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Is Afghanistan worth the risk to foreign soldiers' lives?

November 4th, 2009
05:57 PM ET

If ever there was an example of where the international effort in Afganistan isn't working, it came this week.[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/04/art.afghanistan.afp.gi.jpg caption="British soldiers mentor Afghan police. But has the risk become too great?"]

Five British soldiers were killed by an Afghan policeman they had been training. It came as no surprise that the Taliban claimed to have infiltrated the police and carried out the attack, but it was still a major dent in confidence of British forces who believe they are making a difference.

Kim Howells, a former Foreign Office minister with responsibility for Afghanistan, said the killings strengthened the case for bringing British troops home early.

The current UK government responded by saying forces will only be withdrawn once the Afghans have been given the training and support they need to protect the country themselves.

But, given possible infiltration, should the training continue despite the risk to more foreign soldiers' lives?

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Filed under:  General
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. avery

    No Afghanistan is not worth the risk. I don't think any middle eastern conflict is worth the risk. The whole situation is starting to look a lot like the vietnam war. They don't want foreignors there point blank period so lets oblige them and leave.

    November 4, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  2. Becky

    These people have been fighting each other since the beginning of time and they know how to fight dirty. We need to let them fight their own battles; conventional warfare will not work in Afghanistan and we should not waste any more lives or billions of dollars on this war. Our original target is no longer in Afghanistan.

    November 4, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  3. ja

    no, America can't force its way of life upon countries, imagine a foreign army with America's borders, every citizen should pick up arms

    November 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  4. David Hydes

    I think the troops have been there long enough to have trained these officers. There is a time when you just have to let them be self reliant for themselves.

    November 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  5. Paul Magro

    Afghanistan was a lost cause from the start. The inate culture of the Afghans is completely alien to our western way of think and they will never understand what democracy is, in a month of Sundays. The British and American Governments are living in cloud cuckoo land if they believe otherwise. All that is happening is that a large number of British, American and Nato soldiers have glost their lives for nothing. We grieve for them and their families but to the Afghans human life is worhtless, so they don't give a damn about these deaths.
    Its time that we all faced up to this reality and stop using terrorism as an excuse to justify our presence in that country.

    November 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  6. Elaine

    I really don't like the way the headline was phrased. I for one want all troops to return home, I don't support their being sent into the country to be killed. But to ask if an entire COUNTRY, with all its people, culture, everything it stands for, is worth fighting for and trying to make better? It smacks horribly of a kind of superiority complex I see in the media at times. Are the british hostages taken by Somalian pirates worth any risk that may be involved to release them? nope, maybe they were warned many times but still got into trouble... see what i mean?

    November 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  7. Georgiy Kolomichenko

    Stop waisting resources. Use them better for American internal needs.

    November 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  8. John

    Foreign soldiers should leave Afghanistan...There is no reason to stay there...there never was a reason to go there...just like war in Iraq...this war is another failure for the foreign forces.

    November 4, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  9. Cooper

    I've been enlisted since 2005 and i tell you this war is going on too long. Everyday is a mystery weather I will deploy there today or not. I have witnessed the aftermath and there is nothing glorious about it.

    November 4, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  10. Shadow Warrior

    Afghanistan is not worth the lives and treasury we spend trying to tame a culture entrenched in it's own religous torment.

    The travesty that is their culture is superceded only by the curruption of their religion by fundamentalist mullahs.

    They have shown no desire to throw of those shackles, just as the Iranians haven't really shown any desire to have outsiders assist them in deburring them from the thorn that is the theological hypocrite government.

