Afghanistan Is A Lost Cause

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Afghanistan

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Has the surge in Afghanistan failed, and is it time for the U.S. to admit defeat and start pulling our troops out? Nine years in, what have we accomplished in Afghanistan? Upon taking office in 2009, President Obama ordered an additional 17,000 troops in February and another 30,000 at year’s end in the hopes of staunching a rapidly deteriorating situation. Has the surge failed, or does it need time to take its course? Critics of the war are advocating everything from withdrawing our troops and concentrating on covert forces, to saving the north and abandoning the south to the Taliban. Only one thing is certain—there are no good options, but can the U.S. afford to abandon Afghanistan?

  • For the motion

    For

    Matthew Hoh

    Former State Department official

  • For the motion

    For

    Nir Rosen

    Author of Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    Max Boot

    Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Peter Bergen

    Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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Hoh

For The Motion

Matthew Hoh

Former State Department official

is a former State Department official who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over US strategic policy and goals in Afghanistan in September 2009. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, Matthew served in Iraq; first in 2004-2005 in Salah ad Din Province with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then in 2006-2007 in Anbar Province as a Marine Corps company commander.

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Nir Rosen

For The Motion

Nir Rosen

Author of Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World

is the author of Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World, about civil war, sectarianism, occupation, resistance, terror and counterinsurgency from Iraq to Lebanon to Afghanistan. His first book, In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq, was published in 2006. He has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time, Mother Jones, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Boston Review and other publications. He has been reporting from Iraq since April of 2003 and has spent over four years on the ground there. He is a fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security.

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Bergen

Against The Motion

Peter Bergen

Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation

is a print and television journalist; a senior fellow at the New America Foundation where he co-directs the Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative; a research fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security and CNN's national security analyst. Bergen has reported for a range of newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. He is editor of the AfPak Channel, a joint publication of Foreign Policy magazine and the New America Foundation (www.foreignpolicy.com/afpak). His most recent book, The Osama bin Laden I Know(2006), was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2006 by the Washington Post.

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Boot

Against The Motion

Max Boot

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations

is one of America’s leading military historians and foreign-policy analysts. The Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, he is also a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and the Los Angeles Times, and a regular contributor to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and many other publications.

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Declared Winner: For The Motion

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