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road kill
10-05-2009, 09:19 AM
From:
The Morning Bell; Heritage Foundation

Indecision in Afghanistan Costs Lives



"Last week, upon arriving in Copenhagen for his failed mission to secure the 2016 Olympic Games for Chicago, President Barack Obama met face-to-face with U.S. and NATO Forces Commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Air Force One. The meeting was just the second conversation between the two since Gen. McChrystal assumed command of what President Obama used to call the “central front in our enduring struggle against terrorism.” Just days before, while responding to questions about his recommendation for 40,000 more troops, Gen. McChrystal told the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, nor will public support.”

President Obama’s advisers were “shocked and angered” by “the bluntness” of McChrystal’s speech with one White House source offering: “People aren’t sure whether McChrystal is being na´ve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn’t seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.” McChrystal may not know Washington politics, but he has impeccable credentials when it comes to military strategy. And on military strategy, Gen. McChrystal also said this last week:



I absolutely believe that al Qaeda and the threat of al Qaeda and Taliban senior leadership are critical to stability in the region…But I also believe that a strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a shortsighted strategy.



Gen. McChrystal is far from the only thinker to come to that conclusion. British Army Chief of the General Staff Gen. Sir David Richards told The Sunday Telegraph:



If al-Qaeda and the Taliban believe they have defeated us – what next? Would they stop at Afghanistan? Pakistan is clearly a tempting target not least because of the fact that it is a nuclear-weaponed state and that is a terrifying prospect. Even if only a few of those (nuclear) weapons fell into their hands, believe me they would use them. The recent airlines plot has reminded us that there are people out there who would happily blow all of us up.



Former CentCom Commander Gen. Anthony Zinni told Face the Nation:



I think we have to be careful how long this goes on. It– it could be seen not only out there in the region by our allies even as the enemy as being indecisive–unable to make a decision. We’ve had a strategy since March. We have a general out there who is probably the best qualified we could have that’s telling us what we need on the ground to have the security space and the time to get those non-military things done. And I just don’t understand why we’re questioning that judgment at this point and I hope this doesn’t go on much longer.



British Shadow Defense Secretary Dr. Liam Fox told Heritage last month:



Were we to lose and be forced out of Afghanistan against our will, it would be a shot in the arm for every jihadist globally. It would send out the signal that we did not have the moral fortitude to see through what we believe to be a national security emergency. It would suggest that NATO, in its first great challenge since the end of the Cold War, did not have what it takes to see a difficult challenge through.



Chair of the House Armed Services Committee Ike Skelton (D-MO) told Face the Nation:



That’s the purpose of this entire mission. To quell the al Qaeda and to make sure that the Taliban is not there to invite them back. The war really didn’t start until March of this year when the president came forth with a strategy, frankly an excellent strategy. He chose General McChrystal who is the best in the business for this type of conflict. He asked General McChrystal for an assessment. He got that assessment. Of course that became known … it was public. And in essence he’s going to be asking for additional resources. … I back him up. I sent a letter to the president a number of days ago spelling out in great detail - some six pages of a letter - spelling out basically ‘Give the general what he needs.’



And Henry Kissinger writes in Newsweek:



The demand for an exit strategy is, of course, a metaphor for withdrawal, and withdrawal that is not accompanied by a willingness to sustain the outcome amounts to abandonment. Even so-called realists—like me—would gag at a tacit U.S. cooperation with the Taliban in the governance of Afghanistan.

Those in the chain of command in Afghanistan, each with outstanding qualifications, have all been recently appointed by the Obama administration. Rejecting their recommendations would be a triumph of domestic politics over strategic judgment.



The domestic politics are clear. MoveOn.org is asking their members to sign a petition calling for “a clear military exit strategy” and in the House, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduce a bill co-sponsored with 21 member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that would prohibit an increase of troops in Afghanistan.

President Obama must ignore this pressure from his leftist base and give his military commanders the best chance for success by meeting their requests for the troops and resources necessary to fully implement the counterinsurgency strategy that his administration adopted in March. As General McChrystal warned: “We must show resolve. Uncertainty disheartens our allies, emboldens our foe.” President Obama must take the long view and avoid short-sighted policies that undermine our friends in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while encouraging our enemies."

ducknwork
10-05-2009, 10:57 AM
President Obama?s advisers were ?shocked and angered? by ?the bluntness? of McChrystal?s speech with one White House source offering: ?People aren?t sure whether McChrystal is being na?ve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn?t seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.? McChrystal may not know Washington politics, but he has impeccable credentials when it comes to military strategy. And on military strategy, Gen. McChrystal also said this last week:


That seems more like a solution than a problem to me. If everyone in DC would do that, we could quit playing these petty games to gain votes and actually get something done.
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Roger Perry
10-05-2009, 12:07 PM
Neither of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are unwinable. They both are just another Viet Nam.

