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Afghanistan: More Troops or Get Out?

There is profound disagreement among our Readers Who Comment this morning about what President Obama should do in response to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's report which says the United States needs more troops soon to secure Afghanistan or the effort will be lost.

McChrystal is the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan and a copy of his report was obtained by Post reporter Bob Woodward, who writes that McCrystal "repeatedly warns that without more forces and the rapid implementation of a genuine counterinsurgency strategy, defeat is likely." The report is under review.

This story has renewed a long-running reader debate about whether Afghanistan is an unwinnable situation from which the United States should withdraw or an absolute must to win to which Obama should commit more troops. There is the usual partisan noise about how President Bush blew it by reducing the Afghanistan effort to supply the War in Iraq and some questions about why it is taking Obama so long to decide.

We'll start with profmarcus, who wrote, "I'm sitting here in Kabul reading this and nodding my head in vigorous agreement. McChrystal is telling the kind of truth that should have been told a long time ago. The only part that bothers me is the notion that putting more guys with guns on the ground is somehow going to fix things, even i[f]s their mission is to protect Afghans, something that, without doubt, desperately needs doing..."

But mrjoebeggs said, "It's obvious that General McChrystal is a brilliant tactician. I believe that his advice should be followed."

cpaton provided the least helpful comment of the morning: "Obama is an incompetent and dangerous boob, in many ways, but most importantly, in the area of our national security. I have absolutely no confidence that he will make the right decision on Afghanistan. If he doesn't get this right, then he needs to go straight back to corrupt Chicago, where he learned his politics." And just what is the right decision?

Socialistic wrote, "The taliban will be in afghanistan for 1000 years, killing all "infidels." This war is not winnable---bring the troops home. You can't defeat terrorists who hide in mountains and kill women and children."

MikeMcNally said, "The republicans messed this operation up when they pulled the troops out as they lied to invade Iraq. This war should have been completed six years ago, and like the lying republicans in our own country, the taliban has used propaganda against US troops... It's truly sad, but this is a war we need to win. It's amazing how republicans don't even remember who attacked us on 9/11."

But uptownman wrote, "Once again, the libs "blame" Bush for anything that appears tough to handle. You're in charge libs, either handle the situation or get out. Wait, come November of 2010 we'll take of that for you!"

druvas said, "As long as the Taliban exists as a fighting force we will not be able to leave Afghanistan. While I desire their destruction, I will settle for a negotiated peace treaty in which they turn over OBL in exchange for peace and refrain from governance. But, really, I don't think we should talk peace until the Gov't is stable and capable of defending themselves effectively."

jmangan1 said, "Get out now. It's the only smart thing to do. Of course, we won't."

rhewitt wrote, "...AFGHANISTAN is now Obama's war, and America needs to win it. I'm no fan of Obama, but he has to support measures that will insure the utter and total defeat of the insurgency, and if he's unwilling to do that, he needs to pull out every American and ally now, before any more are needlessly killed or maimed..."

rusty3 said, "It is time to give up on the far edges of Empire. And, it is well past time to give up on the war on drugs. Bring the troops home and put them on the borders. Use the FBI to search for terrorists. That should keep everyone busy and keep them employed--isn't that the point?"

freedom9 wrote, "Vietnam deja vu[.] This mission failed the minute troops were diverted to Iraq[.] Put a lid on it, enough is enough"

dee150586 said, "wow just read the report. after reading this i hope the president supports his comanding general and sends more troops. it will be unpopular with his country, but the office of the presidency is making the unpopular decisions for the best of the country and our military."

r333 wrote, "So the Taliban can get endless supplies of arms and munitions. If the Allies spent the last few years lifting the living standard of Afghans and stop all countries/people supplying the Taliban this war would be long over..."

BlueTwo1said, "...If America were interested in annexing Afghanistan as our 51st state, with plans to build skyscrapers, superhighways, schools, hospitals, electricity and water lines, and install a Governor, war in Afghanistan would make sense... Our mission is to fight to "protect Our Freedoms" until we achieve Victory. Only Victory remains undefined."

Ted6 wrote, "So Obama's Team has been reviewing this for 3 weeks many months is this gonna take??? After kicking the Poles and Czech's to the curb it wouldn't suprise me if he did the same to our own troops."

Ptoadstool said, "I'm curious as to how "failure" could even be defined, since the mission - such as it is - does not have any clear benchmarks. This is not a war, even if some call it that. It is nation-building with an endless parade of police actions and no front lines...Now that the Afghans have had their "elections", it is time to declare this debacle a success and pull out."

We'll close with MrMean wrote, "Unless we can fix the government, economy and social structure -- there is very little our great young military men and women car do to help Afghanistan in the long run, no matter how many we send. Sad but true, the Afghan people have history, geography and culture against their entry into the modern world and the stability that would provide."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  September 21, 2009; 7:39 AM ET
 | Tags: Afghanistan, McChrystal, Obama  
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Well most common sense people have died or moved to another country,the few that are still here say who should you listen term Obama,a man that has no experience in war torn America.Certainly we should be voting for our genrals. Certainly we should be fighting this war with field commisioned Real men,not the WEENIES field commanders call the new west pointers.Its kill or be killed.

Posted by: axsyl | September 26, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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