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Thread: Afgahnistan?

  1. #51
    Senior Member Richard Halstead's Avatar
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    I certainly hope any left over weapons brought into the country by former Democrat Congressman Charlie Wilson covert arms supplied to the Afghan freedom fighters (Mujahideen) to help drive out the Russians aren't used on American troops.
    Last edited by Richard Halstead; 08-01-2009 at 11:04 AM.
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  2. #52
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    1) They have had the opportunity to review all the things that don't work.
    2) They can draw upon the most knowledgeable strategists who have observed the things that have not worked, and could provide the alternative strategies that could work.
    3) Their campaign rhetoric implied that they knew how to employ the correct strategy.

    Truthfully, we have a lot of material on what will NOT work in trying to bring A'stan intot he 21st century. We could surely learn a lot from the Soviet failures. In fact, we were actually involved with the forces that sent the Soviets home. We should certainly have gained knowledge from that experience.

    I can't believe that our military is so devoid of military strategists to not use the lessons learned from history. If I am correct, then is there some other reason (i.e. political) that we are not doing better at this? Are the people sitting safe & cozy in DC not allowing the military to use the knowledge they have available?
    I wouldn't go too far down the road of thinking the military is omniscient. It has a long history of applying lessons learned in one war to the next, without necessarily paying attention to whether or not all of those lessons are appropriate. For now, however, the administration appears to be taking its lead from the military in Afghanistan.

    We are very familiar with the enemy since we helped to create them to combat the Russian forces. We helped train them to use small, lightly armed forces in conjunction with the difficult terrain of the mountain regions and the proximity of safe havens in Pakistan to fight an effective guerrilla war against a stronger foe. They learned well and we will be paying the price.

    However, failure means that we will be paying an even greater price by leaving our foe with a base for launching terror attacks against us in the future comparable to what they launched in 2001. We would also be giving them a safe haven for continuing their attacks on the stability of Pakistan. If they are successful in gaining control of Pakistan, the consequences will be worse than a repetition of the WTC and Pentagon attacks.

    This is the war we should have been fighting in 2002 and 2003 when we decided to shift our attention to Iraq. As a consequence of that decision, we strengthened our enemy and weakened ourselves. The war will be harder to fight as a result and will not end quickly. Having spent ourselves in the wrong place, we are now likely to end up with a less desirable result that will haunt us in years to come. The public has a limited stomach for continuing to fight after eight years, and the Republicans who supported the earlier disastrous policies, calling all opponents traitors, are now in the forefront of the opposition trying to shift the onus of the blame to Obama, who said fight in Afghanistan, not Iraq, all the way back in 2002.

    If George Bush's name keeps coming up, it is because not everything he broke can be fixed no matter what the new administration chooses to do. A President does not work from a clean slate. He begins with the good and the bad left behind by his predecessors. In George Bush's case, I am hard pressed to see the good.

  3. #53
    Senior Member luvalab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    1) They have had the opportunity to review all the things that don't work.
    2) They can draw upon the most knowledgeable strategists who have observed the things that have not worked, and could provide the alternative strategies that could work.
    3) Their campaign rhetoric implied that they knew how to employ the correct strategy.

    Truthfully, we have a lot of material on what will NOT work in trying to bring A'stan intot he 21st century. We could surely learn a lot from the Soviet failures. In fact, we were actually involved with the forces that sent the Soviets home. We should certainly have gained knowledge from that experience.

    I can't believe that our military is so devoid of military strategists to not use the lessons learned from history. If I am correct, then is there some other reason (i.e. political) that we are not doing better at this? Are the people sitting safe & cozy in DC not allowing the military to use the knowledge they have available?
    Seven months... seven years... seven hundred years...

    There are in fact thousands of years of history of failure in Afghanistan to study; apparently only Alexander the Great had any success... or maybe not. There is evidence he just said he did, and no one cared to refute him.

    There is a whole lot of history to argue we should get out, which is why any argument to stay had better be pretty compelling in my mind. It's not that I think it's impossible--but it will be hard, and it had better be worth it.

    Also, ditto what Richard said.
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  4. #54
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Perry View Post
    Bush started the war Obama did not. Why did Bush not clean up his own mess?
    BUSH IS GONE!!!
    (and he didn't start it)

    This is Obama's war!!
    This is where he, and your party, says we should be.
    With NO plan.
    Last edited by road kill; 08-01-2009 at 10:53 AM.
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  5. #55
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    I wouldn't go too far down the road of thinking the military is omniscient. It has a long history of applying lessons learned in one war to the next, without necessarily paying attention to whether or not all of those lessons are appropriate. For now, however, the administration appears to be taking its lead from the military in Afghanistan.

    We are very familiar with the enemy since we helped to create them to combat the Russian forces. We helped train them to use small, lightly armed forces in conjunction with the difficult terrain of the mountain regions and the proximity of safe havens in Pakistan to fight an effective guerrilla war against a stronger foe. They learned well and we will be paying the price.

