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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. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Sergio da Silva Is anyone talking about Osama? President BO mentioned the Taleban but no Bin Laden.

    It's because President Obnama is finding out that campaign rhetoric saying he'll catch Osama, and actually doing it are very different things.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  2. Jordan

    We can't afford our world empire. We have over 700 military bases in 130 countries all paid for through borrowed, inflationary currency, not honestly through taxes. Why can't we ever leave anywhere? Whatever happened to commerce with all countries alliance with none. U.S. occupations create hostility and make us less safe.

    The war on terror is a war on a behavior. Who are we actually fighting? It feels like a war on a unicorn, it doesn't make sense.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  3. Debbie

    Yes your are right we might be able to change the culture with military force.BUT AT WHAT PRICE?My son is a US MARINE in afgan as we speak.I support him and believe in him but I also LOVE him and want him home alive.Not in a body bag .We cant change thousands of years of living there way of life.Just as they cant change ours.And as far as the money ,who cares we all pay for it some just pay a higher price than others with our family members lives that is the ultimate price to pay for trying to help someone.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  4. Helen

    I amazed about the sudden suprise of democrats concerning the war in Afghanistan. I thought the president campaigned on focussing on this war. Democrats are a bunch of emotional children and the republicans the nastiest bullies on the playground, that eventually no one like.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  5. Roger

    If you want to halt the Taliban and restrict funding of Al Qaeda, you have to destroy the Poppy fields and heroine production in Afghanistan. So how come no one from the US government discusses this option?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  6. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    @Sergio da Silva

    I think that BLaden is one of the consequences of all this. He may not have been mentioned, but not forgotten

    December 1, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  7. Fred

    Any chance of negotiations with the Taliban?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  8. jorge Arevalo

    how can a president send their citizens to war...

    December 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  9. Greg from Idaho

    I am a 62 yr. old vietnam vet. Does Any of the panel remember MACV? Just bring 'em home. Not going to win a Holy War with more troops OR more diplomacy. History teaches.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  10. Susan, NJ

    Afghanistan looks god-forsaken terrain wise.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  11. Emily

    Seeing this bit of Anderson in Afghanistan, I would not want to be there...looks so sad!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  12. "starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Erica, Hi, always good to see you on the blog. I agree with you about M. Ware's pajama remark – LOL in an otherwise very serious blog discussion.

    @David, Indiana, thank you for pointing out the Bush/Cheney were in charge of the Afgan war for 7 yrs. with NO progress. Agreed, that Pres. Obama in 10 months in office is at least Trying to accomplish Something positive in Afganistan!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  13. Mary

    Thank God for Michael Ware!- he is so cool- really knows his stuff. I wish he could get to sit in with Hilary, and Barack daily- over coffee, and get to the nitty gritty. Clearly, this is Michaels' hood! I vote for Michael!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Lauren--NY

    Excellent discussion tonight. My sincere thanks to everyone who made it possible.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  15. Nora M. Kaufmann Johnson

    We the American people want our President to bring our troops home and to work alltogether to overcome the economic crisis. America the beautiful was a paradise to live in, lets get back to what we were.
    We do not want more young soldiers hurt, taking their own lives or killed over there, this is my humble opinion.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  16. Joseph Diggs

    Being a Retired Soldier of 21yrs. my first comment is the War in Afganistan is being fought with a Commander who in my opinion does not have a clue as to what is going on.Secondly our young soldiers are not ready for this type warfare so in essence we are at a "Terrible" disadvantage because we are fighting an Enemy who have nothing to lose. Pres. Obama inherited a Mess from the Bush Admin. and he is doing in my opinion a Good job trying to Salvage something out of the mess he is in. I suggest that we pull out reinforce our Borders in America and then we will see other Countries get involved in Afganistan with the "Talibans".

