Friday, September 24, 2010

(Posting #3a): Thoughts on the War in Afghanistan

After today's discussion in class, I am confident that each of you has at least as much background knowledge as a typical American voter (and probably more!). Please use this thread to continue the dialogue we began in class today: what are your opinions about the on-going U.S. War in Afghanistan?

GO FARTHER! In December, 2009, President Obama gave a major policy speech at the US Military Academy in West Point, NY, outlining the rationale for the war. You are welcome to watch that speech in its entirety here or check out a shorter excerpt. For a contrasting point-of-view, consider this article in which Afghani activist Malalai Joya suggests that "...[American] occupation will never bring liberation, and it is impossible to bring democracy by war.” For more background on the conflict, please see this interactive feature at the Council on Foreign Relations website.

TWO REMINDERS:
1. To satisfy requirements for this assignment, you must either: 1) post your opinion - thoughtfully; and/or 2) respond to one of your classmates' posts - in the spirit of deliberative dialogue. (Daily Work grade)
2. Remember to 'sign' your post with first name and last initial - so that you'll earn credit.

39 comments:

Haley said...

My opinion about the ongoing war in Afghanistan is that it is extremely important that we are there and that we stay there. My views have not changed from class, except that I am more sympathetic to the views of the innocent Afghans. However, I still strongly believe that we need to stay in Afghanistan for our own safety and that eighteen months is probably not long enough to get the job done. I believe that if we take our troops out within the next year and a half, nothing will get done and many soldiers and citizens of the US will feel like we were in the war for nothing. Although we've done a lot to help Afghanistan, terrorists are still out there and more and more are joining al-Qaeda. That scares me and I'm scared to imagine what could happen if we pull out troops out too soon.

Haley R

xojordanxo0 said...

My opinion on the war is that America needs to stay in this one. The war in Afghanistan was started for a very specific reason; our country was attacked and now we need to protect it. I think it is best if we stay in the war for as long as necessary, even if this continues after Osama bin Laden has been executed. I think we should fight until al-Qaeda is under control and the situation of the democracy is under control as well. Usually I am not for war but in this situation I find that it is the only solution because it is what will protect the United States and that is what has been promised to Americans by the government so if this is the best way to do it then so be it. I am so thankful for everything the troops do for our country and I'm so glad that they are risking their lives to protect us, although I hate that their families have to witness these risks that the soldiers choose to take. Still, as hard as it is, it is necessary right now for our country.

Alex Yonks said...

Going into class I honestly didn't have any idea what was happening in Afghanistan. When I left class, I was much more knowledgeable on the war. I feel like Jordan and Haley that we definitely do need to stay in Afghanistan. I feel like even if we found Osama bin Laden, that we would really have to think about what to do with him that will first and foremost keep America safe, but also not cause more chaos then there already is. I agree with jordan, we shouldn't stop fighting until al Queda is under control and we know that they will not do harm to America. If you think about the situation, all that has to be done is for al-Qaeda and America to agree to forgive and forget and not cause harm for each others people, however its not that easy. We have to keep america safe and unfortunately al-Qaeda doesn't have anything in their plans that says don't hurt the US... Until we know al-Qaeda is either gone or under complete control, we shouldn't risk leaving Afghanistan.

Taryn said...

I am so indecisive about the War in Afghanistan and whether or not it is smart and safe for us to be there. For the most part I think it's extremely important for us to stay in Afghanistan, but at the same time it makes me sad to see all the soldiers lives being lost. I realize that it is the soldiers own personal decision to participate in the war but I can't help but feel sympathetic for those thousands of people because ultimately they are risking their own lives for the rest of us Americans. Also, I think us being in Afghanistan just makes the Afghan's even more madder and fed up, which causes more and more people to join al-Qaeda, which could possibly hurt us even more in the long run. But all in all, I do think it is safest for our country if our soldiers do stay put in Afghanistan because it is just so incredibly risky leaving and being available for attack by these relentless terrorists. I'm a little worried though because we have been in this bloody war for at least 9 years and I wonder how much longer can it really go on? I don't know how much longer it will take us to find Osama bin Laden, but that is basically our last major goal in this war. Since we haven't completely finished our job in Afghanistan, it would be the safest decision to keep our soldiers there to hopefully find Osama bin Laden, to protect us from future terrorist attacks and to end this war altogether.

Taryn D

kendall.healyv said...

I think that the war in Afghanistan has gone on for a really long time and I'm relieved and happy that the troops are coming home because I know this war isn't necessary and I know it is the right thing to do but I'm skeptical about what will happen with the Al-Qaeda group if we do pull out of the war. There are many dangers over there and I feel like problems would be created if the US came home and ended the war too quickly so I think we should ease our way out of it to create as little drama as possible. I think a year or a year in a half is a good time to start removing troops because this war is, as I've recently learned, is almost the longest war in US history; the war has gone on for a long long time and so many troops have lost their lives fighting for the US. I appreciate the troops' hard work for the war and I know that when they signed up for the war they did it because they wanted to fight to protect the US and i do believe in the protection of this country but I think that its selfish of Americans to want the troops back and their safety rather than the country as a whole's safety. We as Americans need to realize why they are fighting and what they are fighting for but at the same time they can't always be fighting and although this problem may continue after Americans leave, it will at least not involve us as much and I think a solution can certainly be found that is not through violence and war.

Caitlin said...
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Caitlin said...

I completely agree with Haley. It is good for us to keep troops in Afghanistan. There are still many people joining and supporting al-Qaeda. The troops have helped cut down on the fanatical government and the terrorist ways. To suddenly pull out is not going to accomplish our original goals. It will just cause anger and confusion. As a citizen I would feel scared and nervous about troops not being there. To take troops out would be showing al-Qaeda that we are weak. And that is the last thing that we want to show them.

-Caitlin C.

GeorgeRodJr said...

I agree with Caitlin. It is probably best to keep our troops in Afghanistan because of what has happened. 9/11 started with four highjackers who crashed two planes into our twin towers. If we were to back out of this war then they would get what they wanted and not suffer for their consequences. But, on the flip side the troops are wanting to come back home along with their families even though i am saying they should stay there. I feel bad for the troops but we cannot let Osama Bin Laden away with what he did to us.

George R.

Mason.Reiter said...

When it comes to the War in Afghanistan I feel as if our troops must remain there. Unlike Iraq, there has not been as much progress to where we could take our troops out. It is clear that al-Qaeda has no fear of attacking our country or dying for theirs. We need to stay in Iraq so we can protect ourselves and better yet learning more about how we can end this war. We also need to stand up as a country, show Afghanistan and al-Qaeda that we are there to fight and win the war on terror.

-Mason R

Chris Nittolo said...

In my opinion it is very important for the U.S to be in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is still populated with many terrorists and terrorist organizations, with that said these people have attacked our country and are capible of doing it again. Therefore our troops need to be there in order to cleanse them of this and keep the people safe.

kty1876 said...

With the War in Afghanistan i believe that the troops should stay in the war. In Afghanistan there are still supporters of the Al-Qaeda, and many other terrorists. If we brought the troops back home now the Al- Qaeda would grow longer and cause more harm to others. I also agree with Mason in the fact that the progress in Afghanistan as not been as large as it is in Iraq. And when we bring back some troops from Iraq that sending them out to Afghanistan right away would be bitter sweet. It would be bad or sad for the soldiers and their families for them to just go back to war, but we also need to add more troops in Afghanistan because we need to get the war in Afghanistan under control. So i believe we need to keep our troops in Afghanistan and add more troops

-Katherine D.

Kate M said...

After our discussion in class I have decided on one conclusion for my own opinions which is, at the end of the day America's number one priority has to be protecting itself and its citizens. We were attacked by Afghanistan and we chose to fight back to preserve our safety and our lives as we know them. It is true that there are currently many underlying issues in Afghanistan, specifically having to do with their "civil war". Although it is between the former leaders of the nation and the current leaders, it should be our dubty to stay by the sides of the current leaders. They have made a promise to help us with our war against the terrorism coming from Afghanistan and now we must help them with their own war. This also relates back to my initial statement. By taking part in the current issues in Afghanistan and staying involved until a clear resolution has been made America can better protect our citizens.

