Saturday, 18 September 2021
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The New York Times
Pakistan and the war
President Obama has articulated a reasonably comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan, but there is no chance of defeating the Taliban and Al Qaeda unless Pakistan's leaders stop temporizing (and in some cases collaborating) and get fully into the fight.

Afghanistan's army
Even as he announced plans to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, President Obama said his goal is to quickly drive back the Taliban, hand over control to the Afghans and begin to withdraw American forces.

Take the war to Pakistan
President Obama's decision on a timetable for withdrawal of American troops only makes official what everyone here has known for a while: the clock is ticking in Afghanistan. The Taliban have long recognized this, and many captured militants have reminded their interrogators that "you have the watches, but we have the time."

The Washington Post
In Afghan troop surge, shades of Iraq
No wonder conservatives are unhappy with the president. Imagine undermining an announced escalation of troops by simultaneously laying out a schedule for them to step back -- and suggesting that the mission will end if the government that America is trying to help doesn't shape up.

Green leverage over Iran
With a decision on Afghanistan, we will now see whether a reluctant president can persuade a reluctant Congress and inspire a reluctant nation to accept additional wartime sacrifice. But the administration must feel relieved. The mere act of choosing releases accumulated tension like shooting a bow, wherever the arrow lands.

What Mr. Obama changed
Now that President Obama has unveiled a strategy for Afghanistan whose bottom line - 30,000 more troops - looks a lot like the one Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal proposed three months ago, an obvious question arises: Did the president's prolonged deliberations produce any significant change in Gen. McChrystal's plans?

The Economist
The perils of keeping everybody happy
Months in the preparation, Barack Obama's speech outlining plans for his second "surge" in American troops in Afghanistan (see article) was always going to struggle to reconcile its contradictory aims. Mr Obama had to convince Americans and their allies that the commitment to the war is not open-ended, and that their soldiers will be coming home reasonably soon; and he had to convince the Taliban and other enemies that America is in the fight to win, even if that means the long haul.

The Guardian
Obama has charted an Afghan course. Britain must lead the way on Pakistan
Obama has spoken, but we must think for ourselves. What are our vital interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan? It is our vital interest to prevent another terrorist attack coming from, or closely connected with, violent extremist Islamist groups located in Afghanistan or now more likely Pakistan. This is true for all European countries, but especially for Britain, with its large minority of Pakistani origin

Afghanistan: Obama's catch-22
For a president who had taken 92 days to ponder a war that he is losing in Afghanistan, Barack Obama's conclusions were neither radical nor unexpected. He had to answer two fundamental issues a demand for more troops framed in the baldest of terms by his senior commander, General Stanley McChrystal, (without them the conflict would "likely result in failure"); and he had to find a strategy that would work, because the current one certainly does not.

A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan
After months of waiting, President Obama is about to announce the new US strategy for Afghanistan. His speech may be long awaited, but few are expecting any surprise: it seems clear he will herald a major escalation of the war. In doing so he will be making something worse than a mistake. It is a continuation of a war crime against the suffering people of my country.

The Times
We need good reasons for risking more British lives in Afghanistan
President Obama has at last ordered a troop surge. In the coming days we must keep focused on why more British and American young lives are being put at risk in Afghanistan. In doing so, we will strip out some of the original objectives of the invasion eight years ago. It surely isn't our business to attempt to maintain a government in Kabul that decrees that women do not have to wear the hijab or that young girls should go to school.

The Telegraph
Al-Qaeda and a decade of terror
Around the world, the decade of terror has generated different anniversaries, the latest being the 12 months separating Indians from the Mumbai gun and grenade atrocities. The announcement that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 atrocity, and four accomplices are to be tried in New York, also makes this an apt moment to assess the deeper impact of terrorism.

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