Discontent among U.S.troops in Afghanistan?
March 27th, 2012
06:41 PM ET

Discontent among U.S.troops in Afghanistan?

By Barbara Starr

When a recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 69% of Americans thought the U.S. military should no longer be fighting in Afghanistan, the reaction from Pentagon leadership was rather predictable. However, there may be a strong undercurrent of disenchantment among the ranks.

Those in a public role were determined to see the glass half full.

"We cannot fight wars by polls," said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Tuesday. "If we do that we’re in deep trouble. We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we are embarked on. And the mission here is to safeguard our country by ensuring that the Taliban and al Qaeda never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan. "

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby strongly echoed the sentiment, saying the military’s job is not to be driven by sentiments expressed in polls.

When asked the reaction to the poll from Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, Kirby said "his concern as a military commander in the field is getting the job done."

Kirby also insisted the recent spate of killings of U.S. troops by Afghan troops will not change the counter-insurgency strategy that requires the two sides to work hand-in-hand. Kirby said the incidents are concerning but still appear to be largely isolated and not connected.

But behind the scenes, one military officer who is a long-time source thought disillusionment in the ranks was already so entrenched it didn’t really matter that public sentiment appeared to be catching up.

The officer, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of his remarks, said the average soldier is now "wondering why he is there after 10 years."

"They are asking ‘What have we gotten ourselves into?’" he added.

Fundamentally, he said, many U.S. and Afghan troops hold each other in contempt.

"We think the Afghans are corrupt and won’t fight unless we pay them to, and they think we are disrespectful of them and their country."

The officer, who I have known for many years, served a tour of duty in Afghanistan and says senior commanders are not acknowledging the discontent felt in some of the ranks. His feeling was that U.S. troops now are extremely wary of their Afghan counterparts after a spate of recent killings by them in so-called green-on-blue incidents.

He said his feeling was one of "What have we gained after ten years?"

And the major problem may still be to come. The Afghan government is not expected to be able to fund its own military for many years.

"Are we going to be willing to spend billions forever? When the money stops will the Afghan army still be there?" wonders the officer.

So far there are no indications the strategy will change, or withdrawal of U.S. troops will be accelerated. But a successful counterinsurgency strategy does require support from the public and right now the question of both Afghan and U.S. public support certainly seems open to debate.

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. ClarkClurn

    9irkr 1wenf wguf

    February 28, 2021 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  2. Best Hairstyles

    Thanks a lot for the helpful posting. It is also my opinion that mesothelioma cancer has an incredibly long latency interval, which means that indication of the disease would possibly not emerge until 30 to 50 years after the 1st exposure to asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma, that is the most common style and affects the area within the lungs, might cause shortness of breath, chest muscles pains, and a persistent cough, which may bring about coughing up our blood.


    December 25, 2020 at 10:44 am | Reply
  3. JimfromBham

    Afghanistan has been one of those "incremental situations" where you go for years, and then one day you suddenly wonder, "How did I get here?". Bin Laden and his allies, the Taliban, should have been our main focus after 9/11, but we got sidetracked with Iraq, and in the process removed the main counterweight to Iran in the region (Saddam Hussein). Now, we are basically through in Iran, and with our attention turned fully to Afghanistan we are finally wondering, "How did we get here?"

    Afghanistan is a lot tougher problem in many respects than Iraq. Less infrastructure, less leadership we can build around while propping up a new government, much more isolated tribal areas, etc. Once the US military leaves, no NGOs will survive for long because they need reliable protection. I suspect that the Administration committed to the 2014 troop withdrawal deadline with the intention of running the Affghanistan war afterward as a CIA clandestine operation, hence the retirement of GEN Petraeus, our counterinsurgency guru, who then became Director of the CIA.

    Many of us who fully support the military now wonder if it is time to avoid future unneeded losses of life and get out, especially after the recent killings of our troops by our so-called Afghan allies. We forget that this region of Southweat Asia has given several "superpowers" a mess of a problem from the time of Kipling (i.e., the British, the Soviets, now us), and probably before that as well. In today's geopolitical world, Afghanistan's position nestled between Iran and Pakistan makes it an ideal region for interference by those countries as well as India and some others.

    So, "How did we get here?". And now that bin Laden is dead and al Queda nearly toothless, "Why are we still here?"

