American Morning

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April 20th, 2009
10:08 AM ET

Journalist: U.S. officials skeptical of Obama’s Afghan surge

Journalist Michael Hastings speaks to CNN's John Roberts about President Obama's Afghanistan strategy.
Journalist Michael Hastings speaks to CNN's John Roberts about President Obama's Afghanistan strategy.

President Obama is shifting America's military focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. His strategy includes more boots on the ground and more cash and diplomacy. Will the strategy work or should the Pentagon turn to quick intense strikes?

Michael Hastings is a contributor for GQ Magazine. He is just back from the Afghanistan/Pakistan border where he was embedded with American forces. Hastings spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s American Morning Monday.

John Roberts: Some of the soldiers and commanders you spoke with are, according to your article, skeptical of whether or not this surge strategy is going to work. Based on your reporting, what do you think?

Michael Hastings: I think I found there was a significant amount of skepticism among U.S. officials and soldiers on the ground there and that a long-term, 10-25 year, multi-billion dollar commitment to Afghanistan has a very low chance of success. And essentially the question these officials asked was what are we winning? Even if we win in Afghanistan, what is it exactly that we're winning? Maybe the answer is maybe we're winning security gains, but that's not even for sure and there’s certainly no guarantee of that.

Roberts: In the president's plan, 17,000 new combat troops are to go into the southwestern area of the country and 4,000 other soldiers are to go in as trainers. Based upon what you've seen and heard, how is the training program going? Is it paying off?

Hastings: Well, the training has been slow, painful, and very disorganized. The Afghan police are notoriously corrupt. At least 15% of their new recruits tested positive for drugs and I guess that's probably a low number. The Afghan army is just getting into shape after the Americans sort of took over the program from our European allies who haven't really picked up the ball there. It’s sort of a flashback to the 1980s when we armed another group of Afghans to fight the Soviets, which became the blow-back that later became al Qaeda. And now we're saying we’re going to arm this group of Afghans and this time we’re going to get it right. And so I think there is a lot of skepticism about whether or not this is a good thing to do in the long run.

Roberts: We’ve seen that the training of the Mujahadeen was actually quite effective because they turned themselves into quite a fighting force, on the wrong side, unfortunately.

Hastings: Some of the Mujahadeen we trained are the ones we are actually engaged in on a daily basis there.

Roberts: The Obama administration is counting on help from Pakistan to get the job done. You talked to an Afghan captain who told you, “Pakistan doesn’t want Afghanistan to have peace. Pakistan wants to keep Afghanistan unstable and destroyed.” Did you see any evidence to back that up?

Hastings: Sure. I was out on the border with Americans and Afghan border patrol. And literally you could see the Pakistani border outpost about a mile or so away. And in the morning, we were attacked by Taliban that had literally walked past the Pakistan border outpost to attack us with the soldiers I was with. So it's certainly a common view held among Afghan officials that Pakistan wants to destroy them. I think the Obama administration's goal to reshape or reform the Pakistani military and intelligence service is also one that I would think would have a very low chance of success. And if it is going to have success, we're talking billions of dollars and as military advisers will tell you, 10 – 25 years.

Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. sdofelmier

    The current strategy obviously is not working in Afganistan. The new commander may bring a new level of counter insurgency; however this is war is starting to look like Vietnam. The Americans own the country during the day, and the Taliban own the country @ night. We have to get our troops on the ground 24/7 and not garrision them @ night.

    I know first hand this is occuring, since this is a direct report from a close personal relative (no name due to retaliation from the military) who is currently stationed in Shrona Provience. There is also a concern from this person that the majority of the civilain population is not behind the Central governmnet due to corrurption @ every level.

    We either win the hearts and minds of the civilain population, make a real commitment to having enough boots on the ground, or just march out of this God forsaken country.

    A few well placed cruise missles will take care of any resurgence of terriosit training grounds.

    May 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  2. Haider

    It is also supremely ironic that handing Pakistan $1.5 bn a year is considered a lot. That is the amount of money the USA is still burning through in Iraq IN A DAY! This is not even compensation for the wear and tear on the army's vehicles.

