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September 4th, 2009
11:04 AM ET

Get real about Afghanistan

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/15/afghanistan.explosion/art.afghanblast2.gi.jpg caption="A car burns after the suicide blast outside NATO's Afghanistan headquarters last month."]

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

As someone who often takes a conservative stance on issues, I once again find myself in the curious position of defending President Obama to disillusioned critics within his own liberal base. And once again, I'm glad to do it.

This time, it's Afghanistan. In one of the most complicated corners of the world, Obama - and his military commanders - are pursuing a troop build-up that has those on the anti-war left shaking their heads. Since taking office, Obama has sent an additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan. And more could be on the way.

In a recently leaked report to the White House, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, called the situation "serious" but insisted that "success is achievable."

McChrystal didn't specifically ask for more troops. But that request is expected soon. Senior Pentagon officials are expected to ask for as many as 45,000 additional American troops this month. Currently, there are about 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Afghanistan • Ruben Navarrette Jr.
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Susie

    Is this a winnable war? It hasn't been so in the past.....long past. Don't we buy poppys from Turkey? Perhaps if we gave Afgans a decent price for Afgan's crop, it would cut down on illegal drugs, give Aftan's a decent living, lower the price of some medications & maybe save us from a war. Or maybe that's a too common sense solution?

    September 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  2. VITA ZEMAITIS

    You have 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghan. How many NATO and other foreign troops are there in that area?

    September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    Afganishan is the hottest spot right now for terror and killings.

    I think it is crazy to send people into harms way that don't need to be there...that place is a wild card.

    We have enough boots on the ground to report what is occurring without additional people going into harms way.

    Don't go there unless you absolutely have to, unless you have a death wish.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  4. Alice, AR

    I just don't know why we think we have the right to invade other countries. If we would have used our Military to weed out the terrorist here in the United States and if we would have used them to prevent any of the terrorist from coming over here, we would have been better off. We would not have had to lose so many young men to these wars and we would have felt more secure.

    Going over there and killing these people do not make me feel more secure. I feel less secure!! We can't win these wars. We are in their country, killing their people and they are just going to end up hating us more.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The reason Mcchrystal hasn't asked for more troops is theat the white House told him not to. They don't want Obama to be in the tough position of actually making a yes or no decision. He's still trying to vote 'present'. Our troops deserve better.

    September 4, 2009 at 11:39 am |