News / USA

Americans React to President's Plans for Afghanistan

A US soldier returns fire as others run for cover during a firefight with insurgents in the Badula Qulp area, west of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, February 14, 2010
A US soldier returns fire as others run for cover during a firefight with insurgents in the Badula Qulp area, west of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, February 14, 2010

President Barack Obama's plan to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, beginning next month, is widely seen as a compromise - more than what top military officers advised, yet fewer than many lawmakers in Congress want. 

Jon and Dorothy Fersch from Texas understand the importance of the war in Afghanistan.  Two grandsons are serving there.  They watched President Obama's speech and worry he might be withdrawing troops too soon and too fast.

"We also have to make sure a solid country when we leave, which it doesn't appear to be yet," said Jon Fersch.

Just the opposite opinion from a sampling of other Americans.

"It's been too long that they're over there and now that we found bin Laden, I guess the war should be over," said a woman in Washington.

“It’s not right, it’s just not right," said a woman in New York. "That was one of the platforms.  He said he was going to get them out.  They’re not out. Ten thousand is not enough.  Thirty thousand is not enough.  Get them all out.”

“We shouldn’t be in the business of building an empire or nation building.  It ruined the Romans and it’s not going to help us,” said a man.

At this point, the reporter typically says reaction on Capitol Hill is along party lines.  Except, that is not the case with the Afghanistan pullout.

Typically, reaction on Capitol Hill is along party lines,  But that is not the case with the Afghanistan pullout.

Republicans offered some support for the president's plan. "I'm cautiously optimistic about where we're heading and how we're getting there," said House Speaker John Boehner.

While others from the president's own party expresssed some reservations.

"Many of us would like to see this go faster than the path that was laid out, however, it may," said Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Strong American opinions - about a war that has been going on for nearly 10 years, with at least 1,500 Americans dead and billions of dollars spent.


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid