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Nobody calls the situation in Afghanistan good. Election results are a mess. The top U.S. commander says the American and NATO war effort faces serious trouble. The Taliban controls much of the country, and Al Qaeda still sits next door.
The question is what to do about it. President Obama calls the Afghan war a “war of necessity” — and is weighing a big, imminent decision on whether to send even more troops. Many in his own party say no.
This hour, On Point: to go deep or scale back in Afghanistan. We’ll hear voices on both sides, and Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, who says no to escalation.
You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Joining us from Kabul is Carlotta Gall, reporter for The New York Times. She's been covering Afghanistan since November 2001.
Joining us in our studio is Stephen Walt, professor of international relations at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He's an active blogger for Foreign Policy magazine and is one of the most prominent skeptical voices on the notion of getting deeper into Afghanistan.
From Lewis, Delaware, we're joined by Lawrence Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He served as assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan. He advocates increasing U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to perhaps 100,000. He was an informal advisor to the Obama campaign during the election, and he continues to give informal advice to Congress members of both parties about national security issues. You can read his thoughts on Afghanistan here.
And joining us from Washington is U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin. He is a leading Democratic voice calling for bringing home U.S. troops from Afghanistan, along what he calls a "flexible timetable."
This program aired on September 8, 2009.
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