The other Afghan offensive
November 8th, 2010
09:53 AM ET

The other Afghan offensive

Along with the increase in U.S. troops, President Obama's COIN strategy called for a U.S. civilian "surge" to get Afghanistan ready for troops' withdrawal next year. Although there have been pockets of progress, what will it really take for the civilian surge to work long-term?

CNN’s Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty and CNN Senior State Department Producer Elise Labott recently embedded with U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan, part of the Obama administration's civilian "surge." They saw first-hand the efforts on the ground and the pockets of progress as well as the challenges that remain.

Watch as CNN's Jill Dougherty sees the "civilian surge" up close.

In her analysis of what it will take for long-term success, Labott writes, "We saw so many little pockets of hope, each of them producing modest gains. But in and of themselves, these bright spots do not necessarily add up to a policy. The concern continues that the U.S. will fail to translate these gains into a path for Afghanistan to stand up on its own."

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soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Nibby

    I love reading these articles because they’re short but infomartvie.

    July 12, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. LarryKegel(US Army)

    Israel approves pullout from Lebanon border village
    Dose Wed, 17 Nov 2010 09:09 AM PST
    Israel's security cabinet approved plans on Wednesday to withdraw troops from part of a disputed village on the Lebanese border and hand over control to a UN peacekeeping force, officials said.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. LarryKegel(US Army)

    Jerusalem mayor told to âevict Silwan settlers
    Khaleej Times Wed, 17 Nov 2010 09:09 AM PST
    JERUSALEM – Israelâs attorney-general has asked the Jerusalem city council to implement a 2007 court order evicting Jewish settlers from a building in east Jerusalem, the justice ministry said on Wednesday.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. GoodNews316

    Have you ever wondered how the world began or how it will end? Or, why is our world full of pain, disease, poverty? It wasn't always this way. See for yourself, visit:  Story4.Us/2050

    November 16, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      It is GODS way of telling the People GOD isn't happy with the way They are going!!! GOD already threaten to end the World once... If it came to that it would be the end of it the way We know it!!! I PRAY to GOD I'm not around when That happens... It wasn't nice the last time GOD did it!!!

      November 16, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. LarryKegel(US Army)

    Apologist for Hamas: See No Evil, Hear No Evil

    A St. Petersburg Times correspondent stumbles blindly through Gaza, ignoring the worst aspects of Hamas rule.

    November 15, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. LarryKegel(US Army)

    The Prophet Mohammed: Why do You think We gave Them a Dead Line of the end of December!!!

    November 14, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RSAT4

    Its very hard to get to american ears, I am trying my level best to get in it. I am happy because you seems to be getting the massage, all I asked from you is to spread massage to all Americans. I belief if you guys can change your way of approaching things this world will be safer place. Why cant you learn from South Africans. A Gun is not solution, the best thing is to seat down and sort your differences. God has given us brain which powerfull than all creatures, so why cant we use it. Yes we go for fight okay, we fight.. fight.. fight but at end of the day we will need to seat down and talk. Why didn't we take the shortcut and avoid fighting.

    All I can tell you is that there was way of dealing with 9-11 ortherthan going to war. Yes I agree people died there and i am not happy about that and belief no one has right to kill another person. What you should have done to those whom you think are responsible is to find a movite behind their actions. Tell me, have you solve anything by going to war, the answer is big NO! but instead you have worsen the situation. Anyway I am black christian South African who doesn't in war. Yes country might have crime but we are working on it and we are aware that people are doing crime because of hunger. Amen

    November 13, 2010 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      I post the messages as fast as I get them from My sources!!!

      November 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LarryKegel(US Army)

    We are all Brothers and Sisters!!! Because GOD started the Human Race!!!

    November 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LarryKegel(US Army)

    Jerusalem is Not a Settlement

    Building plans for existing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem kick up a new media frenzy.

    Best of Backspin

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    November 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LarryKegel(US Army)

    There aren't enough like You there!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LarryKegel(US Army)

    It is a Beautiful Country... But I still didn't understand the song!!!

    November 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    Stop fooling yourselves. As soon as U.S. leaves it will resort back to what it was. Same with Iraq. It's a dog eat dog world out there America. Live it, learn it, or perish while sitting homeless on a street corner wondering why you were so nice.

    November 11, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      @ Rick, Dogs are delicous!

