Streams

Post-Osama Afghanistan Policy

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fred Kaplan, "War Stories" columnist, Slate and a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, discusses how the Obama Administration should handle the war in Afghanistan in a post-Osama world.

Guests:

Fred Kaplan

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Comments [15]

Mike

Afghanistan will be stabilized in few months if foreign troops leave. Today main cause of instability is Taliban. Today Talibans are supported by the Afghans as fighters against foreign occupation. If foreign troops leaves, Taliban will have no support in the population, they are illiterate, new organization and incompetent to be able to create trouble without foreign support.

May. 16 2011 11:31 AM
Amy from Manhattan

As much as I want us out of Afghanistan (& Iraq), it's too simplistic to say we can just pull all the troops out right now because Bin Laden is dead. I agree w/what Fred Kaplan said about not leaving a power vacuum. I think what we need to do--what I hope is being done--is make a reassessment of how his death changes the situation & how we need to adapt our strategy to it--what Obama called "being as careful getting out as we were careless.getting in" during the campaign.

May. 16 2011 10:57 AM
Ken from Little Neck

Your guest makes a fantastic point that gets to the heart of the matter - Iraq. We had an at least somewhat legitimate reason to go into Afghanistan and if we had stayed focused we could be out by now at not at war with anyone. Instead, We used it as an excuse to invade Iraq because Bush wanted revenge for his father and Cheney wanted to make his oil and defense buddies richer.

May. 16 2011 10:50 AM
Jose from Park Slope

This war was a response to 9-11. The reason proposed by George Bush was to displace the Taliban. We have achieved this and now Bin Laden is gone. There is no political justification for the continued waging of war. We should assist Afghanistan however we can, but the troops should come home and the war should be pronounced over!

May. 16 2011 10:41 AM
Robert from NYC

And? So let it fall apart. What a waste of lives and money. Who is this guy. He doesn't seem to know anything about the culture of Afghanistan rather just western interests in it. He seems to enjoy listening to himself. I don't!

May. 16 2011 10:40 AM
Jose from Park Slope

This war was a response to 9-11. The reason proposed by George Bush was to displace the Taliban. We have achieved this and now Bin Laden is gone. There is no political justification for the continued waging of war. We should assist Afghanistan however we can, but the troops should come home and the war should be pronounced over!

May. 16 2011 10:40 AM
Jamie from New York

Some people are correct in the thinking that yes, the entire conflict stemmed from Osama's plan to take out the twin towers, the pentagon, and another site which was foiled by the brave passengers of the plane.

The question people should ask themselves is who've we've been fighting against in Afghanistan, the Taliban. They've been in control since the russian defeat and its been a tyrannical overlord of the entire country passing laws over the people following their view of islam and how to live by it.

Killing Osama does nothing to effect our current conflict their and our goals which will lead to our leaving of their country. Osama belonged to AQ, not the Taliban so their not effect meaning Afghanistan isnt effect aside from the possibilty of increased terrorist attacks there.

Furthermore if you really think about it we were on Osama's trail for 9 years then all of a sudden a source leaks information of him hiding in a compound in northern Pakistan. No, I'm not stating a conspiracy theory but the idea that someone beneath him wanted him gone to take leadership of the group.

We got rid of the ring leader of a group of cowards that attacked us on our own soil. He's dead, americans should be happy but we're no where near done in the middle east.

May. 16 2011 10:40 AM
Nancy Meher from Manhattan

I believe we should leave both Afghanistan and Iraq. We found what we were looking for now it's time to leave. This country is falling apart we can't afford to support these wars. We can help them rebuild but let them pay us for the help and that goes for any other country that's wants our help whether it's our military presence or other help. We need the money. The war on terror is every countries responsibility, not just ours.

May. 16 2011 10:37 AM
Michael from Westchester

For national security--improving stability and democracy in Pakistan and keeping a non-nuclear Iran are higher on scale. A good point in Nicholas Kristol piece about Richard Holbrooke this weekend.

May. 16 2011 10:36 AM
Andrew from Brooklyn

Anytime a terrorist threat emerges from Afghanistan in the future, the US can go back and act to eliminate it.

There's no need to deploy the lumbering full force of the military and require US soldiers to nation-build in that country any longer.

Terror threats must be dealt with like a tiger, not an elephant.

May. 16 2011 10:34 AM
Dominic from Newark

The assassination of one man is a poor argument for ending a war. However, in a war of only weak arguments it is a good EXCUSE to end the war.

May. 16 2011 10:34 AM
Jack from Brooklyn

I think a shift to more humanitarian aide is in order. We are not 'winning hearts and minds' with military actions, only creating more resentment (understandably - imagine the roles reversed). We need to create more stability by providing opportunities for greater participation in the global community, dampening the appeal of insurgent groups and raising the appeal of constructive engagement.

May. 16 2011 10:34 AM
Sarah from Weston, CT

Yes, we should get out. The cost is way too high, both in dollars and in lives. We should not be wasting billions of dollars that we need here in the US.

Let the Arab League get involved if they are worried about the stability of Afganistan. We need to worry about the stability of the US.

May. 16 2011 10:34 AM
Tom from Upper West Side

We should not get out of Afghanistan because OBL is dead...We should get out because we are hurling blood and treasure at a corrupt, tribal country that will never behave the way WE want it to. All of that $$$ could be going to U.S. schools, healthhcare, infrastraucture, debt paydown, etc.

May. 16 2011 10:28 AM
Dallas from NYC

There seems to be a misconception of why we went into Afghanistan. The assumption I keep hearing discussed is that we went into Afghanistan to get Bin Laden and since we've got him, we're done there and can bring the troops home. (For the record, I don't think we should be there and this should not be taken as a defense of our presence there.)

However as I recall we asked the Taliban, the govt at the time, to hand over Bin Laden. We were told that the Taliban wouldn't cooperate so under the doctrine anyone who helps or harbors Al-Qaeda is our enemy we went into Afghanistan to punish the Taliban, not specifically to get Bin Laden.

Am I remembering that correctly?

May. 16 2011 10:07 AM

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