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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

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

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

    This war should be over. Bring our troops home. With only 100 Al Queda left in the country we've already won. No terrorist attracks will come from Afghanistan . Any terrorist who would attack us are either already here or are coming here. That's the security we need to focus on; homeland security.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  2. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    What helped to stabilize Iraq is that the surge had no predefined end date. It let the Iraqis know that we were there for the long haul and that encouraged them to side with us. Why would an Afghani side with us when they know that in 2 years were gone?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  3. Nate

    I disagree with President Obama on this one. As a loyal supporter of Obama, I am deeply disappointed in his decision on Afghanistan. He reminded me of Bush and that's a bad thing.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  4. Hamed

    Hello Mr. Cooper,

    What Afghanistan needs is a dictator. This is a country that exists on warlordism can not be won with ISAF troops. You need a militery dictator to go out and get rid of all these warlords first, than go after the Taliban.
    All thses warlords have wheelings and dealings with the Taliban behind the scence.
    That is waht happened with the US trusted the Afghan warlords back in 2002 in Tora Bora when Bin Laden escaped.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  5. Bodie

    As for President Obama's speech, well done, as far as his reasons, I believe that the President is going strictly off of his advisors. His great confidence in them really came out tonight. The generals know what really needs to happen over there, not the people sitting on the couch at home. I will not say whether I support this or not. We do need to finish up this war so we can fix our flailing economy.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  6. Emily

    @"starr, formerly known as vincent,

    That is likely true.... Obama and others will be talking about this for some time.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  7. Betty

    I don't know why President Obama even bother to make speeches on anything. The media and the politicians on both sides always find something wrong with what he says. If you all know the answers to all the problems of America why didn't you all tell Bush and Chaney when this all began. You all jumped on their band wagon because of fear and ignorance. Shame on the media and elected officials.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  8. Carole

    I think the vast majority of Afghans waht to live peacefully, work, and provide for their families.They are real people who are just trying to survive. Why aren't we building schools, hospitals, and roads in their country? Why not teachers and doctors in addition to or instead of troops? Why not provide them the technology for growing something other that opium? This war is going to cost the US a lot of money. I'd like to see it put to better use.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  9. gerard

    i support the president as a person living in the caribbean i thank him, he is protectimg us also, and as for dick chaney is is just a fool with a mic. ty

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  10. Omar

    The Presidents speech was one about uniting the country in a time where the economy and the constant separation of the families and the casualties in a war that the country does not agree with. I do believe that he shouldved talked more about the role that Pakistan needs to play in the offense that the U.S. wants to accomplish. And also the problem with the drug trade and a specific way to handle these things that do prevent the so called "victory".

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  11. Bob Morgan

    Tonight we saw President Obama take responsibility for the conduct and outcome of the rest of the war in Afghanistan. He did it without blame, without flowery rhetoric, and without excuses. He also did it with great deliberation, and having faced the human costs of war directly. While a deadline may seem arbitrary, it establishes a goal. Without such a goal, the war is an endless waste of our greatest treasure, our young men and women.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  12. Sathish Reddy

    Tell me what happens or what would change in 18 months?? What more could 30'000 troops do ?
    And what about Pakistan?
    The latest is that the top AlQuaeda leadership and the Taliban leadership were emplaned in Afghanistan and deplaned in Pakistan.
    Now the leadership is moving down from Quetta to Karachi. That is the new safe haven – in Karachi.
    What we are doing in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan are getting rid of the foot soldiers.
    Get real. Pakistan has to stop their duplicity
    And that would be akin to the sun shining all day in England.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  13. Robert Shand

    There are tears of joy in Afganistan this morning. President Obama has just declared an 18 month cease fire. This morning all of the Taliban fighters will join the Afgan army, take their money, learn there combat tactics, become well fed and given the best American combat weapons. In 19 months they will regroup, resurface, and reoccupy their country. They will know all of the soft spots and weaknesses of the Afgan army and we Americans will be gone. All according to plan.

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

    i just don't understand why we can't all agree on something...the man is trying to do his best!! even though, yes he seems to be jumping back and forth at times!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  15. Paul C

    How will I explain this to my High School students tomorrow? So many supported Obama because they believed in Peace and Diplomacy efforts....

