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Posts tagged ‘War in Afghanistan (2001–present)’

Poll: Afghanistan Conflict Least Supported War in US History.


Image: Poll: Afghanistan Conflict Least Supported War in US HistoryA man touches the headstone of Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Carson Vaughn, U.S. Navy Seal, at Arlington National Cemetery. Carson died August 6, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan.

By Courtney Coren

Fewer than 20 percent of Americans support the war in Afghanistan, making the longest conflict in the nation’s history the least supported war as well, a new CNN poll released Monday reveals.

According to the CNN/ORC survey of 1,035 adults nationwide, 82 percent said they oppose the conflict in Afghanistan, up from 46 percent five years ago. Only 17 percent of respondents in the survey taken Dec. 16-19 said they still support the war effort in Afghanistan.

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“Those numbers show the war in Afghanistan with far less support than other conflicts,” said Keating Holland, CNN Polling Director. “Opposition to the Iraq war never got higher than 69 percent in CNN polling while U.S. troops were in that country, and while the Vietnam War was in progress, no more than six in 10 ever told Gallup’s interviewers that war was a mistake.”

All U.S. troops are scheduled to be withdrawn from Afghanistan by December 2014, and over half of those polled would like to see them withdrawn sooner. About 25 percent said they believe that some troops should remain in the country after that deadline.

The poll found that only one-in-three respondents believe that the U.S. is actually winning the war there and 57 percent think it is going badly.

“Independents have a much gloomier view of the war in Afghanistan than Republicans or Democrats,” Holland said. “That may be because a Republican president started the war and a Democratic president has continued it, so there may be some residual support among people who identify with either party.”

The government of Afghanistan and the Obama administration are working to reach abilateral security agreement, which would allow 10,000 troops to remain in the country after 2014. Currently, 47,000 U.S. troops remain in the country. A draft security arrangement was reached in November, but so far Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has refused to sign it.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Intelligence Estimate: Bleak Outlook for Afghanistan After US Drawdown.


Image: Intelligence Estimate: Bleak Outlook for Afghanistan After US DrawdownU.S. soldiers inspect the site of a car bombing outside Kabul, Afghanistan on Dec. 11

By Elliot Jager

When American troops leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014, the Taliban will gain ground and the country will probably descend into chaos, according to a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, the Washington Post reported.

The gains achieved by the 2009 troop surge will likely be wiped out.

With Afghan President Hamid Karzai refusing to sign a security agreement that would authorize a contingent of American and international troops to conduct counterterrorism operations and continue training Afghan forces beyond 2014, the estimate takes a bleak view of Afghanistan by 2017.

This downbeat intelligence prognosis is not unanimously shared.

Pessimists see years of U.S. gains being squandered with the Kabul government ultimately losing the big cities. Even if several thousand troops stay behind to conduct counter-terror operations and for training purposes and even if Congress continues to bankroll the country. The intelligence estimate could bolster those who would like to see the U.S. pullout accelerated, the Post reported.

Optimists — including some in the Obama administration — say the capabilities of the Afghan army are being underestimated and that the Taliban will be pressured to sue for peace. One administration official said the intelligence estimate is intended only to highlight “potential upsides and downsides” to U.S. policy.

Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations sees continued stalemate in the years ahead depending on how much financial backing the U.S. provides the Kabul government.

If Karzai ultimately agrees to a deal regulating the U.S. and international presence, the country would continue to receive billions in U.S. and other aid.

As of December 28 the number of service personnel killed this year in Afghanistan stands at 127 for a total of 2,301 since America’s longest war began in 2001.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obama Tells Nation That Syria Is ‘Not Another Iraq or Afghanistan’.


President Barack Obama told his war-weary country on Saturday that America needs to use limited military force in Syria to deter future chemical weapons attacks, but said he did not want to enter into another costly and protracted war.

“This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan,” Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address, previewing arguments he will make in a nationally televised address on Tuesday.

“Any action we take would be limited, both in time and scope – designed to deter the Syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrade its ability to do so,” Obama said.

A week ago, Obama said he felt limited strikes in Syria were needed, but added he wanted to ask Congress to authorize the use of military force.

Neither Democratic nor Republican lawmakers have been enthused about the prospect, partly because Americans strongly oppose getting involved in a another Middle Eastern conflict.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday said 56 percent of Americans believed the United States should not intervene, while only 19 percent supported action.

“I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That’s why we’re not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else’s war,” Obama said in his recorded address.

Obama and his top officials plan an intensive lobbying effort on Capitol Hill next week, scheduling meetings with undecided lawmakers.

