Do you agree with President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan?

Last night, the president laid out his strategy for the Afghan war. Do you agree with President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan?

Comments texted to MPR:

I hate to see more troops die. I hate war. But I support the president completely and trust him to end the insanity. -Alli, Albert Lea, MN

Yes I support the President. As long as there’s no torture and after Afghanistan no more Orwellian type wars. -John, Moorhead, MN

I support the President. We paid the price on 9/11 for abandoning Afghanistan the first time. We are paying the price again for abandoning them again in 2002 when we took on Iraq. We must not walk away from these people a third time or will pay for dearly for it yet again. -Dan, Richfield, MN

  • anna maag

    i do not support obamas choice to intensify the afganistan war. i voted for him and donated to his campaign. i think he should have better informed us that his choices were to support wall street and the karzai government. i had thought his interests were in health care among other issues but he has shown no attention in peaceful, healthy issues as he has about his choice of war.

    as i see that i cannot rely obama, i no longer will support him and the denocratic party.

    thank you

    anna maag

  • dan iverson

    You pledged an expedient withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, nationalized health care, a stemming of the buying of Congress by powerful interests foreign and domestic and new commitment to the future in energy. Where is your resolve now. You and your fellow elite of Congress could have thrown yourselves into the breach and made a difference, but it appears not to be so. You have lost the opportunity to be great and have decided to be just grateful.

    So long.

  • Emily Louise Dockendorf

    I do not agree with Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan because I believe that violence always follows violence, war does not lead to peace and justice, and I cannot support a corrupt county with a criminal leader.(And as a person with a Women’s Studies degree-this constantly holds true for me.) And the money factor is a huge issue not to mention the morality of sending young kids to die for a war that we never should’ve been involved in the first place. I have been against this since day one and also with Iraq. Bring all the troops home now-not in 2011. My biggest fear is that this country is going to be another Vietnam. I voted for Obama as a progressive leader, however, right now, he has lost my support on this and on health care until there is a government option and that all consumers with “pre-existing conditions” like myself, are able to have some basic right of health insurance. For now, he’s lost my support.

    In peace,

    Emily Louise Dockendorf

    Duluth, Minnesota

  • Lisa Rags

    NO! I do not agree with the President’s decision. And this from a “former” Obama supporter. It reminds me of when I graduated from college in the early 1970’s and Nixon was in office and the joke was Nixon’s solution to unemployment was to send everyone to Vietnam. Plus Obama is trying to sell us on the concept that we will not take all our troops out by mid 2011. No, that doesn’t work. The Taliban really CAN disappear into the woodwork until we are gone and take over the towns villages again.

    There is only one way for us to make any progress in this conflict and that is to increase our intelligence to the point where we can find them at their weakest point and to catch them when they do not expect us!

  • Steven

    I completely support Obama’s plan for Afghanistan. He was faced with a menu of bad options and carefully, thoughtfully chose the least worst. Naturally, this choice displeases the bases of both parties in Congress, but so be it.

    Under international law, when we invaded Afghanistan, we incurred responsibility for the well-being of the Afghan people. Like it or not, helping the Afghans establish a good government for themselves is our moral duty. Obama’s predecessor dropped the ball on that responsibility when he chose to invade Iraq as well. Now, at last, we’re stepping up to the plate.

  • Amy

    I do support Obama’s plan for Afghanistan. I was skeptical and apprehensive at first, but after hearing the rational last night in his speech, I do believe we need to take action with our allies to put a stop to the extremist terroristic activities in that region.

    I think that people who are angry about the presidents decision need to think for a second about the implications of taking no action at all. If the world doesn’t band together to stop terrorism, we won’t achieve peace. Also, I think we need to be grateful for the fact that we finally have a president who is transparent and honest with Americans about his plans for the country. People need to give him credit and understand that while he may have said things in his campaign that he hasn’t completely upheld, things change, events happen, that cannot be planned for. I say thank you President Obama for being an honest, straightforward leader of this country.

  • Tom Mundahl

    I oppose President Obama’s decision. Success requires a partnership with an Afghani government that has the support of the people. Instead, this government has been assessed as one of the most corrupt in the world. No matter how well U.S. and even newly-trained Afghani soldiers perform, unless their is support for a legitimate government, it will all be for nothing.

  • bsimon

    I support the President’s decision.

