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 Message Boards » » why can't we just leave afghanistan? Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6, Prev Next  
hooksaw
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^^ I suppose it's easier for you to post nonsense than address the legitimate points I've made.

Let me break it down for you, engineer:

1. Barack Obama has clearly stated that Afghanistan is the "central front" in the War on Terror overseas contingency operation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cug26zopm8c

Quote :
"Obama came into office pledging to shift U.S. focus from the war in Iraq to the Afghan fight, which had long been a secondary priority. But as war-weary Americans have watched another 21,000 troops go to Afghanistan this year, and U.S. casualties rise, support for the war has waned."


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iqyaFh_efr-brDq0rMLF1hkop0tgD9AH1B580

2. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has clearly stated that more troops and more time in Afghanistan will be necessary.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/world/asia/16mullen.html

3. The Democrats in Congress have hemmed and hawed--as usual--and have decided, I think, to resist a troop increase.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iqyaFh_efr-brDq0rMLF1hkop0tgD9AH1B580

If you can't formulate a better response than you have to my legitimate points, then STFU and GTFO, okay? Thanks!

9/17/2009 3:22:38 AM

mambagrl
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Quote :
"That's their problem."

Really?...I mean REALLY???


Quote :
"Then you try to throw in Iraq, which of course is relevant to Afghanistan in no way, shape, or form.
"

Both wars were a result of 9/11 and the "war on terror". Sure it was a lie but in the beggining we were going into Iraq "to protect us interests home and abroad"

Lumping together all the deaths as lives lost trying to prevent future attacks is very legit.



Quote :
"Is it? Or are we just hearing more about it since the focus is no longer on Iraq? Sure, we are incurring more casualties now that the Marines are pushing deep into Helmand but the Brits and Canadians have been taking a beating there and in Kandahar province for years.
"

It is, the taliban has resurged and now they are requesting more troops. If people are still dying that means its getting worse. 16 just died in a bombing a few hours ago. This is happening daily now.

Quote