Kate M

Johne McMahon said...

I think the president announcing America's plans of pulling out of Afghanistan was a huge mistake because now Al-Qaeda knows what we are going to do they are just going to wait it out. Al-Qaeda is also growing each day and gaining support. America needs to remember 9/11, like George said, Osama Bin Laden can not get off the hook for what he has done. There needs to be justice and the only way for that to happen to find him. Pulling out Afghanistan is 18 months isn't a good idea because the enemy we are fighting is a different type of enemy who isn't afraid to die. Therefore this war is going to take longer then estimated. Also if we pulled out it would be similar to Vietnam and how there wasn't a really a winner. If American troops come home now they might bring the war with them and America would have a greater risk for another terrorist attack.

-Johne

kinsey budagher said...

The American involvement in Afghanistan comes with good intentions. America has found the words of Malalai Joya to ring true as he said "it is impossible to bring democracy by war". America's intent on changing their government seems nearly impossible and quite honestly imperialistic. I do not believe the American government has the right to try to involve themselves in Afghani government but consequently due to our already pending actions, the liberty granted to US citizens may be compromised in the case of pulling our troops out. I believe in the hatred we originally went into Afghanistan with after 9/11, but as someone who strongly believes in individual freedom i find it hard to come to grips with our government trying to transform another. I fear for the lives of Americans when our troops get pulled out because of the strength of Al-Qaeda, i wish Obama was not so concerned about public opinion and would stay in Afghanistan.

-Kinsey B

Pacman said...

In discussing the war about Afghanistan I believe that our troops should stay over in Afghanistan; and I agree with George that even though it would be nice for the troops to come home it is a war I believe needs to be continued with our troops. Because of the amount of supporters that Al-Qaeda still has and how many terrorists there still are over in Afghanistan leads me to believe that our troops need to stay there. Without our help and the help of the other countries assisting the small Democracy that we have set up in Afghanistan that government would be crushed instantly because of the overwhelming power that the Taliban has compared to the current government Afghanistan has. In conclusion, if we backed out of Afghanistan right now or sometime in the very near future all of our work to eliminate the Taliban, Terrorism, and to set up a new Democracy based government would be ruined because the Taliban would take over again. And if they took over again it would make Afghanistan another place of concern involving terrorism for the United States once again.

Tanner Pochmann

Aaron said...
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Aaron said...

I feel that the United States should keep troops in Afghanistan. There are many terrorist groups that can pose a great threat to the United States in Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden is suspected to live in the mountains on the border Afghanistan and Pakistan, and he poses great threats to the United States as well. One of the United States' objectives when entering Afghanistan, was to capture Bin Laden and many of his fellow al-Qaeda leaders because of the harm they had done, and could potentially could do to the United States. The suppression of these threats in the landscape of Afghanistan, require the occupancy of the United States.

Aaron D

Alix H said...

I feel that if we stay in Afghanistan much longer, we are running the risk of creating a war we cannot win. I think that the longer we are there, the more we lose sight of our original goals. In fact, since we have been in Afghanistan, the support for Al Qaida has risen world-wide. I think that our presence in Afghanistan is used as fuel to recruit in terrorist organizations. Many are convinced that we will never leave the Middle East and truly have an imperialistic foreign policy. I think we have not made that much progress since over throwing the Taliban government, and that we should cut our losses and leave. Though I am concerned about an Al Qaida attack, if we ever leave, that would be a concern. We will never stomp out this organization. I believe we should cut our losses and leave within the timeline set up by Obama.

Alanna M. said...

Although I want the troops back home,I feel that we should keep fighting till the terrorists are found and/or we have established good standings in Afghanistan. We want to leave the country as well of as possible,so we can minimize tensions. Also, We left Iraq in decent standings, so we should leave Afghanistan in decent standings as well.I also feel that America's safety is at risk because the terrorists know when we will leave and we will be vulnerable to attack. America's safety is potentially at jeopardy.

