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Thread: Strategy change for Afghanistan?

  1. #1
    Senior Member TXduckdog's Avatar
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    Default Strategy change for Afghanistan?

    Here's the latest:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125435650569454583.html

    My questions are:

    1. If Gates no longer supports counter-insurgency what does he support? This is a major shift...he sent McChrystal there for just such a purpose.

    2. Is the current admin's approach:
    "Vice President Joe Biden and some other senior administration officials want to replace the counterinsurgency approach with a "counterterror" strategy that focuses more narrowly on using drones and small teams of Special Operations forces to kill senior al Qaeda and Taliban figures."

    not a viable strategy? If so, why does Gates NOT support it?

    3. What's more important, eliminating Taliban and Al Queda or the over-all stability of Afghanistan as a country. Aren't they part and parcel?
    Train the dog, the ribbons will take care of themselves.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXduckdog View Post
    Here's the latest:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125435650569454583.html

    My questions are:

    1. If Gates no longer supports counter-insurgency what does he support? This is a major shift...he sent McChrystal there for just such a purpose.

    2. Is the current admin's approach:
    "Vice President Joe Biden and some other senior administration officials want to replace the counterinsurgency approach with a "counterterror" strategy that focuses more narrowly on using drones and small teams of Special Operations forces to kill senior al Qaeda and Taliban figures."

    not a viable strategy? If so, why does Gates NOT support it?

    3. What's more important, eliminating Taliban and Al Queda or the over-all stability of Afghanistan as a country. Aren't they part and parcel?
    All excellent questions, and I'm sure glad our CIC is not taking a cavalier, cowboy attitude on this matter. While I have said he needs to move in one direction or another, a thorough assessment of the situation, as well as a careful review of our goals is in order.

    Afghanistan is not dubbed "The Graveyard of Empires" for nothing. Providing "stability" as you questioned is not even something that we should be toying with. That must come from within. Iraq will be a walk in the park compared to trying to accomplish the same in A-stan. And do we really need to? Disrupting al qaeda and taliban networks (as well as any number of other homegrown terrorists, that only need a broom closet with internet access to operate, out of any corner or the world)

    Just another thought. It is our elected officials jobs to determine policy regarding foreign relations and war. Once they convey that to the generals, it is their job to tell in return how to accomplish that tactically, and projected costs to the military. My understanding is that is what McC has said. It is NOT the military's role to influence or determine policy.....rather to carry it out.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

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    I saw General McChrystal on 60 minutes last Sunday. He said the war had not beef fought right for the last 8 years and needs changing.

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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, people and countries don't come with simple reset buttons. Whether the war was fought correctly or not over the last eight years, any actions now begin with people on both sides that are tired of the fighting. In the absence of a legitimate elected government -- which seems unlikely to materialize -- I am not sure there is a way to truly stabilize Afghanistan. That would force a strategy that focuses on containing the ability of Afghanistan to continue destabilizing Pakistan and the region. However, I do not know what commitment that will entail or whether or not it has a reasonable potential for success. I am glad the administration is taking its time to look at alternatives.

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    Senior Member Mike W.'s Avatar
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    If you read the article in today's WSJ, there is a bigger question.

    There is a clear split of opinion between that of Obama/Biden/Gates and that of Mike Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs)/McChrystal.

    So do we really like the idea of political types trumping the opinions of our nations top military leaders? I don't. Ask LBJ how that turned out for us.

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    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Unfortunately, people and countries don't come with simple reset buttons. Whether the war was fought correctly or not over the last eight years, any actions now begin with people on both sides that are tired of the fighting. In the absence of a legitimate elected government -- which seems unlikely to materialize -- I am not sure there is a way to truly stabilize Afghanistan. That would force a strategy that focuses on containing the ability of Afghanistan to continue destabilizing Pakistan and the region. However, I do not know what commitment that will entail or whether or not it has a reasonable potential for success. I am glad the administration is taking its time to look at alternatives.
    A lot of things have not been run properly over the past 8 years, but it has been politely pointed out, Bush ain't the prez anymore...and that is true. We must take our lumps, assess and move forward.

    Nicely said Yardley. No matter how we look at Afghanistan; politically, historically, geographically, diplomatically......it will be a MONSTER compared to Iraq. And I'm not sure what we can realistically afford to accomplish, if anything at all. Mr. Bush's as well as Mr. Obama's stated goals for the area appeared reasonable, in disrupting terror networks, but obviously that charge will carry well outside the borders of Afghanistan, or the middle east for that matter. It is truly a global problem, with international solutions. The "go at it alone" or "with us or with the terrorists" attitude must be shelved next to the domino theories of SouthEast Asia.

    I'm hoping Nat Geo does something on Afghanistan again. What a fascinating histroy and culture they have. I'm glad to hear our elected and military leaders have studied their history and culture before trying to implement policy.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Perry View Post
    I saw General McChrystal on 60 minutes last Sunday. He said the war had not beef fought right for the last 8 years and needs changing.
    Congratulations for watching that. Do you want a cookie?



    I am sure that you tivo'd it, saved it to a flash drive, uploaded it to your digital photo frame and have that clip playing in a continuous loop on your Anti GWB Shrine next to your nightstand. There's probably a lot of used up wads of toilet paper in the trash can next to it as well...


    Seriously, would you freakin' get off of it already? Do you have anything to contribute to this discussion (or any discussion) other than stating how horrible you think Bush was?
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    Last edited by ducknwork; 04-21-2011 at 05:54 PM.

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    Senior Member Bruce MacPherson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    All excellent questions, and I'm sure glad our CIC is not taking a cavalier, cowboy attitude on this matter.
    So it's your opinion that Bush didn't put much thought into putting our troops in harms way? That these were easy decisions for him? That he didn't have the best interest of the country at heart ? I gotta tell you, that single statement above, which you just parroted from the lefts talking points about Bush is just ignorant, not that I'm surprised.
    "The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.

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    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce MacPherson View Post
    So it's your opinion that Bush didn't put much thought into putting our troops in harms way? That these were easy decisions for him? That he didn't have the best interest of the country at heart ? I gotta tell you, that single statement above, which you just parroted from the lefts talking points about Bush is just ignorant, not that I'm surprised.
    I'm sorry we can't disagree in a more civil manner, as alluded to on the other thread, as I do enjoy these discussions. I expected a higher level of discussion than that. Let me try to respond without being insulting.

    Yes, I do believe Mr. Bush acted hastily, when it was not necessary, and did NOT have a clear mission/goal/exit strategy. Honestly, how many different rationales for the invasion of Iraq do you recall? To help the Iraqi people? To stabilize the region? To prevent mushroom clouds over Manhatten? No nation building? Nation building to establish a democracy, then hand it back over? Even you have to admit we played musical chairs with justification for Iraq. I have mentioned twice here that I applauded Mr. Bush for his clear-stated goal in Afghanistan, and I along with most of the country supported those troop movements immediately, as did congress. But then what happened? We did NOT capture/kill bin laden, we temporarily disrupted the terror networks.....then we dropped the mission, diverted to Iraq, and let all our gains backslide into what we're facing now.

    There are many, complex issues that need resolved, with a clear vision on what is to be accomplished before we commit ourselves to a MAJOR investment of our nations blood and treasure.

    Again, I said I'm glad Mr. Obama is thinking this through with the help of military and elected advisors, rather than taking a cowboy, cavalier attitude. In that post, I did not even mention Mr. Bush. YOU are the one who drew the association, not me. Isn't that interesting? In fact, at the request of Hew and a few others, I think I've done a pretty bang-up job of not harping on Bush, nor even mentioning him, except to agree with his Afghanistan goals for the most part. And come on, given he was president just 9 months ago, there ARE some of his policies that still have relevance today?!

    As for parroting left wing points, I'll have to take your word for that. Other than about half of Gen. McC's 60min segment, and a few episodes of M*A*S*H, I haven't watched much tv lately.

    regards,
    dave
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

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    Senior Member Bob Gutermuth's Avatar
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    Its osama's problem now. I wonder when he will man up and take the problem on as well as the consequences of his inaction.
    Bob Gutermuth
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