      November 11, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
      • LarryKegel(US Army)

        You are one real Sicky!!! How can You eat Dogs??? They are Mans Best Friend!!!

        November 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      What did the Dogs ever do To You??? I love Dogs Myself!!!

      November 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • LarryKegel(US Army)

        Sickly (Sorry)

        November 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LarryKegel(US Army)

    I wish she would put below the words in American so We know that She isn't singing to Kill Americans!!! Otherwise quit playing that Stupid thing here... She is pretty but Who cares about that???

    November 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • kate

      Put the words in 'American' what are you some kind of retard?

      November 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      @ Kate- As a (sometimes polite) man of peace I would like to ask you to kindly refrain from calling people “Retards” on this blog. It’s is insulting to Children and Adults who suffer from a legitimate medical condition called Autism but often referred to as “Retarded” in a derogatory manner. It is both unfair and degrading that legitimate medically diagnosed retarded individuals should be compared to those of us who posts our idiotic comments and snide remarks on this blog. Instead please use the terms like “R-Tard”, “Tard”, “Imbecile”, “Idiot”, “Inbred”, “Hillbilly” “Ignorant fools”, or my personal favorite “Window Licker”. This is not a personal attack on you; I am just trying to do my part to make the CNN Blog pages a better place. Thank you.
      The Prophet has spoken.

      November 14, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Wuchi2me

    This is about Afghans helping Afghans, not about how great we are for merely doing the right thing. The PRTs are considered risk averse and very unhelpful by most Afghans I have met there, for example building a cobblestone road in Helmand using Colombian versus local contractors. More importantly it hru tthe economy because many vehicles couldn't us the "bumpy" road. Like USAID they also tend to use the "usual suspects" (self-proclaimed, decaying tribal figures) and not the 29,000 elected Community Development Council's members.

    November 10, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      It might help there if India instead of having Their troops at the boarder of Afghanistan and Pakistan!!! That They would use the troops to help fight the Tarriest in both Countries...

      November 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pamiri

    Where the foolish man is being as president of the county like Karzai every thing is possible to he happen, because first he is and he was a Taliban’s high official member and secondly he is being supporting by Iran and Pakistan , and Karzai is supporting Taliban and Obama is supporting Karzai by calling troops to usa why????

    November 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      We have to try to win Him on Our side!!! Otherwise how do You expect to win the War???

      November 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      What are you talking about??? Your giving me a headache when You talk like that!!!

      November 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  16. ronvan

    Isn't it so nice to live in Fantasyland? So the Afgan people are working their land & planting crops, with SECURITY all over the place. Yep, sounds like we are winning! While I agree that Afgan women are oppressed, IN OUR EYES, this is the way Afgan people live and have lived for centuries! YET, we and all the "do gooder" groups want to FORCE change! The ONLY changes that will be made are those that the Afgan people want or are willing to fight for! And to what end do we continue to sacrifice our brave military? Viet Nam, many reference this time and all those lost in that battle, however, today we are FRIENDS and trading with them, so again, to what end? Bring ALL of our military, all over the world, HOME, and lets stop being the world police and let these countries fight their own battles!

    November 9, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      Amen to let's stop policing the world, unfortunately I think we need to take a little more decisive action with the middle east becuase thier problems are spilling over everywhere, including in America, Lets drop a few nukes and be done with them (ALL OF THEM) , then we can stop policing the world.

      November 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • LarryKegel(US Army)

        We be better to put You right wing People on a Island that is Empty and dropping a Nuke there!!!

        November 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      We are winning these War a lot better than when Bush said We were winning the Iraq war!!!

      November 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Prophet Mohammed

        Very true, unfortunately, the Afghans still need to take on a lot more responsibility. The US Army can't do it forever , it's thier country.

        November 11, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  17. Lisaknowswho

    I say we pull our sons and daughter out of Afghanistan and let them "have at it"...the AA afghanistan army has now proclaimed war upon our marines.....shoot them down and blowing them up....who do we think we are helping over there? They dont want "help" they just want new targets!!!!!!

    November 8, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      @ Lisaknowswho- Why don't we just let them "have at it", my guess is becuase they take too long to do it on thier own?

      November 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      Lisa: For one thing the Marines are not the only ones there!!! Our armies are fighting in the front lines too!!! We can not take the troops out until the end of Next Year... We still have villages we have to save and train!!! The troops will be taken out in Dec. of next year like promised... All but the Support Troops!!!