    The US needs to concentrate on their domestic affaris reduce foreign aid abroad and look out for it's citizens.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  11. Nick

    Whose Idea was it in the first place to send Western Troops to teach Democracy to a people whose ilitaracy surpasses that of the whole world. It is the most tragic site whenever another coffin or body bag containing the body of a young man from anyone of the western countries, who belive that they can make a diference by sacrefising their own very best to do it. It is not woth it. THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT. WAKE UP ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The way I see it the troops are brain washed to believe they can make a difference by those who owned the the weapons/factories so they can keep enritching themselves knowing the troops are doomed from the gitgo.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  12. Barbara Appleby

    My heart sinks with this sort of news where it shows that good intentions can be exploited by evil people. Although I feel guilty suggesting this, my feelings are that as long as the international forces are there, albeit well-intentioned, they will be the target for this sort of violence and people in Afghanistan will need to be left to sort out their own problems without being able to blame people who are trying to help them.....provided of course that we can contain their impact on international security during this likely violent period.....sounds easy doesn't it!!
    However, evil actions should never make us do evil in return......if we go down this path we are lost – the end never justifies the means because the means can obscure the end

    November 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  13. Mike

    When the Soviet Union collapsed we did just what people here are suggesting. We disengaged for Afghanistan and focused on domestic issues. It was a mistake that has cost us. Bush messed up badly in Afghanistan because he too lost interest and then focused on the wrong country, Iraq. If we pull out now, Pakistan will push al Qaeda back into Afghanistan and then they will never work with us again.

    We do need a better plan in Afghanistan. We need to cutoff the flow of money from the Gulf state Arabs. We should press the Taliban militarily but also open up direct talks with their leadership. The Afghan people will never love us, but they don't want what the Taliban is peddling either. If we pull out now we'll have to go back later.

    November 4, 2009 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  14. Jason

    Look, I'm a Marine, I'm in Afghanistan right now, and I can tell you that this is nothing like the Vietnam war. Unless you are referring to the civilian overreaction. You can't base any argument on what you hear or read on the news. My views on this have seriously changed since I got here. These people need us here, and the majority of them appreciate what we do for them. Thats as far as it should go. People need to start helping people.

    November 4, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  15. Tebwea

    Don't throw away the lives of the young men and women for nothing. I've watched pictures in the news of soldiers blown away and killed by the Taliban and my heart goes out to their families and their loved ones. Leave the Afgan people to fight their own battle and help those who are need, not in war but those countries that are being affected by the sea level rising and other natural disasters. From where I come from there is no such word as war.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  16. leo

    The question is if we leave and next time there is terrorist attack in US originated from Afghanistan because Taliban has retaken Afghanistan, then what? Send the troops again and start another invasion and risk losing more American life?

    November 4, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  17. tcv

    It is time for the Afghanistan government to deal with their own problem. We have helped them enough. It is not worth to risk the lives of our young and brave soldiers. Enough is enough.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  18. Ken

    this crusade is lost.

    November 5, 2009 at 12:06 am | Reply
  19. John

    People of Afghanistan have a strong culture... their history goes way before the American history. People of any country hate it when foreign forces occupy their land... when you want to teach democracy to a country , you don't teach it using fighter jets, missiles and guns, its through exchange of intellects and views, not through invading someones country against their will. And who says democracy is the best way to run a country.. it may be good in the eyes of USA but it might not suite the traditions, structure and culture of another country. Why should foreign forces go and "TEACH" their views and practices, no one asked them to do so, apparently no one wants it and evidently it does not work in some countries, for example : Afghanistan... I think countries should mind their own business instead of invading other countries and trying to impose their own ideology and system even if the people hate it... Foreign forces can NEVER succeed in Afghanistan because the people don't like their presence there...they don't support the views and ideology of these foreign countries.... JUST LET THEM LIVE WITH FREEDOM... Already 2 countries (IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN) have been ruined by foreign forces without any valid reason for invading them.

    November 5, 2009 at 12:08 am | Reply
  20. Farion Mark

    A soldier is the person to kill and to be killed.
    We must fight to the end and we must stay and give sacrificies.

    November 5, 2009 at 12:13 am | Reply
  21. CM

    It's a desperate situation BUT it's not completely hopeless:
    1. Trust McCrystal – he knows what he's doing – and give him the support he needs including boots on the ground.
    2. Educate the next generation – absolutely crucial!
    3. It may be controversial but what if we were to legalise heroin/cocaine worldwide and medicalise drug addiction – take away the stigma and the crime? It would completely decimate the income of the Taliban not to mention the drug cartels in South America.
    4. Empower the women of Afghanistan – somehow, anyhow – help them to help themselves.

