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Thread: Afghanistan...all in or all out?

  1. #1
    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    Default Afghanistan...all in or all out?

    So...BHO campaigned and got elected partially due to his stance on Afghanistan (get out of Iraq within X months and escalate the war in Afghanistan). Can we agree on that? Note I wrote "partially"....

    Now...we've lost 58 soldiers so far in October...8 in two separate attacks on Strykers today (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapc...ths/index.html) ....so are we all in as he said we would be during the campaign (and his commanders in the field have requested), or all we all out since our leader won the Nobel Peace Prize?

    Vacillation will only lead to more senseless deaths...either make the commitment you PROMISED you'd make, or GET OUT NOW. Period.

    Or is it the multitasking that he can't handle?

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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    The increase in the death toll in Afghanistan is a direct result of the massive expansion in force levels since the inauguration, moving from 20,000+ troops in January to 65,000+ now.

    The proposals now on the table would increase troop levels further by 20-80000 depending on what approach is followed. While McChrystal has submitted his recommendations, the Pentagon has not formulated a recommendation yet and has been running military exercises attempting to provide better insight into possible outcomes at different troop levels under the direction of Admiral Mullen.

    Reportedly this process is complete or almost complete with recommendations due for submission to the President in the next two weeks. If a decision is made to add 40,000 new troops, we would still face a major problem in delivering those troops on a timely basis without involuntarily extending tours of duty again, breaking another commitment made. All this must be done in an environment where we cannot, in my opinion, allow ourselves to adopt an attitude of supporting the Karzai government regardless of it level of corruption.

    I am glad that a lot of attention is being given to the importance of the decision. I do not believe that there is any lack of a sense of urgency. With a little more thought eight years ago I do not believe we would now be in the mess. But then we had some decision makers who began with their "gut" feelings and then did all they could to bend facts and opinions to fit.

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    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    Interesting. Most folks who take exception to the military initiatives begun 8 years ago supported an Afghanistan-only focus at the time.

    That view was "de rigeur" during the BHO campaign...I guess this is just more proof that what you say to get elected is wholly different from what you do after you're in charge....we'll just add that to the list....

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    NY Times today
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th

    Hillary wants to assure P'stan that we are willing to commit to a long-term relationship:

    “It is unfortunate that there are those who question our motives, who perhaps are skeptical that we are going to commit to a long-term relationship,” Mrs. Clinton said to reporters traveling with her to Pakistan. “I want to try to clear the air on that while I’m in the country.”
    Is it possible to commit to a long-term relationship with P'stan without committing to A'stan?
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/wo...html?th&emc=th

    If Joe Biden's input is to be respected, perhaps he ought to spend a couple of months with Gen. McChrystal in A'stan to get an "on-the-ground" perspective?
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/wo...html?th&emc=th

    If Joe Biden's input is to be respected, perhaps he ought to spend a couple of months with Gen. McChrystal in A'stan to get an "on-the-ground" perspective?
    That's an informative and interesting article (from the NYT no less). Here's what it says re: the braniac Biden:

    "General McChrystal has sought at least 40,000 more troops for a counterinsurgency strategy to protect Afghan civilians so they will support the central government. Mr. Biden has opposed a buildup, contending that a bigger military footprint could be counterproductive and that fighting Al Qaeda in Pakistan should be the top priority."

    That's brilliant, Joe. And just how do we do that? March right on into Pakistan and commence to killing al Qaeda? Cross our fingers and ask the Paksitan govt. real nicely to go kill al Qaeda? Biden is such a freakin' mental lightweight, and such a consummate spouter of politician double-speak. It's scary that that dunce is one heartbeat away...
    Last edited by Hew; 10-28-2009 at 05:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    bigger military footprint could be counterproductive and that fighting Al Qaeda in Pakistan should be the top priority."

    That's brilliant, Joe. And just how do we do that? March right on into Pakistan and commence to killing al Qaeda? Cross our fingers and ask the Paksitan govt. real nicely to go kill al Qaeda? Biden is such a freakin' mental lightweight, and such a consummate spouter of politician double-speak. It's scary that that dunce is one heartbeat away...

    Quote:
    “It is unfortunate that there are those who question our motives, who perhaps are skeptical that we are going to commit to a long-term relationship,” Mrs. Clinton said to reporters traveling with her to Pakistan. “I want to try to clear the air on that while I’m in the country.”


