Afghanistan: Draw Down or Up?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The President continues to weigh is options over troop levels and overall policy in the war in Afghanistan. Michael Mandelbaum, professor of foreign policy at Johns Hopkins and author of Democracy's Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World's Most Popular Form of Government discusses the future of US engagement with the region.


Michael Mandelbaum

Comments [19]

CT from Harlem

I agree with Ron. I'd love to hear more of what Masoud has to say about his country and our involvement there.

Oct. 30 2009 11:12 AM
Ella Beilin from United States

Thank God for such brillians people as Michael Mandelbaum and Thomas Friedman. Our no less brilliant but less experience in the foreign policy President should certainly listen to opinions of Prof. Mandelbaum and our best NYTimes Op-Ed Friedman.

Oct. 29 2009 11:10 AM
Mary Peacock from Manhattan

No wonder the first Afghan caller hung up. Neither Mandelbaum nor Brian listened to him carefully: he proposed the Americans/NATO arrest the Karzai government and then get out, leaving Afghans to find their own leader. He did NOT suggest that we do it for them.

Oct. 29 2009 10:32 AM
"Freelance" Attorney from Park Slope

Nice cross-reference work by your staff, Brian. Loved the sports question-

Oct. 29 2009 10:31 AM
Tonky from Brooklyn

AHHAHA - you have a commenter #11 defenfing pottery barn.

a) if you went in and negligently smashed something at pottery barn they WOULD make you buy it. (anyone up to make a hidden video to test?)

b) The real pottery barn rule should be:
Don't shop at the Pottery Barn'

Oct. 29 2009 10:31 AM
Rick from Connecticut Coast

Sad to say, the Obama administration is continuing the 8 year Bush fantasy that fighting a war with 1/4 the troops needed and no consideration of a military draft, we have already failed. The only reason at this point to stay is to stop a collapse of Pakistan. On top of that, out government with all its grand longterm plans is not cognizant that we are similar to Great Britain in 1947, we are about to run out of money.

Oct. 29 2009 10:28 AM
Tonky from Brooklyn

Oh Snap Mandelbaum - you got served. Mahsud said you've never been to Afganistan and so shouldn't talk.

Seriously, it seems like your only point is that Afghanistan is a sh*thole that's not worth out time.

In fact, there are millions of people there depending on us.

Osama Bin Laden is still creeping around.

How don't our national security interests lie there.

Oct. 29 2009 10:25 AM

Have Mahsoud? on as a guest. He is saying things I have not heard before about his country.

Oct. 29 2009 10:24 AM
Burton from Brooklyn


please don't use the term "Pottery Barn Rule." Pottery Barn doesn't have that rule.

No interest myself in Pottery Barn...just annoyed that this term persists.

Oct. 29 2009 10:24 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Michael Mandelbaum is "skeptical that we have the wisdom or the knowledge or the power".... So on what grounds does this advocate of American war crimes think the US should be the "world government"?

The hypocrisy is stunning.

Oct. 29 2009 10:23 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Is the guest suggesting that threat #4 Afghanistan—which is full of terrorist, or at least people who do wish harm upon the United States—isn’t as important as its nuclear neighbor Pakistan and a country purported to have nuclear ambitions, Iran? What does he think will happen if we let Afghanistan go to sh*t and nuclear materials travel cross borders (or Afghani terrorists travel cross borders) uniting angry people with nuclear materials?

Oct. 29 2009 10:23 AM
LM from Long Island

Hugh you are so right.

Oct. 29 2009 10:21 AM
john from office

These are all backward cultures that are still in the 1800's or earlier. We should leave and let them kill each other. Look at the bombs in Pakistan.

Oct. 29 2009 10:21 AM
the truth from bkny


Oct. 29 2009 10:21 AM
Sharon Press from home

The Professor's comments make sense. The US is best placed to take the lead in reaching a resolution.

Oct. 29 2009 10:19 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

If the US is acting as the world's government, as idolaters of atrocity and empire like Mandelbaum advocate, the US is clearly doing no better than the Federal government is doing here at home.

We have a domestic government that serves on the US oligarchs. And to the extent that the US is a world government, it serves only the US oligarchs.

Oct. 29 2009 10:16 AM
stephanie from chelsea

What happens if we draw down in Afghanistan, Pakistan dissolves into civil war (as looks likely), and Pakistan's nukes end up in the hands of the Taliban? Are the Pakistanis, even with our upport, able to prevent such an outcome?

Oct. 29 2009 10:14 AM
Sharon Press from home

We need a resolution in the region, but more troops do not seem to be the answer.

Oct. 29 2009 10:08 AM
hjs from 11211

i know history is a mysterious arcane art for most americans but we might want to think about want happened last time we abonded the afghan people (back in the 80s after they help us pull down the old soviet union. a failed state = terror haven)

Oct. 29 2009 09:55 AM

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