    Till recently Pakistan's economy was growing at the second highest rate in the world – ahead of India. We were attracting the same amount of FDI as India – even though our economy is ten times smaller. The flight of capital because of the negative perceptions has halted economic growth. This money is nothing compared to the estimated $30bn that Pakistan has lost in FDI alone over the last 8 years.

    The only reason this never figures is that the West sees everything through its own lens – its own media. If people were to research for themselves, they would have a clearer picture and much less hatred for the West.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:13 pm |
  3. Haider

    They are not terrorists per se. But their local tradition dictates extreme hospitality. The US made a huge mistake when it tried to attack Al-Qaeda who were their guests. Now they will fight for Al-Qaeda just because their tradition requires them to fight for their guests. In my view the only way they will win back this land (remember how I said it can not be occupied?), will be to get the local tribal people on board.

    This is what Pakistan has been doing. As the Pakistan Ambassador to the US said, "The World doesn't need America to help. The World needs America to understand."

    And India really needs to stop the covert activity its high commissions in Afghanistan are doing in the Pakistani province of Balochistan. If the Pakistani military is not comfortable – they will always wish to have an ace up their sleeve.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  4. Haider

    One has to love the Indians here proposing the break-up of Pakistan. That is exactly the kind of Indian sentiment which keeps the Pakistan army's gaze focused on India.

    Pakistan needs to think of its national interests – it is, sadly for some, not a US-lackey. Its a sovereign country which takes its independence really seriously. Right now the terrorists are concentrated in a small region (called FATA) which has enjoyed political autonomy since time immemorial. It has hardly 1 million inhabitants compared to Pakistan's total population of 170 million people.

    Do you know why its never been ruled? Because every single man is armed to the teeth – it has been their culture since forever. They warred amongst themselves and never disturbed the huge chunk of population and thus were never thought off.

    April 20, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  5. VV

    Sue – I take it you're not an Obama supporter but please keep in mind that it was BUSH and NOT Obama who started giving OUR money away. What OUR President is trying to do is to fix the mess the former administration created! And I quote – "What the h— are we doing in other countries?????" I think you should have asked Bush that question when he decided to invade Iraq two years after 911.

    I say, bring our troops back, let the other countries take care of themselves, strenghthen our borders, and spend the money that is being used for the war here in our country to make our ecomy stronger again, help our own people, provide affordable and good quality healthcare, create more and better jobs for our citizens, and make education our top priority – our kids (our future) is really suffering!!! Think of what this country can do with all those millions being spent on a daily basis on a war that makes absolutely no sense!

    Peace and God bless everyone and this country!

    April 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  6. Joe (who thought about his response)

    Pakistan is a large country, being linked to it implies nothing of it's leadership. Almost all of those can be linked to the EU using the logic you are, so calm down. Pakistan is a tactical Ally. That means we don't like them but smiling and shooting the same people is better than nuking each other.
    India is not nearly as complacent as you think, they have an active military and they are the only ones in the world watching Pakistan more than we are. We ought to be making nice with the people of Afghanistan and not just the government. formal relations mean nothing when the government is full of PEOPLE who do not like us. What are we winning? HEARTS AND MINDS both spring to mind...
    Look, sovereignty is a major issue here. We can't just walk into Pakistan and shoot legal citizens of a legitimate nation. That is WAR. invasion of yet another Islamic state is not the solution. Much less a NUCLEAR state...
    Best plan for Afghanistan: more boots on the ground to increase pressure on insurgents and influence on individuals. They won't hate us if they see us a a protective force that is helping instead of jumping down the throat of every piece of bad intel and murdering before asking questions. We messed up in the 80's, in leaving all our aid in the US once the soviets turned back. Again we failed when we had Al Queda by the throat and Cheney screamed "Look, Saddam!" and the whole army charged into Iraq. Three strikes we're out, so we NEED to get this one right.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  7. Greg

