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TXduckdog
10-01-2009, 10:04 AM
Here's the latest:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125435650569454583.html

My questions are:

1. If Gates no longer supports counter-insurgency what does he support? This is a major shift...he sent McChrystal there for just such a purpose.

2. Is the current admin's approach:
"Vice President Joe Biden and some other senior administration officials want to replace the counterinsurgency approach with a "counterterror" strategy that focuses more narrowly on using drones and small teams of Special Operations forces to kill senior al Qaeda and Taliban figures."

not a viable strategy? If so, why does Gates NOT support it?

3. What's more important, eliminating Taliban and Al Queda or the over-all stability of Afghanistan as a country. Aren't they part and parcel?

dnf777
10-01-2009, 10:29 AM
Here's the latest:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125435650569454583.html

My questions are:

1. If Gates no longer supports counter-insurgency what does he support? This is a major shift...he sent McChrystal there for just such a purpose.

2. Is the current admin's approach:
"Vice President Joe Biden and some other senior administration officials want to replace the counterinsurgency approach with a "counterterror" strategy that focuses more narrowly on using drones and small teams of Special Operations forces to kill senior al Qaeda and Taliban figures."

not a viable strategy? If so, why does Gates NOT support it?

3. What's more important, eliminating Taliban and Al Queda or the over-all stability of Afghanistan as a country. Aren't they part and parcel?

All excellent questions, and I'm sure glad our CIC is not taking a cavalier, cowboy attitude on this matter. While I have said he needs to move in one direction or another, a thorough assessment of the situation, as well as a careful review of our goals is in order.

Afghanistan is not dubbed "The Graveyard of Empires" for nothing. Providing "stability" as you questioned is not even something that we should be toying with. That must come from within. Iraq will be a walk in the park compared to trying to accomplish the same in A-stan. And do we really need to? Disrupting al qaeda and taliban networks (as well as any number of other homegrown terrorists, that only need a broom closet with internet access to operate, out of any corner or the world)

Just another thought. It is our elected officials jobs to determine policy regarding foreign relations and war. Once they convey that to the generals, it is their job to tell in return how to accomplish that tactically, and projected costs to the military. My understanding is that is what McC has said. It is NOT the military's role to influence or determine policy.....rather to carry it out.

Roger Perry
10-01-2009, 10:39 AM
I saw General McChrystal on 60 minutes last Sunday. He said the war had not beef fought right for the last 8 years and needs changing.

YardleyLabs
10-01-2009, 11:00 AM
Unfortunately, people and countries don't come with simple reset buttons. Whether the war was fought correctly or not over the last eight years, any actions now begin with people on both sides that are tired of the fighting. In the absence of a legitimate elected government -- which seems unlikely to materialize -- I am not sure there is a way to truly stabilize Afghanistan. That would force a strategy that focuses on containing the ability of Afghanistan to continue destabilizing Pakistan and the region. However, I do not know what commitment that will entail or whether or not it has a reasonable potential for success. I am glad the administration is taking its time to look at alternatives.

Mike W.
10-01-2009, 11:09 AM
If you read the article in today's WSJ, there is a bigger question.

There is a clear split of opinion between that of Obama/Biden/Gates and that of Mike Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs)/McChrystal.

So do we really like the idea of political types trumping the opinions of our nations top military leaders? I don't. Ask LBJ how that turned out for us.

dnf777
10-01-2009, 11:16 AM
Unfortunately, people and countries don't come with simple reset buttons. Whether the war was fought correctly or not over the last eight years, any actions now begin with people on both sides that are tired of the fighting. In the absence of a legitimate elected government -- which seems unlikely to materialize -- I am not sure there is a way to truly stabilize Afghanistan. That would force a strategy that focuses on containing the ability of Afghanistan to continue destabilizing Pakistan and the region. However, I do not know what commitment that will entail or whether or not it has a reasonable potential for success. I am glad the administration is taking its time to look at alternatives.

A lot of things have not been run properly over the past 8 years, but it has been politely pointed out, Bush ain't the prez anymore...and that is true. We must take our lumps, assess and move forward.

Nicely said Yardley. No matter how we look at Afghanistan; politically, historically, geographically, diplomatically......it will be a MONSTER compared to Iraq. And I'm not sure what we can realistically afford to accomplish, if anything at all. Mr. Bush's as well as Mr. Obama's stated goals for the area appeared reasonable, in disrupting terror networks, but obviously that charge will carry well outside the borders of Afghanistan, or the middle east for that matter. It is truly a global problem, with international solutions. The "go at it alone" or "with us or with the terrorists" attitude must be shelved next to the domino theories of SouthEast Asia.

I'm hoping Nat Geo does something on Afghanistan again. What a fascinating histroy and culture they have. I'm glad to hear our elected and military leaders have studied their history and culture before trying to implement policy.

ducknwork
10-01-2009, 11:39 AM
I saw General McChrystal on 60 minutes last Sunday. He said the war had not beef fought right for the last 8 years and needs changing.

Congratulations for watching that. Do you want a cookie?

:rolleyes:

I am sure that you tivo'd it, saved it to a flash drive, uploaded it to your digital photo frame and have that clip playing in a continuous loop on your Anti GWB Shrine next to your nightstand. There's probably a lot of used up wads of toilet paper in the trash can next to it as well...


Seriously, would you freakin' get off of it already? Do you have anything to contribute to this discussion (or any discussion) other than stating how horrible you think Bush was?
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Bruce MacPherson
10-01-2009, 11:47 AM
All excellent questions, and I'm sure glad our CIC is not taking a cavalier, cowboy attitude on this matter.



So it's your opinion that Bush didn't put much thought into putting our troops in harms way? That these were easy decisions for him? That he didn't have the best interest of the country at heart ? I gotta tell you, that single statement above, which you just parroted from the lefts talking points about Bush is just ignorant, not that I'm surprised.

dnf777
10-01-2009, 12:37 PM
So it's your opinion that Bush didn't put much thought into putting our troops in harms way? That these were easy decisions for him? That he didn't have the best interest of the country at heart ? I gotta tell you, that single statement above, which you just parroted from the lefts talking points about Bush is just ignorant, not that I'm surprised.

I'm sorry we can't disagree in a more civil manner, as alluded to on the other thread, as I do enjoy these discussions. I expected a higher level of discussion than that. Let me try to respond without being insulting.

Yes, I do believe Mr. Bush acted hastily, when it was not necessary, and did NOT have a clear mission/goal/exit strategy. Honestly, how many different rationales for the invasion of Iraq do you recall? To help the Iraqi people? To stabilize the region? To prevent mushroom clouds over Manhatten? No nation building? Nation building to establish a democracy, then hand it back over? Even you have to admit we played musical chairs with justification for Iraq. I have mentioned twice here that I applauded Mr. Bush for his clear-stated goal in Afghanistan, and I along with most of the country supported those troop movements immediately, as did congress. But then what happened? We did NOT capture/kill bin laden, we temporarily disrupted the terror networks.....then we dropped the mission, diverted to Iraq, and let all our gains backslide into what we're facing now.

There are many, complex issues that need resolved, with a clear vision on what is to be accomplished before we commit ourselves to a MAJOR investment of our nations blood and treasure.

Again, I said I'm glad Mr. Obama is thinking this through with the help of military and elected advisors, rather than taking a cowboy, cavalier attitude. In that post, I did not even mention Mr. Bush. YOU are the one who drew the association, not me. Isn't that interesting? In fact, at the request of Hew and a few others, I think I've done a pretty bang-up job of not harping on Bush, nor even mentioning him, except to agree with his Afghanistan goals for the most part. ;-) And come on, given he was president just 9 months ago, there ARE some of his policies that still have relevance today?!

As for parroting left wing points, I'll have to take your word for that. Other than about half of Gen. McC's 60min segment, and a few episodes of M*A*S*H, I haven't watched much tv lately.

regards,
dave

Bob Gutermuth
10-01-2009, 12:57 PM
Its osama's problem now. I wonder when he will man up and take the problem on as well as the consequences of his inaction.

Roger Perry
10-01-2009, 01:09 PM
Seriously, would you freakin' get off of it already? Do you have anything to contribute to this discussion (or any discussion) other than stating how horrible you think Bush was?


If you would have watched 60 minutes you would have heard the same things I did.

Bruce MacPherson
10-01-2009, 02:03 PM
I'm sorry we can't disagree in a more civil manner, as alluded to on the other thread, as I do enjoy these discussions. I expected a higher level of discussion than that. Let me try to respond without being insulting.