    November 5, 2009 at 12:29 am | Reply
  22. Reality Check

    It is so unfortunate that so few in America determine that the wole of the American Populace is seen as being involved in unjustifiable Wars . Iraq , Afganistan , Isreal , and I am old enough to remember Vietnam . The Buddhist Monks setting themselves aflame , and the Image of the Young Vietnameeze Girl that was burned in an American Napalm Air Bombing . Life Magazine . Graphic , life long images of War . That plant the seeds of further conflicts .
    Now , what is the difference ? . The Shock and Awe is not shock and Awe , it's murder of innocent people ... packaged as " Collateral Damage " this is a shame to not know that it is murder of innocent people in foreign countries .
    I also remember waking up and seeing on the computor live video stream on CNN , the Air Planes crashing into to Twin Towers . And the Pictures of the Suit Clad Civilians clutching their business papers in their brief cases as if thier lives depended on them , while their world around them was a Hell .
    Yes innocent people died in 911 , but that is no justification to evelope whole nations and their populace in deadly War . War is Death and destruction , and it is no solution . Learn Peace , and Love.

    November 5, 2009 at 12:48 am | Reply
  23. Dylan Turvey

    There soldiers they signed up knowing the risks, if there was a proper war ie against China say then most would already be dead if not all.

    And if they where at home not in the army driving around more of them would of likely been killed / injured in car accidents.

    More people are signing up currently because they want the action, prefer to have the nutters over there than here personally 🙂

    November 5, 2009 at 12:59 am | Reply
  24. Mark Campbell

    Have we forgotten that the Taliban used Afganistan as a base to plot and carry out the 9/11 attacks? Have we become such cowards that we can no longer finish a fight unless it's over in a certain amount of time?
    Maybe some people need to be reminded of Benjamin Franklin's words, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

    November 5, 2009 at 1:05 am | Reply
  25. Joshua

    Afghanistan is not worth the lives lost, the money spent or the reputation change.

    Neither America, NATO, or the Soviet Union then can achieve any measurable victory in Afghanistan. Reason being: they have no other choice than to fight. Their country is destitute and they have nothing left to lose.

    Modern, civilized, and industrial nations such as ourselves that enjoy a standard of living, while maintaining a choice cannot affect change on a country that doesn't want it nor can our "will" outlast theirs.

    November 5, 2009 at 1:10 am | Reply
  26. Joe

    Yeah, I think we should get out pronto and then try'n help them some other way b/c every country out there is worth our help but not necessarily w/ our lives on the line and so much of our scarce treasury! Maybe through the U.N. ...

    Gee nick, one really wonders if your brain is as messed up as your bad spelling... I don't think any soldier is being brain washed at all, rather they are doing what they enlisted in the Armed Forces for. You seem quite illiterate yourself too, the point about Afghanistan not withstanding...

    November 5, 2009 at 1:16 am | Reply
  27. Saar

    Jeez. Have you people lost your backbone. ?
    When you live in the modern world you don't carry a machine gun
    to go to work , since you rely on the police , judges to deter and your fellow peers to testify and help if they can at worst you can rely on them as jury to send him to the chair.

    Well you lot sound like people who want to go back to the middle ages.
    I don't care I can walk with my sword and take care of my plot of land.
    Send the troops back.
    And that fledgling democracy there the one in Iraq
    and the one in Afghanistan can go back to biblical times as far as I care, so what if 20 years from now they will have rockets that reach europe, it is eastern europe not real europe.

    By the way at the same time you are trying to get Israel and other countries to split and make concessions to peace promising to support them in times of war.
    Well with this kind of support maybe they are better off not taking the peace deals at least they won't be back stabbed like check – slovakia.

    So capitalism works when you trust your neighbor, to pay you , to protect you , to deal honestly with in the law. so does the modern state. England has 1/10 of the army size it had before when it had to have a navy and army to rule the world. Now all they have are some rusty ships and a few good men. So does france , germany etc
    there are even some countries that have dispensed with armies all together. (Well in central america)

    Still I think sending soldiers to fight insurgency using a landrover and not an armored car is just being CHEAP and quite disgraceful.

    November 5, 2009 at 1:37 am | Reply
  28. John C

    Its their country let them do what they want. Seems to me that we jump into a lot of other countries problems, when not asked at times also. Disregard our tropps over there for a minute and look at the big picture, we have been there for 8 years and nothing good has come from it. This is rediculous!

    November 5, 2009 at 3:08 am | Reply
  29. Sanna

    @ Shadow Warrior and Nick, who ever said Afghanistan/Iraq/Pakistan ever wanted to be invaded and tortured by western forces? Just so you know setting up places like Gitmo and Abu Gharib is not making any good difference in anyone's life. Just because the mainstream media suggests that these nations need to be saved from themselves does not make it true. How would Amercian's or British citizens like it if some foreign country decided they need to be saved from themselves? Don't be surprised that people don't want you there. Btw i don't agree with the Taliban, but its the Afghani people's right to want to over throw them, just like it was the iraqi's people right to throw over saddam hussein. Stop pretending you're saving the world. All those troops are creating a bigger mess than it was before.

    @ Paul Margo, maybe because death has become too ingraned in their life? or maybe because they have seen how wortheless their lives are to the western forces, seeing as they have no trouble taking nine year old children and throwing them in places like Gitmo or raping their daughters in front of their fathers. Seriously, stop thinking yyour race is so superior. We're all human beings in the end. No one deserves to be killed, especially not in the way the western alliance seems to think so.

    November 5, 2009 at 3:23 am | Reply
  30. engee

    it ain't WORTH it!!...........get out of Afghanistan........NOW!

    November 5, 2009 at 3:23 am | Reply
  31. Sulaiman Hakemy

    You think the Afghans want you out? You think the Afghans don't want democracy? You're wrong. A BBC/ABC/ARD poll this year showed that a majority of Afghans want foreign troops to stay and help fight the Taleban. An astounding 91% supported equality for women. For this headline to even suggest that an entire country full of people with hopes, dreams, history, and values might not 'be worth it' smacks horribly, as another commentator said, of superiority complex and a devaluation of human lives. For a full argument on why British troops and American troops should stay, see the following: http://theleaningcolumn.blogspot.com/

    November 5, 2009 at 3:26 am | Reply
  32. Hilmar

    If you withdraw US troops and troops from sucker countries,the the american oil industry will not get their pipeline built from central asia to the arabian sea.The result will be bad for shareholder value and the oil and banking executives will not collect bonuses.
    The lives of soldiers are nothing of value compared to the money that can be made for these SOBS

    November 5, 2009 at 3:54 am | Reply
  33. Steve

    Afghanistan is our Vietnam any third world country that wants to be built back up better than it was just needs to start a war with the US who will happily rebuilt them using our resources & not theirs. They're actually pretty smart why use your money when you can use someone else's. They get rebuilt & we go broke. Time to say enough is enough, it's time to go home. Everyone is getting tired & the puppets we help put into office are as corrupt as the people we got rid of. Let them kill themselves & save ourselves the headaches.

    November 5, 2009 at 3:55 am | Reply
  34. Lala

    I think countries helping each other rebuild their nation from ruins is worth it but the issue here is up to what extent? If only this is clear for many of us then we can rest the Afghan case. In as much as the country needs foreign troops and train local armies so they can protect themselves, it will take more than this to rebuild the nation. What about the food, clothing, housing, education, the basic needs? There is still a lot of work to do and so many lives have been lost, not only for the foreign soldiers and as well as the Afghan civilians, casualties, foreign civilian workers and ngo's who are also in the middle of this.

    November 5, 2009 at 4:17 am | Reply
  35. warren


    Enough is enough.

    We have so many other things to create in science and art and technology and culture for ourselves and people who like our approach better.

