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Obama to Send Even More Troops to Afghanistan

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009
U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

President Obama is expected to order 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, on top of the 17,000 previously announced and 38,000 already there. This latest batch of personnel is reported to be departing in June with a mission to train Afghan forces.

BBC:

US President Barack Obama plans to send an extra 4,000 US troops to Afghanistan to help train the Afghan security forces, US officials say.

They will reportedly be deployed later this year and come in addition to 17,000 troops already due to reinforce the 38,000 on the ground.

US Senator Carl Levin said the latest extra troops could be deployed in June.

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

I agree with Folktruther it is as if nobody in America, especially the press, who remembers that John Kennedy took America into Vietnam and Lyndon Johnson made it big. Hubert Humphrey wished to carry on, but lost to Nixon, who ended the war once we had lost. Those who spoke out against Vietnam: Robert Kennedy, Malcomb X, and Martin Luther King were all killed. Those who betray us do so with a kiss. They toss out the traditional Enightenment rhetoric of emancipation every time, but bomb Laos. To expect anything different from Obama is a childish dream. Everywhere the American army has been in occupation the capital city turns into one huge bar-whore house, and they have even done this to Kabul. Vietnam was a winnowing. The men of the baby-boom generation who went into government after Vietnam, and particular into the CIA, were the jerks, the bullies, the anti-intellectuals, big frat boy heavy drinkers, who sometimes put on high church Anglican religiosity, and were still indiscriminate predators. Obama is a black Lyndon Johnson talking of saving people while extending the war into Pakistan instead of Cambodia.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 29, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Majority of general public was deceived by the small print? Which makes sense regrading the MSM, for I seldom watch or read mass media, so people aware of Obamas hawkish stance were a minority, such as some who question between the lines? Though I did see him say as much on one of the debates? His troop withdrawal from Iraq seems an illusion from what I believe what a real troop withdrawal would be. Illusions will we continue to almost see.

“United States of Amnesia”, well stated though it suggests people are the blame, when I prefer see the contrived manipulation of reality by the Plutocracy over many years as strings being pulled behind the curtains.  Marginalizing people like Gravel,  Kucinich and others must prevail in order for the plutocrocy to continue and flourish its business as usual.

Even so,  hopefully Obama proves myself and other naysayers wrong.

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By Folktruther, March 29, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Leefeller-there are two aspects of campaign and political rhetoric: the headlines and the small print. In the headlines, which most Americans, who are marginally concerned, appreciate, Obama was a peace candidate, controdicted in the small print, which most Americans don’t bother with.

What Obama is doing is what all the Dem presidents have done in the first half of the 20th century: campaign on a peace platform and, once elected, go to war.

In 1916 Wilson campaigned ‘he kept us out of war’ and entered WW 1 as soon as he was elected.

In 1940 Roosevelt campaigned against entering ‘foreign wars’ and inveigled Japan to attack Pearl Harbor.  He then enetered the European war.

Truman began the War on Communism and entered the Korean war, although he did not campaign on a peace platform.

Johnson campaigned that Golwater was dangerous and threatened war and nuclear weapons in Vietnam in 1964.  He then immmediately escalated the Vietnam war after he was elected.

But Americans have no historical sense, what Gore Vidal calls the United States of Amnesia.  And what are now called ‘court historians’ provide only that history that serves the interests of power. 

Obama campaigned as a peace candidate in the traditional Dem way, and getting the US stuck in quagmires as occurred previously historically.  He is doing so for personal power reasons, the alternatives being worse for him in the next election.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 28, 2009 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Obama never campaigned on a peace platform, after his winning the primary, he seemed hawkish to me, I remember quite clearly voicing my disappointment towrds Obama’s hawkish stance regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan, to Tony Wicher back during the campaign trail. It is true Obama made a big deal about not believing we should have gone into Iraq.  Far as I can see, he said he was going to do what he is doing, though I do not agree with it.  Fear plays well in the grand scheme of things.