General McChrystal said last week on 60 minutes that the war in Afghanistan was not fought right the last 8 years. So, what do you do? Send in another 40,000 troops or keep on doing the same thing? Choose to do either and the war still will not be won. Even the so called experts cannot agree on what to do.

road kill
10-05-2009, 12:13 PM
Neither of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are unwinable. They both are just another Viet Nam.

General McChrystal said last week on 60 minutes that the war in Afghanistan was not fought right the last 8 years. So, what do you do? Send in another 40,000 troops or keep on doing the same thing? Choose to do either and the war still will not be won. Even the so called experts cannot agree on what to do.
Who are they??

ducknwork
10-05-2009, 12:42 PM
Neither of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are unwinable. They both are just another Viet Nam.

General McChrystal said last week on 60 minutes that the war in Afghanistan was not fought right the last 8 years. So, what do you do? Send in another 40,000 troops or keep on doing the same thing? Choose to do either and the war still will not be won. Even the so called experts cannot agree on what to do.

You obviously haven't been paying attention. He has clearly stated that he wants to do things differently.
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Roger Perry
10-05-2009, 12:45 PM
Who are they??

The decision makers.

At issue is the recent assessment by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, that more resources are needed to fight the Taliban or any hope of a military victory is lost. McChrystal has asked for up to 40,000 more troops, a major combat commitment to a mountainous, ungoverned nation that has been a quagmire for every invader.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy to Afghanistan, are said to be leaning in favor of a troop increase while Defense Secretary Robert Gates has not signaled his preference. Others are more skeptical, including National Security Adviser Jim Jones and Vice President Joe Biden who wants Obama to consider dialing down U.S. forces in favor of a counterterrorism campaign along the Pakistan border where many al-Qaida operatives are believed to be hiding.

Roger Perry
10-05-2009, 12:47 PM
You obviously haven't been paying attention. He has clearly stated that he wants to do things differently.

That could be anywhere from pulling troops to adding troops.

road kill
10-05-2009, 12:49 PM
That could be anywhere from pulling troops to adding troops.

RP,
I don't know if you read the article or not, but there are a few "experts" listed and quoted in it.

stan b

Roger Perry
10-05-2009, 12:54 PM
RP,
I don't know if you read the article or not, but there are a few "experts" listed and quoted in it.

stan b

Yes I read your article. But they are not the decision makers. Opinions are like a$$ holes. Everyone has one.

ducknwork
10-05-2009, 01:15 PM
That could be anywhere from pulling troops to adding troops.

Considering the fact that you replied twice to a thread with this (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125435650569454583.html) article attached, I assumed you read it. What was I thinking? Check paragraph 2.

Also, check out this article from another recent thread. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/21/world/asia/21afghan.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
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Roger Perry
10-06-2009, 07:56 AM
Considering the fact that you replied twice to a thread with this (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125435650569454583.html) article attached, I assumed you read it. What was I thinking? Check paragraph 2.

Also, check out this article from another recent thread. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/21/world/asia/21afghan.html?_r=1&th&emc=th


Yes, I did read both articles, the one that RK quoted and the one you just put up.

General McChrystal wants 40,000 more troops sent to Afghanistan.

But you apparantly missed the part where others are more skeptical.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy to Afghanistan, are said to be leaning in favor of a troop increase while Defense Secretary Robert Gates has not signaled his preference. Others are more skeptical, including National Security Adviser Jim Jones and Vice President Joe Biden who wants Obama to consider dialing down U.S. forces in favor of a counterterrorism campaign along the Pakistan border where many al-Qaida operatives are believed to be hiding.

Whatever President Obama will decide to do will be criticized no matter what he does. As I have said before, this war is another Viet Nam (Started by the Bush administration) and there is no winning it. Look at all the years we have had troops stationed in North Korea. Afghanistan and Iraq will be the same.


President Barack Obama's top defense and diplomacy advisers said the United States retains the Afghanistan war goal that he outlined just two months into his presidency - to sideline al-Qaida - but changing circumstances require a reassessment of how to get there.
A "snap decision" on whether to add more U.S troops would be counterproductive, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.
Whatever the president decides, the military will salute, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.
"It's important that at the end of the day that the president makes a decision that he believes in," Clinton added.
The question of whether to further escalate the conflict after adding 21,000 U.S. troops earlier this year is a major decision facing Obama and senior administration policy advisers this week.
Obama invited a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday to confer about the war. And Obama will meet twice this week with his national security team.
Divided on Afghanistan, Congress takes up a massive defense spending bill this week even before the president settles on a direction for the war.

