Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | 4:18 p.m. CST;
updated 8:37 p.m. CST, Tuesday, December 1, 2009
COLUMBIA — President Barack Obama is expected to announce Tuesday night
in a speech from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point that he will send 30,000
more troops to Afghanistan.
We asked Columbians what they thought about the expected
troop escalation and the United States’ role in Afghanistan. Check back for more during the day.
Sapp, homemaker: She supports
sending more troops. “I think that’s what they should do. They have
been asking for them for a long time. Those guys need help,” she said.
- Gabrielle Ellul, 19, MU student: "I understand that we need to help countries get back on their feet, but its their country, and every country has their own problems and sometimes we shouldn't stick our noses in them. But I totally, 100 percent, support the troops."
Buckels: He isn’t fond of President
Obama sending more troops abroad. “I don’t like it," he said. "He ran a campaign of
getting troops out and reducing the forces in the Middle East. I don’t like the
idea of sending 30,000 more troops.”
- Ted Glasgow, 43, works in the Physical Therapy Department at
Boone County Hospital: He supports the decision to send more troops and
emphasized the importance of building strong relationships with the
people of Afghanistan. "As opposed to changing people, we need to become
their friends and allies. Instead of telling them what to
do, we need to work with them and help them achieve their goals," he said.
- Ken Sloan, 55, Air Force veteran: "There had been a lot of debate about where troops have been in the first place. Afghanistan or Iraq? The Taliban and Al-Qaeda is strong there. While war is dreadful and people lose lives, compared to other wars we've been involved in, casualties from other wars are more. I appreciate the effort to decide a strategy. Not only to send more, but an exit strategy as well."
- Rickie "Slikie" Williams, 53, Army veteran: "If it has to come to war for peace, to get the situation stable. T, then get peace and pull out."
Missourian reporters Alee Quick, Catherine O'Neill, Bethany Jones, Tanya Ortiz, Maggie Menderski and Katie Maupin contributed to this report.
Cortez King, 15, student at Hickman High School: He does not agree with sending more troops. "I don't want more people dying," King said. In his opinion, the United States should not play a role in Afghanistan. "It's their problem, not ours," he said.
Johnny Northcutt, 51, Salvation Army volunteer: "We need to get over there and get it done and some other countries should help with the war. China should help because all their cars are over here."
D'eray Hall, 20, Stephens College student: Some of her friends are fighting in Afghanistan and she wants the war to end, though she acknowledged it can't be stopped "all at once." "I don't even know what we're fighting for," she said.
Gary Riess, 50, works for the city of Columbia in the Solid Waste Department: "The United States is taking up the role of being the peacekeeper. Since we started that, I guess we have to keep going. It'd be nice if everyone kept the peace."
Mark Haim, 60, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks: He opposes the war and wants all troops brought home as soon as possible, and he expressed concern over the increased economic and psychological costs of military action in Afghanistan. "We are perpetuating a cycle of violence that really needs to be defused," he said.
Laura McKee, Truman Veterans Hospital employee: She said she can see both sides of the issue. “I don’t know. I think it’s a no-win situation," she said. "I don’t have a strong opinion either way because either way, more people will die.”
Matthew Smith, 36, student and former Marine: While he supports the president, and wants the troops to have extra support if needed, he said military troops are not adequately trained to police a country. "If this is going to go on and on, bring them home," he said.
Nick Cundert, 26, student and internal vice president of the Mizzou Student Veterans Association: "It's really about eliminating terrorists and eliminating the threat they have on the Afghanistan community and the U.S. I would hope the idea of sending more troops over there would mean that."