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  16. Lynn

    I think the President did a superb job explaning the course of action in Afganistan. As a retired infantry soldier the strategy is right. Move in, tget the mission done and get out. Ther is no win in afganistan, you set the mission, do it, and get out. That is the mission. The war is with alcaeda not afganistan, which extends much farther than Afganistan. The Afgans need to step up and they can't do it without a timeline after eight years of being dormant. They need a wake-up call.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  17. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @David Gergen, this was absolutely a half-way strategy. President Obama failed to mention victory at all.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  18. Ken Tracy

    I'm a Obama supporter but I feel he is moving away from his base by this action. This is a no win situation just as Iraq is a no win situation. I feel that between health care and the two wars he is losing perspective of his campain objectives. This will surely seal his fate for relection in 2012.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  19. Andrew

    Having a timeline is nothing new for the Taliban. They already know that Americans don't have the stomach for casualties. In less than 10 months the Taliban has killed a couple of hundred soldiers and changed the mindset of the Nation.
    On Chaney,he is the one who said that "The oil of Iraq would pay for the war (US taxpayers have a trillion dollar bill thanks to Chaney), He said that " the insurgents were a few dead enders". He sais that "We would be greeted as liberators". This is the same Dick Chaney...why should we listen to anything he says.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  20. Theresa

    Anderson
    Why is everyone wasting time trying to find Osama Bin Laden?
    Macain said he knew where Osama is and knows how to find him.
    Thats what he ran on right?? Tell him to stop playing "Republican" and
    step up to the plate and tell us where he is so we can get him and end this mess the Bush and Cheney started!
    Mr.Barack Obama Your doing a great Job!! Your the best President we have ever had! Your Focus is right on!!!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  21. Janet

    President Obama's speech was eloquently given, I still don't agree with war. Why does our national security be protected by killing others?? At what point will the efforts to Afghanistan be equivalent to the efforts in improving the United States?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  22. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    There is an article (very good article) by Atia Abawi, on the site of CNN, it shows that neither the Afghans have a concise thought about the war and the US's continued ....It's interesting to know these two sides of the coin.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  23. Sandy

    The important thing is not about withdrawal, but winning, I heard no definition from the president what that looks like. This is a war without end. We need to take the gloves off, war means people die. Not arrest them, detain them, or try them...In other word kill the enemy. Imagine WW2 by arresting, detaining and trying the German army.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  24. Pulin Doshi

    What President Obama said is absolutely right. We have to stay the course in AFPak. We have to show the people there that we care and also take care of our own security. Economy of our country is the problem of bunch of joker CEO's who made wrong decisions. We need to fire them, economy being down is not President Obamas fault.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  25. Ralph Ivey

    I think it’s funny to hear all the different views. I believe it you are not at the “Round Table” with all the facts you can’t make an educated opinion. All, you can do is hope, trust and support our nation leaders.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Kenneth

    I wish that the u.s.a. would stop worry about there self ,and get on the same page with the pres.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  27. Kerry Dauphinee

    We are hearing about Afghanistan and Pakistan – what about the CIS States of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, Krygyzstan, and Turkmenistan. I'd like to hear more information about CIS and how they play a role in the region.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  28. Lynne

    Ron in PA: Well stated! I totally agree.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  29. Anna Leon

    We need to stop the war, we should not send more troops to Afghanistan we are not going to win.

    Sad news.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  30. Marc

    This sounds like Vietnam all over again. So many people say we should not compare. How can we not? I voted for Obama and now I would give anything to take that vote back.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  31. Marcus

    Great Show!
    I do believe the pres has made a sound decision. I am not convinced a troop increase will work, i am not sure it is a matter of national security, but i believe the pres made his case as such that i can support his decision. honestly, America has become so divisive that we don't support anyone anymore. i don't think he made his decision lightly as he said. its almost as if we want every plan to fail anymore. if it doesnt work at least we know we're getting out. actually heard a republican say they were against a surge and a democrat say they don't want a timetable! crazy! what a difference a year makes right?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  32. Regina

    In short Afghanistan has a whole range of problems and yes including the drug problems and human rights problems. let's be real America has problems as well some of the same type of problems, maybe not to the extent of Afghanistan. We are in Afghanistan to ensure American's safety in the long run, not fix all of Afghanstan problems, we can't not in my lifetime. Our main focus should be getting the Afghan government and it's citizens in a secure "enough" place so they can start being responsible for their own security and their own prosperity.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  33. Chad

    I support our troops 100%, but it seems the President Obama has forgotten history's lessons...all one has to do is look at the failed "interventions" of the British and Soviets....even Genghis Khan knew better to get involved in Afghanistan....nation-building in the Western sense of the term will not work in Afghanistan. We in the U.S. suffer from a sense of imperial huberis.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  34. Muhammad

