What should America's goal be in Afghanistan?
September 30th, 2011
04:23 PM ET

What should America's goal be in Afghanistan?

Editor's Note: Melissa Labonte is an assistant professor of political science at Fordham University. Peter Romaniuk is an associate professor of political science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

By Melissa Labonte and Peter Romaniuk – Special to CNN

Recently, after militants undertook a 20-hour assault on the U.S. embassy and NATO compound in Kabul, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, downplayed the implications. “This really is not a very big deal,” he said, adding that, “If that’s the best they can do, I think it’s actually a statement of their weakness.” Following the recent assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, former Afghan President and leader of the government’s efforts to negotiate peace with the Taliban, the ambassador should rethink his poorly chosen words.

The uptick in violence in Afghanistan includes multiple attacks in the capital (the British Council, the Inter-Continental Hotel, and the Afghan Defense Ministry), as well as the recent assassinations of four of President Hamid Karzai’s closest advisers: his half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai; Kandahar city mayor, Ghulam Haidar Hameedi; long-time mentor, Jan Mohammad Khan, and outspoken Taliban opponent, Mohammed Daud Daud. These events have occurred against the backdrop of a particularly deadly summer for U.S. forces – at 70, U.S. casualties in August set a record for any month in America’s near-decade long engagement. By any measure, the current situation in Afghanistan is a very big deal.

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. USMC Forever

    Hey Arman, you stupid Ahab, what if we decided to nuke your dumb @ss. Would we win then, RETARD BOY??????

    October 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. InfidelHere

    Our goal? Well...in all reality, everybody's goal should be that we can only hope that more and more muslims are becoming disillusioned with ISLAM. We can only hope that they find out that the mechanistic ritual of praying five times per day, reciting verses that they do not understand (and indeed mean nothing), getting up at taxing hours of the morning and abstaining from food and water until the sunset are not means to becoming more spiritual, but are instruments to control their mind. These enlightened muslims no more heed to the fear mongering verses of the koran that threaten to burn them and roast them in the "fires of hell" (per the koran) if they dare to think and question the validity of that book.

    We can only hope they find islam inconsistent with science, logics, human rights and ethics.

    Otherwise, if ISLAM is going to be around, we will ALWAYS be at war with this cult ideology.

    October 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ian

    America's goal in Afghanistan should be, leaving Afghanistan and resolving their own domestic dilemmas.

    October 4, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. What was that???

    Hey .. Have you ever put peanut butter on your privates and let your dog lick it off? Good times .. good times.

    October 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bud Tree Jr.

      Another jerk here posting with his Tea Party mentality above. These Tea Partiers never try to hide their nasty thoughts either out of ignorance or just plain hatefulness!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. joe

    Doesn't anyone notice what is wrong with this photo???? those are blanks on the ground!!

    October 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie Sheenster

      Joe, excellent eye, you are absolutely correct. Those are blanks you can tell by the crimped nose. What the heck, another staging or what???

      October 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |

    Keith Gleason, George Patton, and Bud Tree Jr thank's a lot for you these sincere feelings which may prove a ray of hope for us here at the front line in war on terror. We, here for the last three decades are victims in US wars in this region and here every one is cursing USA for their miseries. In no way this war is in the interest of USA however very few in Pentagon, MIC and oil groups are main beneficiaries whom always cheat American taxpayers and through their hard earned money purchasing hates for American public all over the world. Believe me before these US wars we had an ideal peace as 95% of public in Afghanistan and Pakistan had no weapon at all while among the 5% major weapon was British made 303 semi automatic rifle while today with the blessings of USA thousands of locals and non locals have been trained in what the USA today call international terrorism. Today USA is reaping what they have sown in this region. Further continuity in this bloodshed will keep on adding to the hate against USA and then no American all over the world will be safe of this constantly rising hate. D A N you too should realize that you are wrong by supporting US's baby killing in this region.

    October 2, 2011 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
    • USMC Forever

      Hey BANGASH, tell your old lady scrotum-skull I'll met her down by the river at 8:00 tonight, Beeeeoooooocccchhh!!!

      October 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Keith Gleason

    Get out.. Bring our troops home!!!

    October 1, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. George Patton

    I think I know what Barack Obama's goal in Afghanistan is and that is to do as much damage to Islam as possible. Why? The answer may be relatively simple too. His own father was or is a Muslim himself and abandonned the Obama family when Barack was just a baby. This war may be his way of exacting retribution. This is just my theory but could be true. Then again, Afghanistan does have abundant underground resources and U.S. and European companies do wish to exploit them.

    September 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bud Tree Jr.

      You're most probably right, George. Its too bad that nobody else here has the sense to realize what you said about this Barack Obama. Even I never thought about that! Some people do act on their childhood experiences.

      October 1, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
      • nugha

        hmm, maybe such as Bush, for seeking revenge for his father...

        October 2, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. .

    Just get out.

    September 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |