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Bin Laden’s Gone, What’s Next For The U.S And Afghanistan?

Bin Laden is dead. The Taliban is fighting again. Can the U.S. get out of Afghanistan?

A U.S. Army soldier patrols near near the village of Tarok Kolache, Friday, April 1, 2011, in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan. (AP)

A U.S. Army soldier patrols near near the village of Tarok Kolache, Friday, April 1, 2011, in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan. (AP)

The United States went to war in Afghanistan explicitly to deal with the terrorism threat from al-Qaida. Now, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is dead.

It’s been nearly ten years of war — with distinctly mixed success — in Afghanistan. We’ve got big needs and problems at home. Is it time to head for the exits?

An Obama official said Monday, “It’s crazy to walk off the field now,” with the bin Laden success in hand. But how long, and to what end exactly, should the U.S. fight in Afghanistan?

This hour On Point: bin Laden is dead. We’ll look at the war in Afghanistan and where and how it ends.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Alissa J. Rubin, Kabul bureau chief for the New York Times.

Stephen Biddle, senior fellow for defense policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Thomas Johnson, director of the Program for Culture & Conflict Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Bing West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Reagan Administration. He’s author of “The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan.”

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  • Gina M

    Can we have our rights back now?

    • NICK

      I doubt they will give them back – easier going backwards than forward.

      I think our wonderful experiment of Democracy has come to an end. Democracy is just an illusion to us now while we are in denial about our country haven become a plutocracy run by corporations and the highest bribed politician.

      • Cory

        Still plenty of food and cable television in America to suppress the revolution for now. We are on the way, though.

        • steve

          Soon only cable

      • Zeno

        Well, for the past 12 years there are more people in the US giving the freedoms earned by the lives of real men away for the illusion of perfect security, than there are rational citizens protecting their freedoms against lies.

        Fascism is perfect security from the terrorists outside the nation, and then inside the nation, and then your town, and then your home, and then you. It’s a trade that stupid fearful people make every time. Now repeat over and over again to keep the human misery mill going forever.

    • Steve

      Rights are fought for unless you believe they are inalienable…in which case from whom?

  • Roger Runnalls

    Bin Laden’s Gone, What’s Next For The U.S And Afghanistan?

    Pull out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and everywhere else we have our military stationed. Bring the troops home and begin to face our domestic financial and unsustainable energy resource issues.

    Face the fact that our military excursions over the past decade have made America weaker.

    • Cory

      I totally agree with you, but will not hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

  • Zing

    Can the U.S. get out of Afghanistan? Heck, no. this is only the beginning. Obama has really grown up with this one. He sees that the real terrorist state is Pakistan. What better base of ops than right next door?

    • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

      The big oil companies plan of redrawing the map of the middle east is no big secret. They may try to push for Pakistan or Iran next but I think America is growing weary of their plans.

      http://www.oilempire.us/new-map.html

  • Wadya

    Part I:

    People all over USA and world are happy to hear Bin Laden’s death. I am one of them. Justice finally done. But what were Bin Laden’s goals and did he achieve those?

    # 1 – Make oil as expensive as possible for US.

    Oil is USD 115 USD per barrel today.

    # 2 – Topple the autocratic regimes from these countries.

    Dictators in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, etc toppled. The uprising started in Libya, Bahrain, Syria, etc.

    # 3 – Get US Army bases out of Saudi Arabia and restore the dignity of the holy land.

    US military was withdrawn completely from Saudi Arabia. No bases at all.

    # 4 – To force US to rethink its blind support policy towards Israel.

  • Wadya

    Continued from Part I…

    People all over USA and world are happy to hear Bin Laden’s death. I am one of them. Justice finally done. But what were Bin Laden’s goals and did he achieve those?

    # 4 – To force US to rethink its blind support policy towards Israel.

    In recent years, Under Obama Administration, Israel is now subject to almost same rules as Palestine to a large extent.

    # 5 – To make US army overstretch its capacity and get engaged in long distance foreign land wars.

    USA is fighting war in Afghnistan for last 10 years and Iraq for last 7 years.

    # 6 – To weaken US Dollar and US Financial strength.

    In 2001, before 9/11 attacks, US debt was 6 Trillion Dollars. US spent more than 3 Trillion Dollars in Iraq war and Afghanistan war. Total US debt is now 14 Trillion Dollars. US Economy is in tanks (in really septic tanks) and each week 400K people are still filing first time unemployment claims. US prosperity for all is now thing of the past. Dollar has lost its purchasing power relatively.

    # 7 – Kill as many US citizens as he can.

    In 9/11 attack more than 3500 civilians died. In resulting Iraq war and Afghanistan war, more than 6000 valuable trained military persons killed.

