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BLITZER'S BLOG: Is it wise to keep spending billions in Afghanistan?
February 27th, 2012
03:16 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Is it wise to keep spending billions in Afghanistan?

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

It’s hard to believe, but American taxpayers are still shelling out $2 billion a week in Afghanistan. That adds up to more than $100 billion a year.

Maintaining a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan of nearly 100,000 U.S. troops is certainly not cheap.

U.S. taxpayers are spending billions trying to build up the Afghan military and police force.

More billions are spent on economic development, including the construction of roads, schools, power plants and hospitals.

All this is happening more than 10 years after 9/11 and after the death of Osama bin Laden. Nation building in Afghanistan remains a major U.S. objective.

But so many experts on Afghanistan are now concluding that this money is not being well spent.

The angry and deadly Afghan reaction to the mistaken burning of Muslim holy books is underlining the notion that the Afghan people don’t really want the U.S. and NATO troops in their country. They want these forces out.

These troops are supposed to remain in Afghanistan at least until the end of 2014. That’s another nearly three years.

Given the trends unfolding in Afghanistan right now and the enormous political pressure on U.S. leaders to reduce spending overseas and focus on domestic needs, I suspect that the pullout of U.S. and NATO troops will accelerate.

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RELATED STORY: Afghan president condemns fatal bombing at military airfield

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Troops • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. socal

    Time to cut our loses and get the heck out of there. Bring home our troops and stop spending our money on these goat herders who do not want us there. They do not want equal rights, freedom or democracy. Not our problem anymore.

    February 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  2. librican

    Wait, what? What happened to "stay the course"? If a repub gets back in are we going to be "staying the course" some more? (I'm an independent)

    February 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  3. qularknoo

    our military performed well.... the politicians and negotiators did a lousy job.

    February 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  4. teena

    We should spend the money here in the US educating our OWN children.

    February 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  5. jerry

    Can you imagine what that money could be used for at home?!?!?!? 100 Billion could rebuild every bridge and road that needs rebuilding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  6. DM

    Why is it that "We the People" are not being heard when it comes to these so called "missions" overseas helping countries that clearly will kill us at the slightest provocation? Everyone I talk to does not want to be in these Muslin countries throwing away billions of dollars a day. WHen are We the People going to be heard– GET OUT OF THERE. Stop spending money we don't have anymore on this insanity. I love America but I'm getting near the end of my tolerance for the stupidity of the people running this gov't. I may be making a move if this keeps up much longer– because there will be no America as we know it if these fools keep doing what they are doing!!

    February 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  7. rrock

    The Pentagon loves a good war and 100's of bases around the world to justify the defense budget and a bloated military. The defense contractors love the huge contracts they are getting. It is tough to fight against the big money.

    February 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  8. Darw1n

    Aren't we all sick and tired of these wars? Let's just bring everyone back home, throw a nice big party, then get back to work.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  9. davonskevort

    i just did the math on this...80000 bucks per month per soldier. consitering most soldiers are making about 4000 bucks.. where is the other 76000 going. Lets not nation build... lets build our own nation... if they need stuff they should build it. We arnt a global charity... and think they dont care for our charity anyhow. Lets ditch these jokers and call victory and go home.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  10. Peter M

    Message to Taliban and Fanatics Everywhere: Allah, who created galaxies where even the Earth is a spec of tiny dust in a vast Cosmos does not care the tiniest amount if an even tinier spec of dust burns a very tiny spec of the Cosmos that He created. Burning does nothing to the ideas, it only releases some chemical energy stored in the paper and ink (stored up Solar Energy). Big Deal!!! But He does care about Murdering. There is no Commandment about burning the Quran or Bible, but there is one about Killing. Those are man's foolish rules. If you murder over books and'll see later...not going to Heaven!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  11. Carlos

    While I believe that your figures about U.S.A. expenses in Afghanistan are accurate, it seems like our country still can foot the bill without any problems. We even want to start a new conflict, this time with Iran and also want to intervene in Syria. Thus, even when our country is financially broken, there is always room for WARS.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  12. Patrick

    We got Bin Laden – game over; Time to bring the troops home!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  13. Peter M

    Leave ASAP. It's a tragic, cursed region. We've probably done a tremendous amount of good already that even the Taliban bogeyman can't undo. However, if they do take over again and defeat the Afghan Army we've built, let them. Then let them gather in the seats of government. Then let them dare support Al Qaeda again or any remotely similar group. Let them gather and let us gather intelligence on them. And if we strike them in the future, they will not be in the woodwork like they are now but a known entity that can be defeated in a normal fashion IF NEEDED, which I doubt.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  14. Frustrated in Texas

    WHY are we still in Afghanistan? OUR MISSION going in was to GET OSAMA BIN LADEN. He is now *DEAD*. So why are we still there. We have no reason to build up their country. Spend the money BUILDING OUR COUNTRY. Give OUR people jobs. Bring the troops home. mission accomplished.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • frustrated citizen.

      i dont understand why everybody wants all of the troops home right now. if they all come home at one time, then they will need jobs. I know it sounds bad, but we cant have everybody home this fast. It needs to be gradual. Alot of us in the states are without jobs, and those who have jobs fear that they can loose them with barley a moments notice. I dont know what would happen if everyone came back home. I just don't know. The government fails to do anything to build jobs for us here. They contract out their needs, and people bid. To keep costs down hire as little people as possible to do the job. In the end there are not many jobs being created, quite the opposite, hundreds of post offices are being shut down and or consolidated into other jobs... we need more jobs not less.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • palmer

      It is more cost effective to bomb them once every two years to take down the munitions and bases than a prolonged stay on the ground to Westernize the tribes of savages.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  15. loathstheright

    We should have never been there in the first place.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • davonskevort

      ya right and all the aliens in outer space speak english just like on star trek. Sorry joker but clearly you didnt learn anything from 911. We went to kill a man and his organization... we did it now its time to go home. end of story.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • ddblah

      We did not go before Would Trade Center were attacked.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  16. WhereIsPalin

    As long as our economy is strong and poverty is non existent, why not shove all of our 'excess' dollars elsewhere?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  17. Gregg

    Put countless drones in the air 24/7and a U.S. strike force of about 10,000 men or less.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  18. Jimmy Crack Corn

    We need to stay there till our objective is complete. Converting all rivers into flowing Milk and Honey.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  19. J Hedge

    Have the U.S. leaders gone mad? Would someone explain what we are trying to accomplish in this country halfway across the world? Do they have oil? Do we really think we are insuring our safety from the buildup of terrorists? What is the real reason we are there? What has happened to our country? I have lived 72 years here and it defies any sensible reason I can think of at this moment. Can we please stop spending on people who don't want us there. How about building up our own infrastructure and our educational needs. Please someone step in and start leading this country again.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • davonskevort

      be careful what you wish for... you may just get it. Leadership of what kind. Frankly the usa is moving towards a population that desires a dictatorship because it would look to be the only way to get things done. The longer we have a do nothing political system... the sooner dictatorship gets put in place by a bunch of roudy iritated individuals.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  20. Donovan

    You are never going to bring these backward people out of the stone age. Get out now and just fly drones over head to keep the riff raff's head down. Don't spill one more drop of American blood for for these people who would kill us in a heart beat. They don't deserver to have it better.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Dawgman101

      I agree. We should continue to support and help the Afghan people as long as it takes. I understand it will only take a few more years of training and Afghan security forces will be able to take over for themselves.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  21. blake

    Is is wise to exit a country prematurely where we have invested hundreds of billions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives before the job is complete, and in the process risk losing all that was gained?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Matt

      What exactly was or is being gained?

      February 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • John M

      Well said...I do support an accelerated withdraw of our forces however.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • SouthTexan

      What has been gained other than tracking down and killing or capturing the people who attacked us on 911. That has already been done. Long passed time to pull out.
      Nothing left to gain.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • whoa!

      prematurely? what do you mean by that.... Bin Laden is dead! That's why we went there.. How many more US soldiers do you want to die before you feel enough have been killed to honor those who have been killed.... this is insanity... I suggest if you think we should stay there, that you drop everything you're doing, buy military gear, get a ticket to Kabul, and go fight it yourself and with others of your moronic mentality.. the rest of us are sick of it, the job is done, and there's work here to be done... have a nice trip... and be sure to shoot anything that moves, it could be the enemy!

      February 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Dawgman

      I agree. Do not pull out early.We are making great strides and need to continue to the end. Don't let the liberal media potray this as a losing effort. I understand the Afghan military should be able to take over security in just a few more years.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Mike

      What exactly has been gained? That is why we need to leave.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Jen52

      Just what was gained?

