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Thread: A'stan: More Troops Needed

  1. #11
    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    BTW, how was the road trip? If you can't talk about it, I assume it was good!
    I have been going to Tomahawk for about 22 years (missed a couple).
    This was the nicest weather ever!!

    I mean 67 + or - 2 degrees all day and cloudless.
    I used to ride with a group, this year just me and the redhead, we met friends up there.
    Just rode and did what we wanted.
    About 1100 miles all totaled.

    Good food, great sights () and lot's of fun.
    Leaves about 20% turned right now.

    Probably the best attended event ever.

    Now it's time to put the bike away and start doin' what I got this little black dog to do!!

    That and start shooting the bow.

    Team Elvis
    Last edited by road kill; 09-21-2009 at 07:59 PM.
    Stan b & Elvis

  2. #12
    Senior Member TXduckdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    I think I agree with the most part; so I ask, why are we there?

    Wrong question....we're there, now what are we going to do about it?

    Item 1..... should be keep the fricking politicians and news media out of the tactical situation.

    Item 2....accept the fact that collateral damage is going to happen.....especially with these cowards hiding behind women and children and in populated areas.

    Item 3....there are no civil rights on a battlefield....period.
    Train the dog, the ribbons will take care of themselves.

  3. #13
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXduckdog View Post
    Wrong question....we're there, now what are we going to do about it?

    Item 1..... should be keep the fricking politicians and news media out of the tactical situation.

    Item 2....accept the fact that collateral damage is going to happen.....especially with these cowards hiding behind women and children and in populated areas.

    Item 3....there are no civil rights on a battlefield....period.
    I agree with your three items. But if we don't have a good answer to my question, then the answer to yours is "get the hell out"! And the three items become moot. If we have good reason to be there, then we need to take your three items into consideration and act definitively.

    Bush is gone (as RK likes to mention) so I won't address his policies, other than to say initially he made it very clear we were after the SOBs who hit our WTC, and disable their terror-making network. We didn't accomplish that goal, or more precisely, we let our gains backslide to where we are now by all but abandoning Afghanistan in lieu of Iraq. So, back to the future....what is our goal now? Disabling terror networks in rugged terrain such as A-stan and P-stan are probably best done by disrupting communication and financial routings, not military occupance.

    During the Russian invasion, Chernenko was warned that he would require 650,000 troops to secure Afghanistan by military force. He instead dedicated 115,000. Those who study or are old enough to remember history , know what happened.

    Obama had better get on the ball with this. He's losing support from all directions. If he's for the war, he needs to explain why and dedicate the necessary resources to accomplish his yet unstated goals. If he's against the war, which was implicit in his campaign, then get the hell out, and explain why.

    Given the near collapse of our financial system he had to deal with, he's been given some slack. But with lives in harm's way, he needs to move now in one direction or another.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  4. #14
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    http://www.foxnews.com/
    WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has told its top commander in Afghanistan to delay submitting his request for additional troops, defense officials say, amid signs that the Obama administration is rethinking its strategy for combating a resurgent Taliban.

    A senior Pentagon official says the administration has asked for the reprieve so it can complete a review of the U.S.-led war effort. "We have to make sure we have the right strategy" before looking at additional troop requests, the official said. "Things have changed on the ground fairly considerably."

    Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, recently completed a classified report asking for significant numbers of new American troops. Military officials familiar with the matter says the report lays out several options, including one that seeks roughly 40,000 reinforcements, which would push the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to more than 100,000 for the first time.

    But the commander has been told to delay submitting the troop request to the Pentagon at the direction of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other top civilian officials, according to defense officials.

    The administration's call for a further strategic review -- which official said could take weeks -- comes as military commanders in the field say the campaign is running out of time and U.S. congressional and public support for the war is flagging.

    In a new assessment of the war submitted to the Pentagon last month and made public Monday, Gen. McChrystal wrote that if the Taliban insurgency's momentum isn't reversed in the next 12 months, defeating it may no longer be possible. "Time matters; we must act now to reverse the negative trends and demonstrate progress," Gen. McChrystal wrote in a "Commander's Summary" at the start of the assessment.
    In the spring, O said that A'stan was of primary importance to keep the Taliban from regaining control, because they provided an environment for operations of Al Quaeda. That was consistent with the initial reason to go to A'stan by the previous administration.

    That was why O said that A'stan was more important than Iraq. His plan was to reduce troops in Iraq & commit the #s to A'stan. He was so adamant about the importance of A'stan success that he stipulated he was willing to cross the P'stan border if need be.

    When McChrystal was chosen for his position, O said that he was "the best" for the type of warfare that the A'stan situation presented.

    Now McChrystal has given his assessment of the situation, but O now doubts that McC knows what he's talking about.

    It was stated in one of the media that certain details of the report are not public, due to nationial security. That is understandable. I would imagine that those non-public items related to McC's more specific recommendations for what action should be taken. Presumably the strategy has been outlined, but O doubts that it is the correct strategy. We do not have all the info that O has due to the items that were not public info.

