferrably not Iraq, since ya know, we cleaned that place up.

    My guess is, we are currently driving them into Pakistan...which, in my book thats not success, thats a recipe for disaster. But, Afghanistan will be fixed once we do VOILA! SUCCESS IN AFGHANISTAN! WAHOO!

    December 1, 2009 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  85. Mikey

    It was easy for Russia to get "victory" in Afganistan. Oh, that's right, they went bankrupt and withdrew. I hope American teachers don't mind getting paid in vodka like Russian teacher were after the collapse.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  86. michaelfury


    “The momentum of Asia’s economic development is already generating massive pressures for the exploration and exploitation of new sources of energy and the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.”

    – Zbigniew Brzezinski

    December 1, 2009 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  87. Suzanne C.

    Success in Afghanistan is probably not possible. It means a peaceful country, with tribes co-existing, with all children allowed to go to school, with women allowed to leave their homes, to work if necessary. It means farming something besides opium. It means having enough to eat. It has never happened there. We certainly can't bring it. We can't even feed the children in THIS country! And nobody in D.C. is trying to change that either apparently.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  88. Larry Reseter

    Success in Afghanistan will only be achieved when the Afghan central government can maintain internal control over all non-state actors that attempt to over throw the elected administration. The ability of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to establish requisite conditions for sustainment of the Afghan central government will rest on their capacity and effectiveness to destroy the leadership elements of both the Quetta Shura Taliban (QST) and the Haqqani network. The ability to build a capable Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) is critical to establishing the conditions for success. This mission is too hard to do, the ISAF and the US will fail to acheive success in Afghanistan.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  89. Paul

    And what country is next?
    And how many $$ billion again?
    Can we learn from our involvement in Iraq?
    And how many young boys will be all of a sudden missing from MY neighborhood!?!

    December 1, 2009 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |