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Old 09-12-2009, 09:50 AM  
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It's time for large # of troops to GTFO of Afghanistan.

It's a no win situation for us. Brave Americans are fighting a war in which there is no hope of winning. In this type of war there will never be a "winner". All we are doing is providing easy targets for Taliban to kill.

We can't just ignore military history there and say our effort will be different.

We went into Afganistan with 1,300 troops. When the Taliban fell we had 2.500 troops on the ground. We now have 60,000 troops on the ground and the Taliban control 40-70% of the country's territory.

The new commander in Afghanistan says he sees no evidence of a large Al-Quaeda presense in Afghanistan. That is and will always be the only reason for us to be in Afghanistan. The only reason we are there in the first place. The only reason to sacrifice American lives.

I think we should hunt down and kill every single member of Al=Quaeda, no matter where they are hiding.

We shouldn't be sacrificing American lives to nation build in Afghanistan. Yeah, they want to go back to the 12th century but why should we sacrifice American lives to keep that from happening? Not worth it.

But if we leave the Taliban will take over swiftly and then provide a safe -haven for Al-Quaeda? We don't let that happen. We put cruise millsle up their azz. We send out the drones. We use special forces to take them out.

Edited:

I'm convinced that this is the right decision for these reasons.
  • We can't nation build in Afghanistan. We shouldn't be using our resources and sacrificing our troops to help them. Thats not why we are there. $300 billion spent so far. 900 brave Americans dead. Entering it's 9th year. Just when will it be enough?
  • The argument that the Taliban and Al-Quaeda will just come back may be true but there are several problems with that. Al-Quaeda can be anywhere in the world. So we keep them out of Afghanistan, they show up in Pakistan, Somalia, where ever. I read there is only 100 Al-Quaeda operatives in Afghanistan. There are probably more than that in the USA. If we keep them out of Afghanistan. they will just go some other place. We need a 21st century approach. We won't be able to defeat Al-Quaeda with conventional weapons and strategy. We can always go back in with surgical strikes to take out prime targets and more large scale attacks to prevent Al-Quaeda from establishing bases again. We can't let 100,000 Americans become easy to reach targets for Al-Quaeda.
  • The government is corrupt beyond repair. For those who want to nation build, how can you with a totally corrupt government that the people don't trust? Nation building won't work no matter how many troops or how much money you throw at the problem with a corrupt government distrusted by the people.
  • Afghanistan has no resources. What exactly are they going to make money at, build their country with? It would be a transfer of wealth from us to them.
  • The population outside of Kabul is run by drug overlords. The majority of the population works in the poppy fields because its the only way they can feed their family. How are we going to change that? Provide jobs for those people to feed their families? A lot of those poppy field profits are going right to the Taliban. Just how are you going to end this cycle without a major infusion of American money. Again, a transfer of wealth.

Last edited by BigRedChief; 10-27-2009 at 02:55 PM..
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:22 AM   #136
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My kid is going over there. It is not over the top at all.
Signing up for military service puts one at the mercy of whomever the commander-in-chief is....I know, I served too. Thank your kid for their service.

However, calling the President, whomever they are and whether or not we agree or not....a coward, or liar, is not productive. People of good will can disagree about courses of action, without becoming belligerent IMHO.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:28 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
Signing up for military service puts one at the mercy of whomever the commander-in-chief is....I know, I served too. Thank your kid for their service.

However, calling the President, whomever they are and whether or not we agree or not....a coward, or liar, is not productive. People of good will can disagree about courses of action, without becoming belligerent IMHO.
Waiting on your heels for 8 months is not productive either when you PROMISED to take care of the "War of Necessity".

My statement is not one of anger or belligerence. I state it calmly and clearly.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:02 AM   #138
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Waiting on your heels for 8 months is not productive either when you PROMISED to take care of the "War of Necessity".

My statement is not one of anger or belligerence. I state it calmly and clearly.
Needlessly antagonistic and provactive, then? Certainly, that would qualify. FTR, I used to be/still am on occasion....something of an expert in that kind of stuff.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:31 AM   #139
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Needlessly antagonistic and provactive, then? Certainly, that would qualify. FTR, I used to be/still am on occasion....something of an expert in that kind of stuff.
Not needless at all. I mean both words, sincerely and vehemently.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:50 AM   #140
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Not needless at all. I mean both words, sincerely and vehemently.
Suit yourself....then billigerent does apply.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:02 PM   #141
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Suit yourself....then billigerent does apply.
I agree. And I wear it proudly.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:02 PM   #142
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The problem is Americans don't see resolution.

