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Thread: Afgahnistan?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    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.
    I don't think our strategy or operations would have changed much with or without Iraq to contend with. It's not like we would have ever a) entered Pakistan (which is what would have been required if we wanted to "track down" the Taliban) or b) positioned tens of thousands of US troops along the Afghani/Pak border. Even now, with a surge in troops, it's not like we're making any meaningful effort to contest/guard the border. If your goal is to kill Taliban and arab jihadists, and you're not prepared to enter Pakistan to do it, wouldn't the only solution be to let them re-enter Afghanistan where you can kill them?

    I've asked you twice now what your definition of a "job done right" is in A-stan. OK, I'll go first. I think that the Taliban are a bunch of dim bulbs who can be bought off (and as I understand it, that's what we've been trying to do since the success of the Iraqi surge). Their time has come and gone. While Afghanistan is still a third world s-hole, I don't think that the people want, or would accept, any type of rule by them or their significant representation in any govt. I think it is the Arab jihadists that are at the root of the problem and they can't be bought off. Instead they should be killed and starved of funding and support (aka The Global War on Terror). I think pouring a bunch of troops into A-Stan is a recipe for disaster. I think incursion into Pakistan would be a disaster. I'm in favor of the status quo, and as other fronts on the GWoT are won, the Taliban that can't be bought and the Arab jihadists that can't be killed will wither on the vine in mountain caves. In the meantime, in A-Stan we keep killing them whenever/wherever the opportunity arises and keep tyring to win hearts and minds.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Hew'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.
    My IQ drops measurably ervery tim I red one of yur posts.
    I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.

  3. #23
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    I don't think our strategy or operations would have changed much with or without Iraq to contend with. It's not like we would have ever a) entered Pakistan (which is what would have been required if we wanted to "track down" the Taliban) or b) positioned tens of thousands of US troops along the Afghani/Pak border. Even now, with a surge in troops, it's not like we're making any meaningful effort to contest/guard the border. If your goal is to kill Taliban and arab jihadists, and you're not prepared to enter Pakistan to do it, wouldn't the only solution be to let them re-enter Afghanistan where you can kill them?

    I've asked you twice now what your definition of a "job done right" is in A-stan. OK, I'll go first. I think that the Taliban are a bunch of dim bulbs who can be bought off (and as I understand it, that's what we've been trying to do since the success of the Iraqi surge). Their time has come and gone. While Afghanistan is still a third world s-hole, I don't think that the people want, or would accept, any type of rule by them or their significant representation in any govt. I think it is the Arab jihadists that are at the root of the problem and they can't be bought off. Instead they should be killed and starved of funding and support (aka The Global War on Terror). I think pouring a bunch of troops into A-Stan is a recipe for disaster. I think incursion into Pakistan would be a disaster. I'm in favor of the status quo, and as other fronts on the GWoT are won, the Taliban that can't be bought and the Arab jihadists that can't be killed will wither on the vine in mountain caves. In the meantime, in A-Stan we keep killing them whenever/wherever the opportunity arises and keep trying to win hearts and minds.
    I think if Afghanistan were the only issue I might agree, although that is the thinking that allowed it to become an open training ground for terrorists in the 1990's. However, Pakistan is another question altogether. It is too important in the world to be permitted to become a failed state under the control of the Taliban or jihadists.

    The politics are difficult enough that it is not easy to figure out productive ways to help. A strategy that encompasses the potential for intervention in hot pursuit (the stick) helps give incentives to the military to take action since it is harder to conceal their lack of action. Carrots in the form of direct military and economic assistance can help bolster the government. Long term, the most important thing we could probably do would be to help build and finance a broad system of public education. This would probably be a lot cheaper than fighting future wars against the products of their existing schools.

    EDIT: A job "well done" in Afghanistan leaves a nation with a functioning government and economy and a Pakistan that is basically stable.
    Last edited by YardleyLabs; 07-28-2009 at 02:55 PM.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I think if Afghanistan were the only issue I might agree, although that is the thinking that allowed it to become an open training ground for terrorists in the 1990's. Ah, but back then it wasn't a big deal if wahabist Saudis were transferring wads of cash into AQ bank accounts. That tends to raise some eyebrows and unfortunate repurcussions nowadays. However, Pakistan is another question altogether. It is too important in the world to be permitted to become a failed state under the control of the Taliban or jihadists. Totally agree.

    The politics are difficult enough that it is not easy to figure out productive ways to help. Gosh, that's an understatement. A strategy that encompasses the potential for intervention in hot pursuit (the stick) helps give incentives to the military to take action since it is harder to conceal their lack of action. Carrots in the form of direct military and economic assistance can help bolster the government. Long term, the most important thing we could probably do would be to help build and finance a broad system of public education. Gee, we should probably sprinkle magical pacifying pixie dust over the whole country from the International Space Station while we're at it. We can't properly educate our own kids. Moreover, the notion that madrassas in America and Europe are educating future jihadists amongst us is galling enough to me, a relatively educated fella. Just imagine the reaction from the average Paki when told that Americans will be educating kids in his country. I'm thinking they're going to say, "I am not liking dis so much." This would probably be a lot cheaper than fighting future wars against the products of their existing schools.
    ............
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Maybe because in Afghanistan we are actually going after the group that was responsible for the 9/11 attacks -- a goal we lost sight of when we decided it would be more fun to invade Iraq, a country that had nothing at all to do with the attacks. Afghanistan became a haven for terrorist training following the withdrawal of Russian troops and the lack of support from us or any other country in helping them to recover from years of war. GWB oversaw a masterful invasion and overthrow of the Taliban, only to withdraw troops before the job was done, to free up resources for the war in Iraq. As a result the Taliban reestablished itself both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, becoming even more dangerous than it was before our original invasion. Now it's time to do the job right. Unfortunately, now it will be harder than ever.
    100% With Yardleylabs on this one. These are the people (Afghan -- taliban) who led the effort to fly planes into our buildings. Iraq presented it's own issues, but a link to the taliban and terrorism was not one of them. The American people were mislead in that respect. GWB inaccurately used this for a sales pitch point. We were also mislead about the WMD in Iraq, but much of that was bad intelligence, and not knowlingly misleading Americans. I twice served in Iraq, and would still be serving in the military today had it been toward the end of destroying the regime who was responsible for 9/11. I anticipate that I will soon serve in Afghanistan as a civilian. That is and always was the correct place to be.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by road kill View Post
    This just in....

