President Obama: Afghanistan IS Still Winnable

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February 17, 2009 CBC The National

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Obama orders 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan

By Barry Grey
19 February 2009

President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered the dispatch of 17,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan in a major escalation of the increasingly bloody American-led occupation of the war-ravaged country.

In a brief written statement issued by the White House—Obama did not personally address the American people to inform them that a growing number of their sons and daughters would be sent to kill and be killed in defense of US strategic interests in Central Asia—the president signaled that the escalation in Afghanistan would be combined with an intensified military intervention across the border in Pakistan.

He cast the increased deployment as a response to a deteriorating situation in “Afghanistan and Pakistan,” and linked the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan with an Al Qaeda safe haven “along the Pakistani border,” which he claimed—echoing the rhetoric of his predecessor—”threatens America.”

via Obama orders 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan


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14 thoughts on “President Obama: Afghanistan IS Still Winnable

  1. Pingback: Surging towards a US-NATO Military Disaster: Obama’s Escalating War in Central and South Asia by Tom Burghardt « Dandelion Salad

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  4. No, it’s not winnable no, plain and simple, no matter what we throw at it – militarily that is. History is fraught with those who thought and insisted that it was winnable, and then they had to leave, many years down that thorny road, and after they incurred heavy losses. Let’s start by realizing that the Taliban is no Hammas or Iraq, they are a national, religious movement that is driven by so rigid an ideology and supported, on the grassroots level by most of the population, not to mention the Pakistani Taliban, who are another big headache to reckon with, and to think that we can convert them and turn them one day into a democracy would be utter naiveté.

    We need to specify and build a consensus as to what are our objectives in Afghanistan, realistic objectives that is, and their actual feasibility. Our objective should be squarely to emasculate Al Qaida to a point where it poses no or a very minimal risk to us and our allies, and that can only be achieved through cooperation with the Taliban themselves – and no other way.

    Instead of fighting a losing battle with the Taliban, the worst consequences of which I believe we haven’t seen yet, we should engage them smartly, and if we can make our case to the Taliban, and get them to realize that it’s in their best interest to get rid of Al Qaida, and that we have no beef with them, nor that we want to change their country and way of life into something they’d never stand for and accept, then, I believe, we stand a chance of making a deal with them.

    The Taliban are holding onto Al Qaida because we weren’t savvy and smart enough to offer them an alternative, one that gets them to see that Al Qaida is more trouble than it’s worth. Our notorious arrogance and overestimation of our military strength and its ability to change conditions on the ground, has led us astray so often, and cost us so dearly, and we still seem not to have learned much from all the mistakes we made.

    Obama is no Bush, and I have faith in his ability to learn from previous mistakes, and if he’ll prove to be a great president as I hope for him and believe he will, he’ll need to have the political courage to stand up and make smart tough decisions and compromises that his predecessor had no guts, brains nor inclination to do.

    Mr. President, you have the power to make history, on many fronts, you got it in you, and the whole world is waiting for you to do so. Make us proud and take us to the mountain top! We Know you can do it.

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  8. Afghanistan? Winnable? Sheesh, it couldn’t be conquered by Alexander the Great — or the British Empire, when the sun never set on it — not to mention the USSR, within recent memory.

    The only way to keep extremists from gaining more ground is to STOP being bullies and help solve the underlying problems. For a tiny fraction of what’s been wasted lately on wars of choice (and is still being wasted), we could’ve done so much good for people that the extremists would have been rendered irrelevant and laughable.

    • Exactly, Katherine. What’s the saying? “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Eliminating poverty worldwide would reduce population, reduce likelihood of terrorism, etc. It seems so simple to me, so why can’t the Big Boys/Girls figure this out? (rhetorical question)

  9. Common Canada, join ranks of debt nations.
    Your financial’s aren’t screwed up enough, and Canada your making thy begger neighbor look bad.

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