Yes, I do believe Mr. Bush acted hastily, when it was not necessary, and did NOT have a clear mission/goal/exit strategy. Honestly, how many different rationales for the invasion of Iraq do you recall? To help the Iraqi people? To stabilize the region? To prevent mushroom clouds over Manhatten? No nation building? Nation building to establish a democracy, then hand it back over? Even you have to admit we played musical chairs with justification for Iraq. I have mentioned twice here that I applauded Mr. Bush for his clear-stated goal in Afghanistan, and I along with most of the country supported those troop movements immediately, as did congress. But then what happened? We did NOT capture/kill bin laden, we temporarily disrupted the terror networks.....then we dropped the mission, diverted to Iraq, and let all our gains backslide into what we're facing now.

There are many, complex issues that need resolved, with a clear vision on what is to be accomplished before we commit ourselves to a MAJOR investment of our nations blood and treasure.

Again, I said I'm glad Mr. Obama is thinking this through with the help of military and elected advisors, rather than taking a cowboy, cavalier attitude. In that post, I did not even mention Mr. Bush. YOU are the one who drew the association, not me. Isn't that interesting? In fact, at the request of Hew and a few others, I think I've done a pretty bang-up job of not harping on Bush, nor even mentioning him, except to agree with his Afghanistan goals for the most part. ;-) And come on, given he was president just 9 months ago, there ARE some of his policies that still have relevance today?!

As for parroting left wing points, I'll have to take your word for that. Other than about half of Gen. McC's 60min segment, and a few episodes of M*A*S*H, I haven't watched much tv lately.

regards,
dave

Dave we could have a discussion about the reasons for going into Iraq but I won't change your mind and I don't believe you have the ability to change mine. As far as insulting me, that isn't going to happen. My point is this, you are making a statement about style, and your statement is not original in the least. The mistake you and those like you make is confusing indecision and weakness for a thoughtful assessment of the facts at hand. No doubt, none, in my mind what category this President falls into.

ducknwork
10-01-2009, 02:06 PM
If you would have watched 60 minutes you would have heard the same things I did.

Next time I'll try that.:rolleyes:

Then I can come on here and blame others and look in the past, calling names, rather than thinking towards the future. You'd fit in great in DC.
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Pete
10-01-2009, 02:53 PM
lot of things have not been run properly over the past 8 years, but it has been politely pointed out, Bush ain't the prez anymore...and that is true. We must take our lumps, assess and move forward.

Nicely said Yardley. No matter how we look at Afghanistan; politically, historically, geographically, diplomatically......it will be a MONSTER compared to Iraq. And I'm not sure what we can realistically afford to accomplish, if anything at all. Mr. Bush's as well as Mr. Obama's stated goals for the area appeared reasonable, in disrupting terror networks, but obviously that charge will carry well outside the borders of Afghanistan, or the middle east for that matter. It is truly a global problem, with international solutions. The "go at it alone" or "with us or with the terrorists" attitude must be shelved next to the domino theories of SouthEast Asia.



In my opinion we have not fought a war since the 40's.
everything since then has been a policeing of the world.
When you fight a war you slaughter the puss out of anything that moves and you dont stop until the white flags wave and your enemy is kissing your boots.

Anything less is a big waste of money and american lives.
We have a problem of staying out of other peoples buisness. Ever notice that.



There is a reason we dont mess with Iran and its because their leaders still have balls.

Pete

pat addis
10-01-2009, 03:09 PM
i am curious when obama will take any blame for anything

Gerry Clinchy
10-01-2009, 04:18 PM
No matter how we look at Afghanistan; politically, historically, geographically, diplomatically......it will be a MONSTER compared to Iraq. And I'm not sure what we can realistically afford to accomplish, if anything at all. Mr. Bush's as well as Mr. Obama's stated goals for the area appeared reasonable, in disrupting terror networks, but obviously that charge will carry well outside the borders of Afghanistan, or the middle east for that matter. It is truly a global problem, with international solutions.

My sense was that (from O & the previous administration) that the A'stan situation was one we could NOT afford to NOT accomplish. It was an essential to keeping the U.S. safe.


we temporarily disrupted the terror networks.....then we dropped the mission, diverted to Iraq, and let all our gains backslide into what we're facing now.

Yup.

When we directed attention to A'stan, the AQ and T retreated to less "hot" spots.

When we got distracted from the goal, they slipped back into place in A'stan.

To me, this says that you can put the pressure on, but you will not succeed in a permanent way without making the additional changes that a comprehensive COIN approach would make. You could just repeat making short-term successes ad infinitum, until you just pull out in frustration ... as everyone else has done with A'stan over the course of history.