    Arm India? LOL... they have nukes, how much more armed can you get?!? God forbid Pakistan get nukes and the Taliban get ahold of them, remember their cries of either convert to Islam or get beheaded? Even worse than in Iraq where the Shiites and the Sunni's fight, the tribes along the Afganistan and Pakistan borders don't even get along with each other, let alone the rest of the world... but in their neck of the woods, they just really would like more than anything to be left alone to grow and export their poppy plants, practice their religiion, oh and rid the earth of the Christians and Zionists, and any other non-muslim people, can't forget about that.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  8. Rajiv

    Only solution is to break Pakistan and the critical new nation created would be Baluchistan. This gives 3 advantages:

    1) Afghanistan gets access to the ocean via baluchistan and hence reduces its dependency upon Pakistan or Iran. USA would access Afghanistan over Baluchistan instead. Goodbye Pak's ISI and generals.
    2) Pakistan and Iran would no longer have a land border because Baluchistan comes in the middle. Hence the Iran-Pad axis would disappear.
    3) China's sea port and naval base in Pakistan would become disfunctional to a large extent.

    There is already a Baluchi independence movement looking for help. It was never culturally a part of Pakistan anyway.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  9. Art

    Were not going to "win" anything over there. The waste of lives and money is shamful. I think the president is making a mistake.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  10. Sid

    I agree that Pakistan is definitely the real problem. But giving more aid to Pakistan is like paying a rat exterminator by the number of rats he catches. He eventually figures out that the best way to make money is to grow a rat farm not catch any!! Similarly it is no surprise that the number of Pakistani terrorists goes up the more money we send to Pakistan!

    A better strategy is to offer Pakistan a huge lumpsum once the terrorists are completely wiped out. In addition US Special Forces should take out the Pakistani nukes (before miltants steal them). Then just sit back while India whips Pakistan into shape.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  11. TeaxsAlien

    Wouldn't it have been more "journalistic" for Michael Hastings to ask these faceless U.S. officials and soldiers on the ground what strategy they KNOW FOR SURE will work in Afghanistan?

    Is there any particular reason why Mr. Hastings seems to be trying so hard to suggest that this whole Afghanistan strategy was cooked up by President Obama without inputs from military commanders and advisers who are also on the ground just like these skeptics?

    April 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  12. Steve Germantown, MD

    Pakistan is supposedly our ally in the fight on Islamic extremism not “war on terror” or is the now wrong as our new president wants acts of terrorism classified as “man made disasters” in correct PC speak. Whatever, this country has no backbone to get the dirty deeds or war done anymore and this will be our end in the near future. War is not nice it is fought to win and you win by making your enemy hurt so bad they’ll do anything to make the hurting stop. Remember that as al-Qaida is planning to do this to us using every means possible. This is an asymmetric war and our big military can’t protect us under these conditions if we insist on fighting a clean or proper war. To win a religious war you have to obliterate your enemy so they are no more but our leftism political leaders think you can make peace with these people if you can just win them over to our point of view. Remember this when we get a knife in the back, dirty bomb or something on US soiled, during some future peace talks. Our leaders can’t face the reality that we are hated by these people and nothing we do is going to win their heart or minds over. Ugly as it might be its them or us but until the major of the American people understand this our leaders will lack any backbone to do anything about it. I just hate the thought that a few American cities may have to be destroyed to get the point across to our leaders and the majority of the American people.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  13. SJ Johnson

    Republican solutions are always the same...more guns, more ammo., more war. If that doesn't work.....NUKE EM! How quickly they've dis-owned the last 8 years and how devastating it has been. Just ask the thousands of homeless and children with no home or parents.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  14. Terry, TX

    Who cares what journalists and reporters think?
    What are they the homosexual police, the racist police, military experts, the social police (they think they know what's good for us)....heck ...why don't we put in Sharia Law and let them these same journalists and reporters police how women dress and who they talk to?
    Because they write in a group...that's impressive....not after I witnessed Susan Roesgen objective reporting and Cooper using a homosexual slur.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  15. lightningbolt1

    Rose, Thank you, sometimes I feel like I'm the only grown up in a kindergarden class on here.These people watch way to much tv, and play playstation to much. But hey, They can text 500 words a minute.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  16. sony67