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/19953

road kill
10-06-2009, 08:24 AM
Yes, I did read both articles, the one that RK quoted and the one you just put up.

General McChrystal wants 40,000 more troops sent to Afghanistan.

But you apparantly missed the part where others are more skeptical.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy to Afghanistan, are said to be leaning in favor of a troop increase while Defense Secretary Robert Gates has not signaled his preference. Others are more skeptical, including National Security Adviser Jim Jones and Vice President Joe Biden who wants Obama to consider dialing down U.S. forces in favor of a counterterrorism campaign along the Pakistan border where many al-Qaida operatives are believed to be hiding.

Whatever President Obama will decide to do will be criticized no matter what he does. As I have said before, this war is another Viet Nam (Started by the Bush administration) and there is no winning it. Look at all the years we have had troops stationed in North Korea. Afghanistan and Iraq will be the same.


President Barack Obama's top defense and diplomacy advisers said the United States retains the Afghanistan war goal that he outlined just two months into his presidency - to sideline al-Qaida - but changing circumstances require a reassessment of how to get there.
A "snap decision" on whether to add more U.S troops would be counterproductive, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.
Whatever the president decides, the military will salute, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.
"It's important that at the end of the day that the president makes a decision that he believes in," Clinton added.
The question of whether to further escalate the conflict after adding 21,000 U.S. troops earlier this year is a major decision facing Obama and senior administration policy advisers this week.
Obama invited a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday to confer about the war. And Obama will meet twice this week with his national security team.
Divided on Afghanistan, Congress takes up a massive defense spending bill this week even before the president settles on a direction for the war.

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/19953

Really?

"Gates blames past lack of troops for Taliban edge:"

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/ISL512222.htm

Pete
10-06-2009, 08:38 AM
Whatever President Obama will decide to do will be criticized no matter what he does. As I have said before, this war is another Viet Nam (Started by the Bush administration) and there is no winning it. Look at all the years we have had troops stationed in North Korea. Afghanistan and Iraq will be the same

I would agree with yuo there,,, except I dont know if President Obama has time to deal with it.

Besides his rigid TV appearances and his rigorous schedule booking sporting events,,He's lucky to have time to order pizza from chicago.


And I think I have the top 4 spots on POTUS,,,for a moment anywhay,,,,lets see what happens when I click back:D



Pete

ducknwork
10-06-2009, 08:50 AM
Yes, I did read both articles, the one that RK quoted and the one you just put up.

General McChrystal wants 40,000 more troops sent to Afghanistan.

But you apparantly missed the part where others are more skeptical.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Richard Holbrooke, the special envoy to Afghanistan, are said to be leaning in favor of a troop increase while Defense Secretary Robert Gates has not signaled his preference. Others are more skeptical, including National Security Adviser Jim Jones and Vice President Joe Biden who wants Obama to consider dialing down U.S. forces in favor of a counterterrorism campaign along the Pakistan border where many al-Qaida operatives are believed to be hiding.

Whatever President Obama will decide to do will be criticized no matter what he does. As I have said before, this war is another Viet Nam (Started by the Bush administration) and there is no winning it. Look at all the years we have had troops stationed in North Korea. Afghanistan and Iraq will be the same.


President Barack Obama's top defense and diplomacy advisers said the United States retains the Afghanistan war goal that he outlined just two months into his presidency - to sideline al-Qaida - but changing circumstances require a reassessment of how to get there.
A "snap decision" on whether to add more U.S troops would be counterproductive, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.
Whatever the president decides, the military will salute, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.
"It's important that at the end of the day that the president makes a decision that he believes in," Clinton added.
The question of whether to further escalate the conflict after adding 21,000 U.S. troops earlier this year is a major decision facing Obama and senior administration policy advisers this week.
Obama invited a bipartisan group of congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday to confer about the war. And Obama will meet twice this week with his national security team.
Divided on Afghanistan, Congress takes up a massive defense spending bill this week even before the president settles on a direction for the war.

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/19953

:rolleyes:

My point was this: You said that McCrystal wanted more troops to continue doing the same thing. Those two articles clearly show that he has a different game plan than what we have been doing. You know that - you have made it a point more than once on here to announce that McC says the war hasn't been done right for the last 8 years...
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dnf777
10-06-2009, 10:32 AM
Was anyone else "shock and awed" when the number was floated in the media of $800,000 per troop, per year cost of the war in Afghanistan??:confused:

I guess that adds another slant to the discussion--Can we afford to be in A-Stan?? I'm sure the [former] Soviets are watching with interest what we do.

