Surge in Afghanistan

As President Obama begins to share his plans for the future of US operations in Afghanistan, Truthout will be following the developments every step of the way. Our Surge in Afghanistan feature will provide readers with complete coverage of Obama's speech on Afghanistan, as well as the surrounding debate. Please be sure to visit throughout the evening and beyond!

Afghanistan: Our 177th Colony

David Swanson, Truthout: "During a televised football game on Sunday, an announcer welcomed the members of the US military viewing the game in 177 nations around the world. When the news came on, the topic was the same one it's been for weeks, speculation as to whether and how much a single individual will escalate war by sending tens of thousands of additional troops to nation number 177, Afghanistan."


Man-of-Peace Obama Has an Xmas Present for Afghanistan: Death


Obama's Afghanistan escalation speech is unconvincing PR


Obama pledges 30,000 troops, two-year extension of Afghanistan debacle

Houston Chronicle


President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he will send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan by next summer and begin withdrawing forces in July 2011 after nearly a decade of battle. … The 30,000 additional U.S. troops amount to most of what Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, requested at the end of August. But by setting a date to begin removing U.S. forces, scheduled to number about 100,000 by next summer, Obama is effectively holding McChrystal to the timeline he laid out in his bleak assessment of the situation...

Needed: New national security thinking

The Nation
by Katrina vanden Heuvel


Tonight President Obama will announce his new Afghanistan policy. By all accounts it will be one of military escalation. This is a tragic moment — both for the nation and his presidency — and it is one I had hoped the President would avoid by courageously leading us in a wiser direction, one that views 21st century challenges anew, in fresh and necessary ways. It is true that Obama would have needed real political courage to extricate himself from his predecessor’s war. … But in a war-weary nation, amidst great economic trouble, he could have used his great oratorical and political skills to marshal people of all kinds to his side. Instead … Obama will now be held hostage to this mindset as a war bequeathed to him by a reckless and destructive administration becomes his own war...

Anthropologists and the war in Afghanistan

by David Price


A core feature of the Obama administration’s plans for victories in Iraq and Afghanistan has been an increased reliance on counterinsurgency, as Americans try to win the hearts and minds of peoples whose countries they’ve invaded. Some critics highlight similarities between Kennedy’s and Obama’s interest in counterinsurgency as a tool to conquer peoples who have historically been difficult, if not impossible, for outside colonial powers to dominate. President Obama’s reliance on old Harvard hands to socially engineer conquest justifies many of these comparisons. Even counterinsurgency’s lustiest cheerleaders, such as the political scientist David Kilcullen, admit that historical instances of successfully using counterinsurgency for military victories have been extremely rare in the past half-century. But Washington’s counterinsurgency believers share a certain hubris, or vanity, that they are clever enough to overcome this daunting record of historical failure...

Obama, conflicted Commander in Chief

National Review
by Rich Lowry


Prepare for the advent of Barack Obama, neocon. On the Afghan War, he is throwing in with the lying, warmongering running dogs of neoconservatism by ordering a surge of some 30,000 troops. Obama has to become a president of victory even though he hails from a party of defeat. The responsibilities of office separate him from a political base that only sounded stalwart on the Afghan War so long as it was a handy political tool with which to beat George W. Bush about the head and shoulders...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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