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Gerry Clinchy
09-21-2009, 10:03 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/21/world/asia/21afghan.html?th&emc=th

I do admire Gen. McChrystal for telling it like it is about the corruption within the local government, as the recent elections would tend to indicate.

Perhaps it's no wonder that it would take someone from the military to call attention to it. Our Congressmen/women are so filled with scandal/corruption they may no longer be able to tell.

Bruce MacPherson
09-21-2009, 10:19 AM
Let's just see what the President, who promised during the election to take the advice of his commanders, does now. If past actions are a future indicator, The Good War, will be just another thing that falls by the wayside.

YardleyLabs
09-21-2009, 11:11 AM
Interesting report (see http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/Assessment_Redacted_092109.pdf?hpid=topnews)). McChrystal makes a few critical points:
"Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it."
"Additional resources are required, but focusing on force or resource requirements misses the point entirely. The key take away from this assessment is the urgent need for a significant change to our strategy and the way we think and operate."
"Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces, we have operated in a manner that distances us -- physically and psychologically -- from the people we seek to protect. In addition, we run the risk of strategic defeat by pursuing tactical wins that cause civilian casualties or unnecessary collateral damage."While he indicates that more troops are needed to achieve short-term success, he indicates that it is more important to implement short term changes in the manner that our forces operate. Surprisingly, he states that there does not seem to be a problem of the local population perceiving the coalition forces as an occupying force.

Goose
09-21-2009, 12:29 PM
Here's what the President needs to do...bring our soldiers home. Now.

Look at what's happened to us since this war started. The politicians, central bankers and crooks on Wall Street have completely destroyed a great country. We're broke and getting broker thanks to them.

And we send our brave men and women overseas to fight a war for this? What the hell do they have to come home to? A bankrupt country. If this war is so vital to our national interests then start up the draft again and let's all get some!

Bring our soldiers home and let the middle east go back to being the middle east. It's going to happen anyway as soon as we leave. Who are we kidding?

ducknwork
09-21-2009, 01:05 PM
Great idea.

NOT.

As long as the middle east stayed in the middle east, I might agree. However, that is not the case. Pulling the troops out now would not bode well for the United States. We must finish the job or they may come to our soil and finish what they started.


I wonder what condition the economy would be in without us being at war. I would be willing to guess that it creates more jobs and income than we spend on fighting it. If the war stopped today, how many industries and people that support the war in various capacities would come to a halt?
________
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dnf777
09-21-2009, 02:03 PM
Great idea.

NOT.

As long as the middle east stayed in the middle east, I might agree. However, that is not the case. Pulling the troops out now would not bode well for the United States. We must finish the job or they may come to our soil and finish what they started.


I wonder what condition the economy would be in without us being at war. I would be willing to guess that it creates more jobs and income than we spend on fighting it. If the war stopped today, how many industries and people that support the war in various capacities would come to a halt?

Ask the Russians how NOT pulling out boded for them! I'm not sure of what our mission in A-stan is anymore. It was to get bin Laden, but that seems so passe now, especially after we let him slip from our clutches in '04. As far as them coming to our soil...who exactly to you mean? I doubt the tribal Pastuns have any desire to come to America, most have never heard of us. I think you're referring to the Islamic extremists, such as bin Laden, who are Saudi. Bombing Afghanistan to rubble will not deter nor affect in any way the majority of muslim extremists who would harm the U.S.

I thank God everyday that I wasn't born an Afghan....who probably wouldn't know squat about the world situation, but would probably be bombed or shot for it anyway.

road kill
09-21-2009, 02:44 PM
Interesting report (see http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/Assessment_Redacted_092109.pdf?hpid=topnews)). McChrystal makes a few critical points:
"Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it."
"Additional resources are required, but focusing on force or resource requirements misses the point entirely. The key take away from this assessment is the urgent need for a significant change to our strategy and the way we think and operate."
"Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces, we have operated in a manner that distances us -- physically and psychologically -- from the people we seek to protect. In addition, we run the risk of strategic defeat by pursuing tactical wins that cause civilian casualties or unnecessary collateral damage."While he indicates that more troops are needed to achieve short-term success, he indicates that it is more important to implement short term changes in the manner that our forces operate. Surprisingly, he states that there does not seem to be a problem of the local population perceiving the coalition forces as an occupying force.


Thank you, Yardley, for telling us what he was really saying!:rolleyes:

WE would never have understood otherwise.:D


Fact is, Afgahnistan is a huge mistake, no value to it, no strategic value and it is unwinnable.
Ask Russia.

dnf777
09-21-2009, 03:17 PM
Fact is, Afgahnistan is a huge mistake, no value to it, no strategic value and it is unwinnable.
Ask Russia.

I think I agree with the most part; so I ask, why are we there?

road kill
09-21-2009, 03:25 PM
I think I agree with the most part; so I ask, why are we there?

Show!

It's one man's way of denigrating another man.
I truly beleive that "the Obama" thinks Bin Laden is in Afgahnistan and if he gets him he will be a hero.

Iran was chosen for a myriad of reasons.

Strategic value (central location in the region)
WMD's as reported by Israeli intelligence (maybe Israel was wrong, maybe not)
The people's desire for freedom (vs. Afgahnistan's disire for lawlessness)

But noone ever discusses that, because the secular progressives would have to give up part of their religion.....Bush hating!

So, we are now escalating Afgahnistan, for what?

dnf777
09-21-2009, 05:31 PM
Show!

It's one man's way of denigrating another man.
I truly beleive that "the Obama" thinks Bin Laden is in Afgahnistan and if he gets him he will be a hero.

Iran was chosen for a myriad of reasons.

Strategic value (central location in the region)
WMD's as reported by Israeli intelligence (maybe Israel was wrong, maybe not)
The people's desire for freedom (vs. Afgahnistan's disire for lawlessness)

But noone ever discusses that, because the secular progressives would have to give up part of their religion.....Bush hating!

So, we are now escalating Afgahnistan, for what?

I think lawlessness is the ultimate expression of freedom. I think it was Ben Franklin (?) that said every law is an assault on man's liberty.

Anyway, who knows where BL is? A-Stan is as good as any other guess, but he might also run a leather shop in San Jose. BL's problem is that there's not many Arabs over 6 feet tall, but he's done a good job at ducking so far.

I find it ironic that a religious fundamentalist orchestrated the WTC attack, and in return, another fundamentalist launched a war not against the first actor, but against a different country, which incited fundamentalists of many sects to recruit jihadists.....and you poke fun at secularists! Just remember, secularists have never killed anyone in the name of God! (Hitler is debatable, but I won't go there if you don't!)

Anyway, I wasn't jabbing at Bush. I was honestly wondering what Mr. Obama's goals are for Afghanistan, because I'm not clear on that. Someone said this is Obama's "LBJ moment"....where he can be remembered for health care reform to help Americans...or choose to continue a war beyond it's useful conclusion. I think whenever a President commits young men and women, not to mention billions (nay, trillions) of dollars, he better damn well spell out very clearly why we're being asked to sacrafice. I haven't seen that from Obama or his predecessor.

Like I said before, most Afghans are nomadic Pashtuns who probably don't give a FF about America. I don't think there's danger of Russia taking over and establishing missile bases anymore, so I say let's get the hell out. Osama is a mere symbol of the real problem we need to deal with. In 2001-2003 it would have been symbolic and nice to have a full shoulder mount of him above the oval office fireplace, but I think we need to move on to the real issues now.

BTW, how was the road trip? If you can't talk about it, I assume it was good! :cool:

road kill
09-21-2009, 05:37 PM
BTW, how was the road trip? If you can't talk about it, I assume it was good! :cool:
I have been going to Tomahawk for about 22 years (missed a couple).
This was the nicest weather ever!!

I mean 67 + or - 2 degrees all day and cloudless.
I used to ride with a group, this year just me and the redhead, we met friends up there.
Just rode and did what we wanted.
About 1100 miles all totaled.

Good food, great sights (:cool:) and lot's of fun.
Leaves about 20% turned right now.

Probably the best attended event ever.

Now it's time to put the bike away and start doin' what I got this little black dog to do!!

That and start shooting the bow.

Team Elvis
:cool: :black:

TXduckdog
09-21-2009, 06:21 PM
I think I agree with the most part; so I ask, why are we there?


Wrong question....we're there, now what are we going to do about it?

Item 1..... should be keep the fricking politicians and news media out of the tactical situation.

Item 2....accept the fact that collateral damage is going to happen.....especially with these cowards hiding behind women and children and in populated areas.

Item 3....there are no civil rights on a battlefield....period.

dnf777
09-21-2009, 07:47 PM
Wrong question....we're there, now what are we going to do about it?

Item 1..... should be keep the fricking politicians and news media out of the tactical situation.

Item 2....accept the fact that collateral damage is going to happen.....especially with these cowards hiding behind women and children and in populated areas.

Item 3....there are no civil rights on a battlefield....period.

I agree with your three items. But if we don't have a good answer to my question, then the answer to yours is "get the hell out"! And the three items become moot. If we have good reason to be there, then we need to take your three items into consideration and act definitively.

Bush is gone (as RK likes to mention) so I won't address his policies, other than to say initially he made it very clear we were after the SOBs who hit our WTC, and disable their terror-making network. We didn't accomplish that goal, or more precisely, we let our gains backslide to where we are now by all but abandoning Afghanistan in lieu of Iraq. So, back to the future....what is our goal now? Disabling terror networks in rugged terrain such as A-stan and P-stan are probably best done by disrupting communication and financial routings, not military occupance.

During the Russian invasion, Chernenko was warned that he would require 650,000 troops to secure Afghanistan by military force. He instead dedicated 115,000. Those who study or are old enough to remember history , know what happened.

Obama had better get on the ball with this. He's losing support from all directions. If he's for the war, he needs to explain why and dedicate the necessary resources to accomplish his yet unstated goals. If he's against the war, which was implicit in his campaign, then get the hell out, and explain why.

Given the near collapse of our financial system he had to deal with, he's been given some slack. But with lives in harm's way, he needs to move now in one direction or another.

Gerry Clinchy
09-22-2009, 06:53 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/


WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has told its top commander in Afghanistan to delay submitting his request for additional troops, defense officials say, amid signs that the Obama administration is rethinking its strategy for combating a resurgent Taliban.

A senior Pentagon official says the administration has asked for the reprieve so it can complete a review of the U.S.-led war effort. "We have to make sure we have the right strategy" before looking at additional troop requests, the official said. "Things have changed on the ground fairly considerably."

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, recently completed a classified report asking for significant numbers of new American troops. Military officials familiar with the matter says the report lays out several options, including one that seeks roughly 40,000 reinforcements, which would push the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to more than 100,000 for the first time.

But the commander has been told to delay submitting the troop request to the Pentagon at the direction of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other top civilian officials, according to defense officials.

The administration's call for a further strategic review -- which official said could take weeks -- comes as military commanders in the field say the campaign is running out of time and U.S. congressional and public support for the war is flagging.

In a new assessment of the war submitted to the Pentagon last month and made public Monday, Gen. McChrystal wrote that if the Taliban insurgency's momentum isn't reversed in the next 12 months, defeating it may no longer be possible. "Time matters; we must act now to reverse the negative trends and demonstrate progress," Gen. McChrystal wrote in a "Commander's Summary" at the start of the assessment.

In the spring, O said that A'stan was of primary importance to keep the Taliban from regaining control, because they provided an environment for operations of Al Quaeda. That was consistent with the initial reason to go to A'stan by the previous administration.

That was why O said that A'stan was more important than Iraq. His plan was to reduce troops in Iraq & commit the #s to A'stan. He was so adamant about the importance of A'stan success that he stipulated he was willing to cross the P'stan border if need be.

When McChrystal was chosen for his position, O said that he was "the best" for the type of warfare that the A'stan situation presented.

Now McChrystal has given his assessment of the situation, but O now doubts that McC knows what he's talking about.

It was stated in one of the media that certain details of the report are not public, due to nationial security. That is understandable. I would imagine that those non-public items related to McC's more specific recommendations for what action should be taken. Presumably the strategy has been outlined, but O doubts that it is the correct strategy. We do not have all the info that O has due to the items that were not public info.

What did he expect from McC? It was not rocket science that little progress was being made in A'stan. Something was lacking in what was being done there. I would expect that McC was supposed to tell O what the solution was. McC is "on the ground" there. Maybe it was not what O wanted to hear? Did he expect that it was not going to get hot in the kitchen?

YardleyLabs
09-22-2009, 08:22 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/


In the spring, O said that A'stan was of primary importance to keep the Taliban from regaining control, because they provided an environment for operations of Al Quaeda. That was consistent with the initial reason to go to A'stan by the previous administration.

That was why O said that A'stan was more important than Iraq. His plan was to reduce troops in Iraq & commit the #s to A'stan. He was so adamant about the importance of A'stan success that he stipulated he was willing to cross the P'stan border if need be.

When McChrystal was chosen for his position, O said that he was "the best" for the type of warfare that the A'stan situation presented.

Now McChrystal has given his assessment of the situation, but O now doubts that McC knows what he's talking about.

It was stated in one of the media that certain details of the report are not public, due to nationial security. That is understandable. I would imagine that those non-public items related to McC's more specific recommendations for what action should be taken. Presumably the strategy has been outlined, but O doubts that it is the correct strategy. We do not have all the info that O has due to the items that were not public info.

What did he expect from McC? It was not rocket science that little progress was being made in A'stan. Something was lacking in what was being done there. I would expect that McC was supposed to tell O what the solution was. McC is "on the ground" there. Maybe it was not what O wanted to hear? Did he expect that it was not going to get hot in the kitchen?
Gerry,

The impression I got from Obama's comments was that he believed, given the assessment of the resources needed and the likelihood of success, that it was appropriate to review the mission to determine if it is worth the cost. That does not question the recommendations regarding strategy for engagement, it raises the question of whether or not we should continue to engage at all. Without prejudging the result of that assessment, I believe it is appropriate to do for all the reasons mentioned by RK and Dave.

Gerry Clinchy
09-23-2009, 12:55 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/world/asia/23policy.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Interesting ... Biden thinks we should concentrate on P'stan where AQ is operating from now; and forget about the Taliban. Hillary stated that if the Taliban get control of A'stan, AQ will just move back to A'stan under the T's protection.

Correct me if I'm wrong ... but if Hillary is correct, wouldn't that just put us back where we were when the U.S. first went to A'stan?

It would appear that AQ and Taliban present a continuing problem for the area (as they were perceived to be at the outset). In that context, pulling out isn't an option. Finding the solution of how to bring A'stan into the 21st century is the question.

Indeed, that may be as someone else has suggested, daily life improvements like education, hospitals, stable water & food supplies that can be sustained by the people themselves. When people have a life that has hope, they will want to preserve it. It is at the grassroots that people will change their country, standing down anyone who would take their improvements away ... warlords, Taliban, AQ, whoever. Not a simple achievement against the cultural background; not a "quick fix" either. You don't accomplish 200 years of change in 8 years. Especially when at least part of those 8 years has been used to figure out what strategy will work.

If O is willing to say that he could not accomplish all his tasks here, in a stable, lawful lawful environment ... how could he expect McChrystal to do that in A'stan in less time? Should he pay more attention to McC who is supposed to be "the best" at what he does ... or to Joe & others who have no credentials in this venue?

YardleyLabs
09-23-2009, 01:35 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/world/asia/23policy.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Interesting ... Biden thinks we should concentrate on P'stan where AQ is operating from now; and forget about the Taliban. Hillary stated that if the Taliban get control of A'stan, AQ will just move back to A'stan under the T's protection.

Correct me if I'm wrong ... but if Hillary is correct, wouldn't that just put us back where we were when the U.S. first went to A'stan?

It would appear that AQ and Taliban present a continuing problem for the area (as they were perceived to be at the outset). In that context, pulling out isn't an option. Finding the solution of how to bring A'stan into the 21st century is the question.

Indeed, that may be as someone else has suggested, daily life improvements like education, hospitals, stable water & food supplies that can be sustained by the people themselves. When people have a life that has hope, they will want to preserve it. It is at the grassroots that people will change their country, standing down anyone who would take their improvements away ... warlords, Taliban, AQ, whoever. Not a simple achievement against the cultural background; not a "quick fix" either. You don't accomplish 200 years of change in 8 years. Especially when at least part of those 8 years has been used to figure out what strategy will work.

If O is willing to say that he could not accomplish all his tasks here, in a stable, lawful lawful environment ... how could he expect McChrystal to do that in A'stan in less time? Should he pay more attention to McC who is supposed to be "the best" at what he does ... or to Joe & others who have no credentials in this venue?
Sadly, I do not think there will be any easy answer and Afghanistan is likely to be a destabilizing influence for years to come. If it were not for the risk to Pakistan, I would not believe it was worth our money and the lives of our soldiers and the soldiers of our allies. However, if Pakistan falls under the control of Taliban and al Qaeda allies, I believe it will be a greater threat to the US and the world than Iran, Iraq and North Korea combined.

Even saying that, however, questions remain on the best strategy to follow. McChrystal is trying to answer the question of what do we do to win the war in Afghanistan. An alternative question might be what do we do to avoid losing Pakistan. The answers and risks might be different.

The apparent theft of the election in Afghanistan has to be part of the equation and forces some reassessment of prior policy commitments. One of our biggest failures in Vietnam was our support of governments that lacked any legitimacy at all and were uniformly hated by all but a small segment of the population. We cannot afford to repeat that mistake again and we cannot win in Afghanistan without the leadership of a viable local government.

WaterDogRem
09-23-2009, 01:55 PM
Bush is gone (as RK likes to mention) so I won't address his policies, other than to say initially he made it very clear we were after the SOBs who hit our WTC, and disable their terror-making network. We didn't accomplish that goal, or more precisely, we let our gains backslide to where we are now by all but abandoning Afghanistan in lieu of Iraq. So, back to the future....what is our goal now? Disabling terror networks in rugged terrain such as A-stan and P-stan are probably best done by disrupting communication and financial routings, not military occupance.
I agree that disrupting communications and financial routes is a must, but I also believe disrupting and crippling the terrorist forces from organizing and gain strength is a bigger must. There will always be some new radical ready to finance them, but if we continually dismantle these terrorist they will not be able to gain strength in numbers. If we don't, they we bring the war to us on our soil. I'd rather fight a war, against these terrorists including the ones who attacked us over 8 yrs ago, on their soil. They'll not stop if we just leave, as we are infidels and must be eliminated in their eyes.



During the Russian invasion, Chernenko was warned that he would require 650,000 troops to secure Afghanistan by military force. He instead dedicated 115,000. Those who study or are old enough to remember history , know what happened.
True, but you must remember we (the US) were supplying the Afgans with supplies and weapons to fight Russia. If we had not, I'm not sure we would have seen the same outcome, especially if they used the required troop force.



Obama had better get on the ball with this. He's losing support from all directions. If he's for the war, he needs to explain why and dedicate the necessary resources to accomplish his yet unstated goals. If he's against the war, which was implicit in his campaign, then get the hell out, and explain why.
When running for POTUS he condemned the Iraq war and stated we should be focused on Afgan. But he has always flip flopped on too many issues to list, so who really knows what he believes now, but I agree he better explain. Although we know is explanation will be vague and pointless really.

dnf777
09-23-2009, 02:11 PM
True, but you must remember we (the US) were supplying the Afgans with supplies and weapons to fight Russia. If we had not, I'm not sure we would have seen the same outcome, especially if they used the required troop force.

It's nice to agree once in a while! :D

One point though, Carter and Brzenski (sp?) decided a strategy to weaken the Soviet Union and hasten the end of the Cold War was to let Russia sap it's resources fighting an endless war in Afghanistan. We spent billions bolstering the mujihideen and despite Reagan's claims to ending the cold war, THAT really brought the USSR to its financial knees. Anyway, back to today, don't you think there may be forces out there who don't like us, that will fund the Afghan insurgents? Iran? Fundamental Islamists inside Saudi? And correct me if I'm wrong, but they have MONEY!

I used to decry having to study history when I was in school, but now I see how both short-term and long-term history tend to repeat, and how important it is to learn from our anscestor's mistakes and triumphs.

I can hear Islamists laughing at us. Winning the cold war in part by bogging down our enemy in the middle east....then turning around 30 years later and getting bogged down in the middle east......

Gerry Clinchy
09-23-2009, 03:31 PM
Even saying that, however, questions remain on the best strategy to follow. McChrystal is trying to answer the question of what do we do to win the war in Afghanistan. An alternative question might be what do we do to avoid losing Pakistan. The answers and risks might be different.

Another agreement! How about that!

An unstable or Taliban-controlled A'stan, with AQ busy there, and P'stan with nuclear capability ... so A'stan is important. If the previous administration erred in not continuing its A'stan initiative, then the present resurgence of the T'ban could be a clue that such strategy was faulty. We need to come up with a better answer.


One of our biggest failures in Vietnam was our support of governments that lacked any legitimacy at all and were uniformly hated by all but a small segment of the population.

Absolutely! A friend in the Marines was involved in the pacification objectives later in the Vietnam conflict. They were actually making some headway, when the pullout came. But the corrupt S Vietnamese govt was definitely a detriment. Hah! We should talk, look at our own guys in DC :-)

From what coverage there is in the media, the only positive thing is that the US doesn't seem to be trying to conceal the dubious election results, as was done in Iran. Maybe there is a ray of hope?

I'm sure there are people in the military and state departments who are old enough to remember these errors of the past, but will they have a voice?

As Dave mentions, long-term history is important here. A'stan will not succumb to frontal assault. McChrystal's report mentioned not distancing the Americans from the people. That is a different approach than frontal assault. It may take more troops to work that strategy, but it is a different strategy than what has failed for others who have tried to subjugate A'stan. Subjugation is not the answer. And it should not be. It should be more about allowing the Afghanis have a better life for their children & themselves and, thus, having something they want to defend & preserve for themselves.

McC also advocated tactical measures to minimize civilian casualties. That would be an important factor in engendering grassroots support. He sounds like a straight-shooter to me.

YardleyLabs
09-23-2009, 03:43 PM
Another agreement! How about that!

An unstable or Taliban-controlled A'stan, with AQ busy there, and P'stan with nuclear capability ... so A'stan is important. If the previous administration erred in not continuing its A'stan initiative, then the present resurgence of the T'ban could be a clue that such strategy was faulty. We need to come up with a better answer.



Absolutely! A friend in the Marines was involved in the pacification objectives later in the Vietnam conflict. They were actually making some headway, when the pullout came. But the corrupt S Vietnamese govt was definitely a detriment. Hah! We should talk, look at our own guys in DC :-)

From what coverage there is in the media, the only positive thing is that the US doesn't seem to be trying to conceal the dubious election results, as was done in Iran. Maybe there is a ray of hope?

I'm sure there are people in the military and state departments who are old enough to remember these errors of the past, but will they have a voice?

As Dave mentions, long-term history is important here. A'stan will not succumb to frontal assault. McChrystal's report mentioned not distancing the Americans from the people. That is a different approach than frontal assault. It may take more troops to work that strategy, but it is a different strategy than what has failed for others who have tried to subjugate A'stan. Subjugation is not the answer. And it should not be. It should be more about allowing the Afghanis have a better life for their children & themselves and, thus, having something they want to defend & preserve for themselves.

McC also advocated tactical measures to minimize civilian casualties. That would be an important factor in engendering grassroots support. He sounds like a straight-shooter to me.
Agreed. But there still needs to be a full discussion because if we buy into McChrystal's recommendations we are probably looking at major military involvement lasting another 3-4 years. That shouldn't be done without some bi-partisan consensus. Our soldiers and taxpayers deserve that and so do the Afghans.

Gerry Clinchy
09-23-2009, 04:12 PM
Agreed. But there still needs to be a full discussion because if we buy into McChrystal's recommendations we are probably looking at major military involvement lasting another 3-4 years. That shouldn't be done without some bi-partisan consensus. Our soldiers and taxpayers deserve that and so do the Afghans.

Did I imply that discussion wasn't needed? If, so, didn't mean to. Just expressing a personal opinion on my impression of what we know of McC's report ... and agreeing with you that A'stan does have importance due to the nuclear capability of Pakistan.

I cannot see how one could possibly imagine bridging the cultural gap that exists in A'stan in less than 3-4 years ... undoubtedly would take more time than that. The hope would be, though, that if we take the right approach, there will be more emphasis on education, stable food and water supplies, medical care, etc. that will make the populace partners in bettering their situation in terms of daily necessities. I think that this kind of approach takes time. Maybe more time, but fewer body bags? Sounds like a fair trade if it can work out well for the Afghanis in the long run.

If Americans have a flaw, it is impatience. It's cultural. We are Type A personalities :-), and many other cultures are not. We can have a hard time in understanding that & acting accordingly.

dnf777
09-23-2009, 04:32 PM
I like the "Two Cups of Tea" approach. We have no beef with the nomadic Afghans. A bullet war in their backyard will be prolonged and likely will generate one or two Taliban sympathizers for every one we kill. From the Romans to the Russians, do we need to learn our lesson the hard way? Pakistan is not totally lost due in large part to the building of schools, educating the kids, providing medical facilities, and helping them learn how to better themselves in their own way, at their own pace. Gerry's right...that takes time, something we're not good at with continuous election cycles driving policy.

road kill
09-23-2009, 05:14 PM
I like the "Two Cups of Tea" approach. We have no beef with the nomadic Afghans. A bullet war in their backyard will be prolonged and likely will generate one or two Taliban sympathizers for every one we kill. From the Romans to the Russians, do we need to learn our lesson the hard way? Pakistan is not totally lost due in large part to the building of schools, educating the kids, providing medical facilities, and helping them learn how to better themselves in their own way, at their own pace. Gerry's right...that takes time, something we're not good at with continuous election cycles driving policy.

"Gerry's right...that takes time, something we're not good at with continuous POLLING cycles driving policy."

Fixed.....:D

Hew
09-23-2009, 05:38 PM
But there still needs to be a full discussion because if we buy into McChrystal's recommendations we are probably looking at major military involvement lasting another 3-4 years. That shouldn't be done without some bi-partisan consensus. Our soldiers and taxpayers deserve that and so do the Afghans.
The decision making process you're promoting is part of the reason the public has a general mistrust of liberals when it comes to the defense of this country. As a president you don't fight wars and direct foreign policy by licking your finger and sticking it up in the wind. You don't let 535 folks monkey eff a football by fobbing off your responsibilities on Congress. You consider the advice of the experts around you and you make what you think is the correct decision. That's called leadership. That's why we elected him as the head decider. Now it's time for him to get decidin'.

Matt McKenzie
09-23-2009, 06:30 PM
John,
I agree. It is Congress' job to declare war. It is the Commander in Chief's job to prosecute the war. Nobody in Congress is qualified to make tactical or strategic military decisions and their opinions are to varying degrees biased and political. The President should consult the experts that he has chosen and then make an informed decision. That's what we're paying him for.

Goose
09-23-2009, 06:31 PM
Our Commander in Chief has more in common with Al Qaeda than he does the United States Marine Corps. Hell, he probably has relatives fighting for the Taliban! Dear Leader can't be trusted because I'm not sure who he's rooting for.

Bring them home!

luvalab
09-23-2009, 06:47 PM
They keep talking of the Taliban "insurgency" and Afghan "civilians."

What if--and maybe I'm just feeling a little down, to think a whole country could be dominated by such misery, but anyway--what if the Taliban ARE the civilians? What if that's the norm there in the year 2009?

Who are we to do anything about it?

Let's get out. Let a REAL insurgency develop--against the Taliban. If people are inherently good, which I sincerely hope, then that's what will someday happen.

If they are ever strong enough that with a little help we can push them into power and majority, then we can go back. Then we'd be heroes. As it is, we're putting our own in harm's way with no clear agenda, killing lots of folks we don't know in the process and strengthening the resistance to our efforts.

Out. Now.

Gerry Clinchy
09-23-2009, 11:35 PM
I don't think Newsweek would be considered a right-leaning media outlet. This is their headline: Is It Amateur Hour in the White House?
http://www.newsweek.com/id/215991/page/1

There is quite a lot of detail in this article that I hadn't seen before. Newsweek is covering much the same ground that has been discussed on this thread. These are some highlights:


In office, Obama ordered up a new Afghanistan strategy, and announced this on March 27 as the product of what he called "a careful policy review." Shorn of rhetoric, the new strategy actually accepted all the Bush administration's goals in Afghanistan—defeating the insurgents; preventing Al Qaeda from reestablishing a sanctuary there; working to set up a democratic and effective government; training Afghan forces to take over from U.S. troops; coaxing the international community to give more help. The review even added a new goal: saving Pakistan—or, as the review put it, "assisting efforts to enhance civilian control and stable constitutional government in Pakistan and a vibrant economy that provides opportunities for the people of Pakistan. And to accomplish this breath-taking set of objectives? Obama had already agreed to send another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan to safeguard polling in the Afghan presidential election in August. Now, as part of his new strategy, he agreed to send an additional 4,000 troops to train Afghanistan's own forces.


COIN: counter-insurgency. That means protecting the Afghan population from the Taliban and their allies so they can then be wooed into supporting the government and then, hopefully, turning in the insurgents. Whether counter-insurgency is a plausible strategy in Afghanistan is much debated within the military. But that's the strategy Obama adopted in March. What was always clear was that COIN would need thousands more troops. The mystery is whether Obama realized this.


Now Obama's new handpicked commander, Gen Stanley McChrystal, has concluded that he will need another 45,000 troops to carry out Obama's strategy. Plus, by the way, a vastly expanded, better organized, and costly effort to carry out the civic improvement projects that are an essential part of COIN strategy.


Specifically, he charged, the resources U.S. commanders needed "have been denied." "Now, that will change," he said. As late as last month, Obama was declaring the struggle in Afghanistan "a war of necessity" where victory was "fundamental to the defense of our people."


The administration spin is that the debacle of the Afghan presidential elections, which President Hamid Karzai appears to have won by industrial-strength vote-rigging, has altered the situation. That's nonsense. Everyone knew Karzai would do whatever it took to win. (The U.S. in practice settled for that months ago, having tried but failed to find a plausible competitor to Karzai.) If the U.S. does have vital national interests at stake in the region, those remain, no matter how disputed the Afghan government is (or however ineffective the government in Pakistan). Lousy local governments just make the job tougher.


The administration has been trying to prevent Gen. McChrystal from coming back to give Congress his views. That was always short-sighted; now that his assessment has leaked, it's untenable.


Comparisons with Vietnam may be overblown, and are certainly misguided in detail. But the political parallel seems ever more appropriate. Like Lyndon Johnson, Obama has inherited from his predecessor a messy war with only indirect connections to vital U.S. national interests. LBJ had a soaring domestic agenda, but he didn't know how to handle Vietnam. Obama, with comparable domestic ambitions, appears not to know how to handle Afghanistan. Vietnam sank LBJ's presidency in his first term. Afghanistan could do the same to Obama.

TXduckdog
09-24-2009, 10:43 AM
I agree with your three items. But if we don't have a good answer to my question, then the answer to yours is "get the hell out"! And the three items become moot. If we have good reason to be there, then we need to take your three items into consideration and act definitively.

Bush is gone (as RK likes to mention) so I won't address his policies, other than to say initially he made it very clear we were after the SOBs who hit our WTC, and disable their terror-making network. We didn't accomplish that goal, or more precisely, we let our gains backslide to where we are now by all but abandoning Afghanistan in lieu of Iraq. So, back to the future....what is our goal now? Disabling terror networks in rugged terrain such as A-stan and P-stan are probably best done by disrupting communication and financial routings, not military occupance.

During the Russian invasion, Chernenko was warned that he would require 650,000 troops to secure Afghanistan by military force. He instead dedicated 115,000. Those who study or are old enough to remember history , know what happened.

Obama had better get on the ball with this. He's losing support from all directions. If he's for the war, he needs to explain why and dedicate the necessary resources to accomplish his yet unstated goals. If he's against the war, which was implicit in his campaign, then get the hell out, and explain why.

Given the near collapse of our financial system he had to deal with, he's been given some slack. But with lives in harm's way, he needs to move now in one direction or another.


Agreed.

Very interesting Newsweek comments. They are dead on....for once.

road kill
09-24-2009, 04:43 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/09/24/60minutes/main5335445.shtml

Gerry Clinchy
09-24-2009, 05:19 PM
Seems like this General does have a strategy ... and that concern for civilian casualties is definitely a departure from the approach of previous outsiders who have tried to "tame" A'stan.

If I had to choose between the instincts of this man or Joe Biden to protect life and limb ...

Gerry Clinchy
09-24-2009, 05:44 PM
dnf777

If he's against the war, which was implicit in his campaign,

I clearly remember O, in the debates, stating that we should not be in Iraq, and resources withdrawn from Iraq should be put in A'stan. He believed winning in A'stan was important then; and as late as March of this year; and implicitly also when he assigned McChrystal as the new man in charge for A'stan.

Remember those TV commercials from a few years back? "Never let 'em see you sweat." I think you can see O sweating now. He thought he knew all the answers when he was on the outside looking in. Thank goodness he has an international expert like Joe Biden to help him out :-)

dnf777
09-24-2009, 05:44 PM
One concept I would put forward as we discuss Afghanistan is that we need to avoid using undefined terms in any stated goals or missions. To say, "we will surely lose..." or "in order to win..." is very ambiguous, and open for misinterpretation, either intentional or not. Back to the old question, what is winning or losing?

If losing means Al Qaeda takes over and bombs the US in one year killing millions, that is not acceptable. If losing means we pull out before a stable democracy, with less civil unrest than Pittsburgh is currently experiencing, then losing may not be so bad.

Again, once this G20 pig roast is over, Mr. Obama needs to explain in clear, concise terms what our mission in Afghanistan is. Unless he can show that there is a clear and present danger to the United States or allies to justify the presidential war powers, then a brief period to allow the Congress to decide whether or not it wants to declare war on behalf of their constituent American citizens would be necessary. I do not EVER want to concede presidential war powers upon ANY sitting president except under existential crises. The power of the purse and power to declare war were kept out of the president's hands by a group of white-haired men who knew first hand what happens when too much power is vested in one person or branch of government.

Actually, since he is advancing the concept of "global issues" and "global solutions", maybe his speech at the G20 would be the perfect place to lay out his vision and mission for Afghanistan, and if it includes war or occupation, employ a few other heads of state to support that mission.

Gerry Clinchy
09-25-2009, 07:45 AM
NY Times 9/25/09
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/opinion/25brooks.html?th&emc=th


The record suggests what Gen. Stanley McChrystal clearly understands — that only the full counterinsurgency doctrine offers a chance of success. This is a doctrine, as General McChrystal wrote in his remarkable report (http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/Assessment_Redacted_092109.pdf?sid=ST2009092003140 ), that puts population protection at the center of the Afghanistan mission, that acknowledges that insurgencies can only be defeated when local communities and military forces work together.


We have tried to fight the Afghan war the easy way, and it hasn’t worked. Switching now to the McChrystal strategy is a difficult choice, and President Obama is right to take his time. But Obama was also right a few months ago when he declared, “This will not be quick, nor easy. But we must never forget: This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. ... This is fundamental to the defense of our people.”

It appears that McChrystal has engendered respect for his credibility in his area of expertise.

road kill
09-25-2009, 08:00 AM
One concept I would put forward as we discuss Afghanistan is that we need to avoid using undefined terms in any stated goals or missions. To say, "we will surely lose..." or "in order to win..." is very ambiguous, and open for misinterpretation, either intentional or not. Back to the old question, what is winning or losing?

If losing means Al Qaeda takes over and bombs the US in one year killing millions, that is not acceptable. If losing means we pull out before a stable democracy, with less civil unrest than Pittsburgh is currently experiencing, then losing may not be so bad.

Again, once this G20 pig roast is over, Mr. Obama needs to explain in clear, concise terms what our mission in Afghanistan is. Unless he can show that there is a clear and present danger to the United States or allies to justify the presidential war powers, then a brief period to allow the Congress to decide whether or not it wants to declare war on behalf of their constituent American citizens would be necessary. I do not EVER want to concede presidential war powers upon ANY sitting president except under existential crises. The power of the purse and power to declare war were kept out of the president's hands by a group of white-haired men who knew first hand what happens when too much power is vested in one person or branch of government.

Actually, since he is advancing the concept of "global issues" and "global solutions", maybe his speech at the G20 would be the perfect place to lay out his vision and mission for Afghanistan, and if it includes war or occupation, employ a few other heads of state to support that mission.


2 things:

#1---When has "the Obama" ever succinctly and clearly stated his position on anything?
He is Mr. Ambiguous!

#2---With your military strategy & tactics expertise, which academy did you attend?


stan b

dnf777
09-25-2009, 08:48 AM
2 things:

#1---When has "the Obama" ever succinctly and clearly stated his position on anything?
He is Mr. Ambiguous!

#2---With your military strategy & tactics expertise, which academy did you attend?


stan b

#1----When did I ever say he DID? I said he NEEDS TO. I said that about Bush, and same rules apply to Obama. Need CLEAR reasons to send our boys and girls into harms way.

Again, once this G20 pig roast is over, Mr. Obama needs to explain in clear, concise terms what our mission in Afghanistan is. Unless he can show that there is a clear and present danger to the United States or allies to justify the presidential war powers, then a brief period to allow the Congress to decide whether or not it wants to declare war on behalf of their constituent American citizens would be necessary.

#2----Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets --the largest supplier of Army Officers to the military throughout history. But that doesn't qualify me to expect clear mission objectives and justifications for sending our kids and dollars to war---being an American citizen who votes does!

Do you disagree with what I said?

Hew
09-25-2009, 08:52 AM
Seems like this General does have a strategy ... and that concern for civilian casualties is definitely a departure from the approach of previous outsiders who have tried to "tame" A'stan.
I'm sure it wasn't intended, but you perhaps give the impression that before McCrystal came along that the US was wily-nily killing civilians, and the notion of minimizing civilian casualites is some sort of novel approach.

From the CBS article that Stan linked to above:


The increased violence has resulted in 265 civilians killed in U.S. or coalition action in the past 12 months the general says, a situation that must stop if victory is to be attained.

"This civilian casualty issue is much more important than I even realized. It is literally how we lose the war, or in many ways how we win it," McChrystal explained.

The obligatory and obvious disclaimer: it sucks that we inadvertently kill any innocent civilians. But 256? In one year? That's insanely lower than I would have guessed, and in the grand scheme of things (i.e. ummm, this is a WAR), seems pretty praiseworthy that it's already that low.

If McChrystal believes civilian casualties are the main reason that we're not winning, and that the main thrust of his strategy is to lower that number (likely at the expense of killing fewer bad guys and thus increasing the danger to our people), then I'm not too confident that we're going to eventually win. For the love of Pete, the Taliban and al Qaeda INTENTIONALLY kill more civilians than that in a given week or month with IEDs and assassination, and we're supposed to believe that Afghanis find that acceptable and our accidents are atrocities?!? They're either an incredibly stupid people or we have the absolute worst propoganda/public relations program in the history of warfare. Or McChrystal has completely misread the situation.

road kill
09-25-2009, 10:30 AM
#1----When did I ever say he DID? I said he NEEDS TO. I said that about Bush, and same rules apply to Obama. Need CLEAR reasons to send our boys and girls into harms way.

Again, once this G20 pig roast is over, Mr. Obama needs to explain in clear, concise terms what our mission in Afghanistan is. Unless he can show that there is a clear and present danger to the United States or allies to justify the presidential war powers, then a brief period to allow the Congress to decide whether or not it wants to declare war on behalf of their constituent American citizens would be necessary.

#2----Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets --the largest supplier of Army Officers to the military throughout history. But that doesn't qualify me to expect clear mission objectives and justifications for sending our kids and dollars to war---being an American citizen who votes does!

Do you disagree with what I said?
I was not coming at you, I was standing next to you.

Afgahnistan is a "lose-lose."

This is a bad deal.

Been there, done that regards,

road kill
09-25-2009, 03:00 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan/article6849101.ece

Gerry Clinchy
09-25-2009, 05:26 PM
I'm sure it wasn't intended, but you perhaps give the impression that before McCrystal came along that the US was wily-nily killing civilians, and the notion of minimizing civilian casualites is some sort of novel approach.

