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Ambivalence Over Afghanistan

The Stakes in Afghanistan

President Obama is edging closer to a decision on whether to reinforce the 68,000 U.S. troops who will be fighting in Afghanistan by year’s end. Since routing out Al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts in Afghanistan after 9-11, the Taliban has made a steady comeback, fueled by failures of the Bush administration, profits from the opium trade and corruption under the country’s president, Hamid Karzai. Amid accusations of fraud during the August 20th presidential election and a deteriorating internal security situation, the country seems poised on foundations so tenuous that our leaders are in conflict about what to do.

General Stanley McChrystal is calling for 30,000 or more additional US troops. While Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham are in support of the proposal, President Obama seems unconvinced that sending more troops is warrented, and a credible future exit strategy appears elusive at best, given the circumstances.

Author Gordon Goldstein appears on C-Span’s Washington Journal to talk about the lessons of Viet Nam, in which he sees historical parallels to the current Afghanistan predicament. President Obama asked his security advisors to read Goldstein’s book, “Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam,” which traces the events that mired the U.S. in a tragic situation. VIDEO: See the Interview here.

The BBC is posting some remarkable images by artists who have documented the scene in Afghanistan (and elsewhere.) Check out Multimedia Content below to see a few samples in this poignant Slideshow series:

 

Artist SLIDESHOW: Recent Tour in Afghanistan

  • Artist SLIDESHOW: Medics on the Front Line
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    For artists and others:
    The BBC features some wonderful interactive programming online. Weigh in on Afghanistan or other cutting edge topics by submitting your work:

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    Filed under Art, Culture  |  Comments: 0 | Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009



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