Obama says his 'modest' Afghan aims can be achieved

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by SHASH2K2, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    WASHINGTON: Under pressure over the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama underlined the limited nature of his "fairly modest" objectives and insisted they can be achieved.

    In an interview with CBS's "Early Show" broadcast on Sunday, Obama said no one expected the US-led effort in Afghanistan to turn the country into a perfect Western-style democracy.

    "What we're looking to do is difficult, very difficult, but it's a fairly modest goal, which is, don't allow terrorists to operate from this region; don't allow them to create big training camps and to plan attacks against the US homeland with impunity.

    "That can be accomplished," he said. "We can stabilise Afghanistan sufficiently and we can get enough cooperation from Pakistan that we are not magnifying the threat against the homeland."

    A US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 ousted the Islamic extremist Taliban regime, accused of harbouring Osama bin Laden -- the chief suspect for the September 11 attacks on America that killed nearly 3,000 people -- and leaders of his Al-Qaeda network.

    But in almost nine years since, a Taliban insurgency against President Hamid Karzai's Western-backed government has become increasingly emboldened despite the presence now of almost 150,000 allied troops.

    July was the deadliest month for US troops since the start of the war and the growing number of body bags is beginning to test the resolve of the American public.
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-says-his-modest-Afghan-aims-can-be-achieved/articleshow/6245676.cms

    Question is will USA be able to achieve a respectable exit from Afganistan or it will be another Vietnam .
     
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  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2010/07/hope_in_afghanistan_military_g.html
    This is a war that will ultimately be won with books, not with bombs. — Greg Mortenson
    The war in Afghanistan is not going well. Gen. David Petraeus took over after Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s insubordinate interview with Rolling Stone magazine. President Obama’s escalation of ground forces means more American soldiers are dying. The Taliban fights on, the central government remains weak, and Obama still talks about military disengagement starting next year.
    Yet there is a second, more hopeful narrative about U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
    I’ve learned that terror doesn’t happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren’t being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death. — Greg Mortenson
    The narrative begins with a book by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin called “Three Cups of Tea.” It tells how Mortenson, a rugged Montanan, was hurt and stranded in Afghanistan after a failed attempt to scale the fabled mountain K2. He promised his Afghan hosts he would build a school for their village — and now has produced more than 130 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan where girls, in particular, get their first view of a classroom.
    He has single-handedly changed the lives of tens of thousands of children, and independently won more hearts and minds than all the official American propaganda flooding the region. — David Oliver Relin
    Mortenson’s book came out in paperback in 2007, and caught on with women’s book clubs, church groups — and some well-placed military wives, The New York Times’ Elizabeth Bumiller reports. Deborah Mullen gave it to her husband, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Holly Petraeus did the same.
    If we Americans are to learn from our mistakes, from the flailing, ineffective way we, as a nation, conducted the war on terror after the attacks of 9/11, and from the way we have failed to make our case to the great moderate mass of peace-loving people at the heart of the Muslim world, we need to listen to Greg Mortenson. — David Oliver Relin
    Mortenson, a former Army medic, met dozens of times with senior military officials in Afghanistan, and introduced them to village elders. When one of Mortenson’s schools opened last summer, Admiral Mullen was there. “I never, ever expected it,” said Mortenson of this relationship. He stresses he has no financial or contractual relationship with the Defense Department.
    The Taliban are engaged in a generation-long struggle, Mortenson told his New York Times interviewer. Thwarting them requires a new generation of educated Afghan women.
    “At first, when I began to attend school, many people in my village told me a girl has no business doing such a thing,” Shakeela says. ... Now when I return to my village, I see all the families sending their girls to school. And they tell me, ‘Shakeela, we were mistaken. You were right to read so many books and brave to study so far from home.’” — From “Three Cups of Tea”
    Greg Mortenson is making a difference, but he alone can’t save Afghanistan from the Taliban. It’s good to know he and the Americans leading the fight are on the same side.
     
