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Thread: Afgahnistan?

  1. #11
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    HEW, as I noted in my subsequent post, I agree that I was wrong in saying troop levels had been reduced. The issue was that following the Tora Bora battle it was pretty clear that more troops would be needed to eliminate the Taliban. The administration basically adopted the posture that it was no longer important to capture bin Laden or to eliminate the Taliban because they had been effectively contained. The resurgence in Afghanistan and the destabilization in Pakistan have proven how wrong that judgment was.

    My basis for saying the problem is worse now than it was originally is based on the growth of the power of the Taliban in Pakistan -- with the related destabilization of that gpvernment -- and the strength of the Taliban in the mountain regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan where they are much harder to dislodge militarily. At the time of our initial actions, there was no reason for the Taliban to hide in the mountains because the controlled the country. As a result, they were much easier to find and kill. A msjor increase in resources between mid 2002 and mid 2003 had the potential of permanently dislodging the Taliban and locating and killing bin Laden. That was not done because we were building up for an invasion of Iraq and were downplaying the importance of Afghanistan. As it became clear during our invasion of Iraq that the Taliban had fortified its positions in the mountain regions and were gaining new reinforcements, we responded by consolidating our forces into limited areas and ceding mush of the rest of the country to the Taliban.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    A msjor increase in resources between mid 2002 and mid 2003 had the potential of permanently dislodging the Taliban and locating and killing bin Laden. That was not done because we were building up for an invasion of Iraq and were downplaying the importance of Afghanistan.
    That was not done because bin Laden and and a goodly chunk of the Taliban had taken refuge in Pakistan; not because we didn't have the manpower or will to fight them. Now if you want to make the case that we didn't have the willpower to invade Pakistan in pursuit, I'll agree with you. But I don't think you would have been in favor of that, would you?

    Back to the larger question. In your opinion, what will constitute our job in A-Stan being "done right." Total peace? Total elimination of the Taliban? etc.
    I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.

  3. #13
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    That was not done because bin Laden and and a goodly chunk of the Taliban had taken refuge in Pakistan; not because we didn't have the manpower or will to fight them. Now if you want to make the case that we didn't have the willpower to invade Pakistan in pursuit, I'll agree with you. But I don't think you would have been in favor of that, would you?

    Back to the larger question. In your opinion, what will constitute our job in A-Stan being "done right." Total peace? Total elimination of the Taliban? etc.
    I don't know how I would have reacted to be honest. In retrospect (always an easier perspective) it would have been better than what we face now since the consequence of chasing them into Pakistan was the creation of a new and much more dangerous safe haven. Unfortunately, the administration simply seemed happy to have an excuse for focusing on Iraq instead. If Afghanistan and Pakistan had remained our primary focus I am convinced we would be much better off today. Unfortunately I believe the admininstration was more interested in having a more visible proving ground for deterring other countries from asymmetric challenges against the US than it was in actually tracking down and destroying the Taliban.

  4. #14
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I don't know how I would have reacted to be honest. In retrospect (always an easier perspective) it would have been better than what we face now since the consequence of chasing them into Pakistan was the creation of a new and much more dangerous safe haven. Unfortunately, the administration simply seemed happy to have an excuse for focusing on Iraq instead. If Afghanistan and Pakistan had remained our primary focus I am convinced we would be much better off today. Unfortunately I believe the admininstration was more interested in having a more visible proving ground for deterring other countries from asymmetric challenges against the US than it was in actually tracking down and destroying the Taliban.
    Could you explain how we would be better off??
    Using only "factual analysis."

    And how do YOU know this?

    (this should be "refreshing!!")
    Last edited by road kill; 07-28-2009 at 12:50 PM.
    Stan b & Elvis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    There is no end game in our Dear Leader's 'Overseas Contingency Operation'. Didn't you hear him last week when he said VICTORY isn't the United States' goal?

    He said, "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur"

    So let's just continue to stuff bodies in body bags for shipment back home because our President doesn't really want to win this war. He's such a coward.

    Bring back the draft or bring everybody home. And with the draft let's start with the President's two daughters. Fit them with JROTC uniforms and teach them 'left, right, left' on the White House lawn. When they're old enough to serve ship the girls over there to fight. And do the same for all sons and daughters of all politicians in this country.

    Maybe then Dear Leader will try to achieve victory as quickly as possible. What a disgrace.
    I did not see the Bush girls signing up to help out with the war rheir dad started. they were too busy partying and having a good time.
    Last edited by Roger Perry; 07-28-2009 at 01:14 PM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by road kill View Post
    Could you explain how we would be better off??
    Using only "factual analysis."