    Continued in Part III…

  • Wadya

    Continued from Part II…

    People all over USA and world are happy to hear Bin Laden’s death. I am one of them. Justice finally done. But what were Bin Laden’s goals and did he achieve those?

    # 8 Inspire millions of young Muslims to fight against the US Superpower.

    We will know the real results in the future…

    As long religious teachers and religious leaders are teaching/preaching hatred and violence against other religions, we will see Al Qaeda activities to continue in the future…

    • Cory

      What’s with the scewy triple repeat post?

      • Wadya

        Cory – Only the opening lines are repeated. Points are different in each post. Please Read, Read, and Read!

  • Michael

    We came to Afghanistan for the purpose of getting OBL, we finally did, the Afghans don’t want us there, the Pakistani don’t want us there since it destabilize their country, and america can not afford it. Besides the Taliban are the locals and a insurgency the U.S. cannot kill off alone.

    As well the American people refuses to pay for the war.

  • Michael

    From Foreign Policy.com

    The death of bin Laden is reinforcing calls for a quicker pullout of US troops from Afghanistan and strengthening pressure to end the war by finding a political settlement with the Taliban insurgency, the Wall Street Journal reports. In his first reaction Monday, Afghan President Karzai said bin Laden’s killing near the Pakistani capital vindicated the Afghan government’s growing opposition to U.S.-led combat operations in the Afghan countryside. Virtually all the coalition combat operations in Afghanistan these days are conducted against the homegrown insurgency, not al Qaeda’s foreign fighters, the Journal notes.

    Some Afghan politicians say they can’t wait for the U.S. forces to leave now that bin Laden, who triggered the U.S. invasion, is finally dead. “The Americans have reached their goal of arresting or killing Osama, and now Americans have no reason to stay in Afghanistan,” said Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, who served as prime minister in the mujahedeen government that fell when the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996.

  • Michael

    Lastly,

    America was under threat before OBL and will be after, the hyped of fear of reprisal is just that since OBL and company has been trying to do so all along. My concern is congress will pass a bill/s that will further strip us of our rights for a fake sense of security that will never happen. Remember just yesterday we had police rocking Machine guns even know the threat level didn’t go up.

  • Zeno

    Whats next? Its all about the money transfer and protecting whatever resources garner the highest profits. Just like our domestic policy.

    The farmers should be permitted to form guilds for the growing and sale of opiates. They know how to do it, it grows well and its the real basis of their economy. The world needs the various forms of opiates anyway, so let this country become the supplier. Then, with that money they could start to exploit their mineral wealth, and rebuild their country and society.

    All of that is impossible though. Religion moralizing over the lives and occupations of each individual will continue to corrupt it all.

  • bob

    Where I work no one even talked about Bin Laden and these wars.

    Most people in my neighborhood talk about lack of employment, finding medical coverage, job outsourcing, distribution of wealth and why is the stock market doing so good while we all worry about our future.
    Why does the corporate media (which NPR keeps becoming more of) never talk about what matters to people who live in this country?

    NPR is the becoming our corporate war report….

    • Cory

      Bob, I agree with your sentiment. I think we don’t hear it talked about for the same reason every campaigning politician tells us that “America’s best days are still ahead”. We are a declining superpower being washed over by the rising tide of the third world. Americans WILL learn to live with less, and nothing can be done to prevent it. If they told us these truths, the majority of the population might DEMAND this decline be managed in a very different way. We might insist on universal healthcare, reinforce our social safety net, and shared sacrifice of all economic levels. By keeping this reality quiet, the people at the top are eable to fortify themselves and their fortunes from the coming decline.

      We aren’t dissimilar to the population of Rome, being amused by gladitorial games as Alaric and his Visigoths approached the city.

      • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

        I think perhaps people felt the same during the great depression. I think perhaps we are at a crossroads of sorts just as we were then. One path as you describe will lead to our decline, but we as a nation can choose the path of progress instead.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Perhaps you haven’t been listening to the many segments during Morning Edition and All Things Considered?

  • Ed

    What a contrast this weekend: a million people in Rome and countless around the world celebrating the beatification of John Paul II, remembering his life, and then the whole world rejoicing at the death of Bin Laden. The world does still have a sense of good and evil.

    • Michael

      Not ‘Our Finest Moment’

      The Roman Catholic Church responded to the news of bin Laden’s death with this statement: “Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”

      “I think that’s on the mark,” says Mike Hayes, a campus minister at the University at Buffalo. “As a Catholic Christian, I cannot celebrate the death of anyone, especially when it is done violently. Naturally, my human nature fights against that idealism, especially when I think of those who I lost personally that day and all those who lost their life on 11 September.”

      http://www.npr.org/2011/05/03/135927693/is-it-wrong-to-celebrate-bin-ladens-death

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Interesting modern view, but they should read the mediaeval texts of Catholic knights celebrating victories. Oh how the mighty have declined.

    • LinP

      Are you kidding me? Beatify and canonize the Pope who, for 26 years, allowed priests to be moved from parish to parish to avoid prosecution and criminal charges? During his watch this pope was responsible for the continued terror on children by catholic priests and he continued the church policy where as he could have saved many children from a life of torture.

      What is with people like you turning a blind eye and denying his role in the abuse cover up? Go ahead, defend him. Give us another look as how a mind can come up with some some sick rationale about how that’s not true, or that those FACTS should be glossed over. The fact that you keep touting this man’s beatification as “good” goes even beyond how out there you usually are. Go away and take your twisted, revisionist history with you.

      • Zeno

        I had the same thought, but then I realized pedophiles need a saint too.

    • nj

      Blinded by “faith.”

      Spare us.

    • Anonymous

      John Paul II can be the patron saint of cover-ups.

    • Brett

      Yeah, but On Point could be doing a cooking show and you would find some way to connect it to the beatification of John Paul II. Don’t worry, we fellow commenters have resigned ourselves to the fact that we have our very own token resident Catholic on this forum (hey, some of my best friends are Catholic!) …(Doesn’t the next step–to make JPII a saint–require verification that he was responsible for performing a miracle? What’s that gonna be, pray tell?)

  • Gregg – Taylorsville, NC

    I believe we have reached a tipping point in the Middle East. We have had uprisings in Iran (blew that chance), Libya (that one too), Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere. People yearn to be free and freedom begets peace. Who will fill the voids in theses countries, those who stand for peace or those who stand for brutal, theocratic oppression? It’s a choice we can influence. Hopefully, that’s what is next.

    • Anonymous

      Except Afghanistan is not in the Middle East. I get your point but Afghanistan has so many problems due to decades of war and the Taliban’s backward reign. It’s a huge problem, it’s also a country of tribes more than a nation.

  • Cory

    What is next for the US in Afghanistan? Continued and un-ending occupation and involvement. Our stay could be to secure energy pathways or to secure military and intelligence access to it’s neighboring countries. Even if it were just good ole fashioned altruistic nation building, we’d still be there for many years.

  • Cory

    Alissa J. Rubin, Kabul bureau chief for the New York Times…..

    How’d she score that cushy gig?! I think the Kabul bureau still works in stone tablets!!

  • Bruce Guindon

    it’s plain to see that Pakistan is deeply involved with our enemies, why should we give so much of our resources to a government that is harboring terrorism and Afghanistan with its double speak President makes me feel it’s time to move on

    • Cory

      How then do you feel about our support of Saudi Arabia?

      • Bruce Guindon

        I feel about the same and would urge the country to ween itself of oil as a fuel and seek alternatives, perhaps the middle east problems would leave the collective conscience

  • Emre

    Recently saw a Facebook status update that read: “USA – 1, Muslims – 0″ Let us not forget how ignorant and misinformed many of us are. We still have a long way to go.

    • Joshua Hendrickson

      How dismaying. Sometimes I wish I could forget how ignorant and crude many Americans are … and then this happens.

      • Mill

        Not just Americans, but humans. There’s much denial in some countries among Muslims that OBL was a terrorist and he committed the heinous acts that are attributed to him. This kind of behavior is not just limited to Americans.

  • Anonymous

    This story pints to why we should get out of Afghanistan and do it as soon as we can. We spent millions on a road that is useless and at this point seems like it will never be finished. It is one of many stories of the billions wasted in this country. Just do a search “for the money wasted on construction projects in Afghanistan” and you will come up with pages of hits going back years. We can’t afford this anymore.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/world/asia/01road.html

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/13/1924923/us-spends-billions-much-of-it.html

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The Taliban isn’t an antigovernment rebellion; they used to be the government.

    • Cory

      Perhaps in the anarchistic sense that the government they provide is really no government at all.

  • Anonymous

    Americans are understandably caught between our mom-and-apple-pie self-delusion and political reality. The moms will tend to get huffy about Pakistan’s duplicity and unreliability; honest Americans will admit, hell, we are too! Pakistan plays it both ways. So do we (see Egypt; see Saudi Arabia and Yemen). Pakistan is deeply divided within its own borders and politically shaky. So are…

    Hmm. Pot, kettle?

    • Cory

      Prairie_W, I’d like to buy you an ale or lager of your choosing!

      • Anonymous

        I’m a cheap date, Cory, and looking forward to the session We owe each other a brew, I think. Mine (lately) is Tecate with a squeeze of lime.

        I’ll be wearing my avatar. What are you wearing?

  • K187

    Tom, ask your guests and your listeners to chime in on the fact that the info that led to Bin Laden’s death was garnered through “enhanced” interrogation techniques at Guantanamo–the twin bugaboos of liberals. Remember? Those awful things that sullied us as a nation and weren’t supposed to provide anything positive? Would anyone like to reconsider?

    • Michael

      “Those awful things that sullied us as a nation and weren’t supposed to provide anything positive”

      Funny how some see no issue in Sullying our nation and I’d beat would also claim to be Patriot.

      maybe next we should start cutting off fingers and toes or prisoners or family members of prisoners.Of course justifed afterward if there’s a claim that it helped us. Why not just intern all muslims in the U.S. until the wars over? There prob someone in the internment camps that would end up providing some type of info.

      oh BTW,

      tracking OBL down and all that intel was done not through enchaned interrorigation i.e. torture but other means. Toruture did not break KSM to telling us who the couriers where and it took better pratices to find out who they were.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    There is a purpose in remaining in the region: Pakistan. Afghanistan is a failed state and may always be so, but Pakistan is a nuclear armed nation that is teetering. If we leave, we’ll have to return after we suffer tens of thousands to a million casualties.

    • Anonymous

      Interesting points. I don’t think it should be the US alone here.
      Europe and Asia have a stake in this. India is the a huge player in this area. We can’t afford this anymore. I seem to remember you going on about the deficit and the debt. What’s the point of paying for billions towards this while our own nation is falling apart at the seems and people can’t afford to get health care.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        The wrong war was Iraq. We should not have gone there, and we’ve paid a lot for it. That being said, if we just give up, we’ll have to return in a few years.

        As to having Europe and Asia get involved, I wish that were possible, but neither seems willing to participate. Perhaps we can find some other way to make them pay the costs–a war tariff on Chinese goods, as one outside example.

        • Anonymous

          I agree we can’t just leave. We do need to change how we are paying for this. Europe, Russia, and Asia all need to be made aware of the implications of Pakistan falling apart. They have help in this.
          The other weird thing as I listened to this show I don’t seem to remember hearing one word about India. Does anyone think that India is going to sit by and let Pakistan become a rouge Islamic state with nuclear weapons pointed at them? There are also millions of Muslims living in India. I’m a little surprised this was not brought up in the show.

          You are 100% right about Iraq, that was the wrong war at the wrong time.

    • Michael

      Pakistan had Nukes 3+ years before we invaded Afghanistan based on the threat from India and it’s well known Pakistan sees india as a threat. Pakistan also would never allow the U.S. to touch it’s nukes and the military is in control of such nukes more than any group running the government there.

      Actually it could be argued that the U.S. Invasion has weaken Pakistan not helped. The U.S. actions (esp drones) have also Inflamed the public and given more support than normal to radicals in it’s borders

      • Mill

        “..it’s well known Pakistan sees india as a threat.”
        __

        India is a threat even though most of the wars fought between the two countries were started by Pakistan?
        Even though Pakistan is the country that has been supporting terrorist acts in India (proxy war) which have claimed thousands of lives?
        Even though Pakistan gives shelter to Islamic terrorist groups and supports them with money, training and arms?

        Whoever holds that view sure has the world upside down.

    • Cory

      North Korea is a nuclear nation with a sickly lunatic at the controls, yet they haven’t “nuked” anyone. I don’t know if it logically follows that a less friendly government in Pakistan would result in a nuclear attack on America.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Pakistan doesn’t have the ICBMs to strike us directly. The concern is that their weapons could be given to terrorist groups that would carry them in on cargo ships or the like.

        • Cory

          That same concern is probably even greater with Russia, considering its corruption and financial woes.

          • Anonymous

            Russia didn’t have the A. Q. Khan network which bartered nuke technology to North Korea in exchange for their missile technology during the mid-90s. That’s not to say that a rogue Russian isn’t capable of peddling nukes in the future, but it’s already been done through Pakistan’s state nuke program.

          • Mill

            I doubt that your factual comment will make any difference to those who keep projecting Pakistan as a poor victim and keep absolving it of all the crimes and terrorist acts it has committed, as if it had no choice in any of the decisions it took since it was formed 60+ years ago. You underestimate the strength of delusions that people have, and it’s not as if those on the left are devoid of such delusions. The comments posted here on a daily basis are proof enough.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know what the comments posted here are because I’m not a regular here, but there’s no denying Pakistan and the Pakistanis have indeed sacrificed much since 9/11. There’s also no denying that Pakistani elites have been padding their coffers with US aid funds while waging a disinformation campaign at the cost of US credibility. There’s also no denying that the Shia mosques and clerics, and the Sufi clerics who been blown up often within Pakistan have little or nothing to do with the US or the so-called Pakistani aid of US anti-terror campaign since 9/11.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me that when we are seen as occupiers, like bugs sprinkled into an otherwise good casserole, it’s time to get out.
    Someone else needs to go in. Rosemary and thyme. Australia and New Zealand? Someone able enough.
    The USA will shortly begin to have financial problems that will threaten economies of virtually all economies — those of our allies and those of our enemies — and it will be hugely in the interest of the world to have American boots on the ground back home balancing the budget (however that is done). So the price must be paid by our friends and relations. Not us.
    We are obviously pretty good at shock and awe. We are obviously pretty good at intelligence, high tech and low tech. Aside from that, others need to step up to the plate. I think economic realities will take the global consciousness to this realization in about two years. Just my speculation.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    There’s no good war? Moral people can oppose war, but all it takes is a nation or indeed a person without that moral center that will refuse to be peaceful.

  • Ellen Dibble

    If we consider nations that harbor terrorists to be our enemies (Bush doctrine), then why do we excuse Pakistan, where there is this wikileak that an American ambassador said Pakistan supports four (4) terrorist groups and no amount of money will change that? Wouldn’t it be wiser to be sort of consistent? I think we have to accept terrorist camps whether in the USA or Pakistan or Brazil. I mean, accept the government; reject the criminals therein. Corrupt governments will always be a problem. So then you get back to what do the people want; where is the emotional undertow.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Nukes!

      • Ellen Dibble

        Smallpox.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Nukes!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Nukes!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Nukes!

  • BHA in Vermont

    Looks like for caller John, the war IS against the religion of Islam. He might want to do a little counting, there are ~2 billion Christians and ~1.5 billion Muslims in the world.

    John, the average Muslim is no more a danger to the world than the average Christian or non religious (1.2 billion) or Hindu (900 million) or …….

  • Tina

    It’s obviously a very complex issue. On one hand I think our military presence should end in Afghanistan as soon as possible. On the other hand, there could be an important role for us in nation building and I worry about leaving Afghans to the Taliban just because our immediate interests appear to be over (the death of Osama bin Laden). We did that once before and leaving Afghans to the Taliban again will reinforce the belief that the U.S. is an unreliable ally. Some Afghans have put themselves at great risk to align themselves to our cause. How can we leave them safely?

  • Tina

    It’s obviously a very complex issue. On one hand I think our military presence should end in Afghanistan as soon as possible. On the other hand, there could be an important role for us in nation building and I worry about leaving Afghans to the Taliban just because our immediate interests appear to be over (the death of Osama bin Laden). We did that once before and leaving Afghans to the Taliban again will reinforce the belief that the U.S. is an unreliable ally. Some Afghans have put themselves at great risk to align themselves to our cause. How can we leave them safely?

    • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

      Maybe we shouldn’t be thinking of how to leave Afghanistan, but how our role there should evolve.

    • Michael

      We radicalize the tailban or forefathers of the tailban before we left on purpose btw. What’s ironic is it was against the Kabul supported government.

      I see the oppoisite that saying in afganistain will reinforce the belief in the world that the U.S. are at war with Islam. Since we completed what we came there for and are now staying against the wishes of the vast Majority of afghans and it’s neighbors’ even if we stayed for nation building and all thing went great, people would still advocate for staying because of pakistan and if pakistan wasn’t the case, people would find another reason to stay.

  • Tina

    It’s obviously a very complex issue. On one hand I think our military presence should end in Afghanistan as soon as possible. On the other hand, there could be an important role for us in nation building and I worry about leaving Afghans to the Taliban just because our immediate interests appear to be over (the death of Osama bin Laden). We did that once before and leaving Afghans to the Taliban again will reinforce the belief that the U.S. is an unreliable ally. Some Afghans have put themselves at great risk to align themselves to our cause. How can we leave them safely?

  • Tina

    It’s obviously a very complex issue. On one hand I think our military presence should end in Afghanistan as soon as possible. On the other hand, there could be an important role for us in nation building and I worry about leaving Afghans to the Taliban just because our immediate interests appear to be over (the death of Osama bin Laden). We did that once before and leaving Afghans to the Taliban again will reinforce the belief that the U.S. is an unreliable ally. Some Afghans have put themselves at great risk to align themselves to our cause. How can we leave them safely?

  • Tina

    It’s obviously a very complex issue. On one hand I think our military presence should end in Afghanistan as soon as possible. On the other hand, there could be an important role for us in nation building and I worry about leaving Afghans to the Taliban just because our immediate interests appear to be over (the death of Osama bin Laden). We did that once before and leaving Afghans to the Taliban again will reinforce the belief that the U.S. is an unreliable ally. Some Afghans have put themselves at great risk to align themselves to our cause. How can we leave them safely?

  • Ellen Dibble

    The Taliban are reported to have “accepted … the modern world,” which I can’t believe they ever thought they could go back to the medieval one, but Afghanistan is pretty far out there. The meaning is that “if you let them have their beards and keep their women at home,” the rest is actually up for negotiation. They are no longer sort of pseudo jihadis. In fact they gave that up about the time of Tora Bora. It was a senior diplomat type who speaks the language who said that. It seems credible to me. In an internet age, you might want to keep some of the modern world. Just keep the women in their place. (Arrghh!!)

    • Michael

      Great post,

      This is rarely discussed, the bbc does a great job as well in talking about the relation of the tailban and afganstain and even Kabul, the U.S. is prevent Reconciliation dues to reasons not yet openly admitted(war profit, Pipeline,etc).

      • Michael

        “U.S. is preventing Reconciliation dues to reasons not yet openly admitted(war profit, Pipeline,etc). “

  • Jp1w

    what are the major obsticles to implementing a policy that recognizes that afghanistan and pakistan are related and demand a wholistic and regional approach, and balances the potential need for additional periods of intense militay action with the logic of scaling back the militay action and increasing the role of cia and non traditional forces in the longer term for political and financial reasons? What about additional capacity building, public diplomacy, and intensifying regional engagement on the issue?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    If the Pakistani ISI protected Osama Bin Laden. where do you think Mullah Omar and the No.2 man are hiding? They are in Pakistan.
    4 billion dollars a year for nothing. An independent journalist went to Pakistan and saw Taliban fighters in Pakistan not with guns but free to walk around with the Pakistani Army. Pakistan is the most dangerous place in the world compared to Iran. Remember Pakistan has nuclear weapons. I am sick tired of Pakistan and the billion of dollars are wasted and Pakistani people are still struggling. India can attack Pakistan without any help from USA. Indian people had suffered a lot from Pakistani extremist and the consequences was seenby the world in Mumbai, India STOP SUPPORTING PAKISTAN.

  • Michael

    How we going to get a acceptable outcome if we are never going to leave? 10+ years and noone is still paying for this war.

    This guest talking is junk

    • Cory

      You are wrong about not paying for it. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the rest of the social safety net are paying for it.

      • Michael

        I stand corrected,

  • Ellen Dibble

    China is an ally of Pakistan, right? If Pakistan’s support of the Taliban is in order to defend against India (Thomas Johnson is saying), it seems a bad strategy. If I were the ambassador, I would try to unwind that particular logic.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Pakistan is the enemy. The American people should know this. Why on earth the Taliban can cross the border to Pakistan without the Pakistani Army stopping them? Yes Pakistan did used deadly force but that was only Good for a month and the Pakistani army stopped shelling them. Americans and the world should know that Pakistan is the root of the Taliban and should be pulled from the ground so terror will stop. The root is Pakistan the root of all evil

    • Cory

      That’s a NUCLEAR root you are looking to pull, y’know!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        No Pakistan is the root of terrorism.

  • David

    I think UBL was being warehoused by the ISI/Taliban.

    Now that he is gone they have lost a major bargaining chip. If Hamid Karzai wants us to continue to help him and his cronies he needs to make major inroads on corruption, say by throwing his brother in jail.

    I don’t think that will happen so we should make it clear to the Taliban than that terrorist training is now longer going to be tolerated and bring our troops home.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Oh, wow! Let China support Afghanistan’s becoming civilized (sorry Afghanis).

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Sounds good to me. They won’t take our system, so let them have one that will straighten them out.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Apparently Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee, is holding two hearings in Boston today on the topic: How can we get out of Afghanistan in a positive way (something like that). He has held 14 hearings already, and I didn’t know the Senate makes house-calls to various cities and states, but what do I know. Anyway, if someone wants to suggest to him that letting China (which has a lot of our money, by the way) do some of the heavy lifting, that sounds like a good strategy, and possibly a joint venture to bring us closer.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I was hoping to wake today to hear that Mullah Omar and al Kaida second in command (al Zawahiri, I think), had been unearthed somehow due to all those hard drives seized in Abbottabad. I’m still holding my breath.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    China is not an Ally of Pakistan. Pakistan is a Business partner of China. Chinese never in world history invaded a country and stayed their for good. China is a communist capitalist country. China goal is to make profit and to lead the world in business. I asked every single chinese friends of mine and only one thing they said to me. We love business and business we will live not die.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The Vietnamese may disagree with you here.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Vietnam was invaded but never Occupied by China. That was a war of Ego not political. Two communist countries trying to prove who is better.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I’m talking about centuries ago when China occupied most of what is today Vietnam. The terms may have changed, but the system of government is largely the same now as it was then.