    Hi :

    Sending more troop is not the solution. The area is not only controlled by Taliban but it is deeply influenced and supported by Arabs, Iran and India who are utilizing Afghanistan as a launching pad for their own proposes..The best way to deal with the situation is to involve those local Tribel leaders by addressing their indvidual issues.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  35. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Bush said that this war would be over in eight years why should we believe Obama.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  36. Carole

    . The Afghan's clan-based system does not translate well to a national democracy, and after eight years, Americans are tired of supporting such an effort. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that they learn it is very counterproductive to attack the U.S.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  37. john sz

    The 18 month clock is a great idea: if there's only the Taliban, they'll wait no matter what and we're lost any way. But if there are supporters for what we're trying to do perhaps they'll redouble their efforts knowing that we better get done what we want in 18 months.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  38. Charles

    Unfortunately, we're used to fighting wars and explaining our war strategies on cable, but the President was smart enough not to talk about all the possible options within such a short time. Let the folks who are paid to do such things talk the war strategies behind closed doors. I think the President did what he needed to do, and like Fareed said, he had to compromise to give everyone something. It's a very sound decision, Bravo!!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  39. Maria

    I think people's expectations of the President are very high. The man has been in office for less than a year and he has 8 years of mess to clean up. I agree with his point that the threat of terrorism is high, it might not be seen in another plane attack, but what about the killings at Fort Hood, or the 2006 bombings in London. Something needs to be done, and as much as I hate the idea of sending 30,000 troops into Afghanistan if it can stop the threat to the rest of the world then it needs to be done.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  40. Tom

    Save the Ameican People some money – put a billion dollars on Bin Ladens head.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  41. David Mugisha

    To argue that the Taliban or Alqaeda will lie low until the US withdraws does not reflect an understanding of the nature of protracted and irregular civil wars the world over. Such militia groups thrive on continued presense of their effects on society. If they lie low they get over run and eradicated.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  42. Bill Fisher

    Cheney is full of it. He lectures President Obama for "dithering" on a decision on Afghanistan. I'm a Kentucky basketball fan and more people pee at Rupp Arena in Lexington at halftime than we had troops in Afghanistan under Bush-Cheney from 2001-2008. I think Obama has painted the last practicable plan for Afghanistan. Let's pull together

    December 1, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  43. eugene

    u have so many cheifs n their is only one commander and cheif n that is pres. obamt

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  44. Negeen

    The president's speech was meant to address the "why" on sending more troops to Afghanistan, people need to remember that, that was his purpose. As a teenage Afghan-American, I hope to see this as having a positive result for America and Afghanistan, and I am confident that this is the right decision. The president took action with intentionality, and with knowledge about the accurate situation of what is going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I am glad he did not shy away from anything that needed to be said.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  45. Liz

    What about the troops that are already in Afghanistan? How does the President's announcement affect them?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  46. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @gail, POTUS has denied a request. McCrystal said he needed at least 40,000 troops. That was a minimum. He gave a range that went higher. Obama failed to meet the minimum, AND he's emboldened the enemy by giving a known date we will leave.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  47. Danni Sherwood

    I believe the President did a fantastic job of addressing a difficult problem. I heard him say very clearly that the withdrawal date would be conditional. We cannot afford and open-ended war, yet our national safety is at stake. He found the perfect middle ground. As for Dick Cheney his attack was unpatriotic and unwise (as usual.)

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  48. kALAI

    You can win against an enemy who is fighting you. You cant win when you have the enemy within you.
    No Matter how many troops US sends to Afganistan, as long US doesn't treat Pakistan as part of enemy, it is doomed.

    We may hear another speech for another 30K soldiers may be in 2011 instead of withdraw.

    Best of Luck
    Kalai, Baltimoreq

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  49. Andrea

    I support President Obama but this time he is wrong. The Afghans will not respond to a timeline to provide security because the Afghans want an open-ended American checkbook. The Afghans have not "stepped up to the plate" in eight years and won't start now. We can't fix Afghanistan. Only the Afghans can fix Afghanistan (assuming they want to do fix their country). Let's improve the safety of American citizens by securing our own borders and providing jobs for Americans in the process.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  50. Ana

    I was shocked to hear our President telling the Taliban and Al kaida our exit date. Wow. The Commander in Chief telling the world our military strategies. Mr Obama , what happened to the element of surprise? Normandie, ....... Ring a bell?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
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