Daily Video

March 20, 2009

Afghanistan’s President: “You Are 7 Years Too Late”

President Obama made reprioritizing the war in Afghanistan and the defeat of the Taliban a key component of his campaign. Now sixty days into the presidency, Obama has announced a scaling down of troops in Iraq and has promised 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan says he welcomes the influx of troops but that it is 7 years too late.

The Afghan president wants to encourage forces to reach out to Taliban leaders in Afghanistan; unlike Obama and other military leaders, Karzai does not speak of moderate and non-moderate Taliban but rather Afghans and non-Afghans.


“In a sense, [17,000 American soldiers] will provide more of a psychological strength than the physical strength required.” –President Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan

“I have asked upon Mullah Omar many, many times to come out and speak for peace and show his intentions. He has not done that; I hope he will do that.”– President Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan

“I attended the International Women’s Day meeting, where there were hundreds of women, and they applauded me on several other issues, but on reconciliation, of bringing the Taliban back, they were quiet. “– President Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan

Warm Up Questions

1. What is the Taliban? Where are the located?

2. Why is the U.S. fighting a war in Afghanistan?

Discussion Questions

1. President Karzai said that he has asked for more troops for years, who do you think should decide how many U.S. troops are deployed and where they are deployed?

2. Many women have said they are worried about women’s rights in Afghanistan. Should the United States fight to protect women’s rights if the government of Afghanistan does not?

3. Can you think of other countries where women’s rights are restricted? Should the United States intervene there?

4. Do you think that the U.S. should negotiate with the Taliban? How should the U.S. decide who to talk to?

Additional Resources

Read this trasncript

In Depth: Afghanistan and the War on Terror

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