      February 27, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Mike Haq

      The same thing happened in south vietnam

      February 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Mike

      As they say in business school "sunk costs are sunk". Another line that comes to mind is "stop throwing good money after bad". Spending more money to justify the money already spent is irrational but a common human behavior. In this case, pouring more money into Afghanistan is just as smart as gambling the money you still have in hopes of recovering the money you've already lost.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  22. Mike Hill

    We need to pull all troops out of Afghanistan immediately and leave these people to their own devices. The British could not tame tham, and the old Soviet Union was bankrupted because of their war. Let the Taliban takeover. The people of Afhanistan do not want democracy and freedom. The want to be led and told what to do.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  23. Art Pirker

    We must be the most ignorant nation on earth. We are spending money to train people how to kill us, hire them to work on our military bases and allow them access to our food. Of all the money we spend over in Afganistan, how much do we spend on our own troops and how much of it do we just "give" to the Afganistan government, that clearly doesn' like us?

    February 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  24. jlf

    we have been in a country that for the past 10 years hasn't wanted us there,whose culture we will never understand, who will use whatever event they can to show disrespect and hatred for us. i am sure that the Taliban is fueling the fire there and it will be quite sometime before there is a lull...their own governemt can't even restore calm....we should leave earlier than planned and cut our loss before more of our troops will lose their lives in vain.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  25. rightospeak

    It makes absolutely no sense to spend $2 billion a week in Afganistan , getting our men killed ( not many women died there that I know of ) when we have no money for our own infrastucture . We can at least pay the Communist Chinese interest on borrowed money. Same goes for South Korea.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  26. V in Chicago

    Bring that money and resources back to the United States and rebuild our roads, schools and bridges. We are wasting money and lives on a country that hates us and everything we believe in. Just bring it all home!!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  27. V in Chicago

    I think we should pull out of Afghanistan and let their government deal with their own internal issues. It is obvious that we are not welcome. Why are we wasting American lives and money to help keep a criminal in power? I understand our oil interests in other parts of the region, but from what I've seen the only thing Afghanistan has to offer is rocks. We need to bring our troops home and cut off all aide to Afghanistan immediately.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Jen52

      Don't forget they offer drug on the world market.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  28. Eddie

    Let me see....ummm........NO, we do not need to be spending billions more in Afghanistan! Have we not learned our lesson? We help people out at the expense of thousands of american lives and get no respect. In fact, our country is hated there and their citizens can't wait to kill our soldiers. We need to get every last U.S. soldier out of there NOW and get ready to pop Iran and North Korea. They are thorns in our side and we need to obliterate those countries before they attack us and Israel. Don't send soldiers in either......we can defeat them purely by air and nukes.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • davonskevort

      I love you man... a person who thinks like me... Nukes are the way ahead with islamic nations. The same mindset they have is very much like the japs had in ww2.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  29. Alan S

    Wolfe: Hopefully you're right and the pullout will accelerate - dramatically. I was in the U.S. Army for many years, and I am a strong supporter of American military action, and the U.S. is very good at military action, but when the situation deteriorates into "nation-building" that's a more difficult task. Perhaps an impossible task.

    I understand the downside to early withdrawal. It will demonstrate the limitations of American power. It will give the Taliban an opportunity to take power again, and an opportunity to invite Al Quaeda back in. But Dirty Harry was right: "A man's got to know his limitations." That goes for countries, too.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • whoa!

      very well put Alan.... Bin Laden is dead.. and the people have the capacity at this point to fight the Taliban if they really want to... most important though, is when the people start shooting us in the back, its time to go... let them decide if they want to move into the 21st century or would prefer to live in the dark ages as they do now...

      February 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  30. Brian Redman

    We should pull the troops out of that country, why should we lose any more American lives or waste national treasure on Afghanistan? Almost 11 years since 9/11 and Bin Laden is dead. They want to live in the 9th century? I say let them have at it! Don't send them another dime.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  31. waheid

    The short answer is: "no." It has become painfully obvious that the mission, as conceived by the Pentagon and others is over. The mission now is to bring the troops home as quickly and as safely as feasible. We owe the Afghans nothing. The U.S. has have paid more than our share in blood and treasure.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  32. Mike C

    Two things should happen. The President of Afganistan should apologize for the murder of the NATO troops, or the US should pull out of Afganistan immediately. Two, as a common practice for where we will be fighting all of our wars for the forseeable future, please teach soldiers what "Koran" looks like when spelled in Middle Eastern languages.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  33. Kathie

    absolutely rediculous to be wasting tax dollars/our military in a country that never attacked us and does not want us there. we are occupying a people that don't want us. timefor us to stop poking our noses into everyone else's business and take care of business at home. that money wasted in an unwinnable war could be used for our infrastructure, debt relief, etc here at home!

    February 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  34. KELLY

    They do need to pull our people out and now. My husband is due to deploy there this summer and for what?? It really makes me mad that our President is saying he's sorry for burning the quaran that was defaced by the people protesting now. This place isn't work one more minute of the USA's time and no one else should have to die or be apart from their family for that messed up place.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Concerned About Safety

      I agree with you, I too am scheduled to deploy this summer and really think that I am going to be a political pawn to show how the President succeeded in train the Afghans and withdrawing the troops while my 2 year old grows up without ever knowing her father. I mind as well be on death-row, but then again death-row inmates at least have appeals and potential sympathetic State Governor.

      February 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  35. DoubleW

    This might have been won and over with. It was lost when Bush & Cheney sent us haring off into Iraq, into another futile quagmire. the sooner we pull out, the better.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  36. mb2010a

    I agree...time to bring all the troops home. No more Bush wars...

    February 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  37. jack johnson

    Afghan people did not ask us to help them,and they are showing that we are not wanted. The Afghan's have been occupied by one force or another for so long they would not even know freedem from oppression.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  38. Steve

    No way is it wise at this point. Let the rest of the world take care of their own problems, we've shed enough American blood.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  39. bearced

    Pull out now, it is obvious our presence will not change Afghanistan in the long run. We should have gone in, taken care of business and got out. The stupid distraction in Iraq ruined any chance for a successful mission in Afghanistan.

    February 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  40. Plexie

    The US pullout is years overdue due to the historically m oronic decision to needlessly go into Iraq, This will not end well, just as Vietnam did not. OBL is dead, we should get out now.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  41. Concerned About Safety

    Currently the Army is training Security Assistant Adviser Teams (SFAAT) to embed and live with Afghanistan Soldiers and Police. This is part of the exit strategy that Obama wants in 2014 and military leaders said they can do in 2013. My concern is these teams are going on a suicide mission so military leaders and the President can get credit for making the withdraw happen. As a result these soldiers are being fed to the wolves and will die but we can say we trained the Afghanistan. Please shed light on this.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  42. Mike

    Ron Paul has been saying this for years.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  43. us1776

    We should have never been in Afghanistan.

    The terrorists were headquartered in Pakistan and that is where we should have been concentrating our efforts.

    We need to get out of Afghanistan immediately.


    February 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  44. Jack

    Ask the question, is the Afghanistan war worth the lives lost or cost? NO! Any chance of Afghanistan being a sucessful democracy? NO, not while ruthless religion trumps all! Any political party that thinks this war is worth fighting will lose in 2012. Get out NOW! Let the Afghans determine their own future for better or worse. This is Obama's Viet Nam.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Susan

      Thank thoughts exactly!

      February 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  45. Barry

    It's high time for us to get the hell out of there. We have blown billions upon billions over the last decade and for what? Although Bin Laden's now serves as a martyr in the war to bankrupt the U.S. The only way we can claim any semblance of victory is getting out now before anymore damage is done.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  46. haink Smith

    I thought our President, Saddam Hussein Obama, was going to pull our troops out of Afghanistan? Oh, and also shut down Guantanamo Bay. He promised. That's why I voted for him, only becayse he's Black, that is. Oh yea, I forgot, he's also White.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  47. HoneyBe

    2 billion dollars a week? For people who hate us and want us out of their country? 2014 is way too long to continue with this fiasco. GET OUR TROOPS OUT NOW.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  48. StopNow

    Don't spend another cent. What's going on over there, has been and always will be no matter how long we are there or how much money we spend. Bring our people home and mind our own business. Save lives and a whole lot of money we could use to create jobs. Also, don't even think about getting envolved in another war for at least 150 years ! Let somebody else handle it.. We've been in one war after another for way to long. It's ridiculous. Stop before it's too late for all of us.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  49. haink Smith

    pull out.
    let'em kill each other.
    i don't care.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  50. danny

    We can only hope so....