  4. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    WASHINGTON – As the war in Afghanistan faces a loss of public and congressional support and U.S. casualties rise sharply, the Obama administration is painting its goals for the war as humble and achievable while warning there is no quick fix.
    "Nobody thinks that Afghanistan is going to be a model Jeffersonian democracy," President Barack Obama said in a television interview that aired Sunday.
    "What we're looking to do is difficult — very difficult — but it's a fairly modest goal, which is: Don't allow terrorists to operate from this region. Don't allow them to create big training camps and to plan attacks against the U.S. homeland with impunity," Obama said in an interview broadcast by CBS' "Sunday Morning."
    July was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the nearly nine-year war, with 66 troops killed. Military officials predict the toll will be even higher for several months to come, as U.S., NATO and Afghan forces intensify fighting in Taliban-controlled areas.
    The troop surge Obama ordered last year was meant to make that expanded fight possible, but it also guaranteed higher combat deaths and a renewed focus on whether a war that remains a stalemate is still worth fighting.
    Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicted that only a small number of U.S. forces will come home next summer, when Obama has said he will begin phasing out the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan. A large number of U.S. forces will remain past the start of that drawdown, Gates said, and he gave no estimate for when all U.S. forces might leave.
    "My personal opinion is that drawdowns early on will be of fairly limited numbers," Gates said. "As we are successful, we'll probably accelerate."
    Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, used television interviews Sunday to try to reassure Afghan and Pakistani leaders that the U.S. will not abandon the fight.
    "I think we need to re-emphasize the message that we are not leaving Afghanistan in July of 2011. We are beginning a transition process and a thinning of our ranks," Gates said, "and the pace will depend on the conditions on the ground."
    Mullen acknowledged that time and patience are short, and that all the fighting so far has not neutralized the Taliban as a military force. Some military assessments from within Afghanistan conclude the insurgency is more potent. Whiffs of that conclusion emerged from tens of thousands of leaked secret war assessments that Mullen decried as an appalling breach of trust.
    "I don't think that the Taliban being stronger than they've been since 2001 is, is news," Mullen said, noting the insurgency regained momentum over several years.
    The Taliban's firmer purchase on key areas of Afghanistan while U.S. and allied forces challenge that territory for the first time makes the coming year crucial, military officials and members of both political parties agree.
    "I certainly understand it is the ninth year, it is a long time, the sacrifices have been significant," Mullen said. "At the same time, I think the strategies are right."
    Release of the nearly 77,000 secret military records from the war has done real harm but hasn't affected the U.S. war strategy, Mullen said.
    Gates accused the website WikiLeaks, which posted the material a week ago, of "moral culpability" for potentially deadly repercussions. The Taliban can glean a lot about U.S. tactics and sources from the documents, Gates said.
    "That's where I think the verdict is guilty on WikiLeaks," Gates said. "They have put this out without any regard whatsoever for the consequences."
    Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, acknowledged the slide in support for the war among congressional Democrats.
    "They have the impression that things are not going well now, at least the majority," Levin said of Americans. "But I think the public does want us to succeed,"
    Levin has been skeptical of parts of the strategy Obama adopted, but he sounded cautiously optimistic on Sunday.
    "I think there's really signs of progress. It's a mixed picture," he said.
    A top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said he could foresee a collapse of congressional support next year if conservative Republicans yank their backing to make Obama look bad and if anti-war Democrats insist on a pullout.
    "I do worry about an unholy alliance with the right and left coming together next summer, if we're not showing progress, to basically de-fund this war," Graham said.
    "Afghanistan is a work in progress," he said. "To lose there would be disastrous. To win there would be monumental. And I think we've got a good chance of winning, but by no means is the outcome certain."
    Mullen spoke on NBC's "Meet The Press" and CBS' "Face the Nation." Gates was on ABC's "This Week." The senators were on CNN's "State of the Union."
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_us_afghanistan
     
  5. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    If they rush into withdrawal it would be like Vietnam, only worse
    I don't see them withdrawing anytime soon without some sort of an arrangement that suits them.
     
  6. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    what if casualty increases? July has been deadliest month so far . They cannot keep on loosing men like this.
     
  7. samarsingh

    samarsingh Regular Member

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    thats where the wikileaks come into picture, there's something cooking, need to wait and watch
     
  8. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Sometimes conspiracy theory part of my mind says that this wikileaks episode is state managed and Uncle sam has a role to play i it . It might have been done to put pressure on pakistan.
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Wikileaks are either done by USA or UK.Take ur pick.UK is very much pissed and peeved with obama administration.Even UK double crossed usa during pearl harbor attack.UK had full intelligence about japs attack on pearl harbor but they didnt inform usa.
     
  10. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    You never know who is going to side with whom in world politics. UK has been living under USA shadow for very long and now see its falling reputation and economy due to that. May be its time to wake up from them. I dont have any Idea about kind of pressure Obama will be under due to this leaks. They have to control Pakistan now else they will have serious outrage and cry at home.
     
  11. arya

    arya Senior Member Senior Member

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    well you cant win without operation in Pakistan

    Pakistan will not act so its time when usa has to start operation in Pakistan
     

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