    Those that think he promised during the campaign to exit Afghanistan apparently weren’t listening.

    In last night’s address, he explained why we need to escalate & the logic behind setting a deadline. At times like these, we must defer to our political leaders & their teams, who have studied the problem in ways that we have not.

    I opposed the surge in Iraq, but argued we should give the President & General Petraeus time to prove they were right. We owe this President that same courtesy.

  • Tanner

    I support this president. I trust this president.

    It is disappointing to me that there are a number of ‘former’ supporters who apparently did not realize what they were voting for. President Obama is thoughtful and pragmatic. I expected him to take calculated steps toward achieving progress on several complex issues – not to snap his fingers and achieve sweeping reform, but move us closer to being a more equitable and just nation.

    If we had done this right – finished the job in Afghanistan and never gone into Iraq – we would not find ourselves in this position. As it is, I understand why we cannot immediately withdraw. I support President Obama’s stated mission to ramp up our effort, improve conditions in Afghanistan, and do so with a deadline for success in mind. Our military and the Afghan people ought to know what is expected of each other.

  • Mike

    Under the conditions this administration inherited, the war against those who actually attacked us remains. The proclaimed and demonstrated danger Al-Quida presents to our country and our allies is genuine. I unfortunately feel it necessary to support this decision. I am heartened though that the central tenants of this strategy will genuinely include our allies, and emphasize economic and political strategies aimed to fight the decisive battle to improve living conditions of the Afghanistan people.

    Now if we could just get Russia to pay for what they destroyed 20 years ago that got this whole mess rolling … okay, moving on.

  • kelly

    i do not agree with president obama i think if your going to send new rops out they should saend the ones who been out there the longest home instead of letting them all die

  • Addie

    I think based on the thoughtfulness of his decision, the intelligence he and his advisors are privy too and the fact that there are no guarantees as to the anticipated outcome; we should trust that our President has made an educated decision.

  • Khatti

    No, I’m afraid that I don’t agree with Obama’s policy on this one. I’m not deeply offended by this war philosophically, as so many of your other respondents (by MPRs standads I suppose I’m something of a practising jingoist) I just think the expiration date on this war has long since run out. It’s time to bring the troops home.

    It’s too bad.

  • Gerald L. Myking

    This war is troublesome to me and is also the only place I can justify a military presence. I like nearly everyone else do not have enough information so it comes down to a matter of trust in our Generals, the President, and intelligence service. I would feel much better about it all if NATO would commit themselves to an Education Blitz in Afghanistan which I see as the one major weakness in being successful. If you can’t read the street signs how can you know where the trouble is.

  • steve cushing

    Mr. Obama’s policy is a welcome improvement over the past administration’s.

    However, one particular issue that Mr. Obama touched on, and not strongly enough, was that of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

    I am terrified at the thought of insurgent’s potential access to those weapons. However will the rest of the world avoid catastrophy if terrorists get their hands on these weapons?

    Prior to last night’s speech I have heard virtually nothing from any political leader about this issue. Americans need to very carefully understand that if Afghanistan falls Pakistan will be close behind.

  • Donna

    No, he doesn’t either. He’s just pandering to the right. There is no way to win that war, Genghis Khan couldn’t win, Russia couldn’t win, and we won’t win. It’s the place Empires come to die.

  • Andrew

    This economy badly needs the 30,000 new temp jobs. Seriously, though, McChrystal’s own report indicates that fewer than one-hundred Al Qaeda insurgents are fighting in Afghanistan. The CIA used to take care of these problems more effectively with fewer people and at a fraction of the cost. How can anyone agree with the President’s decision?

  • frank

    i agree to send a lot more troops.

  • Karl Hungus

    Unfortunately the GOP has screwed this country up so bad that this president will not be able to do great things. All he is going to be able to do plug the holes the GOP has left. Why isn’t Dick Cheney in Jail?

  • Chris

    I believe that, if we had the resolve to fight this “war” like a real war, and the people were behind it, Obama would be sending 500,000 troops (not a mere 30K) and our allies the same. We would route out the Taliban, take out bin Laden and gang, and come home succesful.

    But their isn’t the resolve, so it is half measures that are left to us, hoping that Afghanistan can eventually organize itself enough to fend off the bad guys after we’re long gone. Good luck.

  • William J Rosa

    I don’t like war, but unfortunately this needs to be done. I’d like to see the country continue to get out of Iraq and refocus our energy to Afghanistan. More soldiers means better results in shorter time.

    That seems to be the plan I hope….

  • James Johnson

    We’ll never defeat the Taliban. It’s like trying to defeat the Catholics. We can only hope to develop the Afghan government to the point where they can maintain a society that is accepting of all beliefs.

    As we have an all-volunteer military, those calling for more troops only do so because most of them have no dog in this fight. If we reinstated the military draft and their children, brothers & sisters, and neighbors were likely to serve in this fight, then you’d hear a greater call to get out on an accelerated schedule.

    Also, keep in mind that this conflict isn’t free. Eventually someone will have to pay the tab. Right now it’s all “borrowed” money. Taxes will have to be raised to pay for our eight years of war. The phrase “no new taxes” is only used to close our eyes to reality.

  • James

    It is too little too late…

    We should let the Tally-banners have the rock pit and use our brave men and women to protect our borders.

  • Merle

    Yes, I agree with his decision.

    We have to keep the heroin trade in US control, with the profits flowing to Wall Street, in order to keep my 401k afloat.

    We also have to keep pressure on China and India by having our foot on their natural gas and oil jugular or they will dump the dollar and there goes all of my savings and purchasing power.

    My lifestyle depends on this policy and we have to ride it out as long as possible.

    Support the Troops!!

  • dick holt

    I have read most all of the arguments pro and con. In the end I support Obama’s decision because I have faith in his judgement.

  • Greg Copeland

    Obama’s war policy will fail. John McCain and Betty McCollum are both wrong to support it. Congressional Quarterly reported that there are 100 al-Qaeda operatives left in Afghanistan. I favor the CIA using 100 of it’s drones to take out these al-Qaeda. Spending $300 Million and sending 1000 U. S. Soldiers to Erase Each of these remaining al-Qaeda members is not an effective or efficent policy to protect the American Homeland. Since Obama won’t; Congress should bring our soldiers home now to spend this Christmas and next years with their famlies

    This conservative wants to leave nation building to the People Afghanisan and President Karzai.

  • Janet Harbert

    Because President continues to be thoughtful and pragmatic as he navigates the myriad of huge problems that he inherited from Bush/Cheney, I support what I have to hope is the right policy. Having lived in the Middle East, I know that any “answers” there are layered and shifting. How did we allow the previous adminsitration to squander our well-being for eight years with their ignorance, neglect, and reckless self interest and find ourselves here!

  • Paul Putzier

    I agree with the President. He made a strong case for why this area is worth the extreme effort. However, he said nothing about why we should plan to leave. This is a big contradiction – important for our security, but only for another year to 18 months? I think he is still confused about foreign policy.

  • Lindsey

    Better to do it right with the resources needed to accomplish what is desired rather than drag on with no hope of ending. Either do it right or get out. No one likes war, but I agree that we need to do whatever is necessary to achieve our goals and then get out of there. Obama was not the anti-war candidate, he was anti-Iraq war, but often spoke of Afghanistan and how the focus should be there. We should give the soldiers the support they need to get the job done – bottom line.

  • Donna

    No, No, No!!! We will never win and it saddens me how many more lives will be lost as a result. Why not spend the money keeping America safe rather than the futile attempt to stop the Taliban. We are just draining our country of our resources, and young people who will die or become vegetables…for what reason??? Will these people ever stop fighting one another??? I have no faith they ever will.

  • John Sindelar

    It amazes me that so many of these reponses dodge the question “do you agree with the president’s decision” and instead answer by saying “I support the president” or “I trust the president.” We have to assume that these responders do NOT agree with President Obama but can’t bring themselves to say so outright. Where is the critical thinking in this country? Party loyalty has taken the place of free thought. And BTW, the question should have been “Which part of the president’s policy do you agree with: a.) pandering to the hawks by escalating troop numbers or b.) pandering to the doves by withdrawing in time for re-election? I do not agree with the waffling position he has taken. I could’ve supported either a full commitment to Afganistan or a full withdrawal but not this doom-to-fail policy.