    Diplomacy and statecraft aren't always a case of crossing fingers and hoping, sometimes there is real work involved. I know this may seem a difficult notion to accept but in that theatre of operations Al Qaeda is hiding among 32,000,000 Pashtuns who are sympathetic to their cause, you might not have enough troops to handle the situation without the aid of the Pakistan Armed Forces.
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    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blind ambition View Post
    Quote:
    “It is unfortunate that there are those who question our motives, who perhaps are skeptical that we are going to commit to a long-term relationship,” Mrs. Clinton said to reporters traveling with her to Pakistan. “I want to try to clear the air on that while I’m in the country.”


    Diplomacy and statecraft aren't always a case of crossing fingers and hoping, sometimes there is real work involved. I know this may seem a difficult notion to accept but in that theatre of operations Al Qaeda is hiding among 32,000,000 Pashtuns who are sympathetic to their cause, you might not have enough troops to handle the situation without the aid of the Pakistan Armed Forces.
    Now that's funny. At the same time Hillary is trying to convince the Pakis that we're in it for the long haul, Obama is dithering over whether we should abandon Afghanistan or not. I hope Hillary brought along Zig Ziglar, Tom Peters and Tony Roberts, because she's gonna need some great sellers (and straight faces) to pimp the notion that the same folks who were willing and ready to throw Iraq to the wolves (Obama, Clinton, Biden and Kerry) when the going got tough now have the steely resolve to cover Pakistan's back. "Long-term committment" to those folks really means, "until the next Gallup poll comes out."
    I'll take the river down to still water and ride a pack of dogs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    With a little more thought eight years ago I do not believe we would now be in the mess. But then we had some decision makers who began with their "gut" feelings and then did all they could to bend facts and opinions to fit.
    While Bush vacationed, 9/11 warnings went unheard.By Fred KaplanPosted Wednesday, April 14, 2004, at 7:54 PM ET

    The revelation came this morning, when CIA Director George Tenet was on the stand. Timothy Roemer, a former Democratic congressman, asked him when he first found out about the report from the FBI's Minnesota field office that Zacarias Moussaoui, an Islamic jihadist, had been taking lessons on how to fly a 747. Tenet replied that he was briefed about the case on Aug. 23 or 24, 2001.
    Roemer then asked Tenet if he mentioned Moussaoui to President Bush at one of their frequent morning briefings. Tenet replied, "I was not in briefings at this time." Bush, he noted, "was on vacation." He added that he didn't see the president at all in August 2001. During the entire month, Bush was at his ranch in Texas. "You never talked with him?" Roemer asked. "No," Tenet replied. By the way, for much of August, Tenet too was, as he put it, "on leave."
    Throughout that summer, we now well know, Tenet, Richard Clarke, and several other officials were running around with their "hair on fire," warning that al-Qaida was about to unleash a monumental attack. On Aug. 6, Bush was given the now-famous President's Daily Brief (by one of Tenet's underlings), warning that this attack might take place "inside the United States."
    And now, we learn today, at this peak moment, Tenet hears about Moussaoui. Someone might have added 2 + 2 + 2 and possibly busted up the conspiracy. But the president was down on the ranch, taking it easy. Tenet wasn't with him. Tenet never talked with him. Rice—as she has testified—wasn't with Bush, either. He was on his own and, willfully, out of touch.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2098861/

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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Whether the story is Pearl Harbor or September 11, the points at which an attack could have been prevented are always clearer and more compelling in retrospect than in advance. If Clinton had fought harder for the resources to go after al Quaeda in the last year of his Presidency, Congress would have accused him of political grandstanding in an effort to affect the election, much as they had attacked him for the war in Kosuvo. Had Bush tried to take the types of actions that would have been required to protect our airways in the months following his inauguration, I suspect that liberals would have accused him of trying to implement a police state. Richard Clark was very critical of the lack of focus in the new administration on terrorists and their obsession with Iraq. However, his criticisms were directed more toward the fact that the country as a whole was not ready to give efforts to prevent attacks the priority they needed to be effective. The fact that there was a lapse in attention during the change of administrations is, to some extent, an intrinsic characteristic of our form of government. I think a better job was done in the transition from Bush to Obama, with everyone recognizing the importance of continuity.

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