The way forward in Afghanistan
June 22, 2011
In a speech tonight, President Obama is expected to outline his plan for withdrawing 10,000 troops from Afghanistan as well as a schedule for bringing home the 33,000 “surge” troops sent to the region last year. As the war enters its 10th year, it has become increasingly unpopular and the debate over our involvement has intensified. Over 1,400 U.S. troops have been killed, the costs of keeping U.S. forces in Afghanistan are estimated at over $100 billion a year and just last week 27 senators, Democrats as well as Republicans, sent Obama a letter asking for a major shift in Afghanistan strategy and substantial troop cuts. In addition to political pressures at home, the situation is complicated by a fragile relationship with neighboring Pakistan, which the U.S. has relied on in the Afghanistan war. In this hour of Radio Times, we explore the options for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. What are the risks, if any, of bringing home the 100,000 plus troops serving there? Is it time to leave? Our guests are ANDREW J. BACEVICH, Boston University professor of international relations, a retired Army colonel, and a critic of the war; and TRUDY RUBIN, Philadelphia Inquirer Worldview columnist who recently returned from the region.