Another development in this topic was Gen. McC's talk in Europe. I was impressed by this guy, at least on his 60min segment, but am having some second thoughts. Surely, a general should know better than to make public policy arguments like that? Giving advice is one thing, which Gates made clear is welcome, but I think he crossed a line in his format. Again, we need a clear mission goal before we can determine more/less troop requirements, and its elected officials' job to decide the mission, not the military's. Now I hear he has leaked troop level info to the Washington Post? More to come, I'd imagine.

I have also since learned that he was involved in the bogus Jessica Lynch "rescue" mission, or military PR media event, I should say......as well as indirectly involved with the cover up of the fratricide of Pat Tillman.

I'm not getting a warm, fuzzy feeling about where all this is going.:(

ducknwork
10-06-2009, 10:43 AM
Was anyone else "shock and awed" when the number was floated in the media of $800,000 per troop, per year cost of the war in Afghanistan??:confused:


Do you have a source for that? I find that very difficult to believe it can even be remotely possible.
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Gerry Clinchy
10-06-2009, 10:51 AM
I am a bit wary of media information being brought forth at this particular moment when it would serve to discredit McC.

The media has sometimes been good at unearthing stuff they should (Nixon), and other times not so good at details.

I'd like to see how how the details of this media information play out before deciding on the character of McC. If we're willing to believe that O was not influenced by Ayres, Rev. Wright and Chicago politics ... then maybe McC deserves at least the same leeway for being "involved" until we hear more detail on what constituted his "involvement".

dnf777
10-06-2009, 11:23 AM
I am a bit wary of media information being brought forth at this particular moment when it would serve to discredit McC.

The media has sometimes been good at unearthing stuff they should (Nixon), and other times not so good at details.

I'd like to see how how the details of this media information play out before deciding on the character of McC. If we're willing to believe that O was not influenced by Ayres, Rev. Wright and Chicago politics ... then maybe McC deserves at least the same leeway for being "involved" until we hear more detail on what constituted his "involvement".

Absolutely Gerry. I'm wary of media info that bolster's someone's image as well, but we should wait and see what plays out before rushing to judgement. Given his prior assignments, I'm not sure we'll ever know all the details! I'm just getting this "here we go again" feeling of agendas being pushed at excessive speed. (that's not for or against any particular person or position, just a general statement)

JSOPS regards,
dave

dnf777
10-06-2009, 11:26 AM
Do you have a source for that? I find that very difficult to believe it can even be remotely possible.

Not off hand, that's why I said "floated by the media". I HOPE it's NOT true, but if it is, certainly requires some noodling. I've been trying to track down some verification on that, as it made my head spin too. Sorry if it seemed like I was presenting that as fact.

Roger Perry
10-06-2009, 11:29 AM
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will not walk away from the flagging war in Afghanistanhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/2.gif (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33180582/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/#), the White House declared Monday amid intense administration debate over choices that could help define his presidency in his first year as commander in chief.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33180582/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

ducknwork
10-06-2009, 02:59 PM
Not off hand, that's why I said "floated by the media". I HOPE it's NOT true, but if it is, certainly requires some noodling. I've been trying to track down some verification on that, as it made my head spin too. Sorry if it seemed like I was presenting that as fact.

I wasn't attacking, just genuinely curious because that is extremely hard to believe...
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Gerry Clinchy
10-08-2009, 07:37 AM
In the NY Times today
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/world/asia/08prexy.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
Afghan War Debate Now Leans to Focus on Al Qaeda
(I've done some "snipping", so some might feel I have left out important pieces. Feel free to discuss what I may have "snipped".)

WASHINGTON — President Obama (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/barack_obama/index.html?inline=nyt-per)’s national security team is moving to reframe its war strategy by emphasizing the campaign against Al Qaeda (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/al_qaeda/index.html?inline=nyt-org) in Pakistan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/pakistan/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) while arguing that the Taliban (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/t/taliban/index.html?inline=nyt-org) in Afghanistan (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/afghanistan/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) do not pose a direct threat to the United States, officials said Wednesday.

But the shift in thinking, outlined by senior administration officials on Wednesday, suggests that the president has been presented with an approach that would not require all of the additional troops that his commanding general in the region has requested (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/21/world/asia/21afghan.html).

It remains unclear whether everyone in Mr. Obama’s war cabinet fully accepts this view. (I don't think it remains "unclear", baased on the following statements.) While Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/world/asia/01policy.html) has argued for months against increasing troops in Afghanistan because Pakistan was the greater priority, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/hillary_rodham_clinton/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/robert_m_gates/index.html?inline=nyt-per) have both warned that the Taliban remain linked to Al Qaeda and would give their fighters havens again if the Taliban regained control of all or large parts of Afghanistan, making it a mistake to think of them as separate problems.

In reviewing General McChrystal’s request, the White House is rethinking what was, just six months ago, a strategy that viewed Pakistan and Afghanistan as a single integrated problem. Now the discussions in the White House Situation Room, according to several administration officials and outsiders who have spoken with them, are focusing on related but separate strategies for fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The official contrasted that with the Afghan Taliban, which the administration has begun to define as an indigenous group that aspires to reclaim territory and rule the country but does not express ambitions of attacking the United States. “When the two are aligned, it’s mainly on the tactical front,” the official said, noting that Al Qaeda has fewer than 100 fighters in Afghanistan. (Only 100? are causing all this mayhem?)

Another official, who also was authorized to speak but not to be identified, said the different views of Al Qaeda and the Taliban were driving the president’s review. “To the extent that Al Qaeda has been degraded, and it has, and to the extent you believe you need to focus on destroying it going forward, what is required going forward?” the official asked. “And to prevent it from having a safe haven?” (To me this clearly says that the Taliban & AQ cannot be viewed as "separate" from each other.)

Mr. Obama has defined his mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan as trying “to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda and other extremist networks around the world.” But he made it clear during a visit to the National Counterterrorism Center on Tuesday that the larger goal behind the mission was to protect the United States. “That’s the principal threat to the American people,” he said.

Robert Gibbs (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/robert_gibbs/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the White House press secretary, said Wednesday that Mr. Obama’s “primary focus is on groups and their allies that can strike our homeland, strike our allies, or groups who would provide safe haven for those that wish to do that.” (Again, this would be the "connection" between AQ and T. At least the advisors are not minimizing the threat of AQ to U.S. safety, a mistake made before 9-11).

Moreover, they suggest that the Taliban have no interest in letting Al Qaeda back into Afghanistan because that was what cost them power when they were toppled by American-backed Afghan rebels in 2001. (Seems a naive assumption. If the T regain power in A'stan, it is possible that their "limited" goals of control in A'stan would give them a taste for more power. They just might be more covert in the future about providing haven for AQ. We should not assume that the T are stupid, or lack thirst for greater power once they have "won out" on their own territory.)

“The policy people and the intelligence people inside are having a big argument over this,” said Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/c/council_on_foreign_relations/index.html?inline=nyt-org) who has advised Mr. Biden. “Is the Taliban a loose collection of people we can split up? Can we split the Taliban from Al Qaeda? If the Taliban comes back to power in parts of Afghanistan, are they going to bring Al Qaeda back with them?” (If the T believe that AQ can help them, I believe they would work with them.)

“The kind of separation that existed between the Taliban and Al Qaeda in 2001 really doesn’t exist anymore,” said Anthony H. Cordesman, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (http://csis.org/) who has advised General McChrystal. “You have much more ideological elements in the Taliban. In the east, they’re really mixed in with Al Qaeda.” (Obviously there IS significant disagreement here about whether the T and AQ can be viewed as separate threats.)

Frances Fragos Townsend, who was President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser, said the two groups remained linked.
“It’s a dangerous argument to assume that the Taliban won’t revert to where they were pre-9/11 and provide Al Qaeda sanctuary,” she said. Referring to General McChrystal, she added, “If you don’t give him the troops he asked for and continue with the Predator strikes, you can kill them one at a time, but you’re not going to drain the swamp.” (Interesting that this woman shares an opinion with Hillary :-) I note, FWIW, that this woman is NOT one of O's advisors.)

The meeting on Wednesday was Mr. Obama’s third with his full national security team. Another is scheduled for Friday to talk about Afghanistan and then a fifth is planned, possibly for next week. Mr. Gibbs said the president was still several weeks away from a decision. (I might be concerned that "several weeks" could end up being "several months". According to Gen. McC, time is definitely a factor.

During the interim while O makes his decision, if I were an Afghani I'd be sitting on the fence WRT helping out the U.S. with any useful intelligence. I'd be wanting to wait and see whether the U.S. will abandon me before I make any commitment. If I help the U.S. and they walk out, the T would murder me and probably my whole family ... and probably in an ugly way. That seems logical to me. So, during this decision period (as mentioned in the first article that started this thread), the General's plans would be, IMO, "on hold" to a large degree due to lack of cooperation and confidence of John Q Afghani.

Gerry Clinchy
10-08-2009, 07:00 PM
Listening to KYW News radio station on the way home in the car... latest comment was that O thinks that the T can/should have a place in the political future of A'stan; saying that the T and AQ are really not connected that much ... and that T not of much importance to U.S. safety.

The gist that was coming across was that the General will not get the troops he's asking for.

Just this AM, the NYT reported that the decision could take several weeks ... just hours later, someone is indicating that the decision really has been made? I think they were quoting Gibbs.

