December 1, 2009
Posted: 01:14 AM ET
Washington Post Staff Writer
President Obama will outline Tuesday his intention to send an additional 34,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, according to U.S. officials and diplomatic sources briefed Monday as Obama began informing allies of his plan.
The new deployments, along with 22,000 troops he authorized early this year, would bring the total U.S. force in Afghanistan to more than 100,000, more than half of which will have been sent to the war zone by Obama.
The president also plans to ask NATO and other partners in an international coalition to contribute 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, officials said. The combined U.S. and NATO deployments would nearly reach the 40,000 requested last summer by U.S. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the coalition commander in Afghanistan, as part of an intensified counterinsurgency strategy.
November 24, 2009
Posted: 06:10 PM ET
Potatoes & Politics:
Watch Larry King Live for a night of pomp and circumstance as President and Mrs. Obama host their first state dinner. The guests of honor: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife. We'll talk to Jennifer Hudson, who will perform at the very exclusive event. Plus, celebrity chefs Paula Deen and Wolfgang Puck join the conversation (Paula will also dish about her little run-in with a ham)! And don't miss former White House chefs reminiscing about their favorite state dinners.
President Obama's decision about troop levels in Afghanistan could come as early as next week. What is the President's strategy in the war? Has he taken too long to make a decision? We'll talk to Matthew Hoh, the former State Department staffer who quit in protest of the war in Afghanistan, and retired Gen. Wesley Clark.
That's all tonight at 9ET/6PT!
And we want to hear from you:
If you were hosting a state dinner, what would be on your menu?
Posted: 08:44 AM ET
President Obama will announce within days whether he will send more troops to Afghanistan.
The U.S. commander on the ground has asked for more troops and Republicans have criticized Obama for the drawn-out consideration process. The White House has defended its timetable, saying the president wants to get the decision right, not fast.
Monday's meeting, which ended at 10 p.m., included Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, Afghanistan commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and other senior officials.
At the last war council meeting - on November 11, Veterans Day - Obama pushed for revisions in proposed plans for troop increases to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government.
Gibbs said before Monday's meeting that Obama would seek answers to the questions he posed on November 11 about "not just how we get people there, but what's the strategy for getting them out."
Sources said one option that has been presented to Obama calls for sending about 34,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the 68,000 already committed to the country, with other options involving variations on that plan.
October 7, 2009
Posted: 06:05 PM ET
It's a busy night on Larry King Live! Sen. John McCain joins Larry to talk about the war in Afghanistan, health care reform, and how President Obama is handling his job.
Then, it's Ann Coulter vs. Kiki McLean - the gloves are off! They'll weigh in the big political topics of the day.
PLUS – Tom DeLay! Why did he drop out of "Dancing with the Stars"? Better yet, why did he do the show in the first place? We'll hear it straight from "the Hammer's" mouth.
And last but not least – Newark Mayor Cory Booker on late-night comedian Conan O'Brien's attacks on him. Why is Conan picking on the New Jersey city and mayor? And what's up with the mayor banning Conan from the Garden state? We'll have the latest on the tit-for-tat all tonight on Larry King Live! Tune in at 9ET/6PT.
And we want to hear from you:
How would you grade President Obama's performance in office so far?
October 6, 2009
Posted: 05:27 PM ET
Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan and President Barack Obama is facing some difficult decisions. Should the President send more troops to fight a war that most Americans oppose? His commander on the ground says yes, but his national security team is split. And just how damaging was Saturday Night Live's skit about a do-nothing Obama? Will the shtick stick?
PLUS – He's sorry, so sorry. But is this just the beginning of David Letterman's troubles? He says his wife is deeply hurt by revelations that he slept with "Late Show" employees and that he has his work cut out for him in trying to repair his marriage. Meanwhile, the attorney for alleged extortionist Robert "Joe" Halderman says he has evidence that Letterman committed sexual harassment. Watch Larry King Live for the latest on the bizarre plot! That's at 9ET/6PT.
And we want to hear from you!