      November 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  18. saladin

    Best thing that could happen to Afghanistan is if Islam goes away. That would take the half the population that's women out of silent slavery and about 90% of the men that have to pretend to be worshipping 5 times a day out of servitude to zealots. Then, they could stop destroying their cultural history and do some re-building. All impossible if Islam stays. Believe a former Moslem when I say that.

    November 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      @ Saladin- Well spoken! Islam is just a stolen Pagan religeon renamed anyway. Check out this web address: just put the www in front of it.

      November 9, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
      • LarryKegel(US Army)

        If that is where You get all Your information??? Quit it because it isn't true!!! Listening to the News is the best way to learn the Truth!!! That does not mean Fox...

        November 10, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Prophet Mohammed

        @ Larry, Wrong, seeing it yourself is the best way, newspapers are next. I look at Fox news when I want laughs.

        November 11, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  19. Smith in Oregon

    Obviously Pakistan is able to flood nearby Afghanistan with heavily armed Taliban fighters which Afghanistan themselves cannot guard nor protect against. If nearby India chose to help Afghanistan provide parity or if Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai sat down with Pakistan, India and the Taliban envoy's perhaps a working and lasting peace treaty can be put together and signed by all partys.

    As it stands, America has heavily armed Pakistan by giving Pakistan Billions of free American taxpayer dollars and weapons for well over 20 years. That is entirely destabilizing nearby Afghanistan. The CIA, Hamid Karzai's Clan and Bush-Cheney had all 34 provinces in Afghanistan heavily planted with Opium poppy's flooding Pakistan with Heroin. Pakistan doesn't want it's nation flooded with Heroin destroying it's people, obviously that is pressuring Pakistan to push Taliban fighters into Afghanistan to change that.

    November 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • LarryKegel(US Army)

      You know what You say just doesn't make any sense!!! Why is the Pakistan Military fighting the Taliban with the CIA if They are fighting against Afghanistan??? Both sides are fighting the same enemy... If anyone is the problem there is India having Their troops at the boarder of both Pakistan and Afghanistan!!! Why are they using Their troops going after the Tarriest instead???

      November 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dindy.....

      Nuke all the opium . Not people anywhere.

      November 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Saha

      You are a paki pretending to be an afghan. Pakistan have the dirtiest politics in the region. No other country in the region has such a dirty politics as Pakistan. Pakis should look at India and learn from them. See where India is moving to in term of economy, education, and will soon have a permanent seat at UN. What pakis do: They intrude into every country’s business and export terrorist to every country including Afghanistan. Do ever mention the name Afghans, and never pretend to be an afghan

      November 15, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • MeKen

      lol, u know so much more than Secretary of State, "PUN INTENDED".

      November 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Andrew Lubin

    what Labatt fails to realize is that it's these hundreds of small success stories that add-up to a big picture success. But that would entail her spending sufficient time in the area than just J'bad – had she gone to Helmand or Nimroz Province with the Marines, she'd have seen a vibrant USMC – State Dept – USAID effort.

    November 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Lubin

      Hey Phunnie boy,will you quit usurping my name in order to show your affinity for the right-wing thugs in Washington? For the record,I have no use for them and I don't care who knows it!

      November 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chairman Mao Zedong

        I agree and anti communists will hate us for it.

        November 10, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Dindy.....

    Thanks to CNN .. and the aid workers who are working there. Afghan people are very courageous and it seems like that they grasp knowledge quickly. May God help them to come out from these difficult days!!!

    November 8, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      What's wrong with you,Dindy? Are you trying to emulate Josef Goebbels,the German press secretary,since that's what he did during WW2? He was right about one thing,tell a lie often enough people will start to believe it and that's how brainwashing got started and is still being used effectively by the C.I.A. today.

      November 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dindy.....

        Bledsoe. ....what happened now. Did I say anything wrong? I talked about what I see on CNN news and I like to see people in Afghanistan getting jobs and not facing war only . If no war there that would be the best. Yet it wont happen right now.

        November 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • JohnDPublic

        Bledso – just curious, what kind of a MORON are you ? Apparently the worst kind, insufferable and ignorant.

        November 9, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
      • LarryKegel(US Army)

        Isn't that what the Tea Party did this last election!!!

        November 10, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • MeKen


      November 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |