Should the United States send more troops to Afghanistan?

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he believes President Obama should send more troops to serve in Afghanistan, both to “complete the mission” and to protect those already there. Should the United States send more troops to Afghanistan?

  • Lois Nokleby

    We need to be out of the whole mess, the sooner, the better.

  • Andy Flosdorf

    I am a socially liberal, fiscally convservative. I simply don’t understand all the talk of opposition to the war in Afghanistan – I am not opposed to it nor do I hear talk of opposition. I don’t know whether we need more troops, but I support whatever decisions are made to ensure that we complete the mission for both the short and long term – this is where 9/11 started – leaving the job incomplete leaves us at risk.

  • Laura Ross

    I have a son in Iraq. I am politically far left/progressive, but I support my son’s choices and listen to his views from the inside. I also look at what is going on in Afghanistan and worry about the Taliban or other extremist group taking over again – women especially were treated inhumanely, and it horrifies me that this could happen again. I don’t want the US to go in essentially unilaterally – yes, we have a “coalition”, but it is mostly US troops in harms way, and it is the US in the world’s eye showing aggression and imperialism. I wish this was more a UN human rights issue, one solved by a world coalition.

  • David

    This appears to be the only thing that I agree with Gov. Tim Pawlenty on

  • Sieglinde Gassman

    I do not feel we have a legitimate mission in Afghanistan. There is no progressive leadership visible in the country meaning our efforts to improve infrastructure and secure civil rights will be fragmented and easily undone. Without Afghani leadership there is no mission.

  • jim

    I would send Tim.

  • Michael Venske

    In short: no.

    Further, I don’t care what Gov. Tim Pawlenty thinks we should be doing with our troops in Afghanistan.

    Like most people that know the definition of “governor” versus “president,” I’m concerned with the matters of the state — our state — right now.

    I wish Mr. Pawlenty was too.

  • Ben Horn

    No, we should not be in Afghanistan. We were told that this war was to fight terrorists. The U.S. military has now admitted that al Quaeda is no longer in Afghanistan. The Talliban, who undeniably do many bad things, are not international terrorists and pose no threat to the U.S. Like Iraq, the original reasons for going to war are no longer valid so our continued military occupation is wrong.

  • Ralf W

    Wat I really want to know from all the deficit hawks is: how are we going to pay for this increase, if it happens? What programs will be cut, what taxes will be raised?

    We’re told all the time to worry about the national debt when it comes to stimulus, healthcare, really everything except war.

    But we’ve racked up $1 BILLION in extra debt due to Iraq & Af-Pak. That is enough already.

    If we’re gonna make war, then taxes need to go up to support it – then our citizens would better understand the other cost (not that I believe we are sufficiently understanding the human and moral costs, either).

  • kennedy

    This is a very difficult question.

    If we continue to send troops all over the world to protect ourselves and citizens of other nations, we risk spending ourselves into ruin.

    If we withdraw our military from the world theater, we risk letting violence run rampant. No other nation has shown the willingness and ability to lead in matters of global security. This includes the inability of the UN to achieve anything of substance.

    I fear we must continue to bear this burden and the criticism that goes with taking action. Sending more troops is not the most desirable, but is presently the best course.

  • Pete Pantzer

    I am deeply concerned about our president’s apparent reticence to commit the needed troops to the war in Afghanistan. I have been to Afghanistan several times in my work with an international development organization and have met the people and seen the devastation of the many wars there. I have seen people tasting some little degree of freedom. I fear that the Taliban will turn this suffering country into a hell of torture and retribution if the international presence that currently restrains them, however imperfectly, is removed.

    I passionately hope that President Obama will heed General McChrystal’s advice and not abandon Afghanistan to support his domestic agenda.

  • Ben Horn

    Pete – has our justification for fighting in Afghanistan changed from stopping terrorists to nation building? If yes, our gvmt should make a definitive statement to that effect so all Americans are clear. They should also be clear that this new effort could take decades, will cost thousands of American lives and billions of dollars.

    I support helping the Afghan people but attempting to do so militarily is a mistake. I suggest everyone view the documentary at

  • Patrick

    I see no point in supporting a corrupt inept government in both Afganistan and Pakistan.

    As in Vietnam and Iraq, we will never win this war, only contain it.

    It is the nuclear weapons in Pakistan that keeps the US and others mired in this mess. What goes around, comes around.

    This disasterous mess would end quite soon IF the sons and daughters of the

    elite were losing legs, family, and life. This has become a feudal war, allowing some to become wealthy, both in the US and Afganistan , while others do the fighting.

    Every death and injury in the last seven years can be hung around the necks of Bush and Cheney.

    Will the US ever learn from its mistakes?

  • Susanna Henry

    We should send no more troops to Afganistan. 70% of the country is under tribal control, not government control, and we have no way to influence them. As Rory Steward, an expert on Afganistan said, the task of keeping the Taliban out is simply not possible, so we have no moral imperative to do so. The Taliban is not a threat to the US. We need keep only a small force of about 10 thousand in Afganistan to keep Al’qaeda from building camps and expanding their forces. Afganistan is decades away from being able to build and support a democracy.

    We should focus on development work, especially education.

  • Keith

    We should send more troops to Afghanistan, but they will make no difference if they are not deployed to protect people rather than territory. We cannot win more ground in Afghanistan when we have failed to secure the areas we already occupy of win over the people living there. By protecting the people in the major cities, by giving families the opportunity to raise their children in peace for the first time in over 30 years, we can build a bulwark against Taliban insurgents amongst the majority of the Afghan population, even if we only control thirty percent of the physical territory of the country.

  • Mary

    If Pawlenty wants to send more troops, I think he should be the first to volunteer. My nephew has done three tours in Iraq and now is facing having to go to Afganistan. How much do we expect a 24 year old to handle. Enough is enough, bring our boys home and let them go to school, have their children and get on with their lives. And we better be willing to support them with medical care both physical and mental.

  • Dana Reynolds

    The knee-jerk reaction of the far right wing is ALWAYS answering any difficult foreign policy question by saying we need to send more military troops. Pawlenty is no exception to this rule. All his statement shows is that he is trying to appeal to the shrinking right-wing base for his eventual run for the presidency in 2012.

  • vince

    To what end? Who is trained to teach fairness, equality and government to the Afghans? Our military leaders are all the same. They all have the same training and experience. They operate with an idea of “leading from the rear”. I don’t believe that they can really say anything outside the lines or deviate from the strategy given to them. The process of officer development is based on your ability to follow orders. They aren’t mavericks or experts in any area. They echo what they are told to read and taught. They aren’t capable of changing a questionable plan at it’s lowest level because that would mean challenging a superior.

  • Mary Davies

    Definitely, NO!. Gov. Pawlenty is just mirroring the view of his fellow neo-cons that we somehow have the right to KEEP our military personnel and bases in almost every country in the world. Most of the 40, 000 troops that McChristal says is needed for the “current emergency” couldn’t actually be deployed for a year or more thus suggesting strongly that the purpose would really be part of the ongoing permanent military presence of the United States everywhere. This would ensure many more casualties — both Afghan and American — and cost billions of dollars.

  • Pete Pantzer

    If the Taliban are permitted an unfettered resurgence in Afghanistan, what will stop Al Qaida from reestablishing its training camps there? How will the international community be able to nonmilitarily assist the impoverished yet resourceful Afghan people if the Taliban retakes control of the government in Kabul?

    I admit I am neither a politician nor an expert in Central Asian matters. I am an American citizen who has had the privilege of humanitarian service in Afghanistan, who believes that my country, right or wrong, has made an implicit promise to the Afghan people. I believe that the moral outrage would be to abandon them now.

  • John C Ford

    I agree with Ralf W. We cannot borrow any more money. We have no money and so we are expanding the money supply at the rate of 4,500% to pay for our existing debts. The dollar is weak enough. How soon do we want it to fail? The BRIC nations are already calling for a new reserve currency, not the dollar. Perhaps it’s just a matter of time till it fails.

  • Patrick

    Pawlenty talks about “completing the mission” as he slithers away onto national politics.

    Bombings in Iraq increase as the surge and US bribes subside. Is this the “mission complete” that Pawlenty crows about?

    So long as the Afgan government invites corruption, Taliban recruitment will increase. We stand in a civil war, with Pakistan supporting Taliban objectives in Afganistan.

    Absolutely insane to send troops into this death trap.

  • Mike

    The only way to “win” this war is to fight it they way a war should be fought; if it moves, kill it. If it doesn’t, destroy it. If it’s of any value, take it. Civilians be damned, it’s war. Since when are civilians not supposed to die in a war, (as in Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan)? Otherwise don’t even bother. We could double, triple our forces in Afghanistan, send ’em over there 100,000+ strong and it wouldn’t a any difference as long as we fight with one hand tied behind our back, (ala Viet-Nam). Heavens forbid we invade Pakistan to attack the enemy where he is hiding, (as in Laos or Cambodia). In the end we’ll have sent more troops, spent more money and lost more lives… for nothing, (Saigon). If we can’t be serious and fight a real war then what’s the point? If we have’nt learned from our own history, then perhaps we could learn something from the Soviet Union, as they are saying in Moscow, “ha, told ya so”.

  • keithsingley

    give the troops or get out!

  • Rain

    I could read a book about this without fiindng such real-world approaches!