The government is weak and doesn't conscript a strong army.

If the people don't fight for it then...
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:19 PM   #143
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The Three Envelopes
by Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Old Soviet joke:

Moscow, 1953. Stalin calls in Khrushchev.

"Niki, I'm dying. Don't have much to leave you. Just three envelopes. Open them, one at a time, when you get into big trouble."

A few years later, first crisis. Khrushchev opens envelope 1: "Blame everything on me. Uncle Joe."

A few years later, a really big crisis. Opens envelope 2: "Blame everything on me. Again. Good luck, Uncle Joe."

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck

Third crisis. Opens envelope 3: "Prepare three envelopes."

In the Barack Obama version, there are 50 or so such blame-Bush free passes before the gig is up. By my calculation, Obama has already burned through a good 49. Is there anything he hasn't blamed George W. Bush for? The economy, global warming, the credit crisis, Middle East stalemate, the deficit, anti-Americanism abroad -- everything but swine flu.

It's as if Obama's presidency hasn't really started. He's still taking inventory of the Bush years. Just this Monday, he referred to "long years of drift" in Afghanistan in order to, I suppose, explain away his own, well, yearlong drift on Afghanistan.

This compulsion to attack his predecessor is as stale as it is unseemly. Obama was elected a year ago. He became commander in chief two months later. He then solemnly announced his own "comprehensive new strategy" for Afghanistan seven months ago. And it was not an off-the-cuff decision. "My administration has heard from our military commanders, as well as our diplomats," the president assured us. "We've consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, with our partners and our NATO allies, and with other donors and international organizations" and "with members of Congress. "

Obama is obviously unhappy with the path he himself chose in March. Fine. He has every right -- indeed duty -- to reconsider. But what Obama is reacting to is the failure of his own strategy.

There is nothing new here. The history of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars is a considered readjustment of policies that have failed. In each war, quick initial low-casualty campaigns toppled enemy governments. In the subsequent occupation stage, two policy choices presented themselves: the light or heavy "footprint."

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, we initially chose the light footprint. For obvious reasons: less risk and fewer losses for our troops, while reducing the intrusiveness of the occupation and thus the chances of creating an anti-foreigner backlash that would fan an insurgency.

This was the considered judgment of our commanders at the time, most especially Centcom commander (2003-2007) Gen. John Abizaid. And Abizaid was no stranger to the territory. He speaks Arabic and is a scholar of the region. The overriding idea was that the light footprint would minimize local opposition.

It was a perfectly reasonable assumption, but it proved wrong. The strategy failed. Not just because the enemy proved highly resilient but because the allegiance of the population turned out to hinge far less on resentment of foreign intrusiveness (in fact the locals came to hate the insurgents -- al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan -- far more than us) than on physical insecurity, which made them side with the insurgents out of sheer fear.

What they needed, argued Gen. David Petraeus against much Pentagon brass opposition, was population protection, i.e., a heavy footprint.

In Iraq, the heavy footprint -- also known as the surge -- dramatically reversed the fortunes of war. In Afghanistan, where it took longer for the Taliban to regroup, the failure of the light footprint did not become evident until more recently when an uneasy stalemate began to deteriorate into steady Taliban advances.

That's where we are now in Afghanistan. The logic of a true counterinsurgency strategy there is that whatever resentment a troop surge might occasion pales in comparison with the continued demoralization of any potential anti-Taliban elements unless they receive serious and immediate protection from U.S.-NATO forces.

In other words, Obama is facing the same decision on Afghanistan that Bush faced in late 2006 in deciding to surge in Iraq.

In both places, the deterioration of the military situation was not the result of "drift," but of considered policies that seemed reasonable, cautious and culturally sensitive at the time, but ultimately turned out to be wrong.

Which is evidently what Obama now thinks of the policy choice he made on March 27.

