22 December 2010

U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan

Now it’s true that when candidate Barack Obama vowed, “I will bring this war to an end in 2009,” he was talking about Iraq. In July 2008 he suggested that he would send two more brigades — about 8000 troops — to Afghanistan. He has far exceeded that, and we can only wonder whether the voters who responded to his antiwar message anticipated that he would increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by almost as much as he reduced the number in Iraq.
Text and image from the Cato Institute (Wikipedia profile), via The Daily Dish.


  1. Afghanistan has stymied many a would-be conqueror. If we had stayed there--where Al Qaeda was definitely training terrorists--and concentrated on that mission we would have been out of there a long time ago. We had no business going to Iraq, other than Bush and Company's desire for their oil.

    There is no pollisble way to "win" in Afghanistan. We need to get out ASAP.

  2. Our actions in Iraq were a stain on the face of reason and logic. Afghanistan was a reasonable response to 9-11 and an attempt to end state-sponsored terrorism. We just didn't have an exit plan. Now we do. Apples and Oranges.

  3. The war in Afghanistan has been rightly called the largest punitive operation since Agamemnon sailed, but at least Agamemnon's grudge wasn't directed against the "graveyard of empires", Afghanistan.

    Like Bush, Obama suffers from acute libido dominandi. Like Bush, no matter how pointless of destructive the conflict, Obama will not be able to resist the siren song of "fixing" that broken land.

    Sadly, there will always be enough Big Stick statists among the Democans and Republicrats to ensure that this blunder carries on year after year. Even if we find a way to pull the eject lever, there is plenty of vested interest in finding another windmill to tilt at.

  4. To the first anonymous.

    "Afghanistan" = "reasonable response to 9-11"

    What convoluted logic are you using?.

  5. Well, Lors, 9-11 was planned by al Qaeda, which had safe harbor in Afghanistan, thanks to the Taliban. That's state-sponsored terrorism. As I said, there was no exit plan. It's reasonable when one is attacked to strike back. It's become overkill, but it's not comparable to Iraq, which was totally unprovoked. The post makes the comparison. You're welcome.

  6. to Anon -

    The United States allows Uighers to live in their country. China considers the Uighers to be terrorists. Citing ABC News:
    "...they could not be returned to their homeland out of fear of persecution. China considers the men terrorists."

    By your logic, then, it would be O.K. with you if Chinese troops enter the United States to hunt down and kill Uighers???

    With or even without "collateral damage" to civilians?

  7. There was no reason to go into Afgnhanistan other than for retribution. Afghanistan posed no threat the US security. It only provided a haven for al-qaeda, but no defense of them, no safe haven. Iraq posed a substantial risk to US Security both physically and economically. saddam hussein had already attacked two of his arab neighbors and used chemical weapons in one of those attacks (Iraan) and had even gassed his own people while Clinton was in office. He was in violatation of all the UN sanctions against him and he was ready, willing, and capable of disrupting middle-east oil supplies (economic security risk) and was ready willing and able to help al-qaeda with physical assaults on the US. He had already tried to assinate a former US President. hussein was a ticking bomb ready to go off. Although I opposed both military actions, Iraq was going to happen sooner or later. It just happened before the world oil supply could be totally disrupted(Which did not help american oilmen get rich through bush).


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