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Argument: More US troops will increase support for the Taliban and Al Qaeda

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Supporting quotations

Nicholas Kristof. "The Afghanistan Abyss". The New York Times. September 5, 2009: "sending more American troops into ethnic Pashtun areas in the Afghan south may only galvanize local people to back the Taliban in repelling the infidels."[1]

A group of former intelligence officials and other expert The group includes Howard Hart, a former Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Pakistan; David Miller, a former ambassador and National Security Council official; William J. Olson, a counterinsurgency scholar at the National Defense University; and another C.I.A. veteran who does not want his name published but who spent 12 years in the region, was station chief in Kabul at the time the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, and later headed the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center: "Our policy makers do not understand that the very presence of our forces in the Pashtun areas is the problem. The more troops we put in, the greater the opposition. We do not mitigate the opposition by increasing troop levels, but rather we increase the opposition and prove to the Pashtuns that the Taliban are correct. The basic ignorance by our leadership is going to cause the deaths of many fine American troops with no positive outcome."[2]

At top Afghanistan expert quoted in a September 24, 2009 Real Clear Politics article by David Ignatius: "The first dissent is over whether a surge of U.S. troops is needed to regain the initiative against the Taliban. "The idea that you will bring them to the table with military force is wrong. Unless we're going to colonize the country, this won't work. Building a fort and putting men in uniforms incites the tribes rather than calming them down." I think he's right. More troops don't necessarily mean more security."[3]

Peter Navarro. "Orange Grove: Get out of Afghanistan now" OC Register. September 25, 2009: "America's presence in Afghanistan is inflaming tensions on Pakistan's border and doing more to destabilize the country than protect it. The broader important issue is whether the United States can, or should, baby-sit a country like Pakistan. After all, with its own standing army and a growing middle class, Pakistan should be able to protect its own territory and political and economic institutions."

"FCNL to Obama: No More Troops to Afghanistan! Invest in Diplomacy & Development." Friends Committee on National Legislation. February 23, 2009: "1. Immediately end aerial bombing, house raids, and other offensive tactics which harm civilians and increase anti-U.S. sentiment. The UN estimates civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose by 40% in 2008, reaching nearly 2,000, with approximately half caused by international military operations. Estimates of Afghan organizations put the number of civilian casualties even higher. As Thomas Johnson of the Naval Postgraduate School has noted, "When we kill innocents, especially women and children, you lose that village forever."

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