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Bush to Increase Troops to Afghanistan

The media headlines are all about Bush reducing troops in Iraq. Of course troop reduction in Iraq is a good thing.

But, he also announced that he's increasing troops to Afghanistan due to "renewed resistance from the Taliban."

....the president says that a Marine battalion will be on its way there in November -- instead of going to Iraq. And an Army combat brigade will follow in January.

....Bush's plan to instead shift forces to Afghanistan may give ammunition to the argument of his critics: that while focusing on Iraq, the president paid too little attention to the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.

Moving troops from one country to another is neither an end to war nor a success. Bringing all our troops home is what's needed.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I'm not on a mission to (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 06:41:01 PM EST
    take them out on the another side of the world.

    yes, and I've criticized him for it (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:29:33 PM EST
    repeatedly.

    Parent
    Yep (none / 0) (#5)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:09:44 PM EST
    and I agree with it.

    Parent
    Well... (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:25:11 PM EST
    I don't agree with it.
    It's another morass in waiting.

    Parent
    benign neglect is also a bad option (none / 0) (#30)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:48:25 AM EST
    Afghanistan is a failed state waiting to cause more trouble.

    Parent
    It was the right thing to do in 2001 (none / 0) (#10)
    by hairspray on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:00:33 PM EST
    I am not sure it is the right thing right now.  If NATO is involved it needs to be the big cheese in all of this.  Calling Wes Clark, calling Wes Clark.. I am sure he knows how to get these people on board.

    Parent
    and just where do you think NATO (none / 0) (#18)
    by coigue on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:25:32 PM EST
    will get most of it's troops?

    Parent
    The US president will have to make sure (none / 0) (#24)
    by hairspray on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 12:01:36 AM EST
    that we are not the whole force. We need to have a high contingent of NATO troops from Europe, just like Bosnia.  Remember?

    Parent
    Yup (none / 0) (#29)
    by coigue on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 10:46:49 AM EST
    but we had the most troops IIRC; and the US DOES need to put more troops in Afghan. After all, we were the ones attacked.

    Parent
    You are kidding right? (none / 0) (#9)
    by fercryinoutloud on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:43:39 PM EST
    Or are you serious and willing to cede them the country that they gained strength from to attack us in the first place and start the game all over again? To what good end would that serve?

    Parent
    then you probably would (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:36:22 PM EST
    look lovely in a burqua! hey, just kidding.

    I'm not on a mission to take them out on the another side of the world.

    well, sort of. that isn't why we went there in the first place, if you'll recall. we went there to capture osama bin laden, given shelter (for cash) in afghanistan, by the taliban, his ideoligical bros.-in-arms.

    the taliban run gov't refused our extradition request, not for legal but monetary reasons. they basically committed an act of war on the united states. few people would legitimately argue that we should leave the country to the war lords and the resurgent taliban.

    Parent

    The more I research Russia (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:08:59 PM EST
    The more I am convinced that that is where the real threat is going to come from in the near to long-term future. The state ownership of Gazprom, Putin's power consolidation, and the energy contracts Russia has been signing left and right with surrounding nations; (Bush just cancelled our own proposed contract with Russia today--thank you Bush) it all leads me to believe that Russia is hording energy for the forseeable future. They know that energy is a rapidly rising commodity on the world scale, and the more that they can produce and contract out, the better the Russian economy gets, and the more standing Russia has in the world.

    Cheney and Rice have perpetuated this problem by creating an East-West issue from the matter. To quote Cheney, "Further expansion of NATO will continue and be left up to the allies as they see fit." Rice also called for the inclusion of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO--moves which would directly threaten Russia over its energy grabbing moves.

    The more that I read about this, the more I believe we are firmly on the cusp of a Second World War. And we need as little outside conflict as possible, and that means returning our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Terrorism is no longer the greatest threat to America's economic and diplomatic safety. We need to get prepared, and start making some smart diplomatic moves. We need to sit down with Medvedev and Putin and defuse this situation as quickly as possible. We need to perhaps practice a "containment" type of strategy--not one to prevent Communism, but one to prevent the hegemonic buliding up of world energy reserves.

    The BEST thing we could do would be to get on the cutting edge of alternative fuels. The faster that we can create wind energy and solar energy and hydroelectric and any other kind of energy we can, the faster that makes Russia's current strategy ineffective, and the better that it avoids us some possible damage.

    That is what Obama said he would do. (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Saul on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:09:45 PM EST


    Exactly (none / 0) (#26)
    by stefystef on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 08:54:00 AM EST
    When Obama said he wanted to increase troops in Afghanistan, I cringed.  His followers want ALL American troops out of the region.  I feel he lost alot of credibility when he said that.

    Parent
    Oh, God. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:22:06 PM EST
    "Moving troops from one country to another is neither an end to war nor a success. Bringing all our troops home is what's needed."

    I agree wholeheartedly with you, Jeralyn.

    Then, there's this:

    July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said today that U.S. combat troops should be shifted to Afghanistan from Iraq.

    ``This has to be our central focus, the central front of our battle against terrorism,'' Obama said on CBS's ``Face the Nation'' program.

    It's enough to make one tear ones' hair out.

    If the objective is to ... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Meteor Blades on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:32:11 PM EST
    ...capture or kill Osama bin Laden and wipe out the remnants of the original al qaeda, then the U.s. doesn't need more troops, we need specialized troops with a strong local-language contingent.

    If the objective is to crush al Qaeda and the Taliban - even though some the fighting is now carried out by warlords - then the U.S. will need tens of thousands of troops who will fight in the same manner as in Iraq, that is, without an exit plan.