    March 29, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
    • JimfromBham

      Sorry: should be "basically through in Iraq" vice Iran.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Dowkiller

      """" Bin Laden and his allies, the Taliban, should have been our main focus after 9/11, but we got sidetracked with Iraq,""""

      sidetracked?,,, I think the correct word is False Flagged,,,, http://www.911missinglinks.com,,, the poorest element in the uSA just cant get thier heads around a jew ish media.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  4. John Wayne

    Time to leave the country. After 10 years there is no evidence of the Afghans being able to govern themselves let alone have a stable government.

    What those people need is jobs. They should all be put to work building infrastructure. Teach them a skill that can be taken to any other country. Construction. They aren't afraid to work if they are getting paid money.

    People will fight for things they have built from their own hands. They will have a sense of pride and maybe a purpose.


    March 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  5. beeeeeen there

    been there. yes indeed. I am a raging lunatic now who can't stop abusing my kids. But that's ok...because my comrades support me in my abuse. I'ts waht we do now. Good for us.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  6. FastEddie

    Paneta is wrong. Like it or not, wars essentially ARE fought based on opinion polls. No government, no matter how totalitarian, can fight an unpopular war indefinitely. Sun Tzu recognized this, so why do we not?

    March 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  7. edirol

    The best the U.S. can do for AFGHANISTAN is (1). get out – fruitless expense in lives and dollars. (2). teach the populace to READ – literacy rate mere 6%, and, (2). build roads – which promotes trade resulting in "bringing together" the remote reaches of this fragmented country and promotes national identity and pride.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  8. Bob Oliver

    It is called battle fatigue. As a former Canadian soldier having completed 3 tours of duty in Afghanistan I can attest to this condition. Repeated tours through a war zone with little or no sign that our presence is making much difference will wear on any person. The American soldier has had more instances of these apparent fruitless tours with the conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. It takes at least a generation (20 to 22 years) of winning hearts and minds of the Afghan youth before one can expect ANY change in the mindset of the Afghan people. They have been subject to decades of conflict and one cannot expect any difference in a mere 10 or 11 years.

    It is high time we pull all coalition forces from Afghanistan lest we risk more lives lost in a country where it seems the government of the day is corrupt. I know as a former soldier that one can only do so much in a country ripe with corruption and where warlords still uphold their own version of law and order. Bin Laden is now dead thanks to the dedication of the Seal unit that completed the task. Lets regroup and live to fight another day should the need arise. Too much money and human sacrifice has been expended in this endeavor.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
    • g.r.r.

      For what its worth, Thank you for your service. 1 tour is a lot. 3 more so.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • Fred Phred

      Bob, thank you for your service. I'm convinced we had to go over there and force the Taliban to scatter and take out Bin Laden. But at this point once the risks outweigh the rewards – time to move on.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        Fred Phred has convinced himself of something,,, I think he neds to revisit his convictions..... http://www.911missinglinks.com

        shame on those that believed 2 airplanes could knock down 3 buildings,, SHAME

        March 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  9. B17

    I would think there would be some discontent within the ranks. When you serve a yellow belly commander and chief who bends over backwards for our enemies and sabotages our allies, it is easy to be out of sorts.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • g.r.r.

      Not a problem. Neither reagan nor W are in office any more. So, we do not have to worry about those issues.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      Our Commander in Chief is not a coward. Your comments are the typical nonsense I would expect from the far right wing nut jobs that have nothing of value to say or to contribute to the discussion, but feel the need to say something anyways.
      I have multiple deployments and the wounds to show for them. But I’m still able to see the difference between your irrational rant and the truth on the ground.
      It’s time to come home, not because of your opinions but because the Afghans will never be ready to take over from us and this is a waste of life and money. Pres. Obama knows that and those of us fighting in this war know that.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
  10. fed up

    Isn't that why Defense Secretary Gates retired, because after 10 years we've accomplished practically nothing? Our soldiers are being killed by Afghan soldiers, who hate us. We're considered occupiers and invaders. We've wasted enough soldiers and money in this sorry hell hole. Panetta is a nit wit.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      Gates retired cuz he was in public service for 40 plus years.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Ted Striker

      Gates actually wanted to retire under Bush but Obama asked him to stay on longer.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:24 am | Reply
  11. aaron

    I dont thank anyone cares you got to remember we have been watching a statewide ran war propaganda campaign for 12 years,If you are a soldier or family member of a soldier you might get fooled,But if you are of the 330 million citizens its just another militant commercial,Theres about a million people in this coutry supporting the war cause they have financial reasons at stake,How many heroes would have to or want to listen to a commercial on t.v. or radio every 5 minutes of the day somethins wrong.Why do you need to pander for so much support or is it brainwashing? If you are a hero why do you have to tell everyone all the time?The idea of a true sacrifice or heroism is kinda being unnoticed or annonymous,not having parades and blowin horns every 5 minutes.Somethins wrong and there is a reason behind it,the massive propaganda too me is evidence this war is wrong,If you were truly at war for meaningful purposes there would be know need for a massive propaganda campaign it wouldt be neccessary which leads me to believe its an unjustified war, maybe for prince harrys camelot i dontknow, its a fairy tale.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Angel

      Yeah wimp never served!! You will never understand so just type all you want yeah we know you' re a wimp

      March 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • donn

      I feel unless you have sacerficed for this war your words mean nothing only those who have lost a loved one, been wounded or are serving have the right to say anything about this war
      the rest of you are just armchair generals no risk to you but you blow hot air all the time

      March 29, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        """"only those who have lost a loved one, been wounded or are serving have the right to say anything about this war""""

        well if you arent a really really crappy american.... I have a RIGHT to say anything about anything I want you commynazi poor excuse for a soldier....... Iraq & afcrapistan are LIES and the only people worht respect in the uSA are those that KNOW Israelis staged a FALSE FLAG on the jew fraud 9/11,,, http://www.911missinglinks.com explains why anyone who went Iraq or the other train wreck is only a WAR CRIMNAL,,, not a stupid hero.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Chiraag

      I think in 2012 the US will spend more than that on military. Proposed bgdteus and estimated spending on military are usually a lot lower than they are in reality.Other programs like the Social Security branch of spending need restructuring in the next several years in order to stay within their bounds as well.

      May 21, 2012 at 3:34 am | Reply
  12. dc

    Dulce et facile bellum inexpertis: "War is sweet and easy to those who have never fought".

    March 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • aaron

      what a blowhard

      March 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • Rick

        Unfortunately Aaron, he's right and unless you have never served you would not understand, so who's the blowhard now? Thought so.

        March 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • butch

        In case none of you have figured it out, we have Iran almost completely surrounded. Iran is why we're still there. Iran is why we left thousands of military "advisers" in Iraq. Iran is why we haven't leveled Pakistan. When we go into Iran we will be going in from a dozen different directions. The soldiers are discontent because they know it's coming and thousands of them are going to die.

        March 28, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  13. dc


    Calm down. It's an expression that soldiers use all the time. "If they ain't b*tchin', they ain't happy." I served for 11 years, including tours in Iraq, and it's not the least bit disrespectful for a former soldier to say that about the troops. It's a commonly-used expression. Sorry to say, but you are the one who's being disrespecful here.


    March 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  14. joe

    All tied directly to Obama, the majority of the troops have no respect for him, and more and more are beginning to go public with their disgust!!!!!!

    March 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • dc

      Seriously? Yeah, it's all about Obama. It's not about the frequent long deployments, awful working conditions, lack of contact with friends and familt, perceived restrictions in ROE, locals making their jobs difficult, lack of equipment, and all the other deployment-related things that used to suck about being in Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush administration, being in the Balkans during the Clinton administration, being in Saudi and Kuwait under Bush 41, being in Grenada and Panama under Reagan, etc, etc.

      I've been in their shoes. It has nothing to do with politics, or who's in the White House. Stop it.

      March 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • tMan

      Yes, it is Obama fault true and true. While at it, why don't you blame Obama for starting the Afghan war ? stupeed idioot

      March 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  15. Old Dude

    I spent 9 months on the ground in Kabul. I was in public hotels and etc... I lived among the Afghans and they are afraid for the US to leave because same old stuff again. I saw the same fears prior to leaving Iraq. Afghanistan is full of corruption. No other way to say it. All our US Aid is going into Afghan pockets. That is the truth as I saw on the ground in Kabul. Our aid is not getting to the people. None of it! It is a big sham that should be exposed for what is really is "a true waist" of our tax dollars. It is a shame no one has thre guts to expose the truth. Might get a few folks in trouble as it should be! What a shame.

    March 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • duh

      there has been and one of them is "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers". A truly unsettling documentary.
      If war profiteering was not allowed, it all would end real soon.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        """"Afghanistan is full of corruption. No other way to say it."""""

        afcrapistan could not hold a candle to the united states of israel when it comes to absolutely & totally corrupted...www.911missinginks.com

        March 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  16. Michael

    First, a shout out to all the servicemen and women reading this article. From a past warrior to our current warriors, I salute you, and thank you, for your courage and sacrifice. All of you.

    I agree with Cheese Wonton. We did not fight these wars with the full power (militarily and economically) of the USA. We started out well in Iraq, then settled into 'defense mode'. The MSM never really reported any kind of mass offensive in Afghanistan. So we've been in a 'defense mode' there as well.

    We declared war in 1991, and the result was both swift and decisive. With limiting rules of engagement and not fulfilling the troop requests of commanders on the ground, OUR GOVERNMENT has hamstrung our military this time around. If we had troops for a 'surge', then we had troops that could have 'surged' from the get-go.

    In the Civil War, generals burned everything behind them to the ground after they passed through, to make it unusable for the enemy; this is known as a 'Total War' concept. We need to get back to that mentality in future conflicts. Break the enemy down, demoralize him, and give him nothing he can use once we're done. He chose to harbor the enemy; rebuilding his country is HIS responsibility once we're gone.

    March 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • whorhay

      Iraq wasn't a problem initially. The standing government and it's army was soundly defeated very quickly. The problem was in the followup. The borders were not adequately secured, something we can't even manage here at home. And as a result Terrorists where able to get into the country and establish themselves as a gorrilla force, not to mention the Suni Shite infighting. It's been a quagmire ever since. The root of the problem though is that our military is not a nation building force, or even really a police force. The military is simply not suited for what they've been doing. Ultimately the only people that can make those nations whole again is their own citizens. If their own people can't live and work together peacably they'll never make any real headway.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • scott

      see its not 1865 anymore...they have cameras....as America we cant and should never take the low road...what are we going to destroy in Afghanistan...make the big rocks into little rocks...that will showem....I second your salute to our fightig men and women and dismiss the rest....simplistic and naive at best

      March 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • dc

      No offense, but you have no idea what you're talking about. You cannot compare Desert Storm to the current situations in Iraq or Afghanistan. Desert Storm was a purely military mission with a tightly-defined military objective fought largely on friendly soil. Iraq and Afghanistan are completely different animals. It's like Bosnia on steroids, and the solutions are never easy.

      The Civil War analogy is so ridiculously ignorant I would bother to refute it. Yeah dude- the way to win in Afghanistan is to lay waste to the entire country and leave it a smoldering ruin. Wow.

      March 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • dc

        "won't" bother to refute it, rather.

        March 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • Dowkiller

        """"No offense, but you have no idea what you’re talking about.""""""

        kinda like anyone who hasnt watched this http://www.911missinglinks.com documentary... and still believes there is an alqeda.

        March 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • Up2Late

        To the dowkiller guy trying to generate money from google ad words: You're an idiot. I'm sure someone will watch whatever steaming pile of crap mockumentary you are advertising for, but fortunately there are a few of us left that know that not everything posted on the internet is true.

        March 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
      • Dowkiller

        To the dowkiller guy trying to generate money?????? how does others watching a doco make me any jew paper crappuss?

        I HATE money nearly as much as the israelis for 9/11.....

        March 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
      • Michael

        DC, I would guess that you haven't left your hometown, let alone the country. Join the military. See the world. Open your eyes.

        Also, you apparently you missed this sentence:

        Break the enemy down, demoralize him, and give him nothing he can use once we're done.

        The Civil War analogy is valid, especially from the perspective of a warfighter. Again, if you are willing to harbor and support terrorists, you need to be willing to face the consequences of those actions.

        The entire nation is not dirt and rock. There are buildings and and infrastructure. Do you think these people communicate by carrier pigeon? Smoke signals, perhaps? Do you think they all sleep in caves?

        More importantly, especially to Afghanistan's "economy", there are poppy fields. Pull out and poison the poppy fields so nothing grows there again.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • Dowkiller

        """Pull out and poison the poppy fields so nothing grows there again.""""

        gawd americans like you are so embarrassing,,,, http://www.911missinglinks.com,,, watch it and let something grow in your pathetic mind like an idea ..... maybe even how to apologise?