    Let's Nuke em, that's exactly the kind of red-neck thinking that people here don't get it and creates enemies. Pakistan has lost more solidiers and civilians against Al Qaeda and Taliban than the US, does anyone of you know that fact?? Chances are that no you didn't know that since you are only allowed to get news that suits some vested ineterests. Pakistan need stable Afghnistan and non interfering India on the Eastern side. We need economic development in the region and India needs to end its occupation of Kashmir which is a long standing issue between Pakistan and India and have fought over it few times. I should just say that read some of books by Seymour Hersh to open yoru eyes what usually goes around behind the workings of government policies.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  17. lightningbolt1

    When will you liberals and Dems grow a backbone and take some responsibility for the shape we find ourselves in.Are you new to Capitol hill? If not , you are just as responsible as Bush.Even now they cry that bush left Obama this mess. when in truth Congress has been building this mess for thirty years. Its both parties fault but I believe when its all said and done that Bush will be remembered as the less of the two evils.I know my grandchildren will think so paying back all this money they owe.And their not even born yet. Lets see how you manage to blame this mess on bush in 4 years. Back biting cowards, Stand on your own feet and be accountable for your own actions.The only thing worse than a politician is the people who believe in them.You better start using your own common sense and stop letting the media tell you what you think.Or you will feel as stupid as you sound.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  18. Robert

    Pakistani's will not even fight for their own survival. Did anyone who knows anything actually think that the Swat valley appeasement would bring anything but the hastening of the fall of Pakistan? If you give Pakistan money they will use it against us, if you make a deal with Pakistan they will break it. They are incapable of civilized, organized government. The only thing that can be done with Pakistan is let it implode and go back to a Cold War containment policy.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  19. Steve

    It's a tough one, that's for sure. By the way, a great piece in today's Times about an American infantry unit in Afghanistan.

    We had every right to attack Afghanistan seven years ago, as the Taliban gave safe harbor to Al Qaeda. But we didn't do it effectively (I believe a bit of Vietnam syndrome early on), and then shifted our focus to Iraq. Bad move.

    The question is, what are we trying to accomplish, and how long should we stay? (Okay, two questions)

    I don't see Afghanistan ever being a stable, democratic country, especially with Pakistan involved. Pakistan is the real problem.

    So, what do we do? Nukes? Boots on the ground forever?

    The Afghan fighters are battle-hardened and tough. They're not going to give up. And, of course, as with any insurgency, all they have to do to win is not lose.

    It's a tough one alright. No easy answer, although people like to pretend there is one. Obama's got his hands full – let's all hope he's up to the job. I believe he is.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  20. Thomas Fletcher

    It is NOT about Afghanistan. It IS ABOUT attacking the command and control center of our enemy in Pakistan and not continuing to allow them to re-establish in Afghanistan.

    TWO of the bigger lies of the previous admin. 1) Iraq was the central front on the war on terror 2) Al Qeada no longer had central leadership but was working in independent cells.

    The facts.

    We captured MANY "go-betweens" for Al-Qeada in Iraq and Al-Qeada in Pakistan.

    The London bombings linked back to Pakistan.

    The Madrid bombings linked back to Pakistan.

    Multiple attempts on Heathrow airport linked back to Pakistan.

    German cell planning attack on US base linked back to Pakistan.

    recent attack on India linked back to Pakistan

    recent captured terrorist cell in England linked back to Pakistan.

    No centralized leadership? Really? BS!!!!

    April 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  21. AJ

    First off, lets cut Bev some slack! Looks like everyone got on this board to cuss her out.

    Second and to the crux of Bev's point – the US needs to wake up and smell the roses/coffee (use favorite metaphor).

    Pakistan is never going to be an ally. They are a failed state – always have been. The only interest that rules in Pakistan is that of the Army/ISI. They neither have the will nor the wherewithal to improve the country's economy or healthcare or infrastructure. So, they have to consistently distract their population's attention by exaggerating the threat from India.

    They hoodwink the US the exact same way. That is exactly how they have been bilking the US of cash, which they conveniently funnel into arms purchases – the sort that can only be used against India in a conventional war (NOTE: they would never risk a nuclear war due to the risk to themselves, but will continue to conjure up such dreams to support the facade they have put up for the rest of the world).

