Should the US Stay in Afghanistan?

Friday, August 13, 2010


US soldiers gather at the entrance of an anti-mortar shell shelter as smoke rises at the impact site of a mortar shell during an attack on the US base in Kandahar province on August 12, 2010 (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty)

This Sunday, General David Petraeus will go on a media offensive in which he is expected to make the case for why we should not rush the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

However, this comes at a time when public support for the war is rapidly dwindling. Many Americans have fixed their expectations on what the president pledged in December 2009 when he ordered more troops to Afghanistan: “These additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011.”

Read a full transcript.

But Obama’s promise to begin the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in July 2011 was notably sparse on the details of how many troops will withdraw, and how quickly.

Speaking that same day, back in December, Obama added, "We will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account transitions on the ground. We'll continue to advice and assist Afghan security forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul. But it will be clear to the Afghan government and more importantly to the Afghan people, that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country.”

So how do we know when it’s time to leave? Will there ever be a right time? And how do we reconcile our need to “win” this war with our desire to end it? 

Joining us is Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of "War of Necessity, War of Choice."


Richard Haass

Produced by:

Samantha Fields

Comments [4]

tyler from Ohio

we are in this war because a fellow country needs help and we answered their call and the fact that we need oil and to stop terrorism. if your against this war then think of it this way what if you lived in iraq hmmm what if you lived your everyday life in fear of the taliban, exactly! thats why we arnt pulling out because if we do we would of wasted our money, time, and soldiers lifes for nothing!

Dec. 01 2010 12:18 PM
Axel Schroeder from Middlesex, NJ

It seems we never learn. Do you remember Cambodia and the Killing Fields? If we leave Afganistan completely, we'll have a similar thing happening again.

Aug. 16 2010 12:51 PM
Wes Golomb from planet earth

Let's see..... 17 Saudi's attack the US, and we respond by invading Iraq and Afganistan. Meanwhile we're selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

George Bush said 1 thing of truth in 8 years. We are oil junkies. If we were serious about peace we would adopt a decent energy policy which would free us from our dependence on this region. We have the technology, we have the ability, we just don't have the political backbone to do this.

Meanwhile Halliburton and other similar companies are making cool fortunes on this war, the real effects can be heard in any newscast around the country.

Forclosures, job loss, lack of health care, cuts in education, health care, all are the real results of this fiasco.

While we're spending all this money on death and destruction, our country is not in the top ten in the world in education, health care, infant mortality rate. This is the true cost of the war.

Apparently profits are more important to our leaders. We're spending billions on wars of choice and parading around like it is neccessity. It is almost heretical to connect our countries domestic problems, due to lack of funding and these wars.

The fact that we've shed blood and fortunes on this debacle is NOT a justification for continuing this war.

We should not only pull out of Afganastan we should stop supplying arms to anyone around the world who will pay for them. I support foreign (and domestic) aid for education and health care on development of renewable energy.

Real peace cannot be won through war. (eg. the inequities in the treaty of Versaillles led directly to world war 2).

I will certainly not be voting for Obama again.

Aug. 13 2010 09:46 AM
Len Maniace from Jackson Heights, New York City

Didn't we win the war in Afghanistan back in 2002? Then three years ago the war came back and we were losing. It's strange that no one seems to address this turn of events, but sometimes a little perspective is a good thing. Who lost Afghanistan? And how did they do that?.

Aug. 13 2010 09:31 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.