-Alanna Moore

hds2012 said...

I agree that we should stay in Afghanistan. We have yet to find Bin Laden or other Al Queda members, which are threats to our nation. It is important to stay in Afghanistan so the US will not appear weak. But I believe it is impossible to immediately eliminate how/what people believe and feel. This would gradually happen over time. We can not stay in war forever but i think it is essential to find Bin Laden and other major terrorists that previously posed threats.

-Hallie S

Ben Harden said...

I think that while we need to eventually pull out of Afghanistan, it is definitely a good idea to keep watch on them. US troops stationed in Afghanistan should be present until all potential threats of terrorist have died down. If the threat is little to none, I think we should leave the Afghans to themselves; step back and see if they can function without our supervision. If there is still a question of US safety, I think troops should still occupy Afghanistan.

-Ben H.

Alexis Richter said...

After discussing this issue in class, I feel as though my opinion is the same as a lot of people's. It is extremely important for us to stay in Afghanistan because we haven't finished what we have set out to do and the safety of American citizens is still compromised. The job isn't finished and we have to hang in there so we don't let our weaknesses show. It is sad that the troops are still over there, but they did make a conscious decision to fight and they knew what they were getting into. If they didn't want to do this they would have not chosen to.

Alexis R

chris h said...

I believe that we must stay in the war. If we pull out now, we will be portrayed as weak. We went to war for one reason and that was to protect America from further attacks. If we pull out then all what we have worked for, the amount of effort put into the war by our soldiers was for nothing. We have to keep pushing forward until we reach our goal. We can’t back out now or it will all be for a waste

connorfagin said...

I feel that by pulling out now, we be almost be encouraging uncooperative and obviously corrupt governments to take advantage of the U.S. Mirroring my opinion of the war in Iraq, I believe that our work in Afghanistan is far from over, and a continuing presence will prove to be vital to our succeess in the region.

Cameron Casey said...

To be honest, I have given up hope that there is a possibility that peace may be reached in Afghanistan. The only things to show for the past years spent in Afghanistan are death and violence. The United States went into the way in Afghanistan in hopes of "ridding the world of evil", however, that is simply not possibly. I consider the Al Qaeda to be similar to the hydra; when one member is killed there are two more to take his place. Thus, staying there would be pointless. This is hard to say because of all the lives lost over there, however, I do not believe it is necessary to continue to lose lives there for an impossible dream.

george said...
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george said...
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george said...

I believe that we should keep our war efforts in Afghanistan, we have been there for many years and if we suddenly pulled out all of our troops then i think all of our efforts would be reversed. We instead need to slowly ease them back into managing their own government and peace, and slowly pull people out, rather than all of a sudden. If we were to pull out suddenly it could also cause a riot and much more hatred toward our country; it could even leave us in danger of more terror attacks because of their negative attitude towards us. When we do however pull our troops out we need to do it slowly and gradually, because at some point it will need to be done, as we cant stay there forever. But overall i believe we should not yet remove all of our troops, because at this point we cant afford another attack or threat to our economy.
George Collins

Erin said...

I feel that ending this war will bring good and bad consequences. The good, this will bring out people that went to war back to their families. This may be good for the families, but it is not good for our country to get out of this war. Why? Osama Bin Laden is still out on the loose somewhere in this world. If we stop looking for him, we are putting our own country in danger which may lead to warfront at home. This is not safe for our citizens. We may have crippled the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but that does not mean they cannot get stronger. We need to stay there until we find Bin Laden and we have yet to kill or imprison important members of the Taliban and al-Qaeda that could cause some risk of the safety of our citizins in this country.

Meghan Mitchell said...

I believe we need to stay in Afghanistan. Returning home too soon or leaving the Afghani people could create unwanted chaos in America and/or Afghanistan. After leaving class I too did feel sympathetic for the people in Afghanistan. I do know that there are some people there who want us gone, but I strongly believe there are also people there who understand the positive things we are doing for their country. Like I’ve said in other blog posts… I do not feel safe yet. I don’t feel like we have finished what we started and if America were to back down then that would reveal a weakness to the terrorist, which is exactly what they want.

shahrukhlalani said...