    What did he expect from McC? It was not rocket science that little progress was being made in A'stan. Something was lacking in what was being done there. I would expect that McC was supposed to tell O what the solution was. McC is "on the ground" there. Maybe it was not what O wanted to hear? Did he expect that it was not going to get hot in the kitchen?
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  5. #15
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    http://www.foxnews.com/


    In the spring, O said that A'stan was of primary importance to keep the Taliban from regaining control, because they provided an environment for operations of Al Quaeda. That was consistent with the initial reason to go to A'stan by the previous administration.

    That was why O said that A'stan was more important than Iraq. His plan was to reduce troops in Iraq & commit the #s to A'stan. He was so adamant about the importance of A'stan success that he stipulated he was willing to cross the P'stan border if need be.

    When McChrystal was chosen for his position, O said that he was "the best" for the type of warfare that the A'stan situation presented.

    Now McChrystal has given his assessment of the situation, but O now doubts that McC knows what he's talking about.

    It was stated in one of the media that certain details of the report are not public, due to nationial security. That is understandable. I would imagine that those non-public items related to McC's more specific recommendations for what action should be taken. Presumably the strategy has been outlined, but O doubts that it is the correct strategy. We do not have all the info that O has due to the items that were not public info.

    What did he expect from McC? It was not rocket science that little progress was being made in A'stan. Something was lacking in what was being done there. I would expect that McC was supposed to tell O what the solution was. McC is "on the ground" there. Maybe it was not what O wanted to hear? Did he expect that it was not going to get hot in the kitchen?
    Gerry,

    The impression I got from Obama's comments was that he believed, given the assessment of the resources needed and the likelihood of success, that it was appropriate to review the mission to determine if it is worth the cost. That does not question the recommendations regarding strategy for engagement, it raises the question of whether or not we should continue to engage at all. Without prejudging the result of that assessment, I believe it is appropriate to do for all the reasons mentioned by RK and Dave.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th

    Interesting ... Biden thinks we should concentrate on P'stan where AQ is operating from now; and forget about the Taliban. Hillary stated that if the Taliban get control of A'stan, AQ will just move back to A'stan under the T's protection.

    Correct me if I'm wrong ... but if Hillary is correct, wouldn't that just put us back where we were when the U.S. first went to A'stan?

    It would appear that AQ and Taliban present a continuing problem for the area (as they were perceived to be at the outset). In that context, pulling out isn't an option. Finding the solution of how to bring A'stan into the 21st century is the question.

    Indeed, that may be as someone else has suggested, daily life improvements like education, hospitals, stable water & food supplies that can be sustained by the people themselves. When people have a life that has hope, they will want to preserve it. It is at the grassroots that people will change their country, standing down anyone who would take their improvements away ... warlords, Taliban, AQ, whoever. Not a simple achievement against the cultural background; not a "quick fix" either. You don't accomplish 200 years of change in 8 years. Especially when at least part of those 8 years has been used to figure out what strategy will work.

    If O is willing to say that he could not accomplish all his tasks here, in a stable, lawful lawful environment ... how could he expect McChrystal to do that in A'stan in less time? Should he pay more attention to McC who is supposed to be "the best" at what he does ... or to Joe & others who have no credentials in this venue?
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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  7. #17
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th

    Interesting ... Biden thinks we should concentrate on P'stan where AQ is operating from now; and forget about the Taliban. Hillary stated that if the Taliban get control of A'stan, AQ will just move back to A'stan under the T's protection.

    Correct me if I'm wrong ... but if Hillary is correct, wouldn't that just put us back where we were when the U.S. first went to A'stan?

    It would appear that AQ and Taliban present a continuing problem for the area (as they were perceived to be at the outset). In that context, pulling out isn't an option. Finding the solution of how to bring A'stan into the 21st century is the question.

    Indeed, that may be as someone else has suggested, daily life improvements like education, hospitals, stable water & food supplies that can be sustained by the people themselves. When people have a life that has hope, they will want to preserve it. It is at the grassroots that people will change their country, standing down anyone who would take their improvements away ... warlords, Taliban, AQ, whoever. Not a simple achievement against the cultural background; not a "quick fix" either. You don't accomplish 200 years of change in 8 years. Especially when at least part of those 8 years has been used to figure out what strategy will work.

    If O is willing to say that he could not accomplish all his tasks here, in a stable, lawful lawful environment ... how could he expect McChrystal to do that in A'stan in less time? Should he pay more attention to McC who is supposed to be "the best" at what he does ... or to Joe & others who have no credentials in this venue?
    Sadly, I do not think there will be any easy answer and Afghanistan is likely to be a destabilizing influence for years to come. If it were not for the risk to Pakistan, I would not believe it was worth our money and the lives of our soldiers and the soldiers of our allies. However, if Pakistan falls under the control of Taliban and al Qaeda allies, I believe it will be a greater threat to the US and the world than Iran, Iraq and North Korea combined.

    Even saying that, however, questions remain on the best strategy to follow. McChrystal is trying to answer the question of what do we do to win the war in Afghanistan. An alternative question might be what do we do to avoid losing Pakistan. The answers and risks might be different.

