“The Safe Haven Myth”–Harvard Prof. Stephen Walt Takes on Obama’s Justification for Escalating the Afghanistan War

25.08.2009 - Kabul - Democracy Now!

We turn now to the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. The New York Times reports that US military commanders have reportedly told the US special envoy to the region Richard Holbrooke that they need more troops to fight the Taliban. There are currently 57,000 US troops in Afghanistan and that number is expected to hit 68,000 by the end of the year, in line with President Obama’s order to send more troops to the country. The Times said it is not clear how many additional troops the commanders are seeking.

On Sunday, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the situation in Afghanistan as “serious and deteriorating” and warned that the Taliban remained a threat and was only getting more sophisticated.

Last week, President Obama defended the expansion of the war calling it a “war of necessity.” He was speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Phoenix, Arizona.

Our next guest says that the President’s safe haven argument for expanding the US military presence in Afghanistan should be viewed with skepticism. Stephen Walt is Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of “Taming American Power” and “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.” His article for Foreign Policy is called, “The safe haven myth.” He joins us now from Boston.

Stephen Walt, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of Taming American Power and The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. His article for Foreign Policy is called “The Safe Haven Myth.”

Categories: Asia, International issues

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