Is Obama’s Afghanistan troop strategy viable?

Is Obama’s Afghanistan troop strategy viable?

On Tuesday evening, US President Barack Obama will finally announce his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan. After months of deliberation, the president is expected to announce an escalation of US presence across the Durand Line by more than 30,000 troops. This represents a 50 per cent increase over the 68,000 troops already fighting in Afghanistan.

Speaking at the US Military Academy at West Point, Obama will emphasise that the goal of the troop surge is to stabilise Afghanistan and help build and train the country’s military and police forces.

In the US, and especially within the Democratic party, there are many critics of Obama’s decision. They say that the war has become too costly – it costs US$ 1 million, per soldier, per year – that military casualties are increasing, and that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is too marred by accusations of corruption to prove a viable ally against the Taliban.

A recent poll by USA Today/Gallup shows that 57 per cent of Democrats favour beginning a withdrawal from Afghanistan, while 72 per cent of Republicans back the troop increase.

What do you think of Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan? Do you think a bolstered US presence will help win the war against terrorism? How will this decision impact the political and security situation in Pakistan?

The following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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171 Responses to “Is Obama’s Afghanistan troop strategy viable?”

  1. engr.papu says:

    America always took a wrong strategy.
    Which destroy the whole peace of the world.

  2. Indian says:

    I think the surge will work if the Af-Pak strategy is successful which will largely depend on Pakistan’s resolve to eradicate terrorists based in NWFP.

  3. akhlaq in CANADA says:

    Why people in the area hate America? The big question, find out the reasons and causes leading hatred for America. You can not win hearts with power, what you have given to general public. You want to rule your terms why? You have destroyed the land, people, their infrastructure, their families. What is this? Is it not occupation, what is difference in the policies of Bush or Obama? You can not win.

  4. NASAH says:

    Asmat Jamal says:

    “Afghan problems should be solved on Afghan territory.”

    What if Afghan ‘problem’ is in Pakistan territory — and Pakistan ‘problem’ is in Afghanistan territory?

    This is the crux of Obama’s new AfPak strategy.

  5. asmat jamal says:

    Afghan problems should be solved on Afghan territory. Pakistan has had enough of Afghan muck. The Afghan refugees should be sent back, the Durand line should be fenced and mined. Terrorist should be shown no mercy. Pakistan should be secured.
    Well done Pakistan Army. Do the good work.

  6. Aamer Aziz says:

    NO – Not enough. Both US and Pakistan have to put in a whole hearted concerted effort to root out any and all resistance. US have to completely invade Afghanistan with all the resources it has. Now that Iraq is out of picture, the troops from there have to be mobilized and a full force of 300,000 soldiers on ground need to be there.

    On Pakistani side, the whole army and reserves and paramilitary forces of equal strength should go in to border areas and crush any and all resistance.
    This menace has to be sorted once and for all, before any reconstruction or winning hearts and mind campaign be undertaken.

  7. Mustafa says:

    If President Obama withdraws all American troops from Afghanistan as of today, there will be massacre and genocide all over Afghanistan just like Rwanda and Sudan. Who will like to see that? Only the enemies of Afghan people.

    It is better to wait until Afghan National Army is capable to maintain law and order in the entire Afghanistan and defeat their enemies without outside help.

  8. Mustafa says:

    It is strange after 9 years of fight against terror, it has gained nothing. With so much of money, power and troops involved. Nothing has changed. Why is the question? What and where it has gone wrong. What happens with all the money, where are the troops busy. It is handful of people who are fighting against Pakistani. The Pakistani army is one of the strongest in world. Why can not they finish this menace, even after so long fighting? Is it possible that any of the governments USA, UK or Pakistan don’t want to solve this problem? Why is the question again?

  9. M.Shahjahan Bhatti says:

    I was really impressed with Obama speech while accepting Nobel Peace Prize. Peace no doubt is impossible without a just war. I fully agree with him that war in Afghanistan is a just war. May God help Obama.

  10. adeelkunwar says:

    Obama’s policy is confused, what he is thinking is not clear, he has decided to send more troops in the troubled area, on the other hand they’re planning to negotiate with the fighters, I don’t think personally it will help them, even if this policy helps the US, it will not be fruitful for Pakistan, because it might bring more surge attacks on both sides of the borders, even newspapers & think tanks in US are saying to adopt a wise plan to pull out troops and stop war, this world needs peace.