  • Vince s

    No I don’t agree with it. This excuse of 911 is total bull*. While he supposedly goes after people who had nothing to do with 911 he ignores the ones that did. Our gov’t and the gov’t of Israel were the ones responsible for 911. There is a mountain of evidence that supports this and the mainstream media, including MPR, ignores this evidence so the gov’t can advance it’s agenda to turn this country into a fascist police state. This administration, like the last, has totally disgusted me. I am glad I did not vote for either one of these warmongers. Please google ‘dancing Israelis’ and educate yourself.

  • Saki

    In all, those who agree then why dont u get yur lazy a&&s out there and join the troops them…saying u support something like that…how about obamas new peace act…why dont he make a treaty with them instead of killing more innocent lives, even tho were the same narionality i dont like what sum of you r thinking. so HA! my desisions bettaaaaaa

  • DNA

    If the troops are going to protect, serve, and plant countless acres of Ganja/Cannabis/Hemp and every other valuable sustainable crop appropriate to the bio-region. Drastic measures and ruthless compassion are necessary in these times. We need to drop the BS surrounding the costs of Weaponry and War (including the “War-on-Drugs”) and focus on the investment in Livingry.

  • Anna

    I think it’s hard to disagree with someone who has taken three months to hear all sides of an issue, had unlimited access to information and experts and then carefully made a decision. I certainly don’t have all of that to inform my opinion. I’m just happy to have a president that is thoughtful and measured and does not make such a decision about war and the lives of our troops lightly.

  • Rex Hamann

    I’m completely boggled by this issue and am torn between supporting Obama and supporting an ideal. On the one hand I agree with Anna Maag (Dec. 2 comment) who originally supported Obama because of his pledges to stop the insanity and return the focus to issues more directly affecting people’s lives. He does seem to have abandoned the idealist platforms he ran on. On the other hand Obama was right the other night when he said we did not ask for this war, it was brought to us. When Obama took over he inherited a mess so complex it is beyond words. He’s in the very awkward position of having to “man up” for the idiocy of the previous eight years. I firmly believe he thinks he’s doing what’s best for the nation and our future, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow. The bottom line is we cannot afford to be investing in the war in Afghanistan. Our country is falling apart and we are in losing our integrity as a nation based on direct actions and policies initiated by the previous administration. I fear we are too deeply mired in Bush’s Mess to get out of it now. At least Obama seems willing to try. Just not sure what the cost of his attempts will be.

  • Anthony

    Its a big topic. War is something that is very ugly. I hate the fact that war is sometime necessary. We need to have a surge in troops. We need to finish this conflict with a victory. That means government politics needs be left. The media needs to be off to the side. Being the tool the Jefferson said it could be. Not the weapon that Jefferson said it also could be. Once we finish in the war we can move on. We need to push through the nation, but think also of the good that has happen while we have been there and with earlier withdrawl would be fatal to those individuals that agree with the American way of life. Deadline are a dangerous things war is not a business that can be set in weeks and years its something that takes a certain level intelligence that our senators and people need to understand. The reason this conflict has lasted as long as it has because of the over deliberation is washington. War is to be decisive. So to answer the question. I agree with a surge, but disagree with the a timeline.

  • Phillip

    I support Obama’s decision. I don’t like the idea of it, but if it brings this war to a close all the better.

  • carolyn kaehr

    I hate war and would fight, myself, to prevent family members from going to war; however, I trust President Obama’s judgment.

  • Ross

    I support sending more troops for the right reason, but I wonder what Obama’s advisers were thinking. He doesn’t listen to people who listen to his Constituents, or those who really understand how many troops are needed, or why.

  • Ken Beck

    I tend to support the decision, because of the obvious rigor that Mr Obama put into making it. This administration seems to be approaching most issues with much deeper understanding than the previous administration. However, the war has an illogical side to it. The cost of the war is > $100B per year. The GDP of Afghanistan is on the order of 10% of that. I find it truly hard to believe that pouring that kind of money and resources to destruction of life and property is the most efficient way to do things. The biggest organic problems in Afghanistan are corruption (not that we dont have similar problems here!) and the drug trade, which is a apparently a major source of support for the Taliban. Are we approaching those problems, and if so, how? Even when the fighting is over and the troops come home, can I honestly believe the country will be stabilized?

  • Arlean Smith

    The president is right on all issues and is for the people–especially the issues on health care. Why is it now that the democrats finally have a health care bill (which was design and agree on by both parties.) All of a sudden that is the basis of their attack. It is so obvious we are not united because the republicans are against our president. Thus against the americans who voted for our president.