Using the selective terrorist/asassination strategy does not seem like an effective option unless you are also building a relationship at the grassroots with Joe Average.

You don't need an extensive "exit strategy", if you plan on winning :-) When you win, the exit strategy is very simple, I think, compared to when you "lose".



Vice President Joe Biden and some other senior administration officials want to replace the counterinsurgency approach with a "counterterror" strategy that focuses more narrowly on using drones and small teams of Special Operations forces to kill senior al Qaeda and Taliban figures.

Mr. Gates remains opposed to such a strategy, according to Mr. Morrell, who said the defense chief "does not think that is a path to success in Afghanistan."

I read this as Mr. Gates disagrees with Biden. Did not see any clear reference that he disagrees with McC. In fact, it might appear that Gates would go along with increased troops if it was part of a sound COIN plan.



The defense chief had signaled recently that he is amenable to boosting troop levels, strengthening Gen. McChrystal's case for the additional forces.
It is far from clear what strategy additional forces will be asked to implement on the ground in Afghanistan. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters Wednesday that Mr. Gates was "undecided about what the appropriate tack should be going forward in Afghanistan."

"His thinking on this is evolving," Mr. Morrell said. "I don't think he has come to a final determination on what he believes to be the appropriate course going forward." He said in an interview that Mr. Gates has been a strong advocate of counterinsurgency but wanted to join the rest of Mr. Obama's war cabinet in discussing all possible options.


Mr. Obama focused his questioning on the current threat posed by al Qaeda and whether a resurgent Taliban would give al Qaeda leaders a new haven to regroup, the official said, which could indicate Mr. Obama is more concerned about the status of a threat to the U.S. than overall stability in Afghanistan.

This last element leaves me puzzled. With the experience history we have with AQ and T, the threat to U.S. remains as long as they remain functional. The only way to solve the threat issue is to use a program which permanently undermines the influence of AQ and T in A'stan. Today's "status of threat" could accelerate quickly if we do not act to contain the AQ and T for the long-term. Haven't we already learned that they were able to re-group after intially dispersing? Duh? Containing the threat of AQ and T, I sense, is inextricably connected to the stability of A'stan in the true long run, meaning a govt authority that most Afghans vies as legitimate and of manageable proportions of corruption. Hey, we in the U.S. don't like corruption either, but obviously we still have plenty of it!

Hew
10-01-2009, 06:16 PM
Again, I said I'm glad Mr. Obama is thinking this through with the help of military and elected advisors, rather than taking a cowboy, cavalier attitude. In that post, I did not even mention Mr. Bush. YOU are the one who drew the association, not me. Isn't that interesting? LOL. Bart Simpson says it more precisely and with more conviction and believability when he says, "I didn't do it, man." In fact, at the request of Hew and a few others, I think I've done a pretty bang-up job of not harping on Bush, nor even mentioning him, except to agree with his Afghanistan goals for the most part. I don't recall ever requesting you to stop talking about Bush. I've only requested that your criticisms be, you know.... factual.


,,,,,,,,,,,

dnf777
10-01-2009, 06:48 PM
:monkey:I just thought it was funny. I mentioned "cowboy" and "cavalier", but made no mention of Bush, and a conservative wasted no time drawing the link!

Richard Halstead
10-01-2009, 07:50 PM
The Wiehouse made a group decision or thr Prez seem to be waiting for that next pole to indicate the popularity effect changes on the left or the right effect on the decision for the number of boots on the ground needed to get him reelected. He using the same popularity method for votes a fellow trialer that ran for county comisioner, "Sit the fence with Spence".

TXduckdog
10-01-2009, 08:13 PM
DNF....I was just going to ask you if you thought Bush was acting cavalierly or being a Cowboy when we entered Afghan? I did not think so.

I though there was a coherent strategy at that time....we had to win hearts and minds and then go after Al Queda. We basically rolled AQ all the way to Pakistan.
The mission was to get Bin Laden. Since then the role has expanded.

We damn near had Bin Laden.....another 60 Minutes program. But politicians didn't pull the trigger.

I fear this Admin will not be able to keep their hands out of the cookie jar, the way Obama likes to micro-manage.

Yes it is good they are studying the situation. But it needs to be a military to politician ration of about 4 to 1. NOT the other way around.