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By Folktruther, March 28, 2009 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s war policy is not as bad as Bush’s.  It is much worse.  Obama is trading part of the Iraqi war, which he is continuing, for an expansion of the Afpak war.  Pakistan has 180 million people, nuclear weapons and is on the Chinese border.

The original invasion was to put a pipeline from the ‘Stans through Afghanistan, through Pakistan to Araabian sea.  The Talibans had stopped negotiating with the US firm as was dealing with an Argintinian firm.  this was less reason that the Soviets, who wanted to keep a friendly Afghan regime in power.

today Obama announced that he is escalating the war again and there will be no time guidlines for withdrawal.  So the US is there for the next four years until the next presidential election. this is a worse and far more dangerous qaugmire than Iraq.

Obama campaigned on a peace platform and once in office opted for war.  this is the traditional Dem strategy conducted by Wilson in 1916, Roosevelt in 1940 and Johnson in 1964.  Truman led us into the Cold war in 1948, Loyalty oaths, the National Security state, and the Korean war.

Obama has historical precidence for his duplicity.  Hope n Change in the election, war afterwards.

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By Marshall, March 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

By Leefeller, March 28 at 11:50 am #

The soviet’s “vital interests” in Afghanistan were to acquire, not to prevent.  Since the left can’t use the accusion of “oil!” as our reason for involvement there (there is none), there’s little for us to gain except preventing a 9/11 version 2, which is exactly why we need to be there.

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By WARIS SHERE, March 28, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Barack Obama has unveiled a new regional strategy to win the war in South Asia. The President has described the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan as “perilous”. “It has been more than seven years since the Taleban was removed from power, yet war rages on, and insurgents control parts of
Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Obama painted a bleak picture of the situation, with insurgents
increasing their control of territory in the region around the Afghan-Pakistan border - which
he termed “the most dangerous place in the world” for the American people - and attacks rising.
Obama has urged both Afghanistan and Pakistan to take far greater responsibility for their
survival.“Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al-Qaeda is actively planning
attacks on the US homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan. If the Afghan Government falls to
the Taleban - or allows al-Qaeda to go unchallenged - that country will again be a base for
terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.”, said the President.
There is an ongoing discussion in the White House to increase US drone attacks inside Pakistan.
According to The Times Of London, President Obama has also hinted that military action could be
taken by US forces inside Pakistan, with or without its approval. An increase of 21,000 US
troops will be sent to Afghanistan and sustantial civilian aid will be provided to Pakistan.
Pakistan happens to be one of President Barack Obama’s biggest foreign-policy headaches.
President Obama has urged Pakistan to do more to eradicate “safe havens” for militants. The US
military says it has evidence that elements exist within Pakistan’s military intelligence and
the ISI to provide support for the Taleban. Despite receiving more than $11 billion in U.S. aid
since the 9/11 terror attacks, its fragile government has been unable to stop Islamic
extremists based on its soil from launching attacks in neighboring Afghanistan. On the economic
front, Pakistan’s economy is slowing dramatically — from growth of 6% or more in recent years
to just 0.6% in 2008 and a projected 2.4% in 2009, according to HSBC bank. President Obama is
to ask Congress for $7.5 billion in civilian aid over five years for Pakistan, to help it to
build democracy and strengthen its infrastructure.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 28, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

Your sense of reality, is the last eight years as, good times.  Vital interests in Afghanistan, seemed not so vital to the Soviet Union after the fact, we shall follow in their foot steps, become an empty shell of ourselves.  We must keep the wheels of the Military Complex greased.

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By William DeMente, March 28, 2009 at 8:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Obama is the latest in a string of Democratic and Republican puppets elected to oversee what has been acting like a government of the idiots, by the idiots, and for the idiots.