Obama said failing to respond to the Aug. 21 attack that Washington blames on President Bashar al-Assad‘s government and that killed hundreds of children and more than 1,400 people in total, would threaten U.S. national security by increasing the chance of future chemical attacks from the Syrian government, terrorist groups, or other nations.

“We are the United States of America. We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we’ve seen out of Syria,” he said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Peace Prize President Begs America To Let Him Bomb Syria.


 

20130907-091028.jpg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told his war-weary country on Saturday that America needs to use limited military force in Syria to deter future chemical weapons attacks, but said he did not want to enter into another costly and protracted war.

“This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan,” Obama said in his weekly radio and internet address, previewing arguments he will make in a nationally televised address on Tuesday.

“Any action we take would be limited, both in time and scope – designed to deter the Syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrade its ability to do so,” Obama said.

A week ago, Obama said he felt limited strikes in Syria were needed, but added he wanted to ask Congress to authorize the use of military force.

Neither Democratic nor Republican lawmakers have been enthused about the prospect, partly because Americans strongly oppose getting involved in another Middle Eastern conflict.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday said 56 percent of Americans believed the United States should not intervene, while only 19 percent supported action.

“I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That’s why we’re not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else’s war,” Obama said in his recorded address. source – Reuters.

by NTEB News Desk

House Panel Approves $638 Billion Defense Bill.


The House Armed Services Committee approved a bill Thursday authorizing $638 billion in defense spending.

The legislation also includes provisions stripping the authority of commanders to overturn guilty verdicts in military sexual-assault cases, banning the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States, and rejecting new base closures, reports The Hill.

The committee approved the authorization measure by a vote of 59 to 2 — Democratic Reps. Jackie Speier and John Garamendi of California voted against it — after a 16-hour mark-up lasting until 2:14 a.m. Thursday.

The bill grants a $5.1 billion increase for the war in Afghanistan and sets base Pentagon spending at $526.6 billion, the amount requested in President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget. That funding level, however, is $52.2 billion over the budget caps set by sequestration, and the Pentagon could be forced to implement another round of across-the-board cuts in 2014 if Congress acts to overturn the sequester.

“I think in this committee there’s a growing awareness that sequestration is a fact of life, so whatever we do here today will wind up being reduced by a significant amount,” Washington Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the committee, told The Hill.

The bill moves to the House floor for debate next week, as the Senate Armed Services Committee begins marking up its own version of a defense spending measure in closed session

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Lisa Barron

Defense Bill Adds $5 Billion to Afghan War Effort.


Image: Defense Bill Adds $5 Billion to Afghan War Effort

U.S. soldiers of the 2nd Platoon Alfa Company of Combined Team Bastogne, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division keep watch over the Shamirkot Bridge built over the Watahpur River near the forward base Honaker Miracle in Kunar province on April 14.

By Dan Weil

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon has introduced a defense authorization bill that would boost Defense spending in 2014 by $5 billion beyond what the Pentagon has requested.

The additional spending would go toward the Afghanistan warThe Hill reports.

The money would help erase automatic cuts in Air Force pilot training, Navy maintenance, and other readiness programs that have occurred over the past year due to sequestration.

According to The Hill, McKeon’s proposal, which the committee is scheduled to mark up on Wednesday, includes $526.8 billion in base Pentagon spending. Some $85.8 billion of that figure is focused on the war in Afghanistan and marks an increase of about $5.1 billion from the Pentagon’s 2014 budget request.

The authorization measure overall is actually $52 billion above the caps placed on defense spending by the Budget Control Act, The Hill noted. That means unless Congress moves to reverse the sequester, the Pentagon would be forced to make across-the-board cuts again next year to stay under the spending limits.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obama Seeks to Cut Afghan War Spending by 10 Percent.


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday trimmed his funding request for the war in Afghanistan and other overseas operations by 10 percent, reflecting his plans to wind down the U.S. presence in that country.

The president asked for $79.4 billion to fund so-called overseas contingency operations in fiscal 2014, which begins Oct. 1, down from his original $88.5 billion request, a White House aide said. Obama made the request in a letter to Congress.

The U.S. chief executive has said he plans to draw down troops in Afghanistan after 2014 but has not specified by how much.

“The president is still reviewing options from his national security team and has not made a decision about the size of a possible U.S. presence after 2014,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

“The lower request reflects our transitioning role in Afghanistan,” she said.

The president is due to announce in the next few weeks how many combat troops the United States will leave in Afghanistan next year, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

The president has set 2014 as the target for withdrawing most of the troops but the decision is a delicate one as sufficient forces must stay behind to train and support Afghan forces and carry out some operations.

U.S. troops first went to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States to root out al Qaeda and its Taliban protectors.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: NEWSmax.com

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