My opinion on the war in Afghanistan is that America should not leave. The reason for this is that America was attacked by the Afghanis and we need to stay protected. If the Americans leave, the Afghanis may think that America is weak and might attack again. Although it is sad what our troops are going through, it is still important for the safety of over 300 million Americans.

Haley said...

I have multiple opposing views on the war in Afghanistan. I think they pose a huge threat to the United States and the safety of the country. But I also think that with the dangers over there it is killing so many American soildiers. But its really depressing that this is needed to keep our country safe. The many variables that there are I think that it is needed for soildiers to stay in Afghanistan.
-HaleyM

lizzie-sanders said...

I think we need to leave Afghanistan. We have helped as much as we can. We have tried to change their government to a democracy and now is there job to carry out everything we have taught them about democracy. So many soldiers have died and that needs to end. I know it is better to be in war there rather than in America but i think if they wanted to bring the war to the United States than they would have done so by now. We need to pull our soldiers out of Afghanistan.

-Lizzie Sanders

Eric Edwards said...

I agree with Lizzie. I believe that this war has been going on way too long. We need to pull out, but not too fast to where once we leave, Afghanistan is in chaos. We just need to gradually pull out and hopefully the Afghan people will start to feel accustomed to working on their own, without the help of the United States. We have lost too many lives and I don't think there is much else we can do anyways. And now that Obama has declared the Iraq war "over," it just means that all the troops will now go to Afghanistan and leave Iraq. I just don't think its a wise choice to keep sending troops overseas just to put them in danger for something we really don't need to be involved in anymore. Afghanistan can take care of itself by now I would think. We need to pull ALL of our troops out.

-Eric Edwards

Andrew said...

There is a flipside to this question. America is the strongest county in the world. It’s a nation power as some may call it. In order to maintain this highly respected title, America must establish its influence in other counties, so that they may be endowed with sovereignty. When a country shows this kind of tame power, that country demonstrates to the world that they are in control, thus limiting the attacks and other consequences on the Nation. Also, the war in Afghanistan hasn’t been a devastating war at all. If you look at the numbers, we haven’t lost that many troops in the years we have been over there. However, while I think the war must continue, there are consequences. History has shown us that in every war, (with the exception of World War II), America’s economy as has ravished. However, War isn’t what’s ravishing our country today. In my opinion, it’s our president that’s creating the problem, too many stimulus plans have been passed and our country, more than ever, is on the verge of bankruptcy. So should we pull out? I think America hasn’t finished its job in Afghanistan, but at the same time, we have to compromise because our country is on the verge of a crises.

Addison said...

I didn't really know much about what was going on in Afghanistan. Now that I got some of the facts I feel that we need to remain in Afghanistan. I agree that 18 months is not long enough at all to get the job done. Also that if we did manage to capture Osama bin Laden what would we do next? This idea is what scares me the most. If we capture him the followers are going to do what it takes to get him back. We need to have a lot more time to figure this out. At least more than 18 months.
-Addie Abene

Maui Puebla said...

Going into class i believed that the troops in Afghanistan should have came back home sooner than now. As I heard everyones own opinions I became aware that the troops coming back would make the morale of the united states citizens lower because weve been there for so long and not necessarily reaching our goal that we planned but finished alot of little things that have helped Afghanistan.

Max said...

I believe we should stay involved in the war of Afghanistan. Our troops are still working hard, and if we bring them home to early our country's morale will be at a low. Also, I feel like there is still alot of work to be done in Iraq, and we should still suport the troops during these crucial times.

Asante said...

I agree with every one that says that we should keep our troops in Afghanistan. If we pulled them out, the Al-Queda group that caused us to be there in the first place would get what they want. In giving them what they want, I believe that their confidence would rise up and this time, instead of bombing two towers, they might go for something much bigger! Our country has a lot of problems as it is and I don’t feel that we would be able to get back on our feet if we got attacked again. We should stay in Afghanistan for as long as we need to until we can guarantee ourselves safety from any opposing threats from other countries.