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KevenSeven On November - 12 - 2009

Afghanistan_War_2001 - wide

Reports have it that the president has rejected all four of the plans presented to him and demands a plan with a clear exit strategy.

Sy Hersh on Maddow:


Following is and excerp from the AP wire story.

“WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama won’t accept any of the Afghanistan war options before him without changes, a senior administration official said, as concerns soar over the ability of the Afghan government to secure its own country one day.

Obama’s stance comes as his own ambassador in Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, is voicing strong dissent about a U.S. troop increase, according to a second administration official.

Eikenberry’s misgivings center on a concern that bolstering the American presence in Afghanistan could make the country more reliant on the U.S., not less. He expressed them in forcefully worded cables to Washington just ahead of Obama’s latest war meeting Wednesday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss administration deliberations.

The developments underscore U.S. skepticism about the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose government has been dogged by corruption. The emerging administration message is that Obama will not do anything to lock in an open-ended U.S. commitment.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that she is concerned about Afghanistan’s “corruption, lack of transparency, poor governance (and) absence of the rule of law.”

“We’re looking to President Karzai as he forms a new government to take action that will demonstrate — not just to the international community but first and foremost to his own people — that his second term will respond the needs that are so manifest,” Clinton said during a news conference in Manila with Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo.

Obama is still expected to send in more troops to bolster a deteriorating war effort.

He remains close to announcing his revamped war strategy — troops are just one component — and probably will do so shortly after he returns from a trip to Asia that ends Nov. 19.”

Categories: News & Politics

21 Responses so far.

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  1. javaz says:

    Not sure how credible “raw story” is, but there is an article about our defense contractors paying the Taliban tens of millions of our tax dollars.

    “The report, by veteran investigative correspondent Aram Roston, asserts that US military contractors charged with assisting US forces in Afghanistan are actually funding the groups killing American soldiers. Roston describes a protection racket similar to that of the mafia, in which contractors pay the Taliban “protection money” not to attack them.”


  2. AlphaBitch says:

    Let me go on record in saying that I am glad he is taking it slow, and thinking about things down the road. I want to help the people there and not just drop and run like in Charlie Wilson’s War. I also don’t want to waste our time, money and lives on a project without end. I think his calling out the Karzai government for the corrupt, puppet regime it is is a good thing. I wonder however, how the Afghan people will see it -- since Karzai was put into place by the U.S. in the first place. I know from discussions that many see our involvement with a corrupt government as authorizing such governance. for years, they have also told me that we work with the Taliban. I denied it (silly me!), but it seems to be so.

    I did ask one of my boys about this whole thing. He hates talking politics, but sighed and said “I think the U.S. will do whatever it wants to do, and paint it to seem like a victory.” When we spoke about the situation, he said “I know it does not seem like progress to people here. Everything happens very quickly over here, compared to Afghanistan. But I can promise you that the situation in Afghanistan is without doubt better now than it was seven or eight years ago. And I don’t know what will happen without international support. But change has happened, it just happens more slowly than Americans would like. We have 5000 years to ‘change’. It won’t be easy, but it oculd happen. It’s already happened some.” He also feels it is up to his own people to push for the change -- to “be the change they want to see”, his favorite Ghandi quote.

    I respect everyone’s opinions and concerns, and I don’t even profess to have the answers. What I do have is a great love, concern and responsibility to and for all the people I have met, and who have all seemed so incredibly grateful for what we were doing to help them.

    I live two blocks from where the Wounded Warriors are; not a week goes by that I don’t see wounded soldiers in my store. I often go up and speak with soldiers I’ve never met. They often come up and speak to me, if I am with one of my kids and they hear me speak.

    It’s a very hard, complicated issue. As with all difficult decisions, I believe that your true intention weighs the most -- what it is you are about, what do you believe? That being said, I trust our President and our Vice-President.

