John McCain is already complaining that this comes with a time frame for the pullout.
The most bizarre defense of Obama's escalation is also one of the most common: since he promised during the campaign to escalate in Afghanistan, it's unfair to criticize him for it now -- as though policies which are advocated during a campaign are subsequently immunized from criticism. For those invoking this defense: in 2004, Bush ran for re-election by vowing to prosecute the war in Iraq, keep Guantanamo open, and "reform" Social Security. When he won and then did those things (or tried to), did you refrain from criticizing those policies on the ground that he promised to do them during the campaign? I highly doubt it.
After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.
Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground.
You assume the surge 'worked.' It didn't.
We as a nation have a responsibility to the Afghan people not to leave their country so much more fucked up than when we showed up -- TypographicalError
We as a nation have a responsibility to ourselves to make Afghanistan better (because we're already there) so that 30 or 40 years down the line we haven't created another mass murderer. -- TypographicalError
That is the way to end all wars. Bring back the draft, with no student deferments. -- readery
Is there any way the Senate can block this from happening, the way they blocked sane health care? -- dirigibleman
I agree. It was the allowing of Al Qaeda to build up to attack us and giving them the greenlight to attack us that provides the need for me. A known threat--already attacked us. -- Ironmouth
the stated motive for the war has moved on from building a new democratic state in the western mould to preventing Taliban control of much of the country and the reappearance of al-Qaida training-camps. Thus, the Afghan war is about the western states's domestic security, and preventing more attacks.
This does not add up. The diffuse al-Qaida movement does not rely on a large network of training-camps, now that its cellular influence spreads in Yemen, Somalia, and north Africa. In any case, it is often forgotten that the bases operated by the movement in Afghanistan in the late 1990s had very little to do with transnational jihadist actions and much more to do with training foreign volunteers to aid the Taliban in completing their civil war against the Northern Alliance.
A SECRET plan to put Osama bin Laden on trial in Pakistan has been blocked after President Musharraf said he could not guarantee his safety, it was disclosed yesterday.
Suggested by the Taliban's closest allies in Pakistan, it was a last-ditch attempt to satisfy Western demands for bin Laden's surrender while averting a war and ensuring the fanatical regime's survival.
A high-level delegation led by Qazi Hussain Ahmad, head of Pakistan's most important Islamic party, the Jamaat-i-Islami, met Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, in secret on Monday. Omar agreed that bin Laden should be taken to Pakistan, where he would be held under house arrest in Peshawar.
The proposal, which had bin Laden's approval, was that within the framework of Islamic shar'ia law evidence of his alleged involvement in the New York and Washington attacks would be placed before an international tribunal.
The court would decide whether to try him on the spot or hand him over to America. The secret deal was agreed after a meeting in Islamabad on Saturday at which Mulla Abdus Salaam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, and Hamid Gul, former director of Pakistan's inter-service intelligence, and Qazi were present.
After reviewing all of the evidence, I don't agree that the president was acting out of a lack of courage. I think that his decision to surge US forces in Afghanistan reflects a mature, considered decision on his part to do what he thinks is the right thing. (Unfortunately, it's wrong.)
...Still, the point is, unless you've been blinded by the celebrity glare that has surrounded Obama since he burst onto the scene, there's no excuse for being surprised at what he decided. He told us what he thinks many times, he told us what he'd do, and then he did it.
Which brings me to the 2011 issue.
It's easy to be cynical about that date.... Still, for the first time -- and it's not nothing -- the United States has set a sell-by date for its Afghan policy. Obama has declared that the US effort in Afghanistan must show clear signs of success by 2011, or else it's time to pick up the ball and go home. At the same time, if by some miracle the success that the president says he seeks in Afghanistan is achieved by then, as unlikely as that seems, well, then it's time to declare victory and go home, too. So write down that date: July, 2011, and let's hold the president to it. By then, for certain, politics will be a major factor, since Obama will be facing reelection. (And, very possibly, running against General Petraeus.)
So Obama wasn't lying to us in 2008, when he called the war in Afghanistan the "right war." He wasn't lying to us in March, 2009, when he sent the first reinforcements. And he wasn't lying in August, 2009, when he said that the war in Afghanistan was, in his view, a vital national security concern... If he wasn't lying then, why should we be cynical about his July, 2011, date?
The Taliban who governed Afghanistan from 1996–2001 had strong ties to Pakistan, both official and unofficial: they formed their identity in Pakistani schools and refugee camps, received funding and support from Islamabad that enabled their rise, and had close bilateral relations with their patrons after they seized power. Their agenda, however, was primarily a national one, and it remained so even after they were toppled and driven into the wilderness by the United States in 2001–2. Taliban spokesmen claim Mullah Omar has no involvement in militant activities in Pakistan, and that his main goal is to expel American and allied forces from Afghanistan and to reestablish a national Islamic regime. He and his forces aim to outwit, outlast, and outplay yet another alien superpower, replicating the mujahideen’s victory against the Soviets.
Guantanamo Bay has not been closed...*assorted other whining about things not happening fast enough*
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