Rethinking Afghanistan

You get your pick of polls on the Afghanistan war this morning. AP-GfK found only 40% of Americans any longer support the war, though they back sending one-off expeditionary forces to fight specific terrorist threats. Quinnipiac found a slight majority still in favor of the war. Widely diverging results such as this one suggest either small samples or poorly worded questions. But it seems to me clear that if Obama makes a big commitment of troops and resources in Afghanistan he will face increasing public disillusionment over time, especially in his own party, now the majority party in the country.

Aljazeera English on assessing al-Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan:

CBS reports on Afghanistan’s political future in view of the disputed presidential election (see below).

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5 Responses

  1. usa, not one to learn from history, of course, should simply leave afghanistan, starting this evening.

    there is nothing they can do to change a single thing about the culture there.

  2. The war is essentially over at this point, regardless of what Obama decides to do with troops. In fact, if we does approve an big increase of troops, his own party will likely only go along with it, if he commits to a definite exit plan.

    link to

  3. Riding home today, I was noticing the expensive cars and SUV’s, and that if they had a political bumper sticker; it was most often, an Obama/ Biden sticker. Then, I thought about how Zbigniew Brezezinski says that the Central Asian region is one of the most important regions for the US. He lists several reasons, but one of his more important reasons is the abundance of resources such as oil. Also, it’s not difficult to find bloggers and others talk about the pipeline across Afghanistan as being a “real” reason we are there.
    I have a feeling that those are the kinds of issues that initially cause people to oppose the war with disgust. But, I wonder what those SUV drivers would think if their gas went up to $7.00?
    So, I would like to see a serious discussion about how much the conquest of resources is an important underlying cause of our wars, and how would the public react to less available resources. Along with that discussion, would the public ever consider a major change in lifestyle? What would the public choose? Would they choose wars or $7.00 gas? Personally, I love my bike, and I love to blow past the traffic jams of SUV’s with Obama stickers.

    Bob Spencer

  4. What "Mission" in Afghanistan? good grief, Juan, we're still trying to get the what, ~150,000 ground troops, with no "Mission" whatsoever, the hell out of IRAQ! WTH difference does The Mission make? they're doing this thing day -to- day! but fwiw, I would immediately transfer 4 brigades to Afghanistan "to reinforce NATO-American forces that are in obvious, ominous jeopardy" — and then with that 'political cover' I would sack the Generals Petraeus and McChrystal for having put US in these dire straits, ASAP. (did everybody see the videos of that recent firefight (8 KIA) of that forlorn "Fort Apache, the Bronx" FOB in Nuristan? man, that was like some kind of wicked acid flashback of complete officer corps incompetence. And Petraeus / McChrystal's summer offensive in Helmand ~ what a fiasco that literally hellish, 120F summer assault in the desert was). I don't care if Petraeus is the Republican Party's best hope for 2012, he and McChrystal have botched AfPak, big time. "Send me more troops," he whines. We'll send more troops because now we have to, General: but for their sake, not to rescue you and your "Mission", whatever the hell that was!

  5. Thousands of Americans who oppose escalation in Afghanistan have participated in a "friendly takeover" of the White House Facebook page, a virtual vigil to call for a new approach. Click here to join us: link to

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