Gerry Clinchy
10-12-2009, 08:40 AM
From the NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/world/asia/12civil.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

What I find disturbing is that while it was acknowledged early on that the goals in A'stan would not be easy to achieve, when that turns out to be as anticipated, they are surprised?! Did they really expect somebody to wave a magic wand and miraculously move a poor country ahead hundreds of years in a matter of months?

In over 200 years, the US, itself, has not been able to solve it's own problems, yet we would expect to solve somebody else's in months?

dnf777
10-12-2009, 11:59 AM
From the NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/world/asia/12civil.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

What I find disturbing is that while it was acknowledged early on that the goals in A'stan would not be easy to achieve, when that turns out to be as anticipated, they are surprised?! Did they really expect somebody to wave a magic wand and miraculously move a poor country ahead hundreds of years in a matter of months?

In over 200 years, the US, itself, has not been able to solve it's own problems, yet we would expect to solve somebody else's in months?


So true! And does anyone think that killing bin Laden, as good as it would feel, will solve ANYTHING related to terrorism in the world? In reality, granting him martyrdom may only embolden new young terrorists to step up. Terrorism in the 21st century is truly a global issue, with global solutions. Not all terrorists are going to assemble in desert camps, flying a flag, that we can flush out and destroy. They can operate anywhere there's a wi-fi. This is akin to fighting a cancer that's already spread throughout the entire body. I wish I had a solution, but I don't think sinking trillions of dollars, chasing shadows in the vast expanse of Afghanistan, at the cost of our blood and gold, as well as alientating potential allies in the region, is a good option. :2c:

Uncle Bill
10-13-2009, 10:54 AM
So true! And does anyone think that killing bin Laden, as good as it would feel, will solve ANYTHING related to terrorism in the world? In reality, granting him martyrdom may only embolden new young terrorists to step up. Terrorism in the 21st century is truly a global issue, with global solutions. Not all terrorists are going to assemble in desert camps, flying a flag, that we can flush out and destroy. They can operate anywhere there's a wi-fi. This is akin to fighting a cancer that's already spread throughout the entire body. I wish I had a solution, but I don't think sinking trillions of dollars, chasing shadows in the vast expanse of Afghanistan, at the cost of our blood and gold, as well as alientating potential allies in the region, is a good option. :2c:


You wouldn't because you have no conception of how those people look upon the importance of "saving face".
Once the allies 'walk away' as you suggest, we WILL be fighting them on our soil. They will then have the real power to call us the infidels and cowards they believe we are; What your ilk has promoted us to be.

Have you ever given this view a thought?

On March 27, flanked by his secretaries of defense and state, the president said this: 'Today I'm announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.' He then outlined a civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. ... The general in charge was then relieved and replaced with Obama's own choice, Stanley McChrystal. And it's McChrystal who submitted the request for the 40,000 troops, a request upon which the commander in chief promptly gagged. The White House began leaking an alternate strategy, apparently proposed (invented?) by Vice President Biden, for achieving immaculate victory with arm's-length use of cruise missiles, Predator drones and special ops. The irony is that no one knows more about this kind of warfare than Gen. McChrystal. He was in charge of exactly this kind of 'counterterrorism' in Iraq for nearly five years, killing thousands of bad guys in hugely successful under-the-radar operations. When the world's expert on this type of counterterrorism warfare recommends precisely the opposite strategy -- 'counterinsurgency,' meaning a heavy-footprint, population-protecting troop surge -- you have the most convincing of cases against counterterrorism by the man who most knows its potential and its limits. And McChrystal was emphatic in his recommendation: To go any other way than counterinsurgency would lose the war. Yet his commander in chief, young Hamlet, frets, demurs, agonizes. His domestic advisers, led by Rahm Emanuel, tell him if he goes for victory, he'll become LBJ, the domestic visionary destroyed by a foreign war. His vice president holds out the chimera of painless counterterrorism success. Against Emanuel and Biden stand Gen. David Petraeus, the world's foremost expert on counterinsurgency (he saved Iraq with it), and Stanley McChrystal, the world's foremost expert on counterterrorism. Whose recommendation on how to fight would you rely on?" --columnist Charles Krauthammer (http://link.patriotpost.us/?136-1045-1045-44834-10761)

How can something so obvious and important to this Nation be passed over by you leftists with such reckless abandon?

UB

dnf777
10-13-2009, 12:00 PM
Quite the contrary, UB. Anyone who understands their concept of "face" would not even mention using drones in warfare. They consider that one of the biggest forms of cowardice, and laugh at us for doing so. I don't agree with that, but jusy sayin' since you seem concerned about their "faces".