    ....George Bush is NOT President, I repeat for those of you who may have missed it, George Bush is NOT President!!
    Of course he's not. But does that mean we should blame the utter mess he left this country in on someone else? What happened to the conservative motto of "personal responsibility"??? I guess that's only when someone ELSE screws up? I would have more respect for W if he would just say, "my whole presidency was based on lies, padding the MIC pockets, and appeasing the extreme right-wing, and man did I screw things up!" The average American sure as heck didn't benefit. Sure, most of us got enough in tax breaks to buy a set of golf clubs or a few wingers, but at what long-term cost? We still don't know. But many don't have jobs or houses to put those clubs in anymore.

    Thank God he's not still president, but yes, blame needs to be properly assigned, so that we don't make the same mistake again. His policies were like a cancer on this nation, sapping our resources to feed it's own appetite, and I don't think we can handle a recurrence. There's another conservative principle out the window....small government. Clinton's federal budget looked like the Rotary Clubs budget compared to 2007-08! And yes, I worry that Obama will merely continue Bush's expansion of the budget deficit.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    And yes, I worry that Obama will merely continue Bush's expansion of the budget deficit.
    ?????????????????? You ARE shittin us?? right?? Mr "I pay more taxes than everyone else"???????? MERELY CONTINUE????????
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dback View Post
    ?????????????????? You ARE shittin us?? right?? Mr "I pay more taxes than everyone else"???????? MERELY CONTINUE????????
    Call it what you want. If we agreed to not start paying off Mr. Obama's debt contributions until we have paid off Mr. Bush's, YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT!

    In case you haven't attended your local "tea-bagging" party, LOTS of folks are paying lots of taxes. Gives us the right to complain when we don't like how morons are running this country into the ground, whether they have a D or an R next to their name.

    And if I were paying more taxes than everyone else, I wouldn't still be begging my wife to let me get a JD gator!
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  9. #29
    Senior Member luvalab's Avatar
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    I've been listening pretty closely to recent statements made about the administration's goals in Afghanistan. I certainly haven't heard them all, but those I have heard say nothing about 9/11, capturing or killing Bin Laden, or even making the US safer from muslim extremism. What the various generals are saying are things like stability, renewed infrastructure, safety and security for the people of Afghanistan, educating the children of, etc. Lots of examples about women and children and horror. Heartstring stuff, to be sure.

    Now--I think there can be some convincing lines drawn in the dot to dot that might paint a picture of a more secure US should Afghanistan be a better place and the Taliban be minimized or defeated, but it's just not being done. In listening to recent statements, it's like the US has nothing to do with Afghanistan--except for sending troops and resources.

    I'd like to hear a clear statement that addresses the question, what do these things have to do with the safety of this country's citizens? The administration and its spokesmen have not been doing this. As far as articulating why the US should be involved in Afghanistan in the year 2009??? I'm not hearing it.

    I can make all sorts of my own arguments in my own little head, but I don't want a conversation with myself--I want my government to tell me what good it thinks will come to the United States to have our men, women, and resources there. I don't want to be debating presumed motivations.
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvalab View Post
    I've been listening pretty closely to recent statements made about the administration's goals in Afghanistan. I certainly haven't heard them all, but those I have heard say nothing about 9/11, capturing or killing Bin Laden, or even making the US safer from muslim extremism. What the various generals are saying are things like stability, renewed infrastructure, safety and security for the people of Afghanistan, educating the children of, etc. Lots of examples about women and children and horror. Heartstring stuff, to be sure.

    Now--I think there can be some convincing lines drawn in the dot to dot that might paint a picture of a more secure US should Afghanistan be a better place and the Taliban be minimized or defeated, but it's just not being done. In listening to recent statements, it's like the US has nothing to do with Afghanistan--except for sending troops and resources.

    I'd like to hear a clear statement that addresses the question, what do these things have to do with the safety of this country's citizens? The administration and its spokesmen have not been doing this. As far as articulating why the US should be involved in Afghanistan in the year 2009??? I'm not hearing it.

    I can make all sorts of my own arguments in my own little head, but I don't want a conversation with myself--I want my government to tell me what good it thinks will come to the United States to have our men, women, and resources there. I don't want to be debating presumed motivations.
    I seem to remember hearing that the administration line was to counter the resurgence of taliban. Additionally, a hot topic has been the drug/poppy industry, which funds terrorist activities. Obama recently replaced the commanding General. This would not have happened so that we could better rebuild schools and infrastructure.

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