    The apparent theft of the election in Afghanistan has to be part of the equation and forces some reassessment of prior policy commitments. One of our biggest failures in Vietnam was our support of governments that lacked any legitimacy at all and were uniformly hated by all but a small segment of the population. We cannot afford to repeat that mistake again and we cannot win in Afghanistan without the leadership of a viable local government.

  8. #18
    Senior Member WaterDogRem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    Bush is gone (as RK likes to mention) so I won't address his policies, other than to say initially he made it very clear we were after the SOBs who hit our WTC, and disable their terror-making network. We didn't accomplish that goal, or more precisely, we let our gains backslide to where we are now by all but abandoning Afghanistan in lieu of Iraq. So, back to the future....what is our goal now? Disabling terror networks in rugged terrain such as A-stan and P-stan are probably best done by disrupting communication and financial routings, not military occupance.
    I agree that disrupting communications and financial routes is a must, but I also believe disrupting and crippling the terrorist forces from organizing and gain strength is a bigger must. There will always be some new radical ready to finance them, but if we continually dismantle these terrorist they will not be able to gain strength in numbers. If we don't, they we bring the war to us on our soil. I'd rather fight a war, against these terrorists including the ones who attacked us over 8 yrs ago, on their soil. They'll not stop if we just leave, as we are infidels and must be eliminated in their eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    During the Russian invasion, Chernenko was warned that he would require 650,000 troops to secure Afghanistan by military force. He instead dedicated 115,000. Those who study or are old enough to remember history , know what happened.
    True, but you must remember we (the US) were supplying the Afgans with supplies and weapons to fight Russia. If we had not, I'm not sure we would have seen the same outcome, especially if they used the required troop force.

    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    Obama had better get on the ball with this. He's losing support from all directions. If he's for the war, he needs to explain why and dedicate the necessary resources to accomplish his yet unstated goals. If he's against the war, which was implicit in his campaign, then get the hell out, and explain why.
    When running for POTUS he condemned the Iraq war and stated we should be focused on Afgan. But he has always flip flopped on too many issues to list, so who really knows what he believes now, but I agree he better explain. Although we know is explanation will be vague and pointless really.

  9. #19
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterDogRem View Post
    True, but you must remember we (the US) were supplying the Afgans with supplies and weapons to fight Russia. If we had not, I'm not sure we would have seen the same outcome, especially if they used the required troop force.
    It's nice to agree once in a while!

    One point though, Carter and Brzenski (sp?) decided a strategy to weaken the Soviet Union and hasten the end of the Cold War was to let Russia sap it's resources fighting an endless war in Afghanistan. We spent billions bolstering the mujihideen and despite Reagan's claims to ending the cold war, THAT really brought the USSR to its financial knees. Anyway, back to today, don't you think there may be forces out there who don't like us, that will fund the Afghan insurgents? Iran? Fundamental Islamists inside Saudi? And correct me if I'm wrong, but they have MONEY!

    I used to decry having to study history when I was in school, but now I see how both short-term and long-term history tend to repeat, and how important it is to learn from our anscestor's mistakes and triumphs.

    I can hear Islamists laughing at us. Winning the cold war in part by bogging down our enemy in the middle east....then turning around 30 years later and getting bogged down in the middle east......
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

  10. #20
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Even saying that, however, questions remain on the best strategy to follow. McChrystal is trying to answer the question of what do we do to win the war in Afghanistan. An alternative question might be what do we do to avoid losing Pakistan. The answers and risks might be different.
    Another agreement! How about that!

    An unstable or Taliban-controlled A'stan, with AQ busy there, and P'stan with nuclear capability ... so A'stan is important. If the previous administration erred in not continuing its A'stan initiative, then the present resurgence of the T'ban could be a clue that such strategy was faulty. We need to come up with a better answer.

    One of our biggest failures in Vietnam was our support of governments that lacked any legitimacy at all and were uniformly hated by all but a small segment of the population.
    Absolutely! A friend in the Marines was involved in the pacification objectives later in the Vietnam conflict. They were actually making some headway, when the pullout came. But the corrupt S Vietnamese govt was definitely a detriment. Hah! We should talk, look at our own guys in DC

    From what coverage there is in the media, the only positive thing is that the US doesn't seem to be trying to conceal the dubious election results, as was done in Iran. Maybe there is a ray of hope?

    I'm sure there are people in the military and state departments who are old enough to remember these errors of the past, but will they have a voice?

    As Dave mentions, long-term history is important here. A'stan will not succumb to frontal assault. McChrystal's report mentioned not distancing the Americans from the people. That is a different approach than frontal assault. It may take more troops to work that strategy, but it is a different strategy than what has failed for others who have tried to subjugate A'stan. Subjugation is not the answer. And it should not be. It should be more about allowing the Afghanis have a better life for their children & themselves and, thus, having something they want to defend & preserve for themselves.

    McC also advocated tactical measures to minimize civilian casualties. That would be an important factor in engendering grassroots support. He sounds like a straight-shooter to me.
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