You're correct, Hew, I did not mean to give the impression that the US was unduly killing civilians. Indeed, however, I'm sure many of the other invaders were not careful on that score, and inflamed the populace by that kind of disregard for civilians.

From the CBS article that Stan linked to above:


The obligatory and obvious disclaimer: it sucks that we inadvertently kill any innocent civilians. But 256? In one year? That's insanely lower than I would have guessed, and in the grand scheme of things (i.e. ummm, this is a WAR), seems pretty praiseworthy that it's already that low.

Considering the terrain situation in A'stan, and the use of air power, it is almost surprising that the numbers are not higher. OTOH, I seem to recall one incident were there were multiple civilians killed, and there was some controversy about the circumstances.

If McChrystal believes civilian casualties are the main reason that we're not winning, and that the main thrust of his strategy is to lower that number (likely at the expense of killing fewer bad guys and thus increasing the danger to our people),

I can understand the importance of civilian protection being a key factor in COIN ... because it is the Americans who are "outsiders". Likely the Taliban are cut some slack because they are "their own". I think that it is natural to emphasize the faults of the "outsider".

then I'm not too confident that we're going to eventually win. For the love of Pete, the Taliban and al Qaeda INTENTIONALLY kill more civilians than that in a given week or month with IEDs and assassination, and we're supposed to believe that Afghanis find that acceptable and our accidents are atrocities?!?

In the end, if the "outsiders" do provide the emphasis on improved life, and respect for the people, I do believe that will carry weight. And it takes longer than taking less care for the civilians. Essentially, it becomes a matter of giving the civilians something they are motivated to protect themselves; and empower them to protect it.

They're either an incredibly stupid people or we have the absolute worst propoganda/public relations program in the history of warfare. Or McChrystal has completely misread the situation.

I think the key to COIN is getting the people on your side. For an "outsider" it is more difficult. The difference is that, it appears, that none of the previous outsiders who have had tried to militarily "conquer" A-stan have not even attempted the COIN approach.

gman0046
09-25-2009, 05:41 PM
dnf777 please say it isn't true that you are a Texas Aggie. What year? Many Reveille's must be turning over in their graves at Kyle Field knowing your an Aggie with such far left views. Thats enough of an excuse to become a Teasip fan. Every time I hear the Aggie War Hymn I will cringe knowing you have degraded Aggies everywhere. It's bad enough Robert Gates is a member of Obongolo's team.

GIG EM AGGIES!

dnf777
09-25-2009, 06:54 PM
dnf777 please say it isn't true that you are a Texas Aggie. What year? Many Reveille's must be turning over in their graves at Kyle Field knowing your an Aggie with such far left views. Thats enough of an excuse to become a Teasip fan. Every time I hear the Aggie War Hymn I will cringe knowing you have degraded Aggies everywhere. It's bad enough Robert Gates is a member of Obongolo's team.

GIG EM AGGIES!

Sorry, but if demanding my CIC spells out goals and justifications for sending our troops into harms way, that's not degrading, nor will I apologize for that 'far left view'. Whether it's Mr. Bush or Mr. Obama, same criteria apply. There's another far left habit I was taught at Aggieland, respect for the POTUS and referring to them as Mr. or President, followed by their correct last name.

I also happen to think that Sec. Gates has shown himself to be a patriot and an honorable man, giving up a PRIMO job at the University to serve his country, not under one, but two presidents of different parties, with a seamless transition. He has reflected nothing but honor and dignity on Texas A&M.

I can tell you're not an Aggie, as you capitalized 'tea-sip'. :confused::confused:

Hew
09-26-2009, 07:08 AM
Gerry,

I am questioning McChyrstal making the reduction of civilian casualties (which are already very low to begin with) the lynchpin of his plan. War, conflict, death and destruction has been pretty constant for multiple generations of many Afghanis. Life is CHEAP there. I hardly see them getting upset over civilian casualites to the extent that it has ruined 8 years of our previous efforts or is the main reason we're losing ground there now. The whole notion seems simplistic and doesn't make logical sense; particularly in light of the fact of all the civilians that are intentionally targeted by the Taliban. As you noted, the Taliban probably gets more of the benefit of the doubt than we do, but in the end, Afghanis know the Taliban is propped up by Arab money and it ranks are comprised of many Arab and foreign jihadists, who to a proud Afghani, aren't much higher up on the pecking order than an American soldier.

Likewise, the COIN program is nothing new, either. McChrystal can slap whatever acronym he wants on it, but we've been doing that since we arrived in A-Stan...perhaps not to the extent that McChrystal wants or the situation requires, but it was/is being done. There are two critiques of our strategy in A-Stan that I have seen/read about and that a relative who served there confirmed that will hopefully be addressed by the fancy "new" COIN program: 1) the lack of training of Afghani military and police and 2) insufficient manpower/willpower to provide a sustained presence/protection out in the hinterland villages.

I hope that in McChrytal's mind, he thinks that with enough men he can do what he needs to do to win/accomplish his mission, and his fancy 60+ page report full of slick acronyms and "new" strategies that really aren't so new was just a necessary means to get the men he needs. Because to me, that report just seems like a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

Hew
09-26-2009, 07:15 AM
I also happen to think that Sec. Gates has shown himself to be a patriot and an honorable man, giving up a PRIMO job at the University to serve his country, not under one, but two presidents of different parties, with a seamless transition. He has reflected nothing but honor and dignity on Texas A&M.
Isn't that special. Dick Cheney gave up an even more "primo" job making more money than most people could imagine in their wildest dreams to serve his country for eight years and you make wild (and false) accusations about him and label him a war profiteer.

Gerry Clinchy
09-26-2009, 08:16 AM
Hew, I don't think that COIN is "new" in and of itself, but it would be a strategy that is new to the approach of dealing with A'stan by an "outsider".

I've mentioned that this type of appraoch was begun in Nam, but too late in that conflict to see what it might ultimately accomplish. There is was called (I think) "pacification".

History tells us that plain old frontal military strategy does not work in A'stan. If A'stan is key to our goals of neutralizing AQ and Taliban, then a different approach from those known to fail would be appropriate.

I'm not a military person, but it does seem logical to me ... there are those who will tell you that my logic sometimes defies understanding :-) ... that it would take more manpower to protect civilian safety while pursuing the other goals of deterring T military moves and also trying to build schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.

Further, while we have an impression that "life is cheap" in A'stan, it is hard to find any country where a mother or father is not heart-wrenched over watching their children maimed and killed. No effort can prevent this from happening entirely, but that does not invalidate the need to make the effort.

One thing the Afghanis certainly understand is determination to succeed in the face of adverse odds. That is how they have deterred those who would thought they could overcome them by brute force.

My sense is that COIN is really about "self-preservation". Meaning that the Afghanis see the efforts of COIN as allowing them to gain "self-preservation," and ultimately have a better situation than they may have presently. Previous outsiders did not offer them that.

I think McC has shown courage in not sugar-coating his report. Surely he could have anticipated that it would cause the controversy that is under way now. I would imagine that in the military, alone, there are conflicting opinions about a COIN approach v. traditional military approaches. And if his C in C lacks the fortitude to make the hard decision of the commitment that McC is recommending ... then McC is out of a job pretty much right away. How refreshing in comparison to our Congress ... who seem like they will tell you anything they think you want to hear to keep their jobs, whether it's the truth or not.

60 pages to comprehensively evaluate the A'stan situation seems remarkably concise when compared to 1,500 pages of hot air in the original medical reform proposal by our Congress :-)

In terms of time frame, I also think of how long it took Russia and China to realize how a taste of capitalism is changing their citizenry. It has taken 30 years in Iran for the populace to question their tyranical leaders and the corruption of what was supposed to be a democratic election. And they have put their lives on the line as a result. The populace really had to figure it out on their own, without much help from any outsiders. With some help, the A'stan people might be able to cut that time by a lot of years ... but likely NOT just 3 or 4 years.

If the previous 8 years in A'stan included some of the aspects of COIN, but did not place emphasis on those aspects, then the "good" things were overshadowed by the more negative aspects of being at war. It is not illogical (to me anyway) for the outsiders to have been blamed for at least some of the bad things done by the T ... if the T had the propaganda machine at the grass roots level to make it appear so. I would be very surprised if the T did not use such an approach.

dnf777
09-26-2009, 10:30 AM
Isn't that special. Dick Cheney gave up an even more "primo" job making more money than most people could imagine in their wildest dreams to serve his country for eight years and you make wild (and false) accusations about him and label him a war profiteer.

Somehow I doubt that little bonus pay at the end of his Haliburton tenure was for a "job well done"!

We may disagree on this, but I'd take being President of TAMU over being a CEO for a defense contractor ANYDAY of the week, and on Sunday!! Obviously wouldn't make as much money, but living in the president's house in Aggieland!?

And no, you've shown me the light on Cheney. I now believe he is an honest boy scout, who in NO WAY profited from the war he helped shape and start. Where can I send my disposable income and first born child? I also now realize the his top secret, closed door meeting with energy companies was truly to help keep energy and gas prices low for you and me, the American consumer. And shame on our troops, who committed torture sololy on their own, with no direction or approval of upper level officials. I'm sure Cheney just took some heat to show support for the troops. That was so noble of him. Poor guy just couldn't for the life of him join and serve himself! Damn deferrments that were forced upon him buy some liberal recruiter! I'm going home right now, and carving a statue of Mr. Cheney in my front yard to commerate a true, honest, virtuous American Hero!

And I'll never stand up for a bum like Gates again, sorry. :rolleyes:

Hew
09-26-2009, 12:05 PM
Somehow I doubt that little bonus pay at the end of his Haliburton tenure was for a "job well done"!

1) He didn't receive bonus pay. He received stock options. Surely you understand the difference.
2) The stock options, when exercised, will go to charity.
3) You keep repeating the same bullsh!t over and over about the money Cheney has supposedly received since he left Halliburton; despite the fact that you've been shown that you're wrong on numerous occasions by myself, factcheck.org, and even Yardley. You're bordering on pathological at this point.

dnf777
09-26-2009, 01:39 PM
1) He didn't receive bonus pay. He received stock options. Surely you understand the difference.
2) The stock options, when exercised, will go to charity.
3) You keep repeating the same bullsh!t over and over about the money Cheney has supposedly received since he left Halliburton; despite the fact that you've been shown that you're wrong on numerous occasions by myself, factcheck.org, and even Yardley. You're bordering on pathological at this point.

