Veterans on Continuing Afghanistan Mission

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

We continue our conversation with veterans about what they expect to hear from President Obama in tonight's speech on Afghanistan, and how they think the strategy will play out on the ground. We speak with Jack Jacobs, retired Army colonel and professor of politics at West Point; National Guard Spc. Marco Reininger, who served in Afghanistan in 2008; and retired Army Sgt. Genevieve Chase, founder of American Women Veterans, who served in Afghanistan in 2006.

Guests:

Genevieve Chase, Col. Jack Jacobs and Marco Reininger

Contributors:

Leo Duran, Jed Kim and Sitara Nieves

Comments [5]

Kristen L. Rouse

Great to hear the voices of such smart, well-spoken veterans on this critical issue. I agree with Genevieve that it isn't clear whether Col. Jacobs was referring to the mujahedin following the Soviet pullout or the initial ousting of the Taliban from power by U.S. forces in 2001; in either case, it is clear that so many Afghans have sacrificed greatly to serve in the government, in the security forces, and in efforts to rebuild lives and infrastructure.

But regardless of anyone's position on President Obama's policy, I hope Americans can agree that now is the time to reach out to help Afghans rebuild their country. There are many worthy, Afghan-led grassroots efforts out there. Please help them.

Dec. 02 2009 10:44 AM
AJ

The people of Afghanistan have been occupied by one imperialistic country or another, or otherwise has had its affairs meddled with by the same for decades on end. They are sick of the occupation, they are sick of having their family and loved ones deaths being written off as the "unfortunate collateral damage that is unavoidable in war," and there are many Afghan people who want a different future for their country. Unfortunately, so long as America is supporting a corrupt and puppet government and otherwise occupying their country, it is harder for them to forge a different path for their country. The US needs to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq and the Middle East. We need to bring our troops home and support them when they return. The VA will NEVER be funded to the extent needed to support our returning veterans, partially because no amount of funding can undo the damage caused by war.

Veteran US Army

Dec. 01 2009 10:08 PM
MK Ultra

Send more troops to the slaughter! Soon, there won't be any to conquer for the Empire and then, the world will know peace.

Dec. 01 2009 07:58 PM
Genevieve Chase

What makes Afghanistan so frustrating for the "tip of the spear" troops, is the apparent lack of resolve of a majority of Afghans but that is driven by their fear of the Taliban and what has once again become a "survivalist" culture. If more Afghans stood and fought against the Taliban oppressors, we would be discussing a troop draw down right now, not a surge.

(Comments in response to Mr. Jacobs commentary.)

Dec. 01 2009 10:02 AM
Genevieve Chase

In the 80's, when the CIA assisted the Mujahadeen in ousting the Russians, the Taliban did not exist. It grew in the wake of the pull out of Russian troops in 1989. (Several sources identify the Taliban's rise to power having occurred in approximately 1996.)

We entered Afghanistan in 2001 because it had become a haven for terrorism and extremism which was facilitated by the control the Taliban had throughout Afghanistan. Without a number of tribal elders and powerbrokers/warlords working together against the Taliban, no one defended successfully against their rule, particularly in Pashtun areas.

Our insertion of ground troops was done so to assist the final push of Taliban and AQ out of the region, to bolster economic development and sustainability and to assist in the establishment of a legitimate and effective police force and military because after decades (centuries even) of conflict and strife, Afghanistan has not been able to do and sustain these things on its own.

Dec. 01 2009 10:01 AM

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