        March 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Nathan

      I fully agree with the 'total war' concept, and have been saying it since we got into this mess. Trying to win the 'hearts and minds' of a culture that far pre-dates the USA with candy,food, and an infrastructure that they can't operate will not work. This is why the USA will never again 'win' a war. In order to 'win' we need to slash and burn. Harbour enemies in your home? Raze the home, kill the inhabitants. Repeat. If these people truly want a better society, they need to take it upon themselves to make that change.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Dowkiller

      """"I salute you, and thank you, for your courage and sacrifice. All of you.""""

      me & my 37 yr old US Army honorable discharge do NOT accpt your hollow thank you & want the next time we illegally invade countries or test bilogical weapons on our own guys to use rich peoples kids and jews instead of Americans.

      jew Ira Katz turned the VA into an insurance company and now your sacred veterans are claim numbers not humans, complete with the jew term co-pay in our "medical bills"...... some thank you.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Seek help now, You’re an anti-Semite jack a-s who knows nothing about serving his country. In this country you’re free to post your non-sense and I’m free to hold you in contempt. You’re free to be an uneducated conspiracy theorist and I’m free to laugh at you and your kind.
        Please don’t reproduce

        March 29, 2012 at 12:15 am |
      • Dowkiller

        """Please don’t reproduce""",, my daughter has an honorable discharge from the USAF and she learned the hard way, 2 airplanes CANNOT knock down 3 buildings... after watching http://www.911missinglinks.com she understands why anti semitism IS patriotism and any moron refusing to do 1st grade math in respect to the jew fraud 9/11 is committing TREASON... as in I would shoot you dead after convicting you of the inability to add 1+1=3........no one should be wearing any uniform with Posse Comitatus in recind......

        March 29, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • aaron

      i would not refer to you guys as warriors as you put it,warriors usually fight evenly matched battles,you guys are bullies of undermatched 3rd world countries

      March 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
      • Matt

        Aaron, You’re jealous of those of us who serve, why? Were your scores too low and they didn’t let you in? Are you a sick little boy who failed the physical? My soldiers are Warriors and my soldiers are true patriots who love their country enough to serve in a time of war. Each has his own beliefs and feeling about this conflict but they do the job they signed up for. There is no propaganda machine, there is only you alone in your moms basement.

        March 29, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Oodoodanoo

      Yeah, fine. Scorched earth is a great tactic, assuming you've picked the right country to fight. What did Iraq have to do with 9/11? Nothing. If you had killed every man, woman, and child there, that would have achieved absolutely nothing in the War On Terror.

      Ditto Afghanistan. Sure, they harbored the Taliban, but the Taliban were FUNDED AND ARMED by Saudi "charities" and the Pakistanis. Furthermore, we knew it. If you really wanted to shut down the Taliban, you would have had the Saudi charities' assets frozen. You would have sanctioned Pakistan and cut off all aid to them.

      Some of the most effective work in stopping the terrorists happens without a single bullet being fired.

      Scorched earth is a brainless tactic, especially when you realize you picked on the wrong guy.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • InTheKnow

      The total war concept only works if the "enemy" has something to lose..... Can't burn mud huts....

      March 29, 2012 at 5:53 am | Reply
  17. It's always been that way

    "... strong undercurrent of disenchantment among the ranks." GedOuttaTown. If the troops aren't b*tchin' about something there's something wrong.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • springsgranny

      TO: It's always been that way! You have one hell of a nerve saying that the troops are always b*tchin about something! How many tours in Afghanistan or Iraq have you made? These men and women are fighting for you and me and you have no respect for them. What have you given up for your country??? I pray for your soul, you ungrateful, unpatriotic, piece of garbage!

      March 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • Rob

        hey Granny,

        I've had 2 tours in Iraq and 3 in Afghanistan and he's right. If they aren't bitching about something, then you have problems. Lighten up.

        March 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • mjr96d

        Actually, he is quite correct. I am also a combat veteran and still serving, and we troops use that same phrase ourselves. I suspect the OP has served or is serving, just from the turn of phrase he used.

        March 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  18. John

    There alot of nutty people on this post

    March 28, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • springsgranny

      John...you are absolutely right! These people posting are hateful!

      March 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
      • weedlema

        Granny – I think you misunderstand the "soldiers b*itching" comment. What it means is (I think), after being there for so long, seeing what they are seeing, i.e. no resolution, they SHOULD be b*tching. If they weren't b*tching, or, in other words, if they were happy with their situation, then there would be something wrong. You dig?