    December 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Susan, NJ

    Christianne was absolutely correct when she described the universal values exhibited in the villagers desire for education, medical care and functional fair government. It's common sense, and George Bush's point is that a health economy facilitates ALL those goals. Obama seems unclear about that connection.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  18. Laura Beazley

    Totally against another war – voted for this president because I thought he would be able to find other solutions other than killing and creating destruction. laura beazley

    December 1, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  19. Emily

    @Erica Hill,
    Glad to see you on the Blog tonight....lots going on tonight!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Paul Moreau

    I am following with great interest your ongoing analysis of the Afghanistan issue in light of the President's speech. As a Canadian I find it regrettable that everytime you focus on the map of Afghanistan and the deployment of NATO states in the south, you neglect to mention Canada's presence despite the visual sign of its flag. A quick review by your analysts will indicate that Canada's contribution and sacrifice have been outstanding including the loss of over 130 troops; the highest kill rate amongst the allies. This is indeed true ally support that requires mentioning.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  21. Karen

    My daughter is a 2009 West Point Grad. that I anticipate will be entering this war soon.Although I am concerned for her safety I am proud that she is an American Soldier. I believe that our soldiers need to hear that the American public is behind them and that they have not given up on their efforts. I am sure that they know that they are not there to wage a war on drugs but rather to secure the safety of our nation and to dismantle the Taliban.I am pleased that President Obama is sending additional troops because I believe that safety is in numbers.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  22. Ron from PA

    @ David Gergen–excellent editorial. Thank you for your nuanced analysis of this very complicated set of issues!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  23. Barry

    After spending number of years in Vietnam and other area where we had to deal with the News Reporters and not finding one New Person who knew what was happening in the country or operation that they we reporting about. Your show tonight has one individual in a shirt only who seems to understand the true picture of this war. We have the night capability and do not use it, and we are doing what we did in vietnam by going during the day and staying in the base camp at night. This shows you the lack of good leadership within the Officer ranks. Please have some individuals that know the true picture of this was and area and not news reporters that are in their own world.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  24. Nahom

    The President did a good job answering why we need an additional 30,000 troops in Afghanistan. I loved Fareed Zakaria's and David Gergen's assessment of his speech. It's hard for me to trust President Hamid Karzai's commitment to cleaning the corruption in that region. Karzai would benefit more from an open ended commitment. Clean up and stand up Karzai or face what comes after we leave. Although I am mostly anti-war I do support the President and our troops on this endeavor.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  25. Eric, Silver Spring

    I currently work at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and, like Ryan NC, i do not speak for the Army. I see and interact with the wounded soldiers coming back from the war zones and almost to a person they are proud of their service and most would go back if called. I too, as a retiree would go if my C-in-C decided my services were needed in Afgahnistan. Kucinich is a know-nothing and Cheney is a war-mongerer. I believe that the middles of the Democratic and Republican parties will come together and support the President.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  26. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    @ Erica

    Michael Ware's pajamas are always welcome at the show! LOl...
    Michael Ware is amazing!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  27. Sharon B.

    People expected President Obama to wave a magic wand and fix all of the problems both domestically and internationaly overnight. He inherited a country that has been fractured for a long time and it will take time for it to heal. President Obama deserves the time and resources needed to put our country back on track; including the funding for our troops in Afghanistan. It is time to stop blaming him for what is wrong with the country and support his efforts.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  28. Lori

    Did Michael say that he is wearing his footie p.j.s?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  29. Craig

    President Obama should listen to Michael Ware. He.s been in Afghanistan a long time and obviously has great insight into the countless problems and complex structure of informal government. I have more respect for his input than any politician.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  30. Tina O

    we need to get out. bring our troops home, how can they manage in a war when they can't manage a party.they let uninvited people into the white house, no way should they put our troops lives in danger. get them all out and bring them home we can't police the whole world when we have so many problems at home

    December 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  31. Andrea

    The tribal leaders in Afghanistan seem content with the status quo. They do not seem to want things to change -except extending the flow of US dollars to their pockets.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  32. Emily

    @Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    "our goal shouldn't be a date, it should be victory."

    What is "Victory" in Afghanistan?
    Before it was to get Bin Laden, and rid the Taliban/ Al Qaeda, however, what about today?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  33. Susan, NJ

    Saddam was funding terrorism all over the region. Iraq had more civil associations and societal structure for a new political system to form and be effective. Afghanistan is far less civilized, and a much more difficult scenario. We were smart to focus on the easier project of Iraq, first.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  34. George Garcia (VETERAN USA CPL)

    Come on panel, that is an easy picture to put out there. They elected their politicians if fear kept them from voting, I will tell you I have my fathers poll tax reciepts when the our government tried to keep him from voting I am sure he could not afford it but he took a stand. That is what those people need to do.

    People voluntarily going into war zones could never compare to the military which we say is voluntary but you know what it is its lower middle class families like mine we are over 10 active and inactive military don't paint it. When you come from little money and you understand and respect the US Contitution enough to fight for it you are a cut above.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  35. nik

    Why don't we talk about who is funding and arming Taliban. Where are they getting the arms to fight. And how about finding Osama and making thayt as a priority. We are asking all kinds of useless questions and asking the real questions.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  36. steve- virginia beach, va

    If Obama actually believes what he said about the terrorists in Afghanastan/Paki being a threat to us, why would he decide a date certain for retreat? Obama seems to not recognize the difference between an exit strategy and a countdown clock.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  37. Allison

    I wish we could hear more from the soldiers who have been serving in Afghanistan, specifically about their thoughts on the President's plan. There was a young man in the West Point audience who had clearly lost both of his legs. It would be interesting to hear his perspective, since it is our soldiers and their families who will bear the burden of the surge.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  38. Sergio da Silva

    Is anyone talking about Osama? President BO mentioned the Taleban but no Bin Laden.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  39. Oladele Henry

    Hello Anderson. Am watching your programme live on CNN that's why am so interested to comment on the issue. Am really happy with Prez. Obama decision on Talibanesse because they have created so much problem to innocent people in every part of the world and the Leaders of the world must find a solution to this problem. But what i feel about this issue is that there are some High ranked people supporting Taliban underground that is why its difficult to control them. We urge the Leaders of the world to please find better solution to this problem because it can affect the future of our next generation.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  40. Antonio-elizabeth,NJ

    7 years sounds better than our present 8 year Bush jr. debacle, and sounds better than the 100 year war Bush jr. and associates so ridiculously implanted in the nations minds.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  41. Judy

    I'm soooo disappointed about the President's announcement! I campaigned for this man and voted for him. I've supported him up to now....but this is not right!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  42. Cessy, Chicago IL

    @ Erica, yes! I agree.. Anderson is hilarious!

    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  43. gail

    God bless you Ryan and thank you for your and your families' sacrifice.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  44. dean, ny

    that is what reagan did with bin laden, We gave bin laden his power
    and resources ollie north gave militiary arms and support to lead them into the russian afgan war

    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  45. Allison

    I wish we could hear more from the soldiers who have been serving in Afghanistan, specifically about their thoughts on the President's plan. There was a young man in the West Point audience who had clearly lost both of his legs. It would be interesting to hear his perspective, since it is our soldiers and their families who will bear the burden of the surge.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  46. Brian B. Spring Hill, FL

    If we are going to fight a war, fight it. Let's stop being politically correct with our troops. Let us be like Patton in WWII and annihilate the enemy, then worry about rebuilding. If we keep tying the hands of our troops the enemy will win. Politicans start wars, soldiers fight them. Let the soldiers fight as they were trained. Unleash the dogs of war. We were attacked without abandon, let us do the same. I do not condone war, but when it is necessary, wage it full tilt. If Obama can't do this, then get out and let the locals solve their own problems.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  47. Craig

    When Bush gave this exact same speech, you had protestors waving signs outside the auditorium, and all over the news. Tell me why there are no protestors tonight?

    December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  48. Lori

    Great discussion tonight.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  49. Jeremy

    A tough decision for our president but the right one. New troops to reinforce the thousand already in Afghanistan will boost morale for our soldiers and help to demoralize the Taliban and Al Quaeda.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  50. joshua bedford

    i am currently in the army , stationed at fort Lewis Washington. I have been in the military for three years and seen the Iraq/ Afghanistan deployment of troops go both ways. I have a family history of military service and in there time of service they have lost friends and loved ones .. I am not concerned on dieing for my country . I personally believe that i signed up for the army in a time of war voluntarily , knowing the price i might have to pay one day for the freedom of America . It does not matter if you are a democrat or republican , terrorism does not have a political party favoritism. During 911 a lot of Americans , both democratic and republican lost their lives , and any effort to prevent it hitting home ever again , i think its a price that has to be paid for the better good of man , America , and our great country we love .. to do whatever deems necessary to complete the mission of American security

    December 1, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
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