    November 5, 2009 at 4:24 am | Reply
  36. canuck

    Definitely no. We have not learned from Vietnam war. Afghanstan is worse than that. While nationalism unified Vietnamese in their fight against external forces, tribalism divides Afghans. This along with a possible, indistinguishable Al Qaeda involvement makes things hopelessly complex. Not worth fighting for those who are not willing to help themselves, especially when it is not a fight to protect a good against bad but it is a fight against worse of the two or more evils.

    November 5, 2009 at 4:37 am | Reply
  37. Simon Hill

    Unlike many US military missions, in Afghanistan the majority of the population want the US there. The majority despise the Taliban.

    In my opinion, the Taliban are the most despicable faction in the world today, with their policies regarding women (property, not to be educated), belief (theirs or die), murder (taught and encouraged) and culture (music is banned, non-conforming art is destroyed, etc).

    And they could become incredibly dangerous if given time to build up.

    If American leaves Afghanistan, the Taliban will take over. They will then grow very strong and numerous. Strong enough to invade their neighbors and force their version of morality upon them.

    If you're concerned about the lives of soldiers, consider this:
    The Taliban's terrorism will likely scale with their growth, and I would not be surprised if we found ourselves back at war in no time, in order to defend our cities. Overall, the lives lost will be far higher, and many will civilians.

    I'm for Gen. McChrystal's plan.
    Protect the people today, keep them on your side, and you won't end up having to shoot them tomorrow. If you abandon them, many will grow to hate you and side with the enemy.

    If this war isn't won, we will be in serious trouble. We can't pull out.

    November 5, 2009 at 4:38 am | Reply
  38. Reality Check

    May I be so Bold as to Suggest that All Persons that are attempting to establish " Democracy " in any Country on Earth , first Google "Peace" and go to the " Wikipedia " sight and read the Definition of "Peace " and refine their intentions , so that all Citizens of this Wonderous , and most Beautiful Planet Earth .... may live in " Peace " before they are subjected to " Democracy " at the point of a Gun , and Fear for their Lives , as well as the Lives of their Loved Ones .
    Seek the Truth , and pursue it with all your Heart , all your Mind , and with all your Strength . That you may have a Soul , that truly knows the meaning of Peace .

    November 5, 2009 at 4:46 am | Reply
  39. Subrata Datta

    Does the USA led NATO forces in Afghanistan really believe that you can get Afghanistan to come around ? The country is 100 % Muslimi populated. Now you will find it incredible that a Muslim is tought in his school that the sun goes round the earth because his scriptures say so never mind the scientific explanation that its just the other way round. The scriptures cannot be questioned. This is just an example of how conditioned the Muslim's mind – its rooted in the 7th century AD. Do you think the Afghan wants to be transported into the 21st century. Maybe the female half of the population may want to but the male dominated Islamic society which is dead set against women being given their rights.

    November 5, 2009 at 4:50 am | Reply
  40. Me

    As long as there are men, there will be wars; whether you like it or not. A soldier can not think for himself. He is bound to obey orders. Let's not deprive them of their right to think of a 'glorious' reason why they're fighting- whether it's wrong or right. If they can't think of any reason, they would go insane. Do you get my point? What we say really doesn't matter. The people we chose in government positions are there because we allowed them to be there. If they do something stupid, we are partly to be blamed. We share the responsibility with them. Let's not be self-righteous and all.

    November 5, 2009 at 4:52 am | Reply
  41. Randall

    Why is it that everyone reads the headlines and makes a decision outloud based on one incident? Does anybody out there understand what is really happening in Afghanistan? Does anyone understand the threat Pakistan has within its own borders that is pouring out into neighboring countries? Everyone seems to forget about all of the major planned attacks that were snuffed out by police officials targeting the UK and US. If we step out of Afghanistan now we will regret this worldwide. These insurgents are hellbent on destroying the US, UK and India by any means capable. So do we stay and try to make a difference or do we pull out and hope for the best that we will not suffer any attacks? War is hell, we know our enemy and what they are capable of however our enemies plan does not include any survivors, our plan does.

    November 5, 2009 at 5:40 am | Reply
  42. Grahame

    Just two points do these people who comment on these issues really know what they are talking about or just having a personal opinion. Secondly we should stop pussy footing around and use ovewhelming force to stop this carnage and give the NORMAL people in these countries a chance. This will also save our servicemen and women from being put in harms way with their hands tied because of all the politics.