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 28, 2009 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

I agree with Dihey completely. However, do notice how they spin this war against the Afghans: as a liberation of women. After WWII most American women still stayed at home, as their ancestors had done for many centuries. Had America simply carried on with traditional ways, had they not chosen to strike out on a new, modernist, anti-religious, anti-patriarchy path, no enemy could have touched them for decades into the future. They had enough oil under American soil to supply their needs for much longer than it has in fact lasted. Instead of following the standard model supported by of all of the world’s major religions, they chose, like their Communist foes, to use the rhetoric of liberation to rearrange the social order. By “liberating” women, doubling the work force, they entered on a course of exponentially increasing consumption that could not be sustained for long without taking by force the resources of the rest of the world. This made their need to dominate other nations inevitable, their destruction of the environment was greatly accelerated, and the change has seriously weakened their family structures. In short, feminism got America into this whole mess. That sounds radical, because it is a logical position that runs totally contrary to the propaganda that you have been served for decades now by the industry-owned organs of the propaganda machine: the media, academia and Congress.

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By dihey, March 28, 2009 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

Our voters of 2008 have got exactly the kind of government they deserve, namely one that tells us fairy tales about the economic/financial meltdown and the so-called “war on terrorism”. The two fairy tales are interconnected and President Obama is very good at telling fairy tales, much better in fact than his bumbling predecessor Bush which is also why he is much more dangerous that GWB. In reality there is essentially no difference between the two with regards to the need to maintain our vicious hegemony over oil and gas for the industrialized Western World. The difference is in style, not in substance. Style easily fools the American voter. It always has.

Pepe Escobar in his wonderful article on “Pipelinistan” has coined a new term namely “immobile aircraft carrier” (IAC) which means a huge US airbase in foreign lands from which a large region of the world is to be controlled.

During the cold war era our IAC’s were in various countries of Western Europe. Now that the “War of Pipelinistan” (crude oil and gas) has replaced the ideological struggle of the post WW2 era the IAC’s must be strategically located in Eurasia. One IAC, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, already exists. As long as huge IAC’s can be maintained in Iraq and Afghanistan there is no need to attack Iran or demand a base in Pakistan. There is no doubt that the demand for oil and gas will eventually lead to permanent or semi-permanent IAC’s or demands for IAC’s in Georgia, Iraq (Kurdistan?), Afghanistan and one or more of the other “Stans” (the Arabian Peninsula is a non-starter). IAC’s are potentially vulnerable to local uprisings but they are cheaper to maintain than real aircraft carriers and are infinitely more convenient for their military personnel.

The financial angle of maintaining IAC’s and real aircraft carriers where needed is the connection to the fairy tale of the economic/financial meltdown.  The measures taken or proposed by the Obama administration are said to put the American Middle Class back to work. That is certainly true but without the Middle Class at work and paying taxes the maintenance of IAC’s in Eurasia will become essentially a gigantic gamble if not impossible.

The “War of Pipelinistan” is eerily similar to the “Colonial Wars” of the 19th Century. The players then were Great Britain, France, the US and, to a lesser extent, Germany. Today the players are the US, the EU, Russia, China, and India. Will the “War of Pipelinistan” evolve into another World War?

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By Kwamgyre, March 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dihey wrote:
“Representatives and Senators will stand up to Obama and his handlers. Perhaps only Dennis Kucinich.”

Not just “perhaps” but most “inevitably” the ONLY senator(with the possible exception of Chuck Hagle and Ron Paul)to confront Obama about this.

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 27, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Just what evil does become of Afghanistan when we leave it alone? The country was founded when Britain and Russian took Herat from Iran and pieces south of the Amu Darya that belonged to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and a third of the Pashtuns, in order to weaken everyone involved. They left a country divided by a huge range of mountains that separated the north from the south through every winter and turned it over to the Pashtuns, the least educated group of the lot. All we have done since it was created by us was to cut it off from all of its logical markets and impoverish its people. Anyone who thinks that the Afghans had anything whatever to do with the events of 11 September 2001 is living in lala land. This is just what America specializes in: using the narrative of liberation left over from the so called “Enlightenment” as a stalking horse for occupation and domination, as is their well worn custom.  It has everything to do with America’s political and international strategies and nothing whatever to do with the behavior of the people of Afghanistan.

