What does “finishing the job” mean?

US President Barack Obama has said it’s his intention to “finish the job” in Afghanistan after eight years of conflict there.

But rather than asking how he intends to do this it has left some wondering what he means by “finishing the job”. 

Does it mean:

* eradicating Al-qaeda 

*defeating the Taliban

*no more threats of terroism

*stability in Afghanistan

This blogger asks “Does “finishing the job” in Afghanistan mean that the oil companies can build their pipeline and not worry that someone is going to blow it up?”

This blogger even suggest that it might mean “to pack up and go home”.

So what does “finishing the job” in Afghanistan mean? Does it mean no corruption? Or the end of Al-qaeda? Or was this speech just powerful rhetoric?

23 Responses to “What does “finishing the job” mean?”

  1. 1 patti in cape coral
    November 25, 2009 at 16:20

    “Does it mean: * eradicating Al-qaeda *defeating the Taliban *no more threats of terroism *stability in Afghanistan?”

    I guess it means all these things, but I would be more interested to know what Mr. Obama means by “finishing the job.”

  2. 2 Benjamin Asoro
    November 25, 2009 at 16:40

    Well, the safest guess for me on what Obama is thinking is “damage-control”. Once “a semblance” of institutions of law, order, and democratic government exists, America will leave. “A semblance” will do…like in Iraq. It doesn’t matter if the Afghans go on blowing up each other. Many Americans today view the Afghan war as a needless nuisance. But for the much needed “commander-in-chief-look-alike” rhetoric Obama had to adopt on the campaign trail, I feel he feels the same way about the war.

    • 3 Leonel Contreras
      November 28, 2009 at 06:06

      A semblance of democracy at the pure US stile,with a congress full of senators-lobbyist living from the tax payers money? remaining in power (35 yr average) for as long as they can cheat the election (by hand counting due they do not trust computers) system? ,And a supreme court that only legislate on how to kill or imprison minorities whether or not innocents?, or to put the president whenever the elections fail to establish a clear winner due the lack of legal vote counting ?,or a system able to destroy entire countries due the differ in religion or thinking ,or a country that does not care the UN mandate even though they them selves created such organization ,or a democracy that support nuclear weapons depending of whom posses them (Israel * Iran) ?and with 700 military bases that support drugs trafficking (see Colombia and Afghanistan production increase figures) it. that ladies and gentlemen is the kind of DEMOCRACY we all rich people love, where money is the boss .As the McDonald commercial says, am loving it .

  3. 4 JanB
    November 25, 2009 at 16:54

    I think he means making Afghanistan relatively stable, like they did with Iraq. Of course that doesn’t mean there won’t be tribal conflicts, the constitution will still be undemocratic and the Taliban will still be active on a small scale, more like crime syndicates than as an insurgency, Al-Qaida’s presence will be marginal. But daily life will be mostly void of violence and the government will have established it’s authority nationwide.
    In this vision that Obama has, Iraq and Afghanistan will be a bit like Jordan or Lebanon, far from being beacons of freedom and democracy but stable enough for NATO to call it a day.

    It’s a shame Western nations were not able to force Iraq and Afghanistan to become democracies (yes, they have elections, but elections alone don’t make a democracy.) That supposed “overwhelming majority” of “moderate” Muslims is nowhere to be seen when it comes to drafting actual democratic constitutions or elections. Just look at how popular the far-right Muslim Brotherhood is, or at how few opposition Karzai’s sex-for-food-law (made possible by Afghanistan’s Islamic constitution) enjoyed in his own country.

  4. 5 Tom D Ford
    November 25, 2009 at 17:50

    “So what does “finishing the job” in Afghanistan mean?”

    I am waiting with bated breath for that answer.

    What was the job?

    What is the job now?

    Bush kept changing the justifications for staying in Afghanistan, kept the political waters all muddied up, vague, and ambiguous, so will we now have a well defined “job” with transparent goals and definite end points that our soldiers can aspire to so that they know when they can come home? I hope so.

  5. 6 T
    November 25, 2009 at 18:41

    “Finishing the job” means the States will NEVER tolerate another Vietnam. No matter how costly or pointless, we will force “American democracy” on them. Even if it literally kills them and destroys their country.

  6. 7 T
    November 25, 2009 at 18:44

    What if the U.K. were invaded and occupied? The population’s told that you don’t have the right kind of “democracy.” The Royal Family is sent into exile. And Gordon Brown becomes a puppet P.M. Keeping WWII in mind, would you just obediently follow orders? Or would you fight back?

  7. 8 Tom K in Mpls
    November 25, 2009 at 18:46

    Under a valid pretext and with support of the national government, we attacked individuals that demonstrated the ability to do us harm. We could have stopped there and withdraw and been justified. Instead, we chose a long fight to stop terrorism from using the area as a base for the foreseeable future.

    Due to that, we have two choices. Pull out and give more credibility to the Taliban, the victors, or stay and slowly take the recruiting base away from the Taliban. The Taliban will thrive in any area that they can either provide a more secure life to the locals or where the can overpower the locals. To win, we must make the locals secure in both governance and economy.

  8. 9 T
    November 25, 2009 at 18:54

    Another view on this. Many people in Congress have substantial investments in defense industry and contractor corporations operating in Afgannistan. Some are making up to $50 million in dividends.

    Obama is a millionaire several times over. How much money is HE making off of this war?

    • 10 Tom K in Mpls
      November 26, 2009 at 19:45

      There is no lack of industries for everyone to invest in. Many overlap. Most are profitable and investments are easily moved. This ‘logic’ doesn’t hold.