Should the President send more troops to Afghanistan?
September 23, 2009
Posted: 11:52 AM ET
It started as a cough. It wasn’t the kind of cough where something is temporarily stuck in your throat. It wasn’t the kind of cough where simply clearing your throat would’ve been adequate. This was the kind of cough that hurts when you do it. A stinging pain that makes you wince and guard and hope that you don’t have to cough again any time soon. I thought I might have a fever, but of course, I was in the middle of covering a war in Afghanistan, and the conditions were… well, hot. So, maybe it was that. Problem was, the next day I wasn’t feeling any better – in fact, I was worse. I woke up in my dusty desert tent and tried to step out of my sleeping bag. Two steps later, I almost hit the deck. Incoming. Except this wasn’t due to any sirens going off, this was due to my own body simply being unable to hold myself up. I was lightheaded and freezing cold – even though it was over 100 degrees outside at that early hour of the morning.
I was nauseated and my entire body hurt. I tried to explain away my symptoms with lots of different excuses. You don’t sleep much while covering a war. My bulletproof jacket didn’t fit perfectly and was very heavy. There was a lot of dust and dirt, and maybe I had what the Marines referred to as the Kandahar Krud. It turned out to be none of those things.
I remember looking over at my camera man, Scottie McWhinnie. He looked absolutely awful. He was wearing a scarf on his head, and it was completely drenched in sweat. He was coughing so loudly and frequently that I was really starting to worry about him – and about myself. We each had it, whatever “it” was. I made a command decision. As a physician reporter in a war zone, I was going to get us medical care. That prompted our visit to a battlefield hospital, not as reporters this time, but as patients.
March 27, 2009
Posted: 06:40 PM ET
Tonight, President Obama says he'll order 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the 17,000 additional combat troops he authorized last month. Is this enough for victory there? Too little? Will the conduct of this war haunt the Obama administration? We want to hear from you!
The Question of the Day is:
"WILL AFGHANISTAN BECOME PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VIETNAM?"
Sound off by CLICKING HERE!
Also tonight: Will President Obama make history and legalize the use of marijuana? Not if opponents can help it! Montel Williams, Stephen Baldwin and other debate the issue tonight on the program.
But up first on the program, floods threaten Fargo. People prepare for the worst! The latest from North Dakota with families whose homes are at risk!
It's all tonight on "Larry King Live," as Tavis Smiley sits-in for Larry as guest host.
February 10, 2009
Posted: 10:10 AM ET
By Senator John Kerry, D-MA
No foreign power has remained welcome in Afghanistan for a sustained period, and the British and the Soviets paid a bitter price for trying. Our goal has never been to dominate Afghanistan but, rather, to eliminate al-Qaeda's haven and to empower Afghans to govern their country in line with their best interests and our national security.
We shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that we are in anything but a race against time in a region suspicious of foreign footprints. The United States is not in Afghanistan to make it our 51st state - but to make sure it does not become an al-Qaeda narco-state and terrorist beachhead capable of destabilizing neighboring Pakistan.
We must renew our original mission - and President Obama has rightly pledged to recommit to Afghanistan as the center of our global counterinsurgency campaign, beginning with the deployment of as many as 30,000 additional troops.
January 22, 2009
Posted: 12:22 PM ET
By George McGovern, former senator from South Dakota, who was the Democratic nominee for president in 1972.
As you settle into the Oval Office, Mr. President, may I offer a suggestion? Please do not try to put Afghanistan aright with the U.S. military. To send our troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan would be a near-perfect example of going from the frying pan into the fire.
There is reason to believe some of our top military commanders privately share this view. And so does a broad and growing swath of your party and your supporters.
True, the United States is the world's greatest power - but so was the British Empire a century ago when it tried to pacify the warlords and tribes of Afghanistan, only to be forced out after excruciating losses. For that matter, the Soviet Union was also a superpower when it poured some 100,000 troops into Afghanistan in 1979. They limped home, broken and defeated, a decade later, having helped pave the way for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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