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Jumat, 24 April 2009

Is US President Obama's 2009 troop "surge" in Afghanistan a good idea?

Background and Context of Debate:

In 2007 and 2008, violence in Afghanistan steadily increased and the country became less stable, leading to calls for an increased US and NATO troop presence in the country, or a "surge".

During the 2008 presidential elections, both Barack Obama and John McCain called for a larger focus on the war in Afghanistan and some form of a troop "surge" in Afghanistan. After winning the election, Barack Obama followed through with his campaign promise, calling for 20,000 new troops to Afghanistan and authorizing the deployment of 17,000 troops to Afghanistan on February 17, 2009 and an extra 4,000 later in the year to supplement the training of Afghan security forces. The extra 20,000 troops will increase the US presence from 32,000 to 52,000, bringing the total international troop presence to roughly 60,000.

Throughout 2008 and into Barack Obama's presidency, debate was widespread surrounding the logic of a troop surge into Afghanistan.

The main question is whether more troops can help improve security, or it they are actually drawing in insurgents and increasing violence, civilian casualties, and instability in the country.

Also, players in the debate ask whether Afghanistan is the key front in the fight against terrorism and if a "surge" can help in this fight?

Can the "successful" surge in Iraq can be applied with positive effect in Afghanistan?

Does a troop surge escalate the conflict, or can it be temporary and limited?

Will a surge reduce or increase civilian casualties?

Will it improve, damage, or have no impact on the war in Iraq?

Will it increase or harm regional security? Can US forces sustain a troop surge?

Can the United States and NATO sustain the costs and opportunity costs to other domestic programs?

Where do the Afghan, American, and global publics stand?

What is the overall balance of pros and cons in this debate?

Is Obama's "surge" in Afghanistan justified?

Go head and deliver your argument in 10 major points of analysis:


Can more troops help in the war in Afghanistan?


Is the “surge” key to combating terrorism in Afghanistan?

Iraq analogy:

Would a “surge” in Afghanistan “succeed” like the surge in Iraq?


Is the “surge” temporary or does it escalate of conflict?

Civilian casualties:

Will “surge” help or hurt civilian casualties?

War in Iraq:

Will the “surge” help or hurt war in Iraq?


Does surge in Afghanistan help or hurt regional security?

Troop resources:

Are there sufficient troop resources for the “surge”?


Are the cost of a “surge” reasonable?


Is the use of contractors in Afghanistan acceptable?

Afghan support:

Do Afghans support the “surge”

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