The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Afghanistan Policy: Assessing the Latest


In recent days, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has publicly opened the door to more U.S. troop deployments in Afghanistan while declaring that "nobody is prepared to have a long slog where it is not apparent we are making headway." On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Gates said in an interview: "If we can show progress, and we are headed in the right direction, and we are not in a stalemate where we are taking significant casualties, then you can put more time on the Washington clock."

Meanwhile, the Associated Press has reported that days ago Gates said "he could send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan this year than he'd initially expected and is considering increasing the number of soldiers in the Army."

The following policy analysts are available for interviews:

Author of Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan, Jones is in Kabul this summer, working with women's organizations, as she has done intermittently since 2002. Her latest piece is "Everything That Happens in Afghanistan Is Based on Lies or Illusions."

Starting Thursday, Jones will be available for interviews in London.

Co-author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence, Kolhatkar just wrote the piece "Afghanistan: Marines' Mission Doomed to Failure."
Kolhatkar is also co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a U.S.-based non-profit that supports women's rights activists in Afghanistan. The group just put out a statement about feminism being used as a rationale for escalating the war in Afghanistan: "The Feminist Majority, Howard Dean, and other American liberals in support of this war need to re-analyze the situation in Afghanistan and examine the real consequences of the U.S. war over the past eight years that have done more harm than good to women's rights."

Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He said today: "For U.S. troop levels in an escalating war, the Obama administration is now in a classic cycle of raising the ceiling -- and then turning it into the new floor. Statements by Secretary Gates in recent days have all the earmarks of a step-by-step spin strategy on the home front, aimed at gradually acclimating the public to the idea that U.S. military involvement in the Afghan war must continue to grow in magnitude and duration."
He added: "There's official talk about how the military situation in Afghanistan must begin to turn around in the next year, but such pledges litter the history of protracted U.S. war efforts in Vietnam and Iraq. The horizon keeps moving, and so do the timelines for completion -- remaining in sight and out of reach."
Solomon wrote the recent article "Escalation Scam: Troops in Afghanistan."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.