February 10, 2009

Sen. Kerry: Clock is ticking on Afghanistan

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.

(Read more of Sen. Kerry's commentary HERE)

Filed under: Afghanistan • John Kerry

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Nancy Carper   February 10th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

I am dissapointed that they did not give more credit to God. They are a great crew, but God truly had the situation in His hands. I enjoyed the show very much and will watch tomorrow. Their families must be very proud, and the rescue workers did a great job also. I pray for their emotional peace.

Gary Chandler in Canada   February 10th, 2009 11:52 pm ET

Okay, would it be impossible that some of the millions, or was it billions, of unmarked, money handed out to terrorists in Iraq, [the Spluge] did not make it into Pakistan?
If you look at the time line for the increased violence in Afghanistan, it surged right after those suitcases were handed over.
The Splurge was dumber than dumb. No farther ahead in Iraq and it probably funded the attack in India.

ed ,vancouver canada   February 11th, 2009 4:28 am ET

pakistan is up to no good

Terry, TX   February 11th, 2009 9:10 am ET

We better wake up and smell the here.....anybody paying attention....

Michael C. McHugh   February 11th, 2009 11:20 am ET

Here are a few thoughts....For one thing, I agree that it's necessary to defeat Islamic fascism of the Taliban-Al Qaeda type, although I know it can't be done by military means alone. We really need to reform the global financial structure do that developing countries have seats of the board of directors and have credit accounts that can help stabilize their economies and promote social progress.

We will lose the war if this is not done. This will be especially important in semi-failed states like Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan (all the "stans" for that matter), but also for Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. This crisis gives us the chance to make these major reforms on the global level, and to be seen doing it. I would even let Iran into this new system if it showed willingness to deal with the world in a sane and rational manner,and even a new Palestinian state–if that ever comes into being in our lifetime. The benefits of this to Asia, Africa and Latin America are also obvious, and even to ourselves if we can put a system in place that will help us sink all these trillions in debts that we are running up.

Somehow, we have to shift the whole emphasis away from a strategy that merely reacts to military threats that arise here and there, to a more proactive strategy that emphasizes social and economic development, stability of currencies and trade balances, more funds for education green technology and medical care around the world.

Once again, I don't think we are going to win if this does not happen, and that the poorer half of the world sees that the US is sincere in promoting greater welfare for the majority–not just welfare for big banks and corporations.

There's a great danger of fighting a long, drawn out war, and also of losing a war. Remember what happened to LBJ in the 1960s. Vietnam destroyed him and his Great Society. In general, major wars have always been fatal to progressive reform in America, which is why we have to think of a strategy that gives us a better chance of winning.

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