    February 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  51. jp

    Wow. 100 billion a year. Imagine if that cash infusion went to higher education. Free degrees for everyone that could maintain a respectable GPA. What a change that would bring domestically. Lower prison rates, higher paying jobs (more tax revenue), increased living standards, more entreprenuerialism...these are all by-products of a higher education. It's time we start investing in rebuilding our country.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • davonskevort

      forget education... keep in mind economics.. too many degrees makes degrees cheap. lowers the value of a degree and the income it brings. The way ahead is to take that money buy out the loans people have on their homes. 75000 per person for 1.33 million americans. Lock them into a no intrest loan that is attached to the property, pay off when and as soon as they can... how ever long or short that may be. Yes 75000 isnt much for a home... but at least it isnt a pig sty.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  52. Mark

    The question I have for those that think the price is too high is how much is one, no less 3000, of our citzens worth? $100 Billion , $500 Billion? Have you and "the experts" forgotten why we are in Afghanistan in the first place??? This enemy attacked us, killed thousands of our citizenry and will remain a global menace unless they are defeated or capitulate.

    The price of victory may be high but the alternative – playing paddy cake with islamic nut cases and just waiting to get hammered again on our own soil – is unacceptable! We must do what it takes to finish the job ...enough with the whining and waffeling.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • b0bc@t

      If we were in this war to win it, that would be one thing.... we kow taw to Karzai, who is a part of the criminal element with his relatives, and we ignore the poppy and opium trade all around them, like a Viet Nam replay, and wonder why we expect a different outcome from US hatred, and from our own citizens asking "Why continue". If we want to really win this, we need to stop apologizing for broken eggs and bruised feelings and outright eliminate the enemy posed by both Pakistanis and Afghanis who maintain the unrest to foment dissent and keep the skirmishes smoldering.

      If we aren't going to go and get them, we should leave them to their own devices and keep an eye on them from here.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  53. Matt

    Everyone says it's "our responsibility" as a powerful country to help others. At what point do we stop putting other countries first and start looking after our own country first? I understand the need to help other countries, but shouldn't we be helping our own country out more as a priority? It may sound selfish... and we will never be a perfect country, but that much money would obviously go a long way to help fix things here first. Help others as you can... not as a priority.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  54. Big Country

    GOOD. Pull them out now.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  55. Timothy

    I say get out charity begins at home. We have infrastructure concerns here and seemingly know one cares (especially) the republican control Congress. This isn't a political issue it is a humanity issue. One thing about war someone is making money and tax payers are loosing.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  56. JamesOnThePotomac

    For once I agree with you. It is time the US pulled out of Afghanistan. It is an uncivilized country stuck in the 12th century and we could spend another $100Bn, lose another 5000 men and women, and stay there for 10 years more and nothing would change.

    If an oil pipeline is what we are really expecting ( out that cesspool of humanity; let UNOCAL, Exxon, Shell, Mobile or the Chinese pay for it. America has already wasted too many good men and women trying to help a country that really doesn't want to be helped.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  57. loverspoint

    Why won't the US leave Afghanistan? Well the last time we did, after the Soviets retreated, the country fell into chaos with different corporations, countries, tribes, and various factions of Islam fighting to take control of Afghanistan it was also the birth of many terrorist cartels. If the US leaves Afghanistan it will soon be controlled by Iran or Pakistan, and the massive slaughter of civilians will be in the 100's of thousands, probably 10X the amount of people killed compared to the last time Afghanistan fought a civil war.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • mark mclaughlin

      The chaos in their country is their problem. Afghanistan has always been in a state of chaos. It's been a failed state for hundreds of years. If in the future we are attacked by elements residing in their country, in each instance we should retaliate tenfold in a focussed mind–numbing surgical strike and get out. We have no obligation to set up a Marshall Plan for the Pashtuns. We don't owe them money, we don't owe them the lives of our solders. Instead, they owe us for wrecking the last decade of prosperity in the West, a prosperity we earn through hard work and cooperation.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  58. Bill

    We're gonna' be totally broke in 3 years on the futile effort there! We need to take a hint and start movin' 'em out ASAP!
    Fact is, these folks truly don't want us there and really don't want any part of Western thinking and interference in their time-honored primitive lifestyle. Let them keep it...their beligerant religious views and their endless infighting over minutia have been their society's hall mark for centuries and nobody is going to change that any time soon by any means.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  59. OurBrokenCountry

    When is this country going to wake up and get its priorities straight? Why are we not creating jobs here and building "roads, schools, hospitals, and power plants" in this country? The average tax-payer, like me, is fed up with all the nation building our elected officials deem necessary while our own nation continues to disintegrate.

    The reason there is so much anti-Americanism going on is because we're in countries where the average citizen doesn't want us. Let's get out of the Middle East all together and let them figure out how to join the rest of the developing world.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  60. Justin

    Time to PULL OUT. You know...what Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Obama's father's SHOULD have done!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  61. stvnkrs10

    bring our boys home. lets circle the wagons and flatten anyone who tries to mess with us. stop sending our money to countries who dont care and are using us. let the world sort out the world and worry about our own.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  62. stvnkrs10

    forget em, if they don't want us there, let them fend for themselves. lets bring our boys home, circle the wagons and flatten anyone that tries to mess with us. this occupation and rebuilding is for the birds.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  63. TonyInNYC

    $2 billion a week? So, 9 weeks of being hated in Afghanistan costs us more than NASA's annual budget.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  64. Kerry

    Wolf, I certainly hope you are right. It's hard enough to justify this expenditure to the US citizens but with violence going on there now most would have to agree that this is a huge waist in treasure and blood. We appear to be the invaders. The people want us out, we need to comply.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  65. Jim Yancey

    As an ex U.S. Army military officer, I knew instantly as soon as I heard of the burning Q'urans this was the beginning of the pull-out. I'm sure it was orchestrated and the Afghans acted accordingly. Now with the deaths and chaos everyone is screaming for us to pull out. Wow, in an election year when a lot of Repubs are getting attention. Well Orchestrated by the administration. You will get to pull the troops out now and look like the hero to get more votes. But wait right before November so everyone remembers. People vote on their emotions normally. The beat goes on, can we just get rid of the terms Democrat and Republican and live in a civilized society. RIP my friend Vincent Foster!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  66. Jack Be Humble

    I think the President needs to continue to listen to the input he is given by his field commanders and staff. We need to pull out of Afghanistan according to a logical and strategic plan, and not allow day-to-day issues to affect that. I believe President Obama is doing a good job on this.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  67. Rick

    Sometimes I really have to wonder where these idiots get their information. They try to over state something that is really not as bad as the news would like us all to believe. First off, if the troops are not stationed in afghan, they would be here back home. There is still cost involved with keeping a sizable force on standby. Yes there are some added costs for keeping the troops armed and supplied, but clearly this number is way over blown by the media as usual. I should know, I spent 11 years in the Marines. Whether we were in a foreign land or at home. We still get paid and are training. Don’t always believe the media outlets, they are always too busy trying to make you believe something is far worst then it really is.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  68. Griff

    "No! Very unkarsi-wise. It would be much better to bring those kids home, then just do short bombing missions on the best info available."

    February 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  69. Cleavette

    We shouldn'teven spend billion on Americans that don't like us or want to kill us. I would be crazy to spend another dime or one mmore minute in Afghanistan. Jack, how is it that the "Newtster" can say we should leave Afghanistan and its ok but as some as the president ended the war in iraq, it was called "cutting and running". The Neocons can called it what they want-– just GET OUT!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  70. Needz

    Not a penny they deserve.....

    February 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  71. Just My Opinion or My 2 cents worth

    We can only hope that our politicians see this as well. We need out and we need out NOW.These backward people will never have peace because they don't want it. They need to keep that part of the world as it is.A Pig Sty is cleaner than that place. Pull our troops and target all their cities and tell them goodby.We will leave them to whatever just as long as they leave us alone.
    We don't need any more taxi drivers or convenience store operators. Sorry I forgot to mention motels too.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  72. Robert

    Leave and if trouble start again, bomb them lout of existence. They are stone age relics.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  73. Michael Quinn

    I wouldn't spend one more penny on these ingreats. Get the the hell out of the Mid East, ASAP. We do not need to fight any more wars over there, let them figure out their mess amongst themselves. What a terrible sin to allow one more American to die over there. How stupid are our politicians anyway?