    November 5, 2009 at 5:45 am | Reply
  43. Jackie Mehlhaff

    I wrote the President a heart felt email and didn't even get a response that it was even received, to my concerns, as a mother of a soldier in Afghanastan that has had 2 encounters with the IEDs' blowing up the truck he was in. I can't even go into the mind destroying situations he has had to endure.These people in Afghanastan Have no value for human life and never will. The law enforcement that we are trying to work with to better thier country turns on our soldiers and kills them to. They are all the same and never will change. There can never be another UNITED States OF AMERICA ! We have lost enough of AMERICAS' blood for what? Who? Why? I will not stand by and have my sons life mean so little for the country he so proudly serves. Bring our troops home, or back them to the hilt, because it is nessary and they are in harms way. I believe our commander in chief said something to that effect to the military service members in Jackson that are not there yet. Those same words should ring true for all the soldiers that are already there waiting for our comander in chief to be a comander in chief. They are human beings no matter what they have been trained to do.

    November 5, 2009 at 6:47 am | Reply
  44. Amit Shrivastava

    I am truly appaled by reading the comments made by some members here, first America and Britain invade Afghanistan and then destroy each and every building and kill one million people in so called collateral damage, now that things are getting a little tough , there is talk of moving out, as if all this is a game, you attack a nation destroy it, kill millions and then simply move out as if nothing ever happened, same thing is happening in Iraq, if you take some responsibility you have to fulfill it , specially if human life has been lost in that effort.

    November 5, 2009 at 7:02 am | Reply
  45. Na

    I also fed up with this situation and I know it is not worth at all to loose .
    But how about civilians? I know this what is your most concern.

    November 5, 2009 at 9:16 am | Reply
  46. Waqas

    Afghanistan has never requested for being invaded, however super powers think that they can do anything with anybody at any point of time at any place. Russia had to taste this bitter reality and now its time for US to taste the same alongtih their NATO allies. Afghanisatna has its own cutlture. you cannot change the same by making payments or by killing people. Every inncocent person being killed in Afgahnistan by US forces result into making of another Taliban Fighter who is ready to sacrifice its life for the war.

    So please leave the country on its own and let them decide about their future.

    November 5, 2009 at 9:59 am | Reply
  47. Dylan Turvey

    Amit, well said!!!

    We invade there country and blow us up with suicide bombers and IED's and thats not allowed, but we've dropped millions of tonnes of bombs on there heads from the safety of 30,000 feet and killed millions of them ( including the deaths from starving and thirst caused by us ) and there still the bad guys.

    November 5, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  48. l shurtz

    Get out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Enough is Enough.

    November 5, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  49. Martin

    I am sorry for all of you people.You just believe whatever the governments of the US and the UK are saying.I must emphasize that it is just outside of problem, from inside it completely different issue, the US and the UK are not there to help the people of Afghanistan.I have been in Afghanistan and I have seen the problem.They are perusing their own policies.

    November 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  50. J

    Don not occupy Afghanistan,I am an Afghan and I think my country has been occupied and we will do with the US what we did the British occupiers in 1910's and Russians in 1990's.Just set for a minute and think deeply what you are doing if a country wants to occupy your country be honest!!

    November 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  51. Reality Check

    Leave , and strengthen your resolve , to accept the fact that Humanity as devided as they are , cannot determine their future for they are devided , and not united . The Falcon will Kill the Sparrow , yet the Flock out numbers the Hawk . Strengthen your resolve and know , that there will likely always be Wars , and Corruptuion . The fight of the Good , and the presence of the Opposer ... lest We learn Peace , and Pursue it .
    There is nothing new in this Age , for it is our lost Way in Living . From the Ancient Times , Babalonia , Persia , Egypt , Israel , Rome .
    In more modern Times , Spain , France , England , Portugal .
    In our most recent History ... Russia , America, Germany , Japan .
    Nothing is gained by War ... Empires rise and Empires fall , because Mankind draws Lines on the surface of the Earth and devides , and attempts to Rule within the Line , and without the Line .
    It is in unity that long lasting qualities remain , and there should never be allowed a Veto that prevents the desire of the United whether it is devided and the attempt to justify it by Religion , Politics , Greed , Race , or Gender ... Let the united Nations decide .