He is to be commended for reconsidering. But it is time he acted like a president and decided. Afghanistan is his. He's used up his envelopes.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:44 PM   #144
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You can't beat a people who would rather die than subjugate themselves. They literally have less than nothing to lose. The only thing you can do is try and take it away from them before they take it away from you.

It was true in French Indochina, true in Vietnam, true for the Soviets in Afghanistan, and it's true for us there as well.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:28 PM   #145
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they put out a memo asking for volunteers for afghanistan... I volunteered... not sure why, but maybe my next posts will be from the dirty mountains, see you all soon.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:12 PM   #146
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they put out a memo asking for volunteers for afghanistan... I volunteered... not sure why, but maybe my next posts will be from the dirty mountains, see you all soon.
I thought you were getting out and going to do the suburbia family thing?
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:14 PM   #147
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I thought you were getting out and going to do the suburbia family thing?
yeah, still have a year left and am sick of my command... so volunteering to go to war seemed like the next best alternative.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:22 PM   #148
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according to an AP story:

Obama has rejected all the straegy's in Afghanistan proposed by the the Generals because there is no good exit strategy in them.

The Afghanistan Ambassador has strongly protested any increase in troops at this time because of the coruption of the government.


Official: Obama rejects war options
President seeks clarity on turnover to Afghan government, official says
The Associated Press
updated 7:39 p.m. CT, Wed., Nov . 11, 2009

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama does not plan to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
Obama still is close to announcing his revamped war strategy, most likely shortly after he returns from a trip to Asia that ends on Nov. 19.

The president raised questions at a war council meeting on Wednesday, however, that could alter the dynamic of both how many additional troops are sent to Afghanistan and what the timeline would be for their presence in the war zone, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Obama's thinking.
The president is considering options that include adding 30,000 or more U.S. troops to take on the Taliban in major areas of Afghanistan and to buy time for the Afghan government's small and ill-equipped fighting forces to take over. The other three options on the table are ranges of troop increases, from a relatively small addition of forces to the roughly 40,000 that the top U.S. general in Afghanistan prefers, according to military and other officials.

No open-ended commitment
The main sticking points appear to be timelines and mounting questions about the credibility of the Afghan government.
Administration officials said Wednesday that Obama wants to make clear that the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan is not open-ended. The war is now in its ninth year and is claiming U.S. lives at a record pace as military leaders say the Taliban has the upper hand in many parts of the country.
The options presented to Obama by his war council are likely to be amended.

Military officials say one approach is a compromise battle plan that would add 30,000 or more U.S. troops atop a record 68,000 in the country now. They described it as "half and half," meaning half fighting and half training and holding ground so the Afghans can regroup.

The White House says Obama has not made a final choice, although military and other officials have said he appears near to approving a slightly smaller increase than war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal wants at the outset.
Among the options for Obama would be ways to phase in additional troops, perhaps eventually equaling McChrystal's full request, based on security or other conditions in Afghanistan and in response to pending decisions on troop levels by some U.S. allies fighting in Afghanistan.

The White House has chafed under criticism from Republicans and some outside critics that Obama is dragging his feet to make a decision.

Obama's top military advisers have said they are comfortable with the pace of the process, and senior military officials have pointed out that the president still has time since no additional forces could begin flowing into Afghanistan until early next year.

Range of possibilities
Under the scenario featuring about 30,000 more troops, that number most likely would be assembled from three Army brigades and a Marine Corps contingent, plus a new headquarters operation that would be manned by another 7,000 or more troops, a senior military official said. There would be a heavy emphasis on the training of Afghan forces, and the reinforcements Obama sends could include thousands of U.S. military trainers.

Another official stressed that Obama is considering a range of possibilities for the military expansion, and his eventual decision would cover changes in U.S. approach beyond the addition of troops. The stepped-up training and partnership operation with Afghan forces would be part of that effort, the official said, although expansion of a better-trained Afghan force long has been part of the U.S. objective and the key to an eventual U.S. and allied exit from the country.

With the Taliban-led insurgency expanding in size and ability, U.S. military strategy already has shifted to focus on heading off the fighters and protecting Afghan civilians. The evolving U.S. policy, already remapped early in Obama's tenure, increasingly acknowledges that the insurgency can be blunted but not defeated outright by force.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday he expects Obama to announce his decision on sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan within days.