After living in the middle east for 6 months, the one thing about their culture I learned was that most of us have NO STINKIN IDEA of their culture...especially those who profess to!

Let me ask you this...why aren't we invading/occupying Yemen? What about Quatar? Iran? Kuwait? Saudi Arabia? Any country ending in -stan? There are undoubtedly islamic radicals harbored in all of these places. What is your and Mr. Krauthamer's strategy for rooting out and eradicating those people? What size army are we going to need to muster to occupy every terrorist-haven country? One million? Ten million? How much do we have to spend on these missions? One trillion? Five trillion? Where does it end, because it seems EVERY time there's an opportunity to wage war, we're told by the hawks it's either war, or cease to exist. Where does it end?

Uncle Bill
10-13-2009, 03:14 PM
Quite the contrary, UB. Anyone who understands their concept of "face" would not even mention using drones in warfare. They consider that one of the biggest forms of cowardice, and laugh at us for doing so. I don't agree with that, but jusy sayin' since you seem concerned about their "faces".

After living in the middle east for 6 months, the one thing about their culture I learned was that most of us have NO STINKIN IDEA of their culture...especially those who profess to!

Let me ask you this...why aren't we invading/occupying Yemen? What about Quatar? Iran? Kuwait? Saudi Arabia? Any country ending in -stan? There are undoubtedly islamic radicals harbored in all of these places. What is your and Mr. Krauthamer's strategy for rooting out and eradicating those people? What size army are we going to need to muster to occupy every terrorist-haven country? One million? Ten million? How much do we have to spend on these missions? One trillion? Five trillion? Where does it end, because it seems EVERY time there's an opportunity to wage war, we're told by the hawks it's either war, or cease to exist. Where does it end?


You're right again. Time to tuck tail and just run and hide. I hope you find a safe spot. The current leadership will see to it you will have your way, and then we'll see how this oligarchy survives.

UB

dnf777
10-13-2009, 03:37 PM
You're right again. Time to tuck tail and just run and hide. I hope you find a safe spot. The current leadership will see to it you will have your way, and then we'll see how this oligarchy survives.

UB

Ya know, that's a bunch of crap! If that's all the more intelligent response you can muster to a discussion on a major undertaking, which many experts are struggling with, there's no need to carry this on. Anyone who doesn't agree 100% with you is ducking and running, or communist, or whatever your latest buzzword is.

Have a nice day in your world.

And I noticed that instead of answering any of the questions posed, you resorted to your standard bylines.

TXduckdog
10-13-2009, 05:56 PM
So true! And does anyone think that killing bin Laden, as good as it would feel, will solve ANYTHING related to terrorism in the world? In reality, granting him martyrdom may only embolden new young terrorists to step up. Terrorism in the 21st century is truly a global issue, with global solutions. Not all terrorists are going to assemble in desert camps, flying a flag, that we can flush out and destroy. They can operate anywhere there's a wi-fi. This is akin to fighting a cancer that's already spread throughout the entire body. I wish I had a solution, but I don't think sinking trillions of dollars, chasing shadows in the vast expanse of Afghanistan, at the cost of our blood and gold, as well as alientating potential allies in the region, is a good option. :2c:

I'm not so sure that actually killing and being able to verify it, Bin Laden might upset the house of cards.

We'd certainly like to think so, anyway.

You're dead on about terrorism in other areas, Yemen, etc.....there are threats everywhere.

I'm with you on not having a solution...but I say we finish the job in Afghanistan.

Gerry Clinchy
10-13-2009, 08:20 PM
The NY Times reported today that Hillary is with Gates, opposing Biden's severe limited recommendations.

Somewhere else I saw mention that McC really would like a whole lot more than 40,000 troops, but 40,000 is his lower end. He really would like double that, but knew that he would have little chance of getting the higher number. That might indicate that if they give him any less, chances of his counterterrorism plan succeeding would be low.

M&K's Retrievers
10-13-2009, 09:33 PM
How is going to get any troups from the Nobel Peacekeeper?

Uncle Bill
10-15-2009, 05:07 PM
After all his bloviating about Iraq being Bush's "war of choice", and he was in favor of Afganistan because it was the "war of necessity". Many of us, like Ann Coulter, wonder if he's still so sure, or was that just another 'campaign' balloon?

UB

Natural-Born Losers
by Ann Coulter (http://www.humanevents.com/search.php?author_name=Ann+Coulter)

10/14/2009


The question of whether President Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan misses the point.
What Obama really needs to do is: Invent a time machine, go back to the 2008 presidential campaign and not say, over and over and over again, that Afghanistan was a "war of necessity" while the war in Iraq was a "war of choice." (Oh, and as long as you're back there, ditch Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett and that gay "school safety" czar.)

