Nominee Tells Senate Panel Afghan War Is Not Hopeless

Posted by Kendall Harmon

President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Afghanistan offered an unvarnished assessment on Wednesday of the nearly decade-old war, but he told a skeptical Senate committee that the United States could not afford to walk away anytime soon.

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ryan C. Crocker, the nominee, said that the United States had abandoned Afghanistan once before, after its war with the Soviet Union in 1989, with “disastrous consequences” — the rise of the Taliban. “We cannot afford to do so again,” Mr. Crocker said.

Mr. Crocker nonetheless acknowledged a panoply of problems facing Afghanistan, including government corruption that he said would become “a second insurgency” if left unchecked. He said the United States’s goal in Afghanistan was merely to help the Afghans create a “good-enough government,” not necessarily a model democracy. While progress has been hard, he said, the situation was not hopeless.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaAfghanistanPakistan

Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

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1. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

I cannot quickly recall how many American military lives have been lost in Afganistan.  But I do hope the faces of the brave dead soldiers we have sent there, trouble the sleep of Presidents Bush and Obama every night from now, until the time they part this earth.  We learned better than this in Korea and Vietnam.

June 8, 7:57 pm | [comment link]
2. Caedmon wrote:

Sounds like a “Crocker” you know what, if you ask me.

It’s a lost cause.

June 9, 1:50 pm | [comment link]
3. nwlayman wrote:

I don’t think the people in Afghanistan are at all interested in what we have to offer.  They LIKE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE.  If they didn’t, all their notorious toughness we hear so much about would change things.  If the people there don’t *want* the Taliban stopping their daughters from going to school, THEY will stop them themselves!  WHAT AN IDEA, wot?  We are constantly told how indomitable the Afghanistan people are.  Let them show it.  It isn’t worth one more American service man’s life to change it, it never was.  The people there will be the same in a thousand years as they were a thousand years ago.  And ungrateful for our efforts.

June 10, 1:17 am | [comment link]

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