    • northeasternER

      ummm… Tibet anyone? That was an invasion and occupation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donnie-Brasco/100000445294057 Donnie Brasco

    Obama on enhanced interrogation: “I like it, but don’t tell anyone.”

    • Cory

      Brasco on Obama: “Failed Presidency!”

    • Ellen Dibble

      I heard that he cannot walk, which is why he begins to be expendable; it’s hard to move someone that size by piggyback. And someone said he actually was at that mansion only three days. Whatever. There was not the dialysis equipment at Abbotabad that he would have needed. I think it was ABC’s photos showing that. Medicine, yes. Equipment, no. BUT, guess what, there is a hospital in Abbottabad. Therefore, guess what, he could have had dialysis there. Nobody would notice.
      Food for thought.

  • http://twitter.com/erikdhansen erik

    I thought the initial intent of going to war in Afghanistan was to find and capture/kill Osama bin Laden and remove the Taliban regime. That’s done. Can’t we go home now? Wait, we still need Obama to fly in on a plane with a “Mission Accomplished” banner, then we can go.

    • twenty-niner

      Unfortunately, that’s just the cover story. The real mission is to support the industrial-war complex.

  • Michael

    Interesting that the guest states that the current Kabul government would fail if the U.S. didn’t prop it up? Yet the Current Kabul government wants the U.S. out. Why would the current Kabul government want the U.S. out if it knew it was going to fail?

    Doesn’t sound too logical

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Remember if we keep giving money to Pakistan those billion dollar military Aid will be use against us in the future. Billions of dollars can invade a country like India and buy military hardware from China,Russian or South Africa. Wake Up America Pakistan is the enemy of the world.
    They already assassinated Bhutto the only person than can liberate the Pakistani people from oppression but the muslim extremists had to clear the path for total extreme violence. Yes Osama Bin Laden is dead but there are more Bin Laden out there that will destroy us.

  • http://twitter.com/Thinknaboutit Derobos Wontonyhw

    Saying things like “Pakistan is the enemy” is no different from other people around the world saying “America is the enemy”. Maybe if we all stop generalizing and pointing the finger at each other, then we can see that each of us has corruption of our own to deal with.

    Or lets forget national loyalty and just admit that “The humans are the enemy”.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      It is easy for you say that. Tell that to the people of Mumbai, India. and the terrorists. Pakistan is the enemy period. Sad to say that 4 billion dollars to Pakistan a year is useless.

      What if that 4 billion a year to Pakistan was going to the terrorist. money given by the United States to Pakistan is being used to kill innocent lives. Money to stop terrorism are being use by terror. Pakistani government will never admit that they support terrorism.
      They will never admit that in our life time.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Pakistan arrested a lot of Terrorist!!! That is BS. who are they and name one? My country contributed more to US government in fighting terror before the 9/11 attack than Pakistan. We warned the US government about an attack in NY by using planes. did america listen? No. We protected Pope Paul 2 when he visited Manila, We arrested all Arabs that were suspected has terrorist in Manila before 9/11, We are the first country in the entire world to support the war in Terror. remember you sent US troops to Basilan Island?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    China has a lot of business thing to do than going to war for Nothing. Believe me the Chinese government has no time for bloodshed. Probably lending money to America and moving all manufacturing back to USA.

  • Bob

    Pakistan is the biggest problem, we are wasting money and precious lives of our troops in Afghanistan when the real problem is Pak. Its also unfortunate that now China is also helping them. The problem has been that the western countries has ignored the problems Pakistan created because they were previously in the 80s and 90s targeting only India for the terrorist activities, India suffered at their hands and now many of these groups that were targeting India are aligning with Taliban and Al Qaida. If the western countries would have pressured Pakistan much earlier because terrorism is terrorism if its against India or any other country then today we would not have been in this situation as we are with Pakistan.