The most important part of warfare is picking your battlefield, and President Bush picked Iraq for a reason.
Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11 -- or the dozen other times American embassies, barracks and buildings came under jihadist onslaught since Jimmy Carter presided over "regime change" in Iran in 1979. Both countries -- and others -- gave succor to terrorists who had attacked the U.S. repeatedly, and would do so again.


As liberals endlessly reminded us during the three weeks of war in Afghanistan before the U.S. milita
swept into Kabul, Afghanistan has all the makings of a military disaster. It is mountainous, cave-pocked, tribal, has no resources worth fighting for and a populace that makes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed look like Alistair Cooke.

By contrast, Iraq had a relatively educated, pro-Western populace, but was ruled by a brutal third-world despot.
It's always something with the Muslims. You either have mostly sane people governed by a crazy dictator -- Iraq, Iran and Syria (also California and Michigan) -- or a crazy people governed by relatively sane leaders -- Pakistan and Afghanistan, post-U.S. invasion (also Vermont and Minnesota). There are also insane people ruled by insane leaders (but enough about the House Democratic Caucus). Sane people with sane rulers has not been fully tried yet.

Not only could regime change in Iraq work, but Iraq's countryside was susceptible to America's overwhelming air power. Also, Iraq has fabulous natural resources. Once the U.S. got control of Iraq's oil fields, the Shia, Sunni and Kurds could decide to either prosper together or starve together. (And it's not just oil: They're basically sitting on top of most of the world's proven reserves of cab drivers.)

By contrast, there aren't a lot of sticks that can be used in a wasteland like Afghanistan, where the people live in caves and scratch out a living in the dirt. The only "carrot" we might be able to offer them would be actual carrots.

But Democrats couldn't care less about military strategy -- at least any "strategy" that doesn't involve allowing soldiers to date one another. To the extent you can get liberals to focus on national security at all, you will find they are rooting against their own country.

Liberals sneered at Bush's description of Iraq as the "central front of the war on terror" and a step toward the "democratization of the Middle East" -- as Mark Danner did in the Sept. 11, 2005, New York Times -- because sneering was all they could do. By design, Iraq was the central front in the war on terrorism.

Any fanatic who hated the Great Satan, owned an overnight bag and was not already working for The New York Times was lured across the border into Iraq ... to be met by the awesome force of the U.S. military. Bush chose the battlefield that made the best flytrap for Islamic crazies and also that was most amenable to regime change.

Now nearly all denizens of the Middle East want the U.S. to invade them, so they can live in democracy, too. As Thomas Friedman inadvertently admitted, Lebanese voters credit their recent free election, in which the voters threw out Hezbollah, to President Bush. (American liberals, naturally, gave the credit to Obama, who they also believe is responsible for the sun rising every morning.)

Brave Iranian students who protested the tyrant Ahmadinejad did so because of Iraq -- and then they stopped because of Obama's indifference. Sadly for them, America's foreign policy will now be based on a calculus of political correctness, not national security.
During the campaign, Obama prattled on about Iraq being a "war of choice" and Afghanistan a "war of necessity" for no more thoughtful reason than a desire to win standing ovations from treasonous liberals.

But lo and behold, those very liberals who were champing at the bit to fight in Afghanistan are suddenly full of objections to the war there, too. As Frank Rich points out: "Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention."

Now they notice.

Afghanistan is a brutal battlefield, largely invulnerable to modern warfare -- something the British and Russians learned. But as our military under Bush showed the world in 21 days, scimitar-wielding savages are no match for the voluntary civilian troops of a free people.

Bush removed the Taliban from power, captured or killed the lunatics and, for the next seven years, about the only news we heard out of Afghanistan were occasional announcements of parliamentary elections, new schools, water and electricity plants.

The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals' and certainly not Bush's. It was Obama's meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a "war of necessity" during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq -- a good battleground for the U.S. -- to Afghanistan -- a lousy battlefront for the U.S.

And it was Obama's idea to treat war as if it's an ordinary drug bust, reading suspects their Miranda rights and taking care not to put civilians in harm's way.

A Democrat is president and, once again, America finds itself in an "unwinnable war." I know Democrats will never learn, but I wish the voters would.

dnf777
10-16-2009, 09:33 AM
Brave Iranian students who protested the tyrant Ahmadinejad did so because of Iraq -- and then they stopped because of Obama's indifference. .

I assume they told you this at the last Iranian Studen Dissident group therapy dinner you hosted at your house? Or do you have anothe equally reliable source as to the inner thoughts of Iranian protesters?

I actually agree with much of what was said in your post, with the above exception, and of course the last sentence! :D