1) No, I don't understand the difference between stock options in one's name worth millions when cashed, and bonus pay! I'm not as savvy at word games and double-speak as you and the neocons.

2) Charity? What charity, and just because Mr. Cheney says something, I don't assume its true. Talk about pathologic. But I assume since he's claiming to give this to charity, there IS something worth a bundle we're talking about, right?

3) no response regarding Mr. Cheney's dumping blame for torture on "a few bad apples" (ie our troops)after being involved in it's authorization, or his multiple deferrments. (was it seven? I'm not sure, lost count)

And by the way, why do YOU keep bringing up Cheney. I haven't mentioned him in a long while. As someone pointed out, HE'S NOT VICE-PRESIDENT ANYMORE. I was standing by Mr. Gates, who has done an honorable job in my view. YOU keep bringing up your hero Cheney.

Give it up Hew, you're never gonna convince me that Mr. Cheney is a little angel who deserves a kiss on the cheek from me! Out of respect for his office, I will refrain from saying what I really think of him. Notice I didn't even resort to name calling! :)

Hew
09-27-2009, 05:05 AM
In terms of time frame, I also think of how long it took Russia and China to realize how a taste of capitalism is changing their citizenry. It has taken 30 years in Iran for the populace to question their tyranical leaders and the corruption of what was supposed to be a democratic election. And they have put their lives on the line as a result. The populace really had to figure it out on their own, without much help from any outsiders. With some help, the A'stan people might be able to cut that time by a lot of years ... but likely NOT just 3 or 4 years.
I agree. I'm not advocating quiting. My support for our efforts in A-Stan haven't changed just because there's a different Commander-in-Chief sitting behind the desk.

Hew
09-27-2009, 05:36 AM
And by the way, why do YOU keep bringing up Cheney. I haven't mentioned him in a long while.
Are you suggesting there should be a statute of limitations for the goofy and factually inaccurate things you write? Most times I let your innanities and erroneous statements of fact slide by without comment...eg I bit my tongue earlier in this thread when you spoke of Chernenko ignoring his generals' request for more invasion troops (assuming the invasion troop level portion of your post is even correct, it would have been Breshnev; not Chernenko bucking their advice) in the same post where you spoke of how important it is to know your history, or Obama being implicitly against the war during his campaign (a neat trick and one that only you apparently inferred in the face of his public support of the war). That kind of hypcorisy, nuttiness and error can largely be ignored. But scurrilous, wingnut comments, like Cheney started a war to make himself and his cronies more money, don't get a statute of limitations.

dnf777
09-27-2009, 05:45 AM
Are you suggesting there should be a statute of limitations for the goofy and factually inaccurate things you write? Most times I let your innanities and erroneous statements of fact slide by without comment...eg I bit my tongue earlier in this thread when you spoke of Chernenko ignoring his generals' request for more invasion troops (assuming the invasion troop level portion of your post is even correct, it would have been Breshnev; not Chernenko bucking their advice) in the same post where you spoke of how important it is to know your history, or Obama being implicitly against the war during his campaign (a neat trick and one that only you apparently inferred in the face of his public support of the war). That kind of hypcorisy, nuttiness and error can largely be ignored. But scurrilous, wingnut comments, like Cheney started a war to make himself and his cronies more money, don't get a statute of limitations.

Breshnev was at the helm when the invasion got started. As the situation changed and the full force of the mujihideen became apparent, Chernenko became leader, when the decision became necessary to push on or withdraw. Hey, you've convinced me Bush/Cheney were honest, virtuous leaders (brave leaders, given their outstanding military service records at that). But I don't need to take your word for it, I can just look around at the tip-top shape they handed this country over in!

By the way, since I'm so goofy, please educate me on the big difference between multi-million dollar stock options and a bonus?? I must have missed "double-speak 101" in college.

I'll have a pastrami on rye while I'm waiting!

dnf777
09-27-2009, 05:49 AM
I agree. I'm not advocating quiting. My support for our efforts in A-Stan haven't changed just because there's a different Commander-in-Chief sitting behind the desk.

since we haven't heard a clear mission statement out of Obama, what is yours? Bush actually did give a goal, to get those responsible for 9-11 and disable the ability of the terror networks to commit terrorism. (he abandonded those goals and fell short of both, but at least I knew WHY we were there in the first place)

Hew
09-27-2009, 06:21 AM
since we haven't heard a clear mission statement out of Obama, what is yours? Bush actually did give a goal, to get those responsible for 9-11 and disable the ability of the terror networks to commit terrorism. (he abandonded those goals and fell short of both, but at least I knew WHY we were there in the first place)
I'm in near total agreement with my current president's goals that he clearly stated last summer:


I can tell you what our strategic goals should be. They should be relatively modest. We shouldn't want to take over the country. We should want to get out of there as quickly as we can and help the Afghans govern themselves and provide for their own security. Our critical goal should be to make sure that the Taliban and al Qaida are routed and that they cannot project threats against us from that region. And to do that I think we need more troops. I also think that we need to deal with the situation in Pakistan and the fact that terrorists are able to operate with relative freedom of movement there right now.

dnf777
09-27-2009, 08:23 AM
I'm in near total agreement with my current president's goals that he clearly stated last summer:

That sounds very good. That needs to be stated over and over, and maintain that focus. Whether those goals are to be achieved militarily, diplomatically, financially, or all of the above is yet to be seen. I don't expect tactical details to be pubicized, but hopefully we can achieve those ends.

Gerry Clinchy
09-27-2009, 12:42 PM
We shouldn't want to take over the country. We should want to get out of there as quickly as we can and help the Afghans govern themselves and provide for their own security. Our critical goal should be to make sure that the Taliban and al Qaida are routed and that they cannot project threats against us from that region. And to do that I think we need more troops. I also think that we need to deal with the situation in Pakistan and the fact that terrorists are able to operate with relative freedom of movement there right now.

The goal should be sure to include that AQ and T just don't disappear into the hills or P'stan, and return when we leave. That would be where the COIN aspect plays a role.

If COIN is done as it should be (perhaps taking longer), then when the US leaves, the Afghans will not allow AQ and T to regain power over them. As McC mentioned, that is a tougher job with a govt like what they've got at the moment in A'stan.

The value of COIN is giving the Afghans the education and freedoms that are worth defending for themselves. There is no question that the Afghans will fight for what they believe in.

Via COIN, expanded education will help offset what the T are "selling". Especially extending education to women. Without the COIN effort, the departure of US troops will leave a void that will easily replicate the results of departure in Nam. COIN really is the key to leaving the Afghanis with lasting betterment of their situation. In a way, their cultural personality of independence and courage could be well suited to valuing the very traits that characterized the formative years of the US.

dnf777
09-27-2009, 01:03 PM
Well said Gerry. Your point is even more germane when you consider that the hills of Pakistan aren't the only sanctuary for terrorists. Since they are not an organized, uniformed coalition, they can easily blend in almost anywhere, including within our borders. That emphasizes the point that although the military may play a large role, it isn't the answer to terrorism in the 21st century by itself. Defining WHAT its role is, and what the endpoint of military action is, is what Obama must now do.

road kill
09-28-2009, 02:09 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/back-story/2009/sep/28/us-commander-of-afghanistan-only-talked-to-obama-o/


"the Obama" + Afgahnistan = FUBAR

dnf777
09-28-2009, 04:18 PM
One thing we need to get used to. A leader actually thinking and analyzing a situation before taking drastic actions, including sending troops into harms way. Crazy idea, I know, but it just might be the way to go!:D

road kill
09-28-2009, 04:27 PM
One thing we need to get used to. A leader actually thinking and analyzing a situation before taking drastic actions, including sending troops into harms way. Crazy idea, I know, but it just might be the way to go!:D

UHHHH.....did you read my link?
( http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/back-story/2009/sep/28/us-commander-of-afghanistan-only-talked-to-obama-o/ )
He doesn't even talk to his General!!:D

Maybe the "leader" should actually talk to the people on the ground over there BEFORE he does anything!!

Crazy idea, I know, but it just might be the way to go:shock:

dnf777
09-28-2009, 04:40 PM
UHHHH.....did you read my link?
( http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblo...ed-to-obama-o/ )
He doesn't even talk to his General!!:D

Maybe the "leader" should actually talk to the people on the ground over there BEFORE he does anything!!

Crazy idea, I know, but it just might be the way to go:shock:

I think your link is a rolling clip site. It linked to a tv show on trauma?? I tried.

Did you catch 60 Minutes last night? The did a segment on Gen. McCristy in Afghanistan. He is one impressive individual. Thankfully, he has chosen to share his talents and enthusiasm in the military service. He had some very interesting ideas regarding "winning" over the Afghans. He removes body armour and sheds huge security details when mingling with the merchants and local mayors. Called to mind the images of McCain strolling Iraq with an entourage of attack helicopters and armored vehicles surrounding him. Not that I'm blaming McCain, I wouldn't have the stones to do what McCristy does! I think this guy is on the right track though.

road kill
09-28-2009, 04:53 PM
I think your link is a rolling clip site. It linked to a tv show on trauma?? I tried.

Did you catch 60 Minutes last night? The did a segment on Gen. McCristy in Afghanistan. He is one impressive individual. Thankfully, he has chosen to share his talents and enthusiasm in the military service. He had some very interesting ideas regarding "winning" over the Afghans. He removes body armour and sheds huge security details when mingling with the merchants and local mayors. Called to mind the images of McCain strolling Iraq with an entourage of attack helicopters and armored vehicles surrounding him. Not that I'm blaming McCain, I wouldn't have the stones to do what McCristy does! I think this guy is on the right track though.

I agree, maybe "the Obama" should talk to him:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/back-story/2009/sep/28/us-commander-of-afghanistan-only-talked-to-obama-o/

dnf777
09-28-2009, 07:05 PM
I agree, maybe "the Obama" should talk to him:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/back-story/2009/sep/28/us-commander-of-afghanistan-only-talked-to-obama-o/

Just because Obama doesn't appear on "The View" with McChrystal doesn't mean there's not high level communications between Sec. Gates, McC, and others, all under the auspices of Obama. To his credit, he has all the lingering issues of the last administration, none of which were resolved or on track to be resolved, and plenty of new little fires to put out. Like I said, it's going to take some getting used to, having a CIC that is analytical, listens to even those who may disagree with him, and THINKS before acting.