    February 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  74. Mac58

    It's time yes, Not for the current upheaval but because we have done everything another country can do for another short of taking over the country. We've already decided to include the Taliban in peace talks and their roll in government. Karsi has proven time and again he wants us out. 10 years , 1 trillion dollars and the Afghans really want and need the old ways. We can't make them into a clone America as there is only 1 America. Let's come home.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  75. loverspoint

    Why has no one done a truthful documentary about how terrorism arose in the middle east, I'm sure it would be complex and require it to be made into a miniseries. What would be fascinating is how terror units really have no loyalty and can change their loyalties with the right amount of cash, a manifestation that goes back to biblical tribal days, and how US and other countries have feed the wicked soup of terrorism. Which corporate interests were involved, and why they are never held accountable, we know the truth is because all their dirty dealings are done through consulting groups and lobbyists.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  76. foxtrot5

    Start pulling out now. The Afghans do not want us there, its a complete waste of money and lives. The troops and contractors already know that. The politicians and generals are still stuck on their careers.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  77. Rob

    Let's get out now. These religious lunatics will surely miss all the money we've been pumping into their economy at the expense of ours. The heck with these losers. Let them all kill each other over religion.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  78. EDW

    It's long overdue that we brought our troops home. We have so many millions of Americans needing help right now, not to mention an overwhelming budget deficit that we simply cannot afford to do this anymore. I am an Army Wife, extremely proud of my husband's two honorable tours in Iraq, but we are not in the position to be shouldering this burden by ourselves. Progress has been made but come October it will be 11 years since American boots arrived on the ground. It is time that either the entire international community intervene to help stabilize the country, with money and personnel, or we return the country to the Afghan people themselves.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

    We should be Nation Building in North American, not Afghanistan!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  80. Thinker

    We should have been out of there years ago, in fact never have gone in. The British couldn't do anything with Afghanistan and the Russians couldn't do anything in Afghanistan and they didn't have one hand tied behind their backs like our troops do. What makes us think we can do anything?

    February 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  81. AnniB

    Um, I think you got that wrong, Wolf. We The People are not spending a dime in Afghanistan, in fact, We The People have said all along that We The People don't support this misguided effort by Washington, or the nebulous "Government" or whatever you want to call it. I notice there are no articles about the angry American reaction to the entire clusterfunk. Make no mistake. We The People never wanted it, We The People have said this repeatedly but since we are just fodder for the great war machine, nobody even hears us. If anyone has been victimized, abused, stolen from, lied to, coerced, it is We The People. Do not place the blame or even the implication of voluntary participation at our feet. Words matter, the spin simply doesn't work any more.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  82. Joe Schmidt

    Get out now and use that money to stimulate the economy at home by rebuilding our infrastucture

    February 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  83. asdf

    As much as I believe that our work in Afghanistan is not done, I think the people of Afghanistan have spoken. To show such little consideration for human lives when weighed against a stupid book (yes, stupid. and yes, I would say the same thing if we burned bibles. Its just paper.) is despicable. Unfortunately, with a snake like Karzai in charge, we'll probably be back at some point.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  84. dutspup

    Yes pull out, weve shot our wad and Blitzer was at the end of it.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  85. Nicholas Croce

    One could only hope we'd leave their land and let them sort out their own business. If the United States of America was invaded by troops from a foreign land and their 'Reapers' were in my skies, I'd be pretty angry too. Oh, wait, these invaders are so ignorant of my religion, something I hold so dearly, that they burn my holy book.
    Can we really blame them? IEDs and suicide bombing are another form of guerrilla warfare against foreign invaders.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  86. Nicholas Croce

    One could only hope we'd leave their land and let them sort out their own business. If the United States of America was invaded by troops from a foreign land and their 'Reapers' were in my skies, I'd be pretty angry too. Oh, wait, these invaders are so ignorant of my religion, something I hold so dearly, that they burn my holy book.
    Can we really blame them? IEDs and suicide bombing is another form of guerrilla warfare against foreign invaders.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  87. loverspoint

    Wolf is it wise to spend billions in Pakistan? No. Very simply don't give Pakistan any more money, the Taliban will turn on Musharraf because he won't be able to pay the blackmail money anymore and soon Pakistan will be at war with the Taliban. Then finally both Afghanistan and Pakistan will work on a common enemy- the Taliban. Once the Taliban is gone Afghanistan can reunite. Just remember that when you cut off aid to Pakistan that you make sure they do not receive any aid from Iran who is still backing the Taliban/ Al Qaeda terrorists, and have been since post Soviet attempted invasion and pre 9/11 days.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Mike Haq

      Dude what kind of marijuana you on? Musharraf hasn't been president for 4 years. Jeez you woulda thunk that all americans would know something about the country and/or players when US lives were being lost, but keep watching american idol son.