Brown: Announcement in days
Brown told lawmakers in the House of Commons on Wednesday that he had recently spoken to Obama, "and I expect him to announce in a few days what his numbers for Afghanistan will be."
Asked about Brown's comment, the White House referred to press secretary Robert Gibbs' statement Tuesday that Obama's decision was still weeks away.

The head of the U.S. Central Command also said a decision is near.
Gen. David Petraeus spoke to CNN television on Wednesday shortly before heading into the White House war council session, where troop numbers were under discussion.
"I think we are indeed nearing a decision on this very important topic," Petraeus said.

2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33864508/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:01 AM   #149
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Source: U.S. envoy objects to troop increase
Ambassador in Afghanistan reportedly questions country's stability
The Associated Press
updated 3:37 a.m. CT, Thurs., Nov . 12, 2009


WASHINGTON - The U.S. envoy in Afghanistan, a former Army general who once commanded troops in the country, has objected strongly to emerging plans to send tens of thousands of additional forces to the country, a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry resigned his Army commission to take the job as U.S. ambassador in Kabul earlier this year, and his is an influential voice among those advising President Barack Obama on Afghanistan. Eikenberry sent multiple classified cables to Washington over the past week that question the wisdom of adding forces when the Afghan political situation is unstable and uncertain, said an official familiar with the cables. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal administration deliberations and the classified documents.

Cables are diplomatic messages that may or may not be classified and carry greater heft than other forms of communication such as e-mail.
Eikenberry made the point that the administration should step cautiously in planning for any troop buildup while there are still so many questions surrounding Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the official said. Eikenberry is the front line U.S. official dealing with Karzai, the U.S.-backed leader whose administration was stained by corruption and mismanagement.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that she is concerned about Afghanistan's "corruption, lack of transparency, poor governance (and) absence of the rule of law."

"We're looking to President Karzai as he forms a new government to take action that will demonstrate — not just to the international community but first and foremost to his own people — that his second term will respond the needs that are so manifest," Clinton said during a news conference in Manila with Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo.

Wild card
It was a visiting senior senator, Democrat John Kerry, who was instrumental in persuading Karzai last month to accept the findings of a U.N. panel that his re-election vote in August was too marred by fraud to stand.

Karzai agreed to a second round of voting but was elevated to a second term as president without a runoff election when his challenger dropped out. Since then, U.S. officials have been alarmed at some of Karzai's remarks and the lack, so far, of meaningful steps to clean house.
Eikenberry's objections were a wild card in the midst of what had appeared to be the final days of Obama's long decision-making process on how to revamp U.S. strategy in the 8-year war. Eikenberry has participated in some of Obama's war council sessions over the past several weeks.



A senior U.S. official told The Associated Press that Obama rejected all four options presented to him at what had been expected to be the last of those sessions Wednesday. Those options started from the premise that some addition of U.S. forces is necessary, and included ways that Obama could meet or nearly meet war commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's preference for about 40,000 additional troops.

It is not clear whether Eikenberry's objections played a part in Obama's decision not to accept any of the choices prepared by military planners Wednesday.

At his Senate confirmation hearing in March, Eikenberry underscored what he called the urgency of the requirement to turn around the war effort, which has evolved into a stalemate in key parts of Afghanistan as the Taliban-led insurgency has gained clout.


"Time is of the essence," Eikenberry said. "There will be no substitute for more resources and sacrifice."

He said Europeans, for example, should be expected to provide more mentors for Afghan police trainees. Another key to success, he said, is getting more civilian experts such as agriculture specialists and justice experts who can help reduce Afghanistan's dependence on the illicit narcotics trade.

Eikenberry was the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan for two years before moving to Brussels to be deputy chairman of NATO's military committee in 2007. He had served one previous tour in Afghanistan.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33874921/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #150
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Common sense says that we should just get the hell out of dodge, this cannot be won, short of turning the mountains to glass.

Our footprint on the ground is fueling the insurgencies simply by giving them something to fight. If we were not there, they would be fighting between themselves for the poppy profits.

This sucks for the Afghan people as a whole, but its way it's been for hundreds of years, and they don't seem to mind the status quo, so why should we.

There has never been peace in the region and there will never be peace in the region, pessimistic yes, but it is what it is.
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