    November 6, 2009 at 12:21 am | Reply
  52. minute and think

    It seems like a lot of people feel the US and British troops need to get out of Afghanistan. I think so too. Unless you win the war totally and take full control of the place, ( but what is the cost?) best option is to get out and save lives on all sides.

    No-one has the right to force a country to adopt the system of government they choose even if it is democracy.

    No-one can predict what the effects of pulling out will be, no one can predict the future, you can only make an educated guess and informed decisions. I am sure the intelligence exists for this. No one can then say "I told you so – we pulled therefore there are terrorist attacks" . There are anti -terror measures that can be taken. The US has enough reach to get into Afghanistan if it needs – Global Hawks, Special forces, etc etc, the US can have a special arrangement where they can go in if needed.

    On thing is sure – it is a gamble and the odds look bad. However if the US and Britain want to commit more lives let them decide it is their call. But there must be a definite military and strategic objective and plan, not a PR thing. PR can be done through diplomacy.

    Let the UN Peacekeepers go in, they were there before. Why can't the UN Peacekeepers bring peace? Removing the Taliban or any power group from power within Afghanistan is upto the Afghans.

    Is this not the dangerous democracy that we all know and love?

    "In Democracy, like in war, people get killed. But they can vote to stop"

    Finally Here's Robert Fisk

    "Robert Fisk: America is performing its familiar role of propping up a dictator"

    As in Vietnam, Karzai is going to rule over an equally tiny island of corruption


    November 6, 2009 at 1:36 am | Reply
  53. JJ

    Leave em be. If they want to kill each other, why not? It's their choice. Population control people, population control.

    November 6, 2009 at 3:12 am | Reply
  54. aj

    all i want to know is: what are we doing in afghanistan?
    obviously its not for the democracy of that nation, the US is using that subject to not lose public support.... they dont really care about those people, come on, lets be honest here. also, the US uses the 'terrorists' as an excuse to stay there, i dont know of 1 afghan that has a direct link with anything going on here in the states in connection with 9/11, am i the only one that notices that?? i thought osama was the guy, and hes not even afghan. the armed forces dont even know what the difference is between a pashtun, a talib and al qaeda members are.. how can they win a war when they dont even know who's who??? how will they win support in afg if they dont know who their are fighting.
    Hamid Karzai is a US puppet and all the afghans that actually have the real power their and that CAN actually make a difference, know this and wont support him or his drug dealing brother (whos on the CIA payroll, so imagine what these people think). you must understand that afghanistan is old school, some tribal elders have more power than the afghan government has. POLITICS DOESNT WORK in afghanistan, just check the history of that nation.
    also, the afghans are fighting because they feel that western forces are trying to take over their lands. This has happened before in their history (3 british invasions, monghol invasions, russians..etc.) 90% of them dont even know about what the september 11 trajedy is about. the villagers there (which are doing most of the fighting) do not even have access to media to even know. They are just standing up and fighting for the right cause in their mind to relieve the oppression and they are willing to die for that. Its pretty much impossible to defeat an 'enemy' that isnt afraid to die for what they believe cause they will keep fighting. thats their mentality. its that simple for them. no politics involved.....
    imagine America being invaded by several nations like afghanistan is and see if every man capable, wouldnt pick up a gun and fight. i been to afghanistan and came up with my own opinion of what is really going on out there. The media here is b-s and sorry to say mostly propaganda. educate yourselves and dont let others do YOUR thinking.

    November 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  55. Moonis W Malik

    How much safety they have brought to their country while being in Afghanistan ...? Fort Hood- Texas event have shown.

    What USA and its allies doing in Afghanistan..? It is only for OIL from Central Asia, the route goes through Afghanistan.

    Every 8th USA citizen is getting food in charity, how can they ensure security and safety for other people,,?