        March 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  19. Face

    Panetta says we cannot fight "wars" by polls. Yes we can.. it is called the Presidential Election.. and Obama promised to get us out and was elected on that pledge. If by election I cannot stop a war..... then I live in a oligarchy of some kind.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  20. Dave

    Islam is not faith, it is politics. He who has the most followers has the most guns, is in charge. Al Queda and the Taliban ban education. Most so called muslims have never read the Koran because they cannot read or write. To keep power one must have a dumb populace. Islam is what the Taliban and Al Queda tell the uneducated it is. To the Morons Posting God, Allah cannot be defeated, look around you if this is how you believe God, Allah wants you to live do everyone a favor and remove yourself from the gene pool.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • Spirit

      You have no idea how educated some members of the Taliban are.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        """You have no idea how educated some members of the Taliban are"""""",,, even worse the americans cant ADD!!! 2 airplanes does NOT equal 3 buildings!!! 9/11 is an ISRAELI FRAUD,, FALSE FLAG,,, http://www.911missinglinks.com.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Mohammed

    Lots of people have been thinking about this backwards. They think (hopefully it's now thought) the way to stabilize the country is through an established security force. The country is one of the poorest on Earth. People are concerned about feeding their children over what's best for the country. And you can't blame them. People in American ghettos don't care either, they care about being financially ok. Yes in every nation, even Afghanistan, there are people willing to make sacrifices for their notion of a greater good, well guess what most of them are fighting on the other team (though I don't support denying women education and forcing religious practices, whether real or perceived, is part of a greater good).

    As long as the infrastructure in that country is at the crappy level that it is the majority of afghanis will continue to fight only for money as opposed to stabilizing their country. That being said, there are still two things that need to happen. Number one is give it time. When for generations they know they've had to struggle to survive and take care of their family and they also know which ways have worked and which haven't, it's not something they can just shake off. They need time to get used to and to explore the new ways themselves. Number two is the type of infrastructure has to provide real opportunity for being independent and productive while also not harming their family or cultural dynamic, else they'll just reject it.

    March 28, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  22. michaelfury

    "the mission here is to safeguard our country by ensuring that the Taliban and al Qaeda never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan"

    Is it, Mr. Secretary?


    March 28, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
  23. Dowkiller

    all this because israel staged a false flasg attack on the uSA on 9/11... how embarrassing my fellow americans actually believe 2 airplanes can knock down 3 buildings..... 911missinglinksdotcom should be watched by every American NOW.

    March 28, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Cole

      So what your saying is that the 9/11 incedients wasnt terrorists??? if you are your an idiot

      March 28, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
      • The Woof

        And can you say that most of the terriost involved were Saudis and not Afhanis? Wasn't the leader of Al-Quida a Saudi National? We went to Afghanistan chasing Al Quida, we succeeded, we dethroned the Taliban, so why the heck are we still there?

        March 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • Dowkiller


        cant you just watch some of this before calling someone you never met names?... what is this the 1st grade?

        March 29, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Austin

      Wow, I can smell the racism from here...

      March 28, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        Austin your nose be broken because jews are not a race.... moron,,, bill clinton sammy davis jr both jew ish,, do point out the race bit bozo.

        March 29, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • scott

      YOU are the missing link!!!!!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        this documentary can help scot and many other americans regain thier 1st grade mathematiucs capabilities,,, http://www.911missinglinks.com.... and the americans should stop trying to tell the world 1+1 = 3,,, it aint gonna fly.

        March 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • scott

      so what exactly is Mathiutics or whatever you tried to spell their sharpy...so you dont think a 767 can bring down a building?...T

      March 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        ok mathematics,, happy now?... if you can spelll why cant you add?,,, sharpy knows 2 airplanes CANNOT knock down 3 buildings,,, why dont you?

        I dont think a 767 can bring down a building I KNOW a 767 couldnt,, I did watch security video footage of the EXPLOSIVES going off in the THREE buildings... scott go back to izzyril where jews n liars belong.

        March 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • scott

      so what exactly is Mathiutics or whatever you tried to spell their sharpy...so you dont think a 767 can bring down a building?...Tell me what did...when did they jaul in the tons of explosive and the miles of det cord it would of taken....I cant help that you cant believe your eyes,show me one peice of eveidence that Alex didnt think up inone of his wet dreams and i,ll believe.

      March 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
      • Dowkiller

        show me one peice of eveidence

        http://www.911missinglinks.com here is two HOURS of evidence provided by FBI .
        make smarmy remarks AFTER watching it,, or ofcourse apologise.

        March 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
      • Dowkiller

        """"when did they jaul in the tons of explosive and the miles of det cord it would of taken""""... jaul?

        Marvin Bush and his jew ish freinds activites are all explained in great length in this excellent doco that shows 9/11 is an israelis state sponsored gold heist not terorrism.... too bad about the jew meida covering up for them.. http://www.911missinglinks.com

        March 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Matt

      Dowkiller, aren’t you late for a clan meeting, did you forget your pills again? Silly hate monger.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:29 am | Reply
      • Dowkiller


        silly KNOWLEDGE SPREADER,,, not hate KNOWLEDGE,,, I know americants are allergic to knowledge but try some anyway...