    What the US needs to do is not to arm India any further – RATHER – it needs to stop arming Pakistan, at least in the way they have been doing thus far. Pour funds into education, infrastructure and healthcare – India will only assist. But, the US must stop aiding Pakistan with huge arms purchases like the F-16s (promised but not delivered completely) etc. Simultaneously, the US needs to stop Chinese transfer of technology to Pakistan (someone else here got the reason for that correct – China is trying to distract India's attention away from the economy).

    Finally, the US needs to consider India a strategic ally, rather than a purely (and tactically) economic one. India may be a passive, "caught in red tape" kind of place but the fundamentals of its constitution are rock solid; it has a military that is always subservient (sometimes frustratingly so) to its elected government and it has faced the threat of Islamic terrorism for hundreds of years and faced it down successfully through strong defense, cultural assimilation and projecting strong, moral values.

    April 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  22. Angie

    I think depending on Pakistan is a HUGE mistake. We should not be in either country. If my understanding is correct are we not at the mercy of the Russians and other countries in getting our troops into and out of Afghanistan safely?

    Are military men and women are land there not a chance that we could have thousands of service members held hostage over there?

    April 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  23. Jim H

    The problem with stories like this is that the reporter has failed to determine the alternatives. Do the officers want to withdraw, and what do they think the consequences would be. Do they have some other idea to offer.

    While a military solution is not the complete answer, the fact is that with an enemy as violent and ruthless as the Taliban/alQaeda alliance, a strong military force is required to create the conditions in which the other components of a solution can be implemented. Our allies are overly wary of the use of force and avoid combat. We have to seek out and defeat our enemies. Otherwise, they will take over while we huddle on our bases.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  24. Scott


    You were intending to criticize Bush and praise Obama but what you actually did was validate Bush's Afghan policy. You said "We don’t have to “win” anything in Afghanistan. What we have to do is disrupt al Qaeda AND KEEP ON DISRUPTING THEM UNTIL THEY ARE NO LONGER A THREAT." Bush put al Qaeda on the defensive for 7 1/2 years. He did it by sending in small numbers of troops and getting most of the factions within Afghanistan to side with us against the two factions that are our enemies. If Obama sends in too many troops, the entire country could unite against us the way they did to Britain twice and to the Soviet Union. Iraq didn't take anything away from our goals in Afghanistan. Limiting the number of forces we sent to Afghanistan is the reason we haven't met the same fate there that Britain and the Soviets did.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  25. Rose

    I agree with those who think we have greater problems at home than abroad. We are funding wars along with international abortions and supporting illegal immigrants when our own citizens are losing their homes and jobs. The millions of dollars we are sending overseas come from where when we are heading deeper and deeper into debt? The pockets that are emptying rapidly. Then when there's no more, what do we do? Print valueless money? Not a good answer.

    We can't pull out of any of these situations 'cold turkey' but why should we increase the flow of money that could potentially be turned against us anyway? Where is the change? It's more of the same and decades-old tax and spend, spend, spend policies that are just digging the already vast hole even deeper.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  26. LB

    The soldiers are over there without proper equipment, without proper protection - without proper leadership in the current administration and from DC. So, I bet they are skeptical. To the politicians: Stay out of this and let the military do what needs to be done and don't for one minute pretend that any of you (politicians) know what you are doing. God bless our troops....bring them home safe.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  27. Paul

    Poor Larry, being a partisan hack the exact same as Bev is and looking like a total moron.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  28. Larry

    What this reporter said was false, trust me I have been to Iraq twice and most soldiers would rather fight in Afghanistan. The military went to was because they were ordered, and under unique cirmcumstances we have did all we can. Soldiers morale go up when they hear they are going to Afghanistan, because we believe it's a noble cause. After you hear oil, oil, oil for awhile and you go to Iraq and try to understand why we are there, oil, oil, oil comes back in your head

    April 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  29. Miss J

    Hey Nuke 'em, that's a really well thought out plan that would undoubtedly go over big in places like Iran and North Korea. Sure, we'll just tell them, "do as we say, not as we do," and drop nuclear bombs on Afghanistan. Never mind the innocent lives that are lost (there are more than Al Qaeda members that live there), nor the effect on the atomosphere, and we'll just tell everybody else that we needed to do it so we could feel safe. Are you a total retard?