In any case, hopefully we can agree that we have a solid leader on the ground in Afghanistan, who seems to have a grip on the situation there.

road kill
09-28-2009, 07:14 PM
Just because Obama doesn't appear on "The View" with McChrystal doesn't mean there's not high level communications between Sec. Gates, McC, and others, all under the auspices of Obama. To his credit, he has all the lingering issues of the last administration, none of which were resolved or on track to be resolved, and plenty of new little fires to put out. Like I said, it's going to take some getting used to, having a CIC that is analytical, listens to even those who may disagree with him, and THINKS before acting.

In any case, hopefully we can agree that we have a solid leader on the ground in Afghanistan, who seems to have a grip on the situation there.

Are you reading the same thing I am??


"The military general credited with capturing Saddam Hussein and killing the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, says he has spoken with President Obama only once since taking command in Afghanistan.

"I’ve talked to the president, since I’ve been here, once on a VTC [video teleconference]," Gen. Stanley McChrystal told CBS reporter David Martin in a television interview that aired Sunday.

"You’ve talked to him once in 70 days?" Mr. Martin followed up.

"That is correct," the general replied.

This revelation comes amid the explosive publication of an classified report written by the general that said the war in Afghanistan "will likely result in failure" if more troops are not added next year. Yet, the debate over health care reform continues to dominate Washington’s political discussions. On Monday, the White House announced President Obama would travel to Denmark to lobby the International Olympic Committee to select his hometown of Chicago for the 2016 summer games."

This is absurd........

Gerry Clinchy
09-28-2009, 07:28 PM
I was also impressed with the way McC came across on 60 Minutes. I missed most of the segment :-( ... but no punches were pulled by Morley. He was asked if he could envision ever having to tell the Pres that success was not possible. He said, "Yes." Then he also said that the day he believes that is the case, he will tell the Pres so. Very confident of his ability. Seems very pragmatic in his approach and analysis.

Today on radio, the media was having a field day with the fact that O has only spoken with him once in 70 days. A Nam vet said that might be a good thing, as Johnson seemed to think that he was a better tactician than his generals & probably did more harm than good. Same mentioned for Carter during the action to rescue the hostages in Iran. Judging from the outcome of those two ... maybe O is better off staying out of it, and letting McC do his job.

Media also wasn't kind to O taking off to Copenhagen with Oprah to lobby for Chicago to get the Olympic games ... while Iran was busy testing a mid-range missile.

dnf777
09-29-2009, 04:48 AM
Is this the "liberal media" that's "in love with Obama" who is making such a big issue and trying to make him look bad for only having one meeting with the new guy? There are channels of communication that are in place. McC himself later said after the interview that he was NOT criticizing the president over the one meeting. Who put McC in charge of Afghanistan anyway? McC also said in his 60Min segment that things had not been run properly over the past 8 years, and that things were finally going to change. That a traditional military posture was NOT the answer.

road kill
09-29-2009, 07:13 AM
Is this the "liberal media" that's "in love with Obama" who is making such a big issue and trying to make him look bad for only having one meeting with the new guy? There are channels of communication that are in place. McC himself later said after the interview that he was NOT criticizing the president over the one meeting. Who put McC in charge of Afghanistan anyway? McC also said in his 60Min segment that things had not been run properly over the past 8 years, and that things were finally going to change. That a traditional military posture was NOT the answer.
So, maybe "the Obama" watched 60 Minutes and is all caught up???:D

dnf777
09-29-2009, 07:35 AM
So, maybe "the Obama" watched 60 Minutes and is all caught up???:D

I hope so! :razz:
But as you know, top level strategic planning and troop movements are not often publicized on Oprah or The View. Nor would we want them to be.

This, along with all the criticism over a relative non-issue (Copenhagen trip) disproves the love affair theory of the liberal press. He may actually get MORE work done in the "flying oval office" without all the bozo distractions he has to deal with here! AF-1 is a mobile office, where all the regular work may be continued en route. People are acting like he's going to a ranch for a month long vacation or something!?

road kill
09-29-2009, 07:46 AM
I hope so! :razz:
But as you know, top level strategic planning and troop movements are not often publicized on Oprah or The View. Nor would we want them to be.

This, along with all the criticism over a relative non-issue (Copenhagen trip) disproves the love affair theory of the liberal press. He may actually get MORE work done in the "flying oval office" without all the bozo distractions he has to deal with here! AF-1 is a mobile office, where all the regular work may be continued en route. People are acting like he's going to a ranch for a month long vacation or something!?

If I am not mistaken (and I am not) "the Obama" already has taken some vacation time up at the Vineyard!!

But hey, it's more fun to bash Bush cause he went to a ranch!!

paul young
09-29-2009, 08:00 AM
so roadkill, since YOU'RE all caught up, having watched 60 minutes and all, and consistently have the "correct" facts at your fingertips, when does your presidential campaign begin?

i'm sure McChristie is waiting for the daily input of a man with your military acumen with baited breath......not.

leave the soldiering to the soldiers, please.-Paul

ducknwork
09-29-2009, 08:07 AM
I hope so! :razz:
But as you know, top level strategic planning and troop movements are not often publicized on Oprah or The View. Nor would we want them to be.



You could put anything you want on the View. I am sure the Taliban wouldn't approve of watching it, even for intelligence reasons, due to the women not being covered up and having an opinion, right?

Infidels! regards,
________
Kitchen Measures (http://kitchenmeasures.com/)

ducknwork
09-29-2009, 08:08 AM
leave the soldiering to the community organizers, please.-Paul

Fixed it for ya...
________
HelenH (http://www.girlcamfriend.com/cam/HelenH/)

road kill
09-29-2009, 08:11 AM
so roadkill, since YOU'RE all caught up, having watched 60 minutes and all, and consistently have the "correct" facts at your fingertips, when does your presidential campaign begin?

i'm sure McChristie is waiting for the daily input of a man with your military acumen with baited breath......not.

leave the soldiering to the soldiers, please.-Paul

What?

Nice post, 100% irrelevant to the thread which is a forum to "DISCUSS" current events.

In this case I am questioning how the Obama can make an intelligent decision in regard to Afgahnistan without talking to the ground Cammander.

Your point is???????

Best I can tell an insult toward me.

Is that the best you got???


BTW---I did not watch 60 Minutes, your reading comprehension skills ain't up to snuff!!

dnf777
09-29-2009, 08:15 AM
You could put anything you want on the View. I am sure the Taliban wouldn't approve of watching it, even for intelligence reasons, due to the women not being covered up and having an opinion, right?

Infidels! regards,

HEY! Let me know if they ever make Oprah, Rosie, and the others wear Burqas---I'm investing in textile futures!!!

RK, I'm trying not to compare current outrages to the Bush examples, since he's no longer president, but sometimes its too much to resist! Bush was at Camp David over 400 days, and his ranch 490!!! I sure wish guys like us (since Bush was hailed as an "ordinary everyday guy") could get vacation time like that. Not counting weekends, that's 1/3 of his time in office on vacation! Now, I know clearing that brush in front of fox news cameras was no vacation, but come on! Let's be fair here!

road kill
09-29-2009, 08:35 AM
HEY! Let me know if they ever make Oprah, Rosie, and the others wear Burqas---I'm investing in textile futures!!!

RK, I'm trying not to compare current outrages to the Bush examples, since he's no longer president, but sometimes its too much to resist! Bush was at Camp David over 400 days, and his ranch 490!!! I sure wish guys like us (since Bush was hailed as an "ordinary everyday guy") could get vacation time like that. Not counting weekends, that's 1/3 of his time in office on vacation! Now, I know clearing that brush in front of fox news cameras was no vacation, but come on! Let's be fair here!
I know, I know......I wanted to take a couple days off and go up to Martha's Vineyard near the Kennedys Kingdom, but I had been on my new job less than 6 months so my vacation was denied!!

Oh well.......;)

Gerry Clinchy
09-29-2009, 09:02 AM
Is this the "liberal media" that's "in love with Obama" who is making such a big issue and trying to make him look bad for only having one meeting with the new guy? There are channels of communication that are in place. McC himself later said after the interview that he was NOT criticizing the president over the one meeting. Who put McC in charge of Afghanistan anyway? McC also said in his 60Min segment that things had not been run properly over the past 8 years, and that things were finally going to change. That a traditional military posture was NOT the answer.

!) No, it was not liberal media. However, 60 Minutes is, IMO, liberal-leaning. I think that the media "honeymoon" may be over now. They seem not to like the A'stan war any more than the Iraq war ... although O has heretofore been consistent that the A'stan war is one he would pursue.

That doesn't mean that the media will necessarily be any more journalistic rather than judgmental or biased. I believe that the media that are biased (you decide which is biased or not), they will now be more likely to support what they think is correct action (on any issue) regardless of whether it happens to be O's preferred approach. I think that was coming through on the Newsweek Op Ed.

2) McC did not criticize the Pres. Good for McC. He is doing the job he was assigned, obeying his C in C. It will be interesting to see how this plays out if O should decide not to make the commitment of troops that McC requests. His factual analysis has indicated that without the troops he requests make the operation un-win-able. And he has also said that he will tell the Pres when he believes "we can't do it". If the additional troops are not approved, will he have to do the latter?

3) I'm pretty sure that McC knows more about military history than almost any of us. Even the rest of us can see that history supports the view that traditional military posture has never worked in A'stan. On the ground, he now has the ability to use both history and his assessment of the existing situation, and what has, or has not, made progress in the past 8 years. Sounds like he's being honest; and it is not a critique of his C in C. OTOH, as this plays out, his honesty appears to be such that if McC asks to be re-assigned, we might extrapolate that he has found that his own expertise and advice have been superceded by the armchair advisors.

As for the junket to Copenhagen ... while Air Force one offers a flying Oval Office, I'm thinking: If a personal, eyeball-to-eyeball meeting carries so much weight in O's opinion, than a phone call, which is more important & will make more impact to our citizenry? Getting the Olympics to Chicago or getting his legislation passed in DC? Whether I agree with O's legislative objectives or not, I'd expect to see him exercising his personal, influence/leadership with the most important issues. The economic impact of health care reform pales in comparison to that of getting the Olympics to Chicago. He's "delegating" the responsibility for designing good legislation for health care reform (as we all seem to agree that some kind of reform should be taking place), but cannot delegate the task of getting the Olympics to Chicago?

Gerry Clinchy
09-29-2009, 10:17 AM
RK, I'm trying not to compare current outrages to the Bush examples, since he's no longer president, but sometimes its too much to resist! Bush was at Camp David over 400 days, and his ranch 490!!! I sure wish guys like us (since Bush was hailed as an "ordinary everyday guy") could get vacation time like that. Not counting weekends, that's 1/3 of his time in office on vacation!

I doubt that any "vacation" for a Pres is uninterrupted R&R.

If I had to make a wild guess, though, I'd say that Bush's ranch would have been better set up for a "working vacation" than non-homelike environments.

Even at that, I can think of no job in the world that is as stressful as POTUS. Ever notice how much these men age in the course of their term(s)?

dnf777
09-29-2009, 10:40 AM
I doubt that any "vacation" for a Pres is uninterrupted R&R.

If I had to make a wild guess, though, I'd say that Bush's ranch would have been better set up for a "working vacation" than non-homelike environments.

Even at that, I can think of no job in the world that is as stressful as POTUS. Ever notice how much these men age in the course of their term(s)?

Bush had a total of over 1000 days on 'vacation'. Everytime something happened in DC (accidental plane flyover, bomb threat, etc) it was always reported that Bush was out bike riding, or somewhere else recreating. I'm not sure of all those recreational days were even counted, but nonetheless...
He did enough damage while at work, I can't imagine 500 more days of his handywork. He should have taken more vacation, IMHO! :-P

487 days at Camp David
490 days at Crawford Ranch
43 days at Kennebunkport Compound

Total: 1020 days, more than 1/3rd of his presidency. Bush set the record for most vacation time taken by president.

Carter took 79 days in 4 years.
Clinton took 152 days in 8 years.

Reagan took 335 days in 8 years.
Bush Sr. took 543 days in 4 years!

So much for the mythological Republican hard worth ethic.

ducknwork
09-29-2009, 10:47 AM
HEY! Let me know if they ever make Oprah, Rosie, and the others wear Burqas---I'm investing in textile futures!!!


...and I will sell all my stock in blindfold businesses...
________
How to roll blunts (http://howtorollablunt.net/)

paul young
09-29-2009, 11:54 AM
sorry Duck, but i disagree; i think he is leaving the stategizing to the military because they are the ones doing the killing and dying, and have the experience commanding troops and materiel that he does not have. he trusts McChrystal to do the right things. in my lifetime, there has been only 1 President who had the skill set to make battlefield decisions based on knowledge. that was Ike, and it was a long time ago.

rk, you and so many others on here are very quick to criticize anything this administration does. where are your solutions and ideas?

time and again you have suggested that you are more fit to lead the country; that you are wiser, better informed and a superior decision maker. so i asked you when you were going to come forward and lead. i think that's a fair question. where i work, if you shoot holes in a proposal or the way a project is going forward, you better have something to offer to improve it, and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get the job done.

you said i insulted you and in that you're correct. how good a job of it i did is debateable.
i don't think you liked it very much or you wouldn't have responded the way you did. perhaps the next time you insult the President you'll consider how you felt as you responded.
the president doesn't have the opportunity to respond to you because you do it here, where you're insulated by this forum.-Paul

ducknwork
09-29-2009, 01:09 PM
sorry Duck, but i disagree;


I think you missed the sarcasm. That was in reference to those saying that the CIC should makes the decisions, even though he is clearly inexperienced and unqualified in all things military.


the president doesn't have the opportunity to respond to you because you do it here, where you're insulated by this forum.-Paul

He certainly does have the opportunity to respond! Hell, he might need help training his Portugese Water Dog! I think we should go ahead and get the Prez to join the RTF.:D

govt kickbacks for all of us regards,
________
DIGITAL VAPORIZER (http://digitalvaporizers.info)

road kill
09-29-2009, 06:45 PM
sorry Duck, but i disagree; i think he is leaving the stategizing to the military because they are the ones doing the killing and dying, and have the experience commanding troops and materiel that he does not have. he trusts McChrystal to do the right things. in my lifetime, there has been only 1 President who had the skill set to make battlefield decisions based on knowledge. that was Ike, and it was a long time ago.

rk, you and so many others on here are very quick to criticize anything this administration does. where are your solutions and ideas?

time and again you have suggested that you are more fit to lead the country; that you are wiser, better informed and a superior decision maker. so i asked you when you were going to come forward and lead. i think that's a fair question. where i work, if you shoot holes in a proposal or the way a project is going forward, you better have something to offer to improve it, and be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get the job done.

you said i insulted you and in that you're correct. how good a job of it i did is debateable.
i don't think you liked it very much or you wouldn't have responded the way you did. perhaps the next time you insult the President you'll consider how you felt as you responded.
the president doesn't have the opportunity to respond to you because you do it here, where you're insulated by this forum.-Paul

#1---Pull up a quote where I said that.

#2---I have been insulted by professionals, it;s a solid start though!!

__________________________________________________ ____

DNF----are you the vacation police now??

While we are at it, how much vacation did Palin take??

just askin'.......

dnf777
09-29-2009, 06:57 PM
#1---Pull up a quote where I said that.

#2---I have been insulted by professionals, it;s a solid start though!!

__________________________________________________ ____

DNF----are you the vacation police now??

While we are at it, how much vacation did Palin take??

just askin'.......

Nah, just keepin' things in perspective.
Palin? I don't know, she kind of gave herself a permanent vacation when she quit, didn't she?

Apparently she wrote a 400 page book in two weeks, something most professional writers can't do. It will be out for the Christmas shopping season though. So maybe she's been working harder than ever. She sure is cute, though. :cool:

Eric Johnson
09-29-2009, 07:34 PM
I agree, maybe "the Obama" should talk to him:



Technically, the President doesn't talk to a 3 star in McCrystals position. He works for a Unified Command Commander (USCENTCOM) who works for the SecDef who works for the President. So, he's got not one but two major players in his direct chain of command between him and the President.

That said, of course the President ought to speak to the General. However, it wouldn't be a particularly frequent conversation and it wouldn't take place in the absence of CENTCOM or SecDef.

Eric

paul young
09-29-2009, 07:48 PM
road kill,

i probably couldn't find a direct quote by you to support what i said, and i'm not going to search high and low for one.

what i said is based on your incessant criticism of the man. when someone does this day in day out i interpret it as if they are saying that the subject is so incompetent that they would be the better choice.

i mean, if we were training dogs together and every day you criticized what i did , no matter what i tried, would you not be inferring that you were a superior trainer?

that's the best analogy i can come up with.

just a little respect for the man is warranted, i think...-Paul

road kill
09-29-2009, 08:09 PM
Nah, just keepin' things in perspective.
Palin? I don't know, she kind of gave herself a permanent vacation when she quit, didn't she?

Apparently she wrote a 400 page book in two weeks, something most professional writers can't do. It will be out for the Christmas shopping season though. So maybe she's been working harder than ever. She sure is cute, though. :cool:

And she cleans game!!:shock:

Gerry Clinchy
10-01-2009, 01:08 AM
I just came across a Page 15 article in our local paper. Byline is Tribune Newspapers. Says "Tribune Exclusive".


The CIA is in the midst of a major buildup in A'stan, part of a broad intelligence "surge" that will make the agency's station there among the largest in CIA history, according to U.S. officials.


Precise numbers are classified, but one U.S. official said the CIA already has nearly 700 employees in A'stan


... parallels the U.S. miltary expansion, and it comes as the nation's spy services are under pressure from Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal to improve intelligence on the Taliban and find ways to reverse a series of unsettling trends.

The "unsettling trends are defined

twofold increase in the number of roadside bombs, a growing sophistication in the kinds of assaults aimed at coalition troops and evidence that a Taliban group has developed an assembly line-like approach to the recruitment and grooming of suicide bombers, who then are sometimes assigned to other organizations.


The push also comes as the Obama administration is under pressure to show progress in A'stan, calculating it has only unti next summer before public support for the war effort collapses


The deployments come amid fresh warnings from U.S. spy services that the insurgency in A'stan has continued to gain territory and strength.


"The Taliban is at its most capable level since 2001, when it was ejected from the country," said a Defense Department official who has access to classified intelligence estimates.


McChrystal is expected to expand the use of teams that combine CIA operatives with soldiers from U.S. special operations forces.

The agency's role is likely to shift under McChrystal, who has placed a greater emphasis on protecting the Afghan population and rooting out government graft.

U.S. spy agencies have already stepped up their scrutiny of corruption in Kabul. A recent Senate report described a new wire-tapping system activated last year that is aimed at tracing ties between government officials and drug kingpins in the country.

Officials said allegations of election fraud in the recent presidential race in A'stan were a significant setback, aiding the Taliban's efforts to portray the U.S. backed government as illegitimate.


Recalling the campaign debate on the A'stan issue, I remember O saying that A'stan was key. However, he also stated that the surge that was effective in Iraq would not work in A'stan. I remember thinking at the time, that the fact that tactics might differ in each country, that did not necessarily mean that a "surge" in troop strength would not be needed. In retrospect, I get the distinct impression that he might have expected the COIN strategy would be needed in A'stan (but surely it is important in Iraq as well), but had no clue that it can take a lot troops and time to accomplish a successful COIN strategy.

We, and O, are quite naive to think that we can have an impact on hundreds of years of cultural background in a matter of 3, 4 or 10 years. This might be especially true in an environment where communications of world events are highly limited, except for what the Taliban relay to the general populace.

It would appear that McChrystal has already taken some actions to establish his COIN strategy. This man has to have great fortitude for his job. He is close enough to see the results of his decisions in terms of the loss of life of his troops. While O & the DC "thinkers" hash this out in the comfort of the Oval office, McC lives with the reality of life and death around him.

With the Taliban practice of hiding behind civilians, McC is likely going to make some heart-wrenching decisions that may involve compromising safety of his troops in some situations in order to protect civilians. I would not want to be the one who has to make those decisions. And he gets paid how much compared to the guys on Capitol Hill?