        March 29, 2012 at 1:40 am |
  24. russian foreign policy ?

    the policy of obama has failed and this afgan thing is just another log on the fire , north korea rolling out their ICBM on the pad when obama was in town was a slap in the face to both the USA AND THE PRESIDENCY OF THE USA !

    this would never have happened to any other pres because north korea would have got that ICBM handed to them in tiny pieces . Obama is not respected by the thugs of the world and when russia is supporting Obama for re-election there is a dark reason for that. THE TROOPS ARE NOT BLIND , THEY CAN SEE THIS AS WELL

    March 28, 2012 at 8:10 am | Reply
    • Ahmed Orleans

      Since hostilities ended in Korea no US president has attacked North Korea. We knew they were building a bomb way before they tested it but we didn't attack. Why? Because it could cause a third world war but this time between nations with nukes.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Hadenuffyet

      North Korea / the Korean conflict , was a UN sanctioned event , we were only part of it.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  25. smith don


    March 28, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
    • Austin

      lol @ troll

      March 28, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
  26. Wayne

    Reblogged this on luvsiesous and commented:
    CNN reports that morale is low in Afghanistan. American soldiers are tired of the war. They are tired of Afghan soldiers firing on US soldiers in friendly fire incidents.
    Is it time to pull out?
    Is this becoming another Vietnam?

    March 28, 2012 at 4:50 am | Reply

    d indiscreminate killing is just 2 much to bear.

    March 28, 2012 at 3:33 am | Reply
  28. Kevin

    You all should know that this is a dirty country, who have no respect of women, no interest in becoming enlightened, and a lot of dirty left hands.
    Let's pull out like there dads should have done.

    March 28, 2012 at 1:50 am | Reply
    • Canadianguy

      You must be from the south, strange I've heard the exact same things about where your from

      March 28, 2012 at 3:12 am | Reply
  29. smith don


    March 28, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply
    • Capt. Obvious

      Somehow, i doubt your Judiasm

      March 28, 2012 at 2:22 am | Reply
    • Afghan

      Chosen ones? Chosen to be roasted alive? Yes I agree. You're chosen to b f$cked by every empire for 4,000 years. I piss in your mouth, your religion, n your army. Man enough? Send your army to Afghanistan n c what happens. You've been picking on unarmed civilians for too long. In Afg you'd get f)cked motherf$cker

      March 28, 2012 at 3:57 am | Reply
      • Hadenuffyet

        Owwww. your soooo bad , why didn't you kick the Taliwackerban out yourself?

        March 28, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  30. smith don


    March 28, 2012 at 12:52 am | Reply
  31. The Rock

    Discontent? Why would there be discontent? Just because Panetta asked the troops to lay down their arms when he entered the room? Because so many American lives have been taken by the Afghan security forces? Because, like in so many other wars, our soldiers fight die and be heroic, only to come home to a country at war with its identity? Tell me why there would be discontent?

    March 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  32. Cheese Wonton

    The US made four mistakes fighting the Afghans. Number one, Congress did not declare war. Doing so forces every branch of government to make fighting and winning the war as quickly as possible their number one priority. Because only Congress can declare war successful prosecution of the war becomes a primary responsibility of Congress, ahead of all other legislative priorities.
    Number two, we did not mobilize both our military and civilian economy to fight the war. We have won every war that we both formally declared and then mobilized for. Instead we were told to go shopping. Ridiculous. Fighting and winning the war has to the only priority until your enemy is beaten.
    Third, since we chose not to mobilize fully, we did not employ everything we had to crush our enemy ruthlessly, deny them the means to resist and importantly, force them to formally surrender to you unconditionally, disarming and handinf their country to you as we forced Japan and Germany to do. Forcing a formal surrender is as important legally as declaring war as it puts the onus on your enemy to surrender their arms to you and cease resistance or suffer the resumption of unrestricted war. If you do not have the stomach to crush an enemy ruthlessly and bend them to your will you have no business engaging in warfare.
    Number four, we foolishly wasted resources fighting a purposeless war in Iraq instead of crushing the Afghans. Wars have to be fought as quickly and as brutally as possible so the nation at war can return to peace as soon as possible. Wars are too costly to let drag on needlessly. Make your wars quick, brutal and effective or swear off using force of arms. The US could have crushed the Afghans in a year or less if we had mobilized fully and disarmed or destroyed all the many armed groups there. Instead the US piddled around trying to win hearts and minds. You can't do that until you have convinced them that resisting means certain death.