    I also spoke with the person heading the Afghan Women’s Writing Project; she makes the assumption that the girls are safe if no last name/location is used. I’m a little more skeptical (years of never even using anything but an alias, unless I had special permission to do so), but I do think it’s a good and important project. Their voices must be heard. I just wish my boys had an equally compelling forum in which to write.

    Thanks to all of you here. With our different perspectives, it is so wonderful to have a real honest to goodness dialogue, with respect and listening. As I wrote someone last night, I go to that other site to snark so I don’t snark at home……..

  3. nellie says:

    This is good news to wake up to.

    • KQuark says:

      I really wonder if his visit to section six yesterday to visit the graves of the troops that have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan has influenced his opinion. I think the troops deserve and exit strategy out of Afghanistan.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      Absolutely. But this is what I expect from a President. Thinking before you act, whether it be about money, or people.

  4. BigDogMom says:

    I’m just grateful that we have an intelligent adult in office now and is weighing all the options and insisting on an exit strategy and more information.

    Whatever the plan, the President will take heat for it, it may not be a perfect plan but at least it’s a plan with an end to this conflict.

    • KQuark says:

      No doubt McCain would just rush in and take McChrystal’s recommendations verbatim just like he did with Petraeus and Iraq. Like someone once said ‘wars are too important to leave up to the generals’. They will always ask for more troops, more equipment and more time. A Commander-in-Chief should consider the recommendations of the military brass but the decision is ultimately up to him. The fact is Bush did not listen to military brass in the beginning and then outsourced the Iraq war to the generals in the end.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      I too am thankful he’s thinking about it. Most of those crying for instant actions will complain later on even if those actions were what they demanded if it turns out it wasn’t the right move. But many of those complaining now would complain no matter what, after all, they’re Republicans.

      • BigDogMom says:

        Hey Monk, at least it’s a plan. What was the plan for the last eight years, wing it(?), ignore it and hope it will go away(?), the repugs have no defendable arguement on this one…but of course they will gloss this over and turn it around to the detriment of this current administration.

        Same shit, different day and topic…don’t they every get tired of all this conflict? No need to answer, I think they thrive on it!

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          Their plan was naitivity and arrogance. “We’re Americans, we’ll whip their butts and then everyone will rejoice we are here and the second coming will occur.”

          F cking moronic arses.

          • BigDogMom says:

            F’ing moronic asses is being nice, I could think of other names to call them…my mouth has become so filthy, I don’t know if it’s living with a sailor all these years, where every other word is Fuck, or just my frustration over what has gone on with our country for the last 8 long, oh so very long years of GB!

            Well, got get some work done, meeting with the client at 10am tomorrow, finnished the project, but must tweek some things before I see her…take care, talk later.

  5. Kalima says:

    I’m rather pleased that he has taken a stand on this and respect his demands for a clear exit strategy to give both the troops a moral boost and the people of Afghanistan a hope that they will get their country back, bad government or not, this is a tribal thing played out over decades. The Russians couldn’t make a dent with all their tanks and weapons and I think that it should be resolved by the sides sitting down to talk, all sides, so no one is left out. We should be helping them rebuild once they settle their infighting and with their history, who knows when that would be, maybe never and the troops just keep on dying.

  6. KQuark says:

    A few things. The right wing is ramping up a campaign to attack the president if he does not send the 40,000 troops McChrystal wants. They are already try to make hay calling the president indecisive even though troops cannot be added until next year. On the other side progressives are going to be in an uproar if the president sends any more troops. I think the president will send more troops and devote at least half of them to training. Obviously no matter what both sides think the president knows more than anyone that he needs an exit strategy for Afghanistan.

    • escribacat says:

      If Obama adds troops, it’s “Where’s your hope and change?”
      If he doesn’t add troops, it’s “Cut and run.”
      Meanwhile, it’s “Obama’s dithering.”

      • FeloniousMonk says:

        Escribacat. I don’t think anyone was picking on our good friend Pepe’ last night. In fact, I know that the person you questioned was just introducing himself. wink wink.

    • javaz says:

      No matter what President Obama does, the Republicans will criticize him.

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