    It's Too Late Folks (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by dissenter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:38:17 PM EST
    Afghanistan can't be "saved". You could put a 100,000 more troops in there and it won't matter.

    People don't listen to Obama (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Grace on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 04:10:49 AM EST
    Obama wants a bigger military, not a smaller one:

    San Francisco Chronicle

    McCain, campaigning in Missouri, seized on comments Obama made Sunday in an interview on ABC. Asked on "This Week" to name changes he planned as president that would be unpopular with his party, the Illinois senator responded by calling for a bigger military.


    Gorgeous George said that he (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:14:30 AM EST
    was thinking about sending home 8,000 troops from Iraq in February.  Does he realized he isn't President anymore in February?

    So to sum up the last 3 to 4 months (none / 0) (#12)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 08:55:05 PM EST
    About 10 months or so ago Obama lays out his foreign policy agenda:
    • Timetables in Iraq
    • Go into Pakistan if we know Bin Laden is there
    • More troops to stabalize Afghanistan

    and over the last six months or so Both McCain and Bush have more or less adopted all of these proposals whole-cloth- how the heck is this not an admission that Obama was right and that they were wrong?

    Not an admission that Obama is right . . . (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by allys gift on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:37:47 PM EST
    it's an admission that Obama is just as wrong as McCain and Bush.  (1)  Most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis and we're not going after them (2) Bin Laden, if alive, is in Pakistan (3) No one can take Afghanistan, not the Soviets, not us (4)fighting them makes more warriors against us (5) Taliban itself is partly of our making thru arming Mujahadeen (6) there are much better ways to weaken their network through good old fashion police work and intelligence gathering.

    Parent
    Afghanistan (none / 0) (#16)
    by Paprika on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:45:23 PM EST
    There IS renewed resistance from the Taliban, judging from the number of people coming home in body bags.

    Three Canadian soldiers were killed last week and another one this weekend, which may not seem like a lot to Americans, but it is for us.

    That brings the total to 97 for Canada, which is a lot given the size of our military. We backed the U.S. up in Afghanistan after 9/11, we're there now at the legitimate request of the Afghani government and the soldiers I've spoken to who've served there said they really feel they're making a difference, as trite as that may sound.

    So what, America leaves and Afghanistan descends into anarchy again? And the people who lost their lives trying to build something there lost their lives for nothing and the Taliban can just go back to harbouring terrorists who DID kill Americans?

    At the very least, if you're worried about America's reputation abroad you wouldn't make statements about pulling out of Afghanistan right now. American needs to live up to its obligations in that country and that means more troops.

    Have you been there? (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by dissenter on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:13:31 PM EST
    I have. Let me clue you in. First of all, Kabul is surrounded on three sides. The Taliban controls the entire south of the country. Herat is overrun with mafia types. The eastern part of the country is now falling. We can't control one border point. The map in Afghanistan will probably look like it did on Sept 10, 2001 in the near future - the Taliban will control the country except for the North, around Mazar-i-Shariff.  This will happen WHILE WE ARE THERE.

    The government is about to fall. Karzai is universally hated in Afghanistan. He  isn't going to win even a rigged election. The corruption in his government makes the Iraqi Govt look like an upstanding civil service.

    We can't win. You are talking about people who primarily still think it is the 13th century. There is almost non-existent health services. Women in reality have no rights (they are property to be sold, killed or prostituted). There is no economy outside of illegal drugs for the most part. Karzai's govt is filled with Taliban. Women in Kabul are back in Burkhas.

    I hate to tell you this but we have already lost...just like Genghis Khan, the British and the Soviets.

    Staying there for national honor is a recipe for disaster. I haven't even gotten into what is coming over the border from Pakistan.

    The entire country is rearming ready to start the civil war again. What may I ask is your prescription to prevent this because not even 100,000 troops will do  it.

    We blew it.

    Parent

    Thanks, Dissenter (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:27:48 PM EST
    And I can tell the rest of you Dissenter knows what s/he is talking about.

    Parent
    No essential diffence between Bush and Obama (none / 0) (#19)
    by Andreas on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:26:53 PM EST
    At the end of July the WSWS wrote:

    It is clear that the presidential campaign of Barack Obama has become the political vehicle for a significant shift in the focus of US military aggression from Iraq to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

    Obama, who won the Democratic presidential primary by tapping into popular antiwar sentiment and exploiting his chief rival's vote to authorize the Iraq war, has become the leading spokesman for an escalation of the war in Afghanistan and its possible extension into Pakistan, a policy which is gathering growing support within the political and military establishment.

    Obama promotes wider war in Afghanistan: Another presidential race between pro-war candidates
    By Jerry White, 25 July 2008

    Big difference between Obama and Bush. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Realleft on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 10:47:59 PM EST
     Obama wanted to pursue terrorists, Bush wanted to pursue oil and daddy's rival who was a bad guy but not particularly outstanding in that respect otherwise.  I don't believe Obama ever said he was anti-war, he said he was anti-Iraq-war,  "anti-dumb-war" or "anti-rash-war."  He's not a pacifist liberal and never has been.  He believes that enemies of freedom should be taken out before they get nuclear weapons. He believes in weaning off of middle-east oil, and addressing the conditions that underlie war - "ignorance and intolerance, corruption and greed, poverty and despair."  He's been saying the same thing since 2002.

    Parent
    Anybody can agree to (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Emma on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 11:31:23 PM EST
    that. I guess that's the beauty of post-partisanship.  So little content anybody can get on board.

    Parent
    Well, (none / 0) (#28)
    by Realleft on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 09:19:14 AM EST
    I believe this is part of a thread of comments opposing just such a stance, so I guess not everybody agrees.

    Parent