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US: Afghanistan (Gallup 10/6)


USA Today / Gallup
10/6/09; 1,007 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

National

Would you favor or oppose a decision by President Obama to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan?
48% Favor, 45% Oppose

When the United States is considering different courses of military action, should U.S. military commanders make their positions publicly known or should they only state their positions privately to the president and others in the chain of command?
30% Make positions publicly known
62% Only state positions privately

 

Comments
Stillow:

I am curious how you Dems on this site view this issue? Do you support more troops or do you want a total withdrawl?

And after Obama winning the Nobel prize, which I find to be absolutely hilarious, won't sending more troops to escalate the war make him look even more silly than winning an award for no reason?

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Wong:

I don't think Republicans will ever understand the absolute disaster eight years Bush's foreign policy policy had on our relationship with the rest of the world. The fact that Obama has committed to turning that around in and of itself deserves the prize. The testosterone laden policies of bullying, torture and Empire made us in the eyes of most of the rest of the world, the upcoming fascist power. The fact that we turned that around through the democratic process was like a breath of fresh air across the globe. It's no surprise that conservatives in this country, who have taken pride in wrapping themselves in the flag, now side with Hamas and the Taliban in denigrating the American president. Their love of this nation extends only to those who share their same ideological purity.

As for Afghanistan, that window of opportunity closed when Bush failed to call in the US military to finish of Osama in Bora Bora. Of course with a dead Osama, how could he cram his domestic agenda through. Bush needed the eternal war on terror to wave the flag and scare the American people.

We have the ability to contain AL Qaeda without rebuilding Afghanistan in our image, a task which we have neither the resources or the political will to accomplish. Destroying Al Qaeda does not require that we occupy all the countries in the world where it hides. If Obama doesn't recognize these facts, he is headed for a quagmire that has the potential to wound him, mortally I believe. Time to get out.

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Wong:

My mistake, "Tora Bora" not "Bora Bora"

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Stillow:

Ok, but you did not answer the question. As a lib do you or do you not support sending more troops at this point? We cannot go back in time so its pointless to try.

Also, to comment on denograting the president is just stupid, after 8 years of calling Bush every name i nthe book...after accusing him of every war crime in the book, you sort of lose your holier than thou appeal. You guys are like the boy who called wolf to many times. So get off the high road you claim to be on aknowledge that oppotiion parties slam the other party's president...gt over it. its called politics...and after how you treated Bush and the stuff you accused him of, your about as high off the ground as a slug.

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Mark in LA:

As a liberal, I support sending more troops to Afghanistan.
Unlike an apparent majority on the other side, I am able to work through complex issues and realize that there are generally a range of options that may be advocated for complex problems.
For instance, Stillow phrased the question as a choice between sending more troops or complete withdrawal. That's kind of like a grocery store telling customers "You may purchase pickels or marshmallows. No other items may be selected."

I was against going to war in Iraq, Iraq had nothing to do with September 11th or Al Queada, and we needed the resources in Afghanistan! In other words, we wouldn't have fu**ed away two trillion dollars, worn out our military, and be losing ground in Afghanistan, if we had finished our first job (Afghanistan) with the appropriate resources.
I was against the surge in Iraq, because it sounded like we were throwing good money after bad, but I was wrong on that battle, while still being correct on the war. Invading Iraq='s stupid. An effective "Surge" to knock down violence and allow quicker handover to Iraqis = good.
Now, obviously, America's conservatives hate women and America at the same time, because we've all seen how the Taliban treat women when they have control of a given province or country, and the RNC has openly sided with the Taliban and Al Queda in denouncing the awarding of the Peace Prize to the President of the USA, but the rest of the world, unlike the GOP, is also able to handle complex issues.
The world and especially the population of Afghanistan will be more peaceful and better off with the Taliban ground to dust. It will take more war and death to accomplish that goal, but hey, it will all be worth it in the end, because Rush, Beck, Rove, Boehner, RedState.org, and the RNC will all have strokes if we actually improve peace and prosperity, while they openly cheer for our President and Country to fail.
Finally, either my final arguments are factually correct, or - everyone on the right is hypocritical down to the last gene in their DNA, because they made the same arguments every time a Democrat argued against the Iraq War.
I hope I have not been too harsh. Will Karl Rove ever forgive me?