  • Jane

    I was listening to your radio show, and you all talked about why Pakistan would suggest that the Afghan government ditch America and ally itself with China and Pakistan. The reason should be painfully obvious. America has a history of cutting and running in South Asia, just look at how Afghanistan was dumped after the Soviet’s withdrew. Everyone is South Asia, including the Afghan government, is expecting that to happen again. China and Pakistan aren’t going anywhere. They are regional allies. America only intervenes in South Asia when it wants something, and it can leave as soon as it accomplishes that goal. China isn’t can’t leave like that, Pakistan can’t leave like that. Does it make sense to ally yourself with a fair weather friend who takes and leaves than with your neighbors who have a vested interest in your peace and security? That is the reason Pakistan tells them to ally with China.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Pakistan is an Ally with China because we gave 4 billion dollars a year to armed themselves to their teeth. Guess what? They are now buying military supplies from China using those billion dollar military aid we gave them. And of course China is business minded so they will sell those military harware to Pakistan. What country do you think Pakistan will attack first? India

  • Anonymous

    It is amazing how India is not mentioned very much in the show or in the comments. That said, I suggest that people look at a map to see how China plays into all of this. China borders India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (very little in this case). Kashmir, which is a hotbed area for both India and Pakistan, borders China. It stands to reason that they would be interested in what is going on in the region as it affects them more directly than it does the US in geopolitical terms. I would also image that having a destabilized Pakistan as neighbor is not something the Chinese government wants.

    • Tim

      Do some reading on racism in China and take a look at the actual ethnic makeup of the regions bordering. I think you’ll see why they don’t seem to care.

  • Sealteam6arf-arf-arf

    Af/Pak is a major trading partner in our glowball economy. The reciprocal exporting of terrorism is big business. You isolationists can’t just turn off the hot water when we’ve got shampoo in our eyes. And what would the junkies do? Oxycontin I suppose, how will Medicaid pay?

    Where would our doppelgangers train the threat that keeps Americans docile, and where would trained assassins like us hone and perfect our skills if not in lawless Af/Pak. Someone could become indicted if we cut and run. Raymond Davis was just saying to Raymond Davis the other day. “Terms of exchange in isotope for poppy are especially advantageous this Spring.” And with gas now costing Unky Sam $55 a gallon over there that ain’t hay. You’d better hush up this pull out sentiment, because someone in your family works in a defense industry and they will lose their job and be asking you for money. Then you’ll know how FEMA feels.

    We walk alike, we talk alike, we even ride a bike alike- You could lose your mind… When Sealteam6 is twelve of a kind.

  • Zing

    The other shoe would be the immediate destruction of any known or suspected al Qaeda cells all around the world over the next few weeks…boom…boom…boom…this would assure my vote for Obama in the next election. Thanks, Tom and staff, for vindicating my early comment with a great segment.

  • Mina siegel

    I think with Osama gone, those of us who do not have health insurance can move to Afghanistan. Doctors and medicine are cheaper; and in general it is a better place for old age if one can not afford $10,000. to $25,000 monthly cost of living in Atria assistant living facilities. Aha and our troops there? Do they have health insurance when they are back?

  • Edwardkrao

    It is too bad that we had to get involved in two major land wars after 9/11. So many soldiers and citizens have lost their lives between 2003 and now. Is anyone asking themselves why an operation of this kind could not have been funded earlier, say back in 2002 ? We could have then stayed out of the Middle East. We all know that there is no winning the conflict in Afghanistan, and yet more men will die. . Krishna Rao

  • CallofDutyFan

    No offense guys but… i think its time to deal with the north koreans?

    • Anonymous

      Go enlist.

  • Mark

    Need to go after the next in command who will take his place!!

  • Sweethaven20189

    The media’s western bias is certainly showing when it comes to the ‘compound’ in which binLaden lived. Having lived in a -stan for two years, in a one-acre, 12′ wall (crushed glass atop, not razor wire), one entrance, our own generator, bars on the windows and a guard “compound”- with other similar homes scattered about – the one thing I could say was this was not abnormal for someone who was not subsistence-poor. And even the poorest of neighbors had walls and gates. But either one was filled with family. Knowing your neighbors is a distinctly western thing (and sadly, we don’t do that well either or would an 80+ year old woman really be dead a year before being discovered?), whereas privacy and space from neighbors, is the norm in the near-east and central Asia. Now, the lack of phone and internet is odd, not to mention those opaque windows.

  • Michael

    Don’t understand why the U.S. government first lied about what happen? I’m sure if they told the real/whole story the american public wouldn’t see any problems.

    Anyone want to take a shot at this?

    • Mill

      “Anyone want to take a shot at this?”

      __

      Naah, either way, it doesn’t matter. The show is over and it’s time to move on from such stupid and pointless speculations.

  • Jance29

    iN MY OPINION, WE ALL NEED TO STOP TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT AND HAVE OUR HEARTS RIGHT WITH GOD. NONE OF OUR OPINIONS ON THIS MATTER ONE BIT. THE END IS NEAR

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Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

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Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

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Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

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