Hew
10-02-2009, 03:04 AM
:monkey:I just thought it was funny. I mentioned "cowboy" and "cavalier", but made no mention of Bush, and a conservative wasted no time drawing the link!
Yeah, I get it. Just like I thought it was funny that you were pretending your weren't referring to Bush.

Just like it's funny that now you're bending over backwards to remind us that Obama tells the military what to do; not the other way around. But on more than one occasion you've accused/criticized Bush for not following military advice.

dnf777
10-02-2009, 06:13 PM
Yeah, I get it. Just like I thought it was funny that you were pretending your weren't referring to Bush.

Just like it's funny that now you're bending over backwards to remind us that Obama tells the military what to do; not the other way around. But on more than one occasion you've accused/criticized Bush for not following military advice.

1) So what's the point? I never pretended I wasn't referring to Bush. I merely pointed out that I didn't mention his name, and someone else promptly drew the association. You can spin and read all you want into it, I'm done with it.

The president and elected officials set policy, and the military advises how to carry it out. Ultimately, the president is the CIC. There's no conflict.

have a good one

YardleyLabs
10-02-2009, 06:41 PM
Its osama's problem now. I wonder when he will man up and take the problem on as well as the consequences of his inaction.
It seems to me that he has been doing just that. He put McChrystal in place, requested his assessment, received it, and is reviewing it. Presumably he will make a decision on policy which will then be second guessed by everyone with a voice. He will be judged on the effectiveness of that policy, as he should be. The fact that eight years have been spent squandering the momentum that was created with our initial actions in Afghanistan, and the bravery of our special forces and their Afghan allies, is not Obama's fault, but it is the background for deciding what must now be done.

road kill
10-02-2009, 07:05 PM
It seems to me that he has been doing just that. He put McChrystal in place, requested his assessment, received it, and is reviewing it. Presumably he will make a decision on policy which will then be second guessed by everyone with a voice. He will be judged on the effectiveness of that policy, as he should be. The fact that eight years have been spent squandering the momentum that was created with our initial actions in Afghanistan, and the bravery of our special forces and their Afghan allies, is not Obama's fault, but it is the background for deciding what must now be done.

If he waits long enough, he won't have to make a decision, his partner in Iran will make it for him.

Like it or not, and play the blame game all you want, Iran & Israel a ve3ry close to starting WW III.

This is incredibly dangerous right now.
And the Iran leadership sees the inaction as weakness.

Have any of you ever looked at this site??

http://www.stratfor.com/

Interesting takes on our percieved weakness at the top right now from abroad.

Richard Halstead
10-02-2009, 07:33 PM
Jeff do you deny this meeting with McChrystal might have been spurred by the heat Obamma was taking for ignoring the request for more troops?

dnf777
10-02-2009, 08:45 PM
Jeff do you deny this meeting with McChrystal might have been spurred by the heat Obamma was taking for ignoring the request for more troops?

The request for more troops has not been ignored. Actually, it was a request for more troops if we want to accomplish the mission as currently stated. I think the deliberations now are determining if the current stated mission is what we truly want. (or need)

I think we're seeing high level discussions as to what exactly our mission should be, and then, how to carry it out. I'm glad we're not dumping more troops on the ground, with inadequate tools, then figuring out what we want them to do after they're in harm's way.

I'm waiting to hear eventually WHO is advising the president on middle eastern issues. Some names that would be interesting would be Z. Brezinski, G.H.W. Bush, Richard Cohen, and Colin Powell. All men who were involved in successful operations involving the middle east. Well, Brezinski may be debatable, but he no doubt has insight into middle eastern culture, even if from past mistakes. History will hopefully serve as a guide to whomever formulates middle east policy.

YardleyLabs
10-02-2009, 08:45 PM
Jeff do you deny this meeting with McChrystal might have been spurred by the heat Obamma was taking for ignoring the request for more troops?
Richard, I don't think I said any such thing. I suspect that the meeting on the tarmac was a direct result of media noise about the lack of a meeting. A decision on Afghanistan will affect us for years to come. If Obama elects to follow McChrystal's recommendations, few will remember McChrystal's name when the dust settles, but the war will define Obama's presidency and possibly the presidency of his successor. I don't think he has taken "too long" in making up his mind. I suspect he is leaning toward an expanded engagement given recent comments by McChrystal's commanders. Bush spent a year trying to build support for an invasion of Iraq, saying the whole time that no decision had been made. By saying that, Bush kept his options open in the event that opposition to the invasion was too strong to overcome. I suspect that Obama is acting in a similar manner.