    And how do YOU know this?

    (this should be "refreshing!!")
    You cannot explain hypotheticals based on facts, only theories. Commanders in Afghanistan were clearly told that the war there was a secondary priority. There were no resources to support aggressive pursuit of the Taliban, few resources to support reconstruction, and a lot of pressure to keep things as quiet as possible (see, for example, my earlier quote of Admiral Mullen). Had resources been available and had commanders known that they were being judged on their effectiveness in challenging and displacing the Taliban in both AQfghanistan and Pakistan, I am convinced they would have been relatively successful. Had the administration been as committed to getting rid of the Taliban as it was to getting rid of Saddam Hussein, I suspect that it would have been effective at addressing the issues in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    In that hypothetical circumstance, we would not be as worried now about the fact that we have a nuclear nation, Pakistan, that could collapse under pressure from the Taliban. We would probably have a stronger government in Afghanistan that was less likely to fall back to exactly the position it held in 2001. We would still have Saddam Hussein, assuming he was not otherwise overthrown. However, with time his position would probably be weaker than it was in 2003 and the country might be moving towards a more locally driven post Saddam era with possibly less religious strife than exists now. Would it be better than what exists now? I don't know. However, it would have been less threatening to the stability of the area with the added benefit of what probably would have been a weaker Iran.

    How do I lnow any of this? I don't. Discussions of hypotheticals are simply speculation. If you are asking for my "credentials" for formulating opinions (which is how I actually interpret your question), they are similar to anyone else's. I read three newspapaers a day (WSJ, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bucks County Courier News), I watch news on CNN and MSNBC (not Fox unless I lose a bet), I listen to BBC News and NPR, I did my udergraduate and graduate work in economics and international and public affairs, I lived a large part of my life overseas, graduating from high school in a class of 100 students from over 30 different countries, I have studied more economics than many PhD economists, have studied multiple languages and speak three, etc. Does any of that make my opinions more valid than yours? No. But I think I am a littlle more committed researching facts and verifying sources than most.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    There is no end game in our Dear Leader's 'Overseas Contingency Operation'. Didn't you hear him last week when he said VICTORY isn't the United States' goal?

    He said, "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur"

    So let's just continue to stuff bodies in body bags for shipment back home because our President doesn't really want to win this war. He's such a coward.

    Bring back the draft or bring everybody home. And with the draft let's start with the President's two daughters. Fit them with JROTC uniforms and teach them 'left, right, left' on the White House lawn. When they're old enough to serve ship the girls over there to fight. And do the same for all sons and daughters of all politicians in this country.

    Maybe then Dear Leader will try to achieve victory as quickly as possible. What a disgrace.
    Goose, you do know that the previous administration changed its rhetoric about the war on terror from use of "win" and "victory" to use of "success". In fact, in a 2004 interview, when asked “Can we win?” the war on terror, Bush said, “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.” So, continuing the use of terms consistent with the previous administration and focusing our efforts on Afgahnistan makes him a coward. That does not seem very fair and balanced.
    Mission accomplished in 2003 regards......

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    There is no end game in our Dear Leader's 'Overseas Contingency Operation'. Didn't you hear him last week when he said VICTORY isn't the United States' goal?

    He said, "I'm always worried about using the word 'victory' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur"

    So let's just continue to stuff bodies in body bags for shipment back home because our President doesn't really want to win this war. He's such a coward.

    Bring back the draft or bring everybody home. And with the draft let's start with the President's two daughters. Fit them with JROTC uniforms and teach them 'left, right, left' on the White House lawn. When they're old enough to serve ship the girls over there to fight. And do the same for all sons and daughters of all politicians in this country.

    Maybe then Dear Leader will try to achieve victory as quickly as possible. What a disgrace.
    Goose, you do know that the previous administration changed its rhetoric about the war on terror from use of "win" and "victory" to use of "success". In fact, in a 2004 interview, when asked “Can we win?” the war on terror, Bush said, “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.” So, if I have this straight, you are saying that continuing the use of terms consistent with the previous administrations but with clear redetermined efforts to eliminate the Taliban from Afghanistan makes him a coward. OK, but that does not seem very fair and balanced.
    Regards..........

  9. #19
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    This just in....

    ....George Bush is NOT President, I repeat for those of you who may have missed it, George Bush is NOT President!!
    Stan b & Elvis

  10. #20
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Perry View Post
    I did not see the Bush girls signing up to help out with the war rheir dad started. they were too busy partying and having a good time.
    Oh, well, there you have it.
    That pretty much ends this entire debate!!

    BTW--You know this for a fact how??
    Stan b & Elvis

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