December 1st, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/01/09

Tonight on 360°, Pres. Obama's decision on Afghanistan. He's adding an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to the region and wants to start getting all American forces back home in July 2011. We've got the raw politics and the raw numbers. We'll talk about the new strategy with an impressive panel of experts. And we want to hear from you.

Want to know more about our coverage tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. Gale

    Good evening. Am I the only one that thought it odd that the President, in one sentence, would declare the enemy a threat not only to use but the world...........and in the next say we would start pulling troops in August of 2011? If this is truly a threat to the world, what are we doing with a time and troop limit? Something didn't jive there.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  2. Jamie

    The situations that our president face are great we should ralley behind him

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  3. Jorge

    This is amazing! All I hear is criticism of the President. He is criticized by sending more troops, I am sure he would be criticized if he announced a total pull out. What do people want? Report the news and drop the pundits they are annoying. I am switching the channel.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  4. Raymond

    I think its a war that lost its objective. We were going after al queda. We chased them out and then we should have left. To make Afghanistan stable is a war that will take 15 years or more. Its just not in the cards.
    Afghanistan is been unstable since Alexander the Great.
    The Taliban is an issue that needs to be settled by a political settlement.
    Open neg. with them now and get a ceasefire and some sort of settlement.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  5. Sara

    As a military wife, I think the increase is long over due. We need more troops over there to help those who are already there. I think the President made a good choice to send more over but Im not sure that he should have included an exit date. Who knows what might happen in that time.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  6. joyce

    I believe to end war we have to teach a better way of living

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  7. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Afghanistan is a very different situation than Iraq was. They are poor and their tribes are all over the place. Without the full cooperation of Pakistan we can do very little.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  8. Troy

    I often suggest to people that Afghanistan is a lot like the 19th century Western United States. Afghans are very tribal, only know their families and tribe, have little sense of nation, and the very basics of life are important food, shelter, family, and religion.

    My opinion is that it will take a generation to change Afghanistan. Victory is when young Afghan girls can attend school without risk. To do this right 20 – 30 year commitment.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  9. Greg


    It seems that we are getting them from NC, NY and a third state I can't remember atm.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  10. james

    Hi everyone I think that the president is right on sending the the troops overseas. You heard the president say " they captured terrorist in our borders" are we going to wait again on a 9/11

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  11. Emily

    @Mike, formerly from Syracuse,

    "Wait, if we haven't had enough troops all along, how can Obama say there has been no denial of troops needed?"

    Overall, what did you think of what Obama had to say?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  12. Heather

    I support President Obama's decision. We need to end this war and it's not going to be easy, pretty, or clean cut. We need to accomplish what we can and get out. I also see nothing wrong with establishing a deadline. There needs to be an end to this and we all want to know when that end will be. Under pressure, maybe Afghanistan and our allies can work together to get things done faster. I trust the President and support his decision tonight.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  13. Sheila WATSON

    Correct me if I'am wrong I 've heard that it cost us 1 million dollars a year for every troop we send to overseas . I can't even calcuate 30,000 times 1 million Can you? Please give the American public the dollar amount this is going to cost us

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  14. Richard

    Remember, the bad guys are also listening. We must keep some stratgies confidential. Don't think that CNN gets ALL of the info.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  15. lewis buchanan

    if i where the Taliban i would go on vacation for the next 18 months!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  16. Anthony

    A.C. you motovate the Marines! We want you to know that we will make this happen. Semper Fi!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  17. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    We can drop bombs wee spinning our wheels without the people of Afganistan to back us.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  18. Nadeem

    I think of all the participants, Michael makes most sense. If you want to deal with the talibaan you need to think like them.
    We need to address this problem at the regional level for long-term basis. For the short term, make sure that Al-Qaida problem is addressed using Pakistan. Leave Afghanistan/Taaliban problem to the Afghanis.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  19. Jeff

    How can we build and train an army in a country that has no military history and has NEVER had an army?

    In Iraq there was an infrastructure of a military and the country for years was run by the military under Saddam Hussien.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  20. Barbara Bennett

    As I watched my admired President tonight, my eyes were on the young men and women, who are ready to serve in our Armed Forces. I was sad, and pray for their safety.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  21. Lynne

    Mike: Most countries enetered the war in 1039...America did sit out over three years of the war and came in with fresh troops and arms to help those like my Canadian uncles who had been in the trenches for years.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  22. Steve, TX

    What's between Iraq and Afghanistan? Iran...Is that next?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  23. Justin

    I personally feel the President delivered a fantastic speech. He addressed his critics and left me feeling inspired when I wasn't expecting inspiration.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |

    Regardless of your predjudices, because america still hads many, President Obama is the commander and chief. His decisions are made from the information that is gathered by joint chiefs and others that are aware of the situations that face us. We are Americans and we may not totally agree with the President, but he is still the President. If you don't like the man, that's your business........ but respect the office, no matter who occupies it.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  25. Chris C

    Afghanistan is NOT Iraq. This is not a ground war like Iraq. Follow George Will's strategy. Iraq was a wise investment, Afghanistan not so much. President Obama's speech was awful.

    Remember the 'axis of evil'. North Korea and Iran are the two most dangerous situations that are facing the world. Military intervention is needed in both. We can no longer continue the way we are in Afghanistan.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  26. Valery

    Dear Captain Adams,
    Thanks for your comment, YOU have been there. Do you know where the 30,000 are coming from???

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  27. Wil

    Everyone is talking about the 18 months timeline for withdrawal as a problem. The 18 months really does not mean much. He did say it will be based on conditions on the ground. If 100 soldiers are removed in 18 months would that change anything. It will depend on conditions on the ground as General mchrystal said. Second, by then we would have trained more Afghans to replace those who will be withdrawn

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  28. Will

    Announcing a withdraw plan with a surge plan, seems rather ridiculous. In one breath we admit we need help in Afghanistan, and the next we are predicting our success? If this was a such predictive war, we would not be in the dilemma we are now.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  29. Kenneth

    How can you talk about the the plan with out giving it time to see if it works.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  30. Jeff

    I would rather have the President deploy 30,000 troops to protecting our American borders and stiffen up security measures at home. I don't believe there will ever be an organized gov't in either Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Iraq for the matter. There will always be opposition forces whether it be the Taliban, Al Queda or whomever. Bring all our troops home and protect our own borders.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  31. ED

    Should attacks continue, Obama can–and will–get tough like we did in WW2.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  32. Herb Ashlock

    I heard exactly what I wanted to hear a well thought out strategy for winning and exiting from Afghanistan. I did not want to see another cowboy action like what we saw in the previous administration!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  33. David, Indiana

    Good evening Anderson, and to everyone on the panel tonight, Erica, Isabel, everyone blogging. Very intense analysis of President Obama's plan to increase troops in Afghanistan by 30,000.

    Yes I imagine after all this time the Afghan people would like to see devolpment laid in their country as Christiane Amanpour says. There are numerous intvws indicating they are look to release those energies. Would this surge be a blow to the Taliban that makes them vulnerable for a long time to come as David Gergen and Fareed Zakaria noted previously.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  34. Greg

    Good Evening all!

    Its a shame to hear all the politics already getting on Obama's case about this big ordeal. Personally I was not sold on sending more troops to Afghanistan but after the speech tonight, he got me backing him 100%. If we leave not the Afghan people will be very dark and trying time.

    Get in, hit them hard and get out.

    I like it

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  35. Roger Andrews

    All political no substance, Gen. McChrystal needed 40k more troops the Afghn people needed a promise from Obama to secure all 34 provinces. Pakistan needs to be a total partner in this war and let us target Quetta.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  36. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Yes lets get out before we end up like Russia

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  37. Nicole

    In regards to the the timeline to begin withdrawal in 18 mos, the President clearly said that any decisions would be made based on the conditions on the ground. The plan is that the by that time, the Afghan army will take on the responsibilty that the US troop have trained them to take on. We wouldn't be leaving without equipping the Afghans to take over.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  38. Brian

    I am continuously amazed at how our government openly broadcasts military strategy to world. Leaning right to Libertarian I must agree with Sharon H. What will we have to show in 18 months and billions of dollars later? What are the goals?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  39. Barry

    It was somewhat disturbing to see so many cadets falling asleep as the president spoke. Looks like many couldn't quite grasp the important message. I hope these same individuals look alive on the battle field!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  40. Lance B.

    To gain peace is to prepare for war. To rid the world of nuclear weapons is to prepare for an attack. To strike fear is to hand out establishment.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  41. dean, ny

    cpl adams usmc thank you and bless you for your service to our country

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  42. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Emily – i take your point, However, i do feel he said it for "symbolism".

    I believe there will be more speeches and discussion in the next several weeks that will continue to clarify the mission and the plan.

    I think tonight, Obama was trying to define the reason we are in and going further into Afganistan.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  43. Michelle

    Dick Cheney is a non-factor. It is the Obama administration
    conducting the war. Enough with the back and forth this is
    a serious matter.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  44. Danielle D

    I believe the President 's responsibility is to introduce both the military and political approach. In the coming days I believe that the explanation and details of this speech will be done by the President's national security team . Overall , I think he did well.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  45. Susan

    Since we are sending so many more troops, why is there not a draft being considered to stop sending existing soldiers back to the war zones 4, 5, and 6 times.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  46. Dawn T.-Pittsburgh

    I have much respect for Michael Ware. I missed the speech so I have to wait for the re-airing before I know whether I agree with him regarding his opinion of the President's speech 🙂 God bless all of the troops and the journalists who risk their lives in the war zones for our benefit.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  47. Valery Lyman

    to say we will begin withdrawal in 18 months doesn't reveal that much – so I don't think it's a signal to our enemies to wait us out. We could just as easy withdraw a few thousand troops and stay true to the claim of beginning to withdraw .... the logic of your guests does not bear out.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  48. Chris

    Hello all,
    It took 5 years after direct conflict in Iraq ended for the country to stabilize, and it will take way longer than July 2011 for Afghanistan to stabilize. Once July 11th hits, the enemy will start massive attacks to drag our country back in, causing further casualties.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  49. Kishan Kumar

    I thought President Obama's speech was very very powerful and I could notice the change in his tone and his true spirit in saving our country.
    But , I never understood why we should have an exit strategy date ?. is it just to convince us or the republicans or the democrats... I think , the president should have stressed more on What is the exit strategy of Taliban than the exit strategy of the US troop . Having said that , I salute our troops for doing a great job .

    December 1, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  50. Dan, Army ROTC Cadet

    Will there be any increased effort to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden? As a resident of NYC on 9/11, I would consider the mission a failure if Al Qaeda isn't completely eradicated.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
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