    November 8, 2009 at 3:00 am | Reply
  56. steve jones

    My first trip to Afghanistan was in 1998. I've spent three of the last four years here. I don't believe any country on earth has changed as much in ten years. Most of that change has been for the better. A lot of it has been due to help from western countries. Sure, mistakes have been made but most Afghans I meet are grateful for our help.

    November 9, 2009 at 9:02 am | Reply
  57. Dr. Majmudar

    One Becky wrote that Afghans fight dirty.
    Well desr, it is western powers who have fought dirty.
    Remember, Agent Orange in Vietnam and My lie and other massacres, also Abu Gharib and Guantonomo and tortures!!!
    You people rush in where it is of no concern to you, then destroy entire social fabric of that society and start eulogizing yourself telling each others that you people are making great sacrifices.
    So please do not make any sacrifices and leave other people alone

    November 10, 2009 at 11:04 am | Reply
  58. Tracy

    We're losing our children, brothers,sisters, fathers etc. in a country whos national sport translates to "goat grabbing", and is played with horses and a beheaded goat. To people who don't particularily want us there to begin with. So no, I don't think it's worth it.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  59. cj

    i support our us military troop and what they stand for, but unless the afgan people stand up for their own country , even do how much the US or other country help them it's not gonna work. they need to stand up for their rights and freedom. that the only way they can have a democratic country .

    November 11, 2009 at 3:03 am | Reply
  60. Sunny

    Well the biggest problem is the fact that US is partnering with Pakistan who is running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. It is in Pakistan army's interest (Or probably some sections of the army's interest) to prolong the war as much as possible so they continue to get the tonnes of money from the US, bulk of which they spend on a non-existent threat from India. In return, the relatively token help to the US in this war will just not be enough.
    Another dangerous strategy is a repeat of the mistakes of the past – Separating the so called good Taliban from the bad and having narrow definitions around the good and bad Taliban.
    A key element that is overlooked is the religious aspect. The Taliban and a whole lot of public in the region view it as a reiigious war. It is time the US recognizes it and look seriously to address the culture aspect.
    The worrying thing is the amount of arms pumped in to Pakistan which in years to come will end up dissipating on India.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  61. Eric in Colorado

    The whole mess created in this country stemmed from the Russian's invasion and the rewriting of the text books in Kansas, we trained these people to rely deeply on religious text we rewrote. We (the Russians and Americans) continue to pay for the consequences of the actions of the last forty years. The Russians still fight the addictions of heroin and we fight the religious fanatics who we created. The Taliban is an offshoot of the Pakistani ICS and we support them.

    November 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  62. Jeff

    It is absolutely false that the people of Afghanistan do not want us there, maybe 10% of the population at most are against us. The remaining 90% or more are more then happy that we are there, we can not simply abandon them again after we already have numerous times leading to the current situation we face today.

    November 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Reply
  63. Eric

    Subrata Datta..... get your facts right before you post. Where in the Qur'an does it say that the "sun goes round the earth"? give the verse reference if you can and for sure you cannot because no where in the Qur'an does it mention that the "sun goes round the earth". In fact there are numerous recent scientific discoveries that are corraborated in the Qur'an, which was revealed over 1400 years ago. Many scientists have acknowledged that it would be impossible for any human being to know these scientific facts , that are contained in the Qur'an, over 1400 years ago, without technologically advanced equipment that is used by scientist in these modern times. Scientist have therefore acknowledged that the Qur'an can only be the work of the CREATOR of the heavens and the earth. THE QUR'AN IS THE MOST ADVANCED BOOK ON EARTH. Read it and understand it with an open mind and without prejudice.

    November 12, 2009 at 8:49 am | Reply
  64. nusret

    The headline is a bad one.. Isn't it Afghanistan who helped the capitalism to stay strong by fighting against comunism for over 16 years? Then yes, definitely, Afghanistan and its people is worth everything..And westerners should learn to respect the eastern beliefs and cultures as they should know that we all are created by the same (one) divine power!

    November 13, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Reply
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    November 27, 2009 at 2:38 am | Reply

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