    However, failure means that we will be paying an even greater price by leaving our foe with a base for launching terror attacks against us in the future comparable to what they launched in 2001. We would also be giving them a safe haven for continuing their attacks on the stability of Pakistan. If they are successful in gaining control of Pakistan, the consequences will be worse than a repetition of the WTC and Pentagon attacks.

    This is the war we should have been fighting in 2002 and 2003 when we decided to shift our attention to Iraq. As a consequence of that decision, we strengthened our enemy and weakened ourselves. The war will be harder to fight as a result and will not end quickly. Having spent ourselves in the wrong place, we are now likely to end up with a less desirable result that will haunt us in years to come. The public has a limited stomach for continuing to fight after eight years, and the Republicans who supported the earlier disastrous policies, calling all opponents traitors, are now in the forefront of the opposition trying to shift the onus of the blame to Obama, who said fight in Afghanistan, not Iraq, all the way back in 2002.

    If George Bush's name keeps coming up, it is because not everything he broke can be fixed no matter what the new administration chooses to do. A President does not work from a clean slate. He begins with the good and the bad left behind by his predecessors. In George Bush's case, I am hard pressed to see the good.

    One excuse after another.

    I am realizing that, unless it's "The Obama," then it's all good.
    Stan b & Elvis

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by road kill View Post
    BUSH IS GONE!!!
    (and he didn't start it)

    This is Obama's war!!
    This is where he, and your party, says we should be.
    With NO plan.
    If Bush did not start the war in Afghanistan then who did? Next thing you will say is Bush did not start the war in Iraq.

    It is not Obama's war. It is a war he inherited.

    Read my lips, Obama's party is not my party. I an a registered Independent, free thinking American.

    Bush's name will be synonymous in the history books with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Richard Halstead's Avatar
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    Obama wanted to be president and any conflicts and all are part of the job, didn't he campaign to bring the Iraq soldirs home by a given date and set a date for the closure of Gitmo? Being president you don't get too choose an ala carte presidency you take what's on your plate and don't complain that you inherited the mess. This is what was over promised on the campaign trail if elected he would solve our problems. Never did he say elect me and I'll complain for six months.
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Halstead View Post
    Obama wanted to be president and any conflicts and all are part of the job, didn't he campaign to bring the Iraq soldirs home by a given date and set a date for the closure of Gitmo? Being president you don't get too choose an ala carte presidency you take what's on your plate and don't complain that you inherited the mess. This is what was over promised on the campaign trail if elected he would solve our problems. Never did he say elect me and I'll complain for six months.
    Obama also did not set a time frame to have all our troops home and safe. If McCain had been elected, he said we would be there 100 years.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by YardleyLabs
    I wouldn't go too far down the road of thinking the military is omniscient. It has a long history of applying lessons learned in one war to the next, without necessarily paying attention to whether or not all of those lessons are appropriate. For now, however, the administration appears to be taking its lead from the military in Afghanistan.
    The military may not be omniscient, but surely there are some in the military who have the expertise & wisdom needed. It would be the POTUS' job to find that person/people.

    If Bush couldn't do it, then that does not mean that O is "forgiven" if he doesn't find the right person. He has just changed commanders, and I would give the new guy a chance to have some effect.

    Agreed, each new POTUS must take on the mistakes of a previous POTUS. The new POTUS gets elected by promising that he/she has the answers to fix the mistakes. The electorate had to choose whether that would be McCain or Obama. The new POTUS has a period of time to convince the electorate that he/she is making choices that are improving the situation. Once the new POTUS takes action on the situation, it becomes the new POTUS's problem ... since the action taken is that of the new POTUS.

    I do think there is a "basic" plan for A'stan ... quoted in the news media ... "clear, build, protect" (might have gotten the last one wrong going by memory). This strategy has worked when it is used ... give the people (not the government) something to improve their daily lives and protect, and make them safe from the rebels who would take it away, and the people are smart enough to know a good thing when they have it. They will protect what they have.

    I believe this strategy worked in Vietnam, but we pulled out before it could take firm hold. (That has no bearing on whether we should have been in Vietnam or not. That's a different discussion.) It was working in Iraq. It could work in A'stan. In each case the strategy has to adapt to the individual cultural environment.

    Yardley
    They learned well and we will be paying the price.


    So, if we taught them, we should also know how to counteract it.

    Yardley
    This is the war we should have been fighting in 2002 and 2003 when we decided to shift our attention to Iraq.


    If this is correct, and I won't say it is not, then the next step is to "do it". You can't undo the past. Maybe you are also correct that it will be harder than if we had done it before, but that does not absolve O or the military from proceeding to do what will lead to success.

    Yardley
    If George Bush's name keeps coming up, it is because not everything he broke can be fixed no matter what the new administration chooses to do.


    Are you saying that we should throw in the towel ... because the mistakes of the past have created a situation that cannot be fixed?

    Richard Halstead
    Never did he say elect me and I'll complain for six months.

    That gets to the heart of it!!
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  10. #60
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Perry View Post
    Obama also did not set a time frame to have all our troops home and safe. If McCain had been elected, he said we would be there 100 years.
    But McCain was not elected.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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    ​I don't use the PM feature, so just email me direct at the address shown above.

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