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Stillow:

You were doing so good until the conservatives hate women and america.....total insanity exists on the left.

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Mark in LA:

I have to assume that we are a "Center-Insane" country, seeing has how the voters decidedly haven't been voting for the Right.

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Stillow:

Really? 4 years ago your getting killed in the elections...you win in 2006 and 2008 and all of a sudden conservatives hate women and america? That is exactly why your side won't keep power. Obama wins by less than 7 points in the most favorable year for Dems in decades and all of a sudden its cus conservatives hate women...don't forget we hate blacks, hispanics and gays too.

Some of you libs are so moronic its hard to even havve a debate when you drag it down into this they hate women crap....you guys need to grow up. Elections are won and lost by parties for ho centuries, yet you win in 2008 and all of a sudden conservatives hate women...

So stupid its hard to even comment on.

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Wong:

As a liberal, I believe we should not only not send more troops, but we should responsibly remove the ones already there.

A proper counter-insurgency program would require hundreds of thousands American troops, trillions of dollars in capital investment, and a decade to carry out. The political will for that kind of investment just does not exist in this country. Particularly when Americans are arguing about the cost of making sure everyone in this country has access to health care. Any half way commitment will fail and it's architects will be pilloried at home as the failure unfolds.

The necessary question is what are our national interests in Afghanistan? Is it vital to our national interests to occupy and rebuild that nation in our image. I would argue, no. It is only vital that we deny Al Qaeda a base from which it can attack us again. It can be argued soundly that even the occupation of that nation will not do that. Better to let the Afghan people create their own history. If they oppose the Taliban, it is their responsibility to take arms against them. If they do not and the Taliban retake control of that country then we triple the number of drones and stage hundreds of cruise missiles off shore to express our extreme unhappiness at even the slightest hint of an alliance with Al Qaeda. We should do the same in Somalia or Yemen or any other place that harbors our enemies.

We need to focus our primary attention on domestic issues; health care reform, balancing the budget, and jobs, jobs, jobs. That means it is time for us to quit playing nanny to the rest of the world and let them sort out their own problems until our vital national interests are at stake.

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Stillow:

8, not 7...settle down.

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Stillow:

Wong

Better to play nanny at home than overseas right? Would it surprise you to know that a staunch conservative like myself thinks we should just leave also?

Iagree we shoudl focus on domestic issues, but everything you listed, health care, jobs, etc all shoudl be put aside for the balanced budget. They must get spending uner control beore doing anything. With the rest of the world seriously threatening to dump the dollar, we better get our debt under control....or we can kiss our status as economic power good bye....

to much damned spending!

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Cyril Washbrook:

"I am curious how you Dems on this site view this issue? Do you support more troops or do you want a total withdrawl?"

I think that's a false dichotomy. You can support the same number of troops or even a reduced number of troops, without having to support "total withdrawal". On a personal note - and as a liberal-leaning independent who usually supports the Democrats - I'm indifferent on whether we keep troop numbers the same or ramp them up, although I oppose a substantial reduction in troops. IMHO what's more important than the number of troops is the strategic imperatives underpinning the mission, and ensuring that the tactics employed by the forces are more effective. In addition to just "hunting down the terrorists", we need to buy off and bribe more Pashtun tribal leaders, and use deal-making to peel off the large sector of Taliban "forces" who are basically just bored 20-year-olds who like the feel of AK-47s.

I don't buy the idea that the US can only concentrate on domestic issues, without any room for dealing with the situation in Afghanistan. The bottom line is that America is invested in the security situation of the world, and nothing's going to change that. And I also don't think this is an unwinnable war. The Taliban is determined, and they're good at getting the support of the people who matter. But a strong counter-insurgency strategy for the US - which does not require hundreds of thousands of troops - can counter that. The Taliban is around 15 times smaller than the forces which fought against the Soviets in the 1980s. Support for the Taliban is at rock-bottom among the vast majority of Afghans, and even Pashtuns take an icy attitude to the Taliban's role. Good strategy on the part of the Taliban doesn't preclude the US from having a better strategy.

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