  9. 11 Elias
    November 25, 2009 at 19:16

    To finish the job so to speak you must have the tools to do it. The USA has the tools but will they use it?.

  10. 12 Roberto
    November 25, 2009 at 21:53

    RE “” it has left some wondering what he means by “finishing the job”. “”

    ———– Obama is drawing a clear distinction between his presidency and the previous “Mission Accomplished” administration who dragged the US into an intractable quigmire.

    In the Obama presidency, stabilization with slow withdrawal will be worked on carefully to achieve.

  11. 13 Bert
    November 25, 2009 at 22:30

    We will have to see what he means. All we can do now is guess.

    Still, I find it ironic how President Obama continues to believe that on every issue, “once people hear what the issues are, they will agree with me.” Or words to that effect.

    People have shown that they do not. The health care debate was the first instance where he made that egregious error, thinking this time it was “different” from the Clinton attempt. It wasn’t different. The only general agreement is that something has to be done.

    More people now disagree with Obama than agree with him, on the Afghanistan policy. I see no hidden gems popping out at the last moment that will change people’s minds, just as there weren’t in the health care debate. Rhetoric is, afet all is said and done, just rhetoric. That’s why it gets such a bad name for itself.

    And I voted for him.

  12. 14 T
    November 26, 2009 at 01:21

    The population doesn’t want us there. It’s legal for a husband to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11. Yet, Obama keeps pushing this as a justification to stay in Afghanistan.

  13. 15 ash
    November 26, 2009 at 13:50

    talibans are sunni , ultra conservetive wahabi sect followers who were trained in madressas all over Pakistan.Talibans were used against Russians in Afghanistan in 70’with the help of Pakistan and US.These Talibans ended up with huge stokepilesof US arms and deadly missles.After Soviet left Afghanistan Pakstani military estblishment and Pakistan’s notorious secret service with the help of Pakistans majority Punjabi seniors arny offcers provided all kinds of help to take over afghanistan.Thease calculative move by the Pakistan’s military regimeis to gain stretigic depth for possible future war with India.This is the way military planners in Pakistan think.The proofs are recent sicide attacks on Indian embassy in Afghaniostan by these Talibans with full training and logistcal support provided by Pakistan’s ISI.Pakistan sees Indian presence in Afghanistan is a Threat.that’s it encrouges taliban to kidnap or kill indinan national in Afghanistan.This proves the root cause of all the problems lies with the unruly Pakistan.

  14. 16 Ibrahim in UK
    November 26, 2009 at 17:27

    “finish the job”

    It means whatever the politicians want it to mean at any point in time.
    It could even mean partitioning Aghanistan into Kabul et al provinces and Taleban held provinces and limiting their sphere of influence into easy-to-protect areas. (or for the blogger, provinces where the pipeline will be constructed)

  15. 17 JanB
    November 26, 2009 at 18:37

    “or for the blogger, provinces where the pipeline will be constructed”

    LOL, so few people actually do the math on the conspiracy theories they’re being fed by Michael Moore and the likes. I’m always confused as to whether I should feel pity for the fool who brings up the “pipeline” argument again or whether I should just laugh at him.

  16. 18 ash
    November 26, 2009 at 19:59

    The real peace in Afghanistan and rest of the world can only achive when US,UK and Nato forces succeed in eliminating all kinds of talibans with their leaders.all foreign terror groups,al quaedaa leaderdhip and its cadre,and all jehadi terror groups based in Pakistan and supported by notorious ISI and pakistan’s hydra headed punjabi army.nuclear armed ,unruly and unstable Pakistan has become a headache for the world community.

  17. 19 Ronald Almeida
    November 26, 2009 at 20:14

    Finishing the job as far as Afganistan is concernd is, ‘Get the hell out of a country that’s not yours and mind your own business.’

  18. November 27, 2009 at 19:00

    I don’t know what it is he hopes to achieve there but would suggest if anything he would destroy the poppy fields once and for all. These fuel both the drugs trade and terrorist funds. Whatever damage the terrorists do may do in the western world the drugs trade does far more.

    • 21 Tom K in Mpls
      November 27, 2009 at 23:05

      And how will the locals earn money? The US has quit attacking farms. It is very counter productive. Instead, the refiners and distributors are targeted. This way the farmers can transition their crops.

  19. 22 lyfeform
    November 28, 2009 at 22:17

    Tom D Ford asks the right questions:

    What was the job?

    What is the job now?

    Before you can answer the question, “What does “finishing the job” mean?” you have to first answer Tom’s questions, mainly,”What IS the job that needs to be “finished”? The job in Vietnam that needed to be finished was: How can we lose this evil war and go home? How, indeed, and again with this war. And with Iraq. Anyone remember that that “job” is also unfinished?

  20. 23 Kingsley
    November 28, 2009 at 22:21

    Cant we just address the issues. I think it is most unfair for some bloggers to hold opinioins that suggest that the US President is benefitng materially from the war in Afghanistan.I am particulalry impressed with the commititment of the US and others to bringing relative peace to a very troubled part of the globe, To suggest that Obama is profitng from this war is to say that he enjoys the sight of his Boys coming home in bodybags,he wounded to Walter Reed.American Policy is Premised not so much on profit than it is committed to a better humanity.At least compared to others the USA has a soul.Lets Hope that stability can return to that part of the world.Obama has my support and respect.Go all on and finish the Job.

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