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 27, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Just what evil does become of Afghanistan when we leave it alone. The country was founded when Britain and Russian took Herat from Iran and pieces south of the Amu Darya that belonged to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and a third of the Pashtuns, in order to weaken everyone involved. They left a country divided by a huge range of mountains that separated the north from the south through every winter and turned it over to the Pashtuns, the least educated group of the lot. All we have done since it was created by us was to cut it off from all of its logical markets and impoverish its people. Anyone who thinks that the Afghans had anything whatever to do with the events of 11 September 2001 is living in lala land. This is just what America specializes in: using the narrative of liberation left over from the so called “Enlightenment” as a stalking horse for occupation and domination, as is their well worn custom.  It has everything to do with America’s political and international strategies and nothing whatever to do with the behavior of the people of Afghanistan.

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By Marshall, March 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Wow - i sense from this board that the progressive Teflon is beginning to wear off Obama.  While i support a policy of securing Afghanistan (since we’ve seen what happens when we leave it alone), i suspect liberals are beginning to realize that they elected a supremely unqualified man to office mainly because of the color of his skin and his ability to sound articulate.  Liberal idealism, meet reality.

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Clash's avatar

By Clash, March 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

The empire rolls on, your children are next. Berry and his henchmen will have them, with the blessing of the congress.
The freedom corp you know. Drafted at 10 brainwashed by 15 and ready to die by 18. That’s real change. The brave new world something to look forward to.
This is how the civilized reduce debt, remove the debtors. The killer clowns strike again.

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By squeaky jones, March 27, 2009 at 11:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

War crimes commited by the Obama mafia. It does not end. There is just to much money in the killing, and misery business for these crimes against humanity, and life itself to stop. Squeaky.

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By Folktruther, March 27, 2009 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Obama is not stupid; he knows the Af-Pak war is unwinnable just as the rest of the world does.  But he is a professional politiican who serves his own power interests first, and those of his major supporters.

If he withdrew from Afghanistan, this would be hearlded as a defeat for the US and Nato by the Gops.  and they would be right.  therefore Obama has to keep the war going at least until after his next presidential election to avoid this defeat. He has decided to do this by expanding the war to Pakistan, the most dangerous policy he has introduced as yet.  Although he may still attack Iran.

This is totally against the interests of the American people.  But it serves the interests of the Zionists and other imperialists that put him in power, and thus serves his own personal electoral interests.  This is not particularly cynical on the part of Obama, it is the way all power figures reason in a decaying power system.  What’s in it for me?

This is the reason that Obama is going to ‘end’ the war in Iraq by characterizing the combat brigades as non-combat brigades.  This is the Hope n Change that Obama is providing his supporters.  That and increasing the military budget.

But McCain would probably do the same kind of thing, under the Gop rhetoric rather the Dem rhetoric.  Since Zionists and other imperialists control both parties through their money, media and politial management.  The only pressure that the American population has is class struggle against the American power system and the ruling class whose intersts it protects.  Whether it is Hope for the Dems or Faith for the Gops, the parties are against the interests of the American people.

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By dihey, March 27, 2009 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

If the addition of 17,000 combat troops cannot guarantee “victory” in Afghanistan, what is the evidence that 21,000 combat soldiers will?

As a Commander-in-chief Obama is either an idiot or he tries to fool me. My hunch is that he is both an idiot and is trying to fool me.

The military brass has him by his balls. Anyone who believes that they will be satisfied with 21,000 additions should call his/her shrink immediately. There will be more troops sent to Afghanistan and only a handful of Representatives and Senators will stand up to Obama and his handlers. Perhaps only Dennis Kucinich.

After eight years of a horrible presidency we will be saddled by four more albeit under a different label.

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By tomack, March 27, 2009 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

RE: 99jonny100

comment: I am working on a website to be called unilateraldisarmament.org. Anyone?