      February 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  88. Chief P

    Our pullout should be accelerated. For not just us but for our equally straped ISAF partners. Like Iraq, or actually moreso, Afghan will revert to its previous culture and nature immediately after we pullout. We really should spend our precious resources on our own country and our own citizenry. Might be a good idea to get emplyment for the thousands upon thousands of military men and women we sent over there over the past decade plus to fight and rebuild the ingrates country.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  89. peagar50


    I'd get the troops home a.s.a.p. not only in Afghanistan but would close many other military bases around the world. It's high time that Washington DC open up a dictionary and remind themselves what the meaning of self-sufficiency really is. They should forget about foreign aid to most countries and commence rebuilding their own economy and caring for their own citizens.

    All these US companies who go off shore for cheaper labor and materials like Apple, Microsoft to name a few shouldn't be allowed to market their products within the US. manufacturing has to begin again in the us providing jobs for Americans because right now the US economy has turned into a huge network retailers for foreign goods.

    BC, Canada

    February 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  90. Jeff

    Wolf, with stunning analysis of the news like this, I'm glad we have you on CNN.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  91. JimmmyNelson

    lets hope so!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  92. Diane

    What is it going to take for our politicians in DC and our senior ranking military leaders to WAKE UP...Our troops should have been brought home years ago. My son is there now at a small outpost and I am scared to death for his safety. Maybe we should replace our troops that are there now with the politicians. I doubt they could survive more than a few day.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  93. justcausenow

    What did we accomplish? The Taliban will be back in Power and worse than ever. US Soldiers killing poor Farmers. Why would we go there to kill them – they have NO resources to get to USA. The heavy handed techniques used by ignorant enlisted soldiers and racists short sighted officers has made this situation worse than when it started.

    February 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mike Haq

      tsk tsk tsk you are supposed to support the troops at all costs.


      February 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  94. SayWha....?

    This has got to be the smarest correspondence on CNN today...WOW!!

    February 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  95. John N. Seattle, WA

    Hopefully, we won't start pulling troops back until after our conflict with Iran is resolved! We may need those troops right where they are!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  96. SeVeRheaDD

    an accelerated withdrawal isn't fast enough. Bring our boys (and girls) home, and keep that money here for our own infrastructure!

    February 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • mark mclaughlin

      How about spending 2 billion per week at NASA? How about spending 2 billion per week on the national high speed rail infrastructure? How about spending 2 billion per week revolutionizing energy production and usage? Why are we shooting ourselves in the foot for these backward hooligans, expecting them to embrace democracy? It's ludicrous, stupid, and insane. We keep going into these situations expecting to make a difference and it ends up in the death for our young adults and the corrupt squandering of our wealth. Destroy as much of the Taliban as possible, come home, and spend some time figuring out who are friends really are.

      February 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  97. Scooch

    "don’t really want the U.S. and NATO troops in their country" Duh. Time to get out. Our mission there is done. We tried to help rebuild the damage that was done by overthrowing the Taliban. It is painfully obvious that the people of Afaghanastan do not want us there. Time to the the hell out of dodge.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  98. nothing new here

    Of course not.
    It is not wise, or fair, to the American taxpayers to keep shelling out this kind of $$$$. Our government is running at a deficit already, and we are spending billions to pay more political shell games. We spend billions on countries that literally hate our guts (and worse).
    This money needs to be put back into our infrastructure, to protect our borders, and our economic interests.
    Put American interest first.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  99. Joe

    Wise? It's absurd. Vietnam, Iraq now Afghanistan. Daddy Warbucks must be laughing pretty hard while the lIkes of Halliburton laugh all the way to the bank ignoring all the soldiers' funerals they pass on the way.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  100. C Wilson

    Its time to pull our forces (and money)out of Afghanistan. A country that is not strategically important to us.

    February 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
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