  11. ayub says:

    As a US citizen of Pakistani descent, I oppose the use of additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. In so far as a threat for US is concerned, I think the terror groups are weakened enough. Unlike pre-2001, there is not one country in the world that provides a safe haven to terrorists.

    Ongoing terrorist activities will be limited to Muslims bombing fellow Muslims with an occasional successful attack or two on western soils. This would be a manageable situation. Pre-2011, a sovereign nation, Afghanistan, provided open support to Al Qaeda and another nation, Pakistan, clandestinely created and nurtured Taliban. Going forward, these things will not happen and terror groups will be on their own and as such they will wither away. US should leave Afghanistan and Iraq and also stop funding Pakistan and start focusing on its own economy.

  12. Fazal Ur Rehman Siddiqui says:

    Peace can never be achieved through hatred, jealousy and hypocrisy. It demands a complete and pure sincerity. The world needs to be united for the sake of common interest. President Barak Obama must prove himself the best “Peace Loving President” of the US History! Is he listening to the “voice of peace”?

  13. NASAH says:

    Mr. Obama picked both prizes – one for sending 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and the other for World Peace — without talking about PEACE.

    He should have grabbed only ONE of the two – not both – and still should have talked about the World Peace.

  14. Roy says:

    I like these Dawn surveys.

  15. N.A.Bukhsh says:

    Obama wants honorable exit from Afghanistan,as the US had failed after indulging in Vietnam,and Iraq wars.

  16. hn says:

    “The situation has worsened so badly ever since the war on terror and they are blinded by the very fact that it is the Increase in troops and their stubborn attitude to quit occupation that makes the situation worse.”

    I dont agree with that assessment.

  17. Occupation! That’s it and nothing more and all that is going to fall over at Pakistan.

    The situation has worsened so badly ever since the war on terror and they are blinded by the very fact that it is the Increase in troops and their stubborn attitude to quit occupation that makes the situation worse.

  18. American says:

    Pakistan does not have an option but to push out of Taliban from its own land.

  19. Mustafa says:

    @ Jabral Tariq

    Why America will like to occupy Afghanistan or any country of the world? What Afghanistan has? Opium! America is spending a million dollar per soldier per year to get rid of enemies of humanity who are now threatening Pakistan. Those enemies of humanity and their collaborators will soon be history just like Nazis. World will not wait and watch the terrorism with or without the support of Pakistanis. It is beyond your imagination to guess what will be the fate of terrorists and their collaborators. May Allah help all those who are fighting terrorists.

  20. Jabral Tariq says:

    The fact of the matter is that USA and its NATO allies are in Afghanistan not to fight terrorism but to occupy it. This extra surge in troop numbers would enable it to prolong it occupation and extend its dominance in the region.

  21. Adee says:

    @ Mustafa:
    100% agreed my dear, But do not forget that People and their comments are always just more than important. In the position of war, the criticism on Pakistani politics is to avoid the Blunders. I want to indicate the fact of Dhakka Incident. That was only a game played by our Political leaders and nothing else. It was their ego which did the partition. Please my leadership just save Pakistan.

  22. Jabin says:

    The Pakistani Armforces are the backbone of the country and every effort is being made to undermine this. It is the arm forces and intelligence agency of Pakistan that will stay strong and keep a close eye on the civillian govt from being manupilated into corruption and greed. So salute and Hats out to them! Zindabad.

  23. ISRAR HASAN says:

    The surge of 30,000 soldiers is doubtful to achieve the required “three clear goals”–defeating al-Qaeda, stabilizing Pakistan, and breaking the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan–as outlined by Obama in his speech. To achieve these goals, the President has authorized the rapid deployment of 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan with a firm commitment to being bringing the troops home in 2011. The results at they stand today after eight year of American, NATO and Allies forces with tons of dollars and weapons to get the goal is clear to every one. The surge is not going to get any miracle. To me, the surge is only a sugarcoating to bring the American troops back home.

  24. AOA:
    First with Grace Of Allah Salam To All Readers;

    In my opinion Obama’s new policies are very dangerous for Pakistan as I feel the current situation of Pakistan. and America is sending 30,000 Soldiers these I think not for Afghanistan these are just for Pakistan to make such a problems in Pakistan. Obama is new bush for us. Because there policies just for them how to go back from Afghanistan they don’t get there aim in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan must not follow the policy of America.

    Salauddien Mengal

  25. fb says:

    My dear Pakistanis hope should not die. Every hardship will make us more hardened and strengthened. This is just a milestone ahead. Spread good hopes and stand behind your Armed Forces in their FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM. Good Luck. on Facebook on Facebook