Sign me up! Sign us all up! Progressive means critique, and this shit needs critiquing. The only way to improve that part of the world is to leave it militarily, and stay only through peacekeeping efforts.

Naive? Maybe. But it’s better than the alternative: more death, more destruction, more hatred.

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By psickmind fraud, March 27, 2009 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

Obama doesn’t want too many people with military training home and unemployed, ready to join the torch and pitchfork throngs storming the White House.

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By msgmi, March 27, 2009 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The political and cultural complexities in Afghanistan are far wider than those found in Iraq. Post 9/11 hysteria and paranoia has created a policy of estrangement instead of containment. Al-Qaeda was our perpetrator, not the Taliban and the persistence to build a democracy in Afghanistan has instead created an enemy within Afghanistan and Pakistan which is of greater proportion and zeal.

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Gulam's avatar

By Gulam, March 27, 2009 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

Afghanistan is a strict Muslim country, but reporters like Scott Taylor, of the Canadian military magazine Éspirit des Corps,  have reported that bars and whore houses are a part of the Kabul occupation scene. Foreign prostitutes are brought in to service the troops. Does nobody remember Vietnam?  During that American war the capital city turned into a dive for “serviceman,” and the Americans told the world that southeast Asia was the epicenter for opium cultivation. We always claim to be liberating people when actually we are there to screw them. Push the press to run with stories about the whore houses in Kabul, because that one best displays their hypocrisy, and it might just hit home in the Bible belt.

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By 99jonny100, March 26, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

I guess we’re all in agreement then. Of course we have nothing to say about it, as
far as challenging Obama’s rat-like rise to his current stature; and current and
future military misdeeds.
I am working on a website to be called unilateraldisarmament.org. Anyone?

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By 99jonny100, March 26, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

It looks to me like Obama is losing it pretty fast. Is he CRAZY with his Afghanistan
policy? Whether or not his head is spinning from what’s on his “plate” I fear his
own ‘spin’ will soon be a tailspin, as he crashes and burns, and takes all of us with
him.  Will he do ANYTHING he swore he
would do when elected? You tell me…I’m quite certain his name will be a disgrace
before his first term ends, and people won’t be able to distinguish his stance from
that of George W Bush.

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By rollzone, March 26, 2009 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

hello. this escalation can only be for a polical action committee with a bag of money from the pharmaceutical industry. is a dot of heroin in aspirin? local tribes in afkaghannistan cannot trust foreigners to secure them against the taliban, and a coalition of overwhelming force is improbable. i still have the opinion that surgical nuclear attacks could not find a more suitable application, and imagine the warmongers watching the multitiered video imagery. exterminate polical action committees from our congress and begin disclosing the truth.

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By Virginia from Virginia, March 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wasn’t necessarily conned by O’s anti-war rhetoric but O was the better of the 2 main candidates.  I know.  I know.  There should definitely be more than 2 from whom to choose but 3rd party candidates don’t stand a chance to win the presidency.

I am against this escalation in Afghanistan - “the graveyard of empires”.  But before we send more military to die there, why doesn’t President Obama ask Senator McCain what McCain’s plan is to capture Osama bin Laden?  Remember, McCain knows how to do it.  McCain can absolutely, positively, totally capture Osama bin Laden!  Do it, John!

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Eric L. Prentis's avatar

By Eric L. Prentis, March 26, 2009 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Is there something in the White House tap water that magically transforms Republican presidents into troglodytes and Democratic presidents into Republicans. It would be nice to believe anything politicians say, what a sham.

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By Thomas O. Anderson, March 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Barack Hussein Obama is not only making a laughing stock out of all the serious progressives who were conned by his anti-war “shuck ‘n jive,” but he’s disgracing his entire race.

True men of stature, such as Martin Luther King, once bravely challenged American imperialism. Now, a smiling pimp for the corporatist empire is not only continuing, but vastly “increasing” our foreign occupation.

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