    April 20, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  30. Bob

    The military industrial complex and the mutinational corporations have bought out our politicians to keep these wars going forever so they can make endless profits at our expense. Until we as a nation realize this and realize that these "terrorists" are just people defending their homeland, we'll never get out of there. I'll probably end up on the terror watch-list for writing this, along with our veterans and other "extremists."

    April 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  31. Scott


    We are in Afghanistan because a terrorist organization based within Afghanistan and allied to the Taliban government of Afghanistan launched a brutal attack within the United States that killed 3000 people. You may have heard about that terrorist attack. It made the news. We asked the Taliban to turn over those responsible but they refused. The United States used a limited approach and got the ten or so factions of Afghanistan that are our allies to help us overthrow the two factions that are our enemies. We didn't go in with the intent to conquer the entire country. That didn't work so well in the past for Britain and the Soviet Union who learned the hard way just how impossible it is to defeat the Afghans when they are all united against a common enemy. Now it sounds like Obama wants to switch to the sledge hammer approach that didn't work so well for Britain and the Soviets. Lets hope those Afghan factions that are on our side now don't get nervous and start to see us as yet another would be conquerer when we send in more troops.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  32. Chris

    Where you people been? Musharraf is gone....... Since he has left it seems to me to be getting worse. Islamic law, how much more brutal can you get. We never should have let it happen, another mess that will bite us in the - later. They are letting Al Qaeda have a safe haven, right infront of our troops.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  33. lou preiditsch northville mi (former navy corpsman 66-70)

    as long as we're the man with the shovel following the elephant (afghanistan, iraq, viet nam, south korea, et al) cleaning up the crap, none of these countries will get off their collective asses to solve their problems. the threats are overblown. if kim jong il pushes a button, he'll have to follow with troops. n. korea is bankrupt, folks; that ain't happening even if china would allow him. if you continue to buy into the fear that all politicians spew to promote their agendas, then we'll never get beyond these stupid conflicts. we can protect this country with our subs, carriers, nukes, satellites, and a small, domestic army. deal with terrists surgically. fighting guerillas is futile; ask the british circa 1776. trade with the lunitic countries, but leave them to their own destiny, and concentrate on ours. and, yes i am a vet!

    April 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  34. mike

    – Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence 'annexed' Afghanistan by propping up the taliban.
    – the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran golden crescent of heroin is a multi-billion dollar annual revenue generator & supports terrorism.
    – The taliban in Afghanistan & Pakistan are marching towards fundamentalist, sharia rule & radicalizing both countries.
    – Bin Laden now owns the taliban, is supported by Pakistan's ISI, and the majority of people in both Afghanistan & Pakistan.
    – Pakistan has Nukes which can be fired at American interests.
    – China's friendship with Iran & Pakistan is a squeeze play on the U.S.
    – Once Afghanistan is lost to extremism & fundamentalism, and Pakistan follows, India will be the lone bulwark against China in the region.
    – The U.S. will be totally at China's mercy in future dealings with Afghanistan & Pakistan, just as we are today dealing with N. Korea. And China's not doing us any favors there.
    What part of this is hard to understand?
    Our banker, who is also our chief global competitor for natural resources and influence, is ascendant, and relentless.
    The disastrous follies of the last 8 years have deepened this hole.
    Retreating from this struggle now would be extremely unwise.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  35. suresh

    Warris hell:

    How soon you forget 9/11. The bad guys in Afghanistan were responsible for it. That is why we went there in the first place. However, the neo-cons convinced Bush to go into iraq so that their oil friends can rip on Iraqi oil. As a result we got bogged down in Iraq and totaly neglected our task in Afghanistan. Now Obama is trying to complete this task but situation is quite messed up.

    April 20, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  36. Lotta Muni

    It was a John Roberts interview with Obama that first indicated to me how truly cluless he is. Now Obama has diverted us from a conflict where we were beginning to make progress to one which is hopeless, pouring our military resouces down the toilet. If only more people had paid attention

    April 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
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