    March 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
    • Oodoodanoo

      Number five, the real problem lies in Pakistan (supplier of arms, soldiers) and Saudi Arabia (supplier of money). Fighting a war on terror in Afghanistan is like trying to mop up the left side of a flooded basement, when the running sink is on the right side of the room.

      You want to win a war? GO TO THE SOURCE OF YOUR PROBLEMS. Afghanistan ain't it. And mobilizing the entire country to fight an all-out war in the wrong country will not result in victory.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  33. brown

    Keep on re-electing them America! Your Congress is destroying your country while YOU sit on the sidelines.

    If you love your country, get politically active!

    March 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  34. enoughofthis

    "We cannot fight wars by polls," said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
    No you can't, but you do with money, taxpayer money, remember!

    March 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  35. agree with russian foreign policy ?

    if you agree with the above post name than support russia and vote for obama .

    March 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • Canadianguy


      March 28, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
    • scott

      yeah like i,m gonna vote for Romney or {throw up in my mouth} Santorum? If you like war, I,d say santorum is your man...first he will defeat the taliban, then the baptist and those pesky mormons..then a law that everyone should got to church at least 4 times a week and all colleges will be closed{stop the snobbery}...then he will cleanse the world of those terrible New York Times Reporters...SEALS will be on the roof 5 minutes after the inauguration. How dare they ask him questions and quote him word for word!!!! This group of stalwarts the grand ole party has put forth makes me almost regret the last republican I voted for in 1984 and then served under. He of course deregulated the trucking industry and cut all their pay in half and nearly destroyed the industry,and did destroy the decent lifestyle many truckers enjoyed. Yeah...why wouldnt I vote for a Republican?

      March 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  36. zamanbn

    When you declare a war against Islam you declare a war against Allah and Allah(swt) does not lose his wars...I do not support Al Quaida(whose creation of CIA and only kill muslims in so called suicide bombings), but i do support Taliban becoz they are people of Afghanistan, and if you know their history you should know that it was actually the public who chose them to rule afghanistan from corrupt Afghan military who used to rape women and even boys...Read the history of Mullah Omar. Americans will lose this war...I am against it and i dont want to see American soldiers fight for noting and die.I see Soliders come home and hug their kids in tears, Not a single muslim wants to see that. But they are fighting for the sake of allah, because Americans soldiers are just means and tools to fight, the real enemy is the private companies and Jewish Zionist Firms who rule the banks and make $$$ of the war.We all know what American govnt wants from Afghanistan and the surrounding Area..Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, oil pipes and land strategy...But they cant establish that untill There are 10 Taliban who pose danger. Im sorry guys but the truth is, Allah is the best of Planners and Americans will loose.You cannot defeat somebody who is looking at the barrel of the gun and sees paradise. Worry not about Taliban but about the growing generation of Afghans, who are tirned of USA...May Allah make this war more peacefull so the enenemy leaves and Taliban grows

    March 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • sgmbags

      We are coming for you!!! Soon you will be in Afghanistan wishing you were back in the land of the big Mall and nice cars and women ...yes we are coming for you!!

      March 27, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • sand men

      so please tell us whats happening in may.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
    • smith don


      March 28, 2012 at 1:00 am | Reply
  37. TheLastIndependent

    It’s completely understandable. You trained a person to fight for his country for so many years, building trust, then that same guy comes after you with a gun, shooting. A lot of people would be discontented by that. First, I understand if we have to keep Special Forces and CIA in-country. The Taliban, still a dangerous force, still haven’t not given up its ties with al Qaeda, who still has a substantial chuck of its leadership in the nearby Pakistan. However, in terms of the conventional troops in Afghanistan, it has become difficult, if not impossible, to keep them in-country. Second, we must reconcile with the Afghans. The Pakistanis already hate us; we don’t need, nor afford, to have the Afghans hate us as well. Easier said than done, but it must be done. Personally, I don’t believe in “Bringing Our Troops Home”. I believe in an increasingly dangerous world, we need to keep conflict at arm’s length; Better to fight them over there than here at home. But, as it presently stands and as I said already, Afghanistan is too dangerous for conventional troops to stay in-country (at least for much longer anyway).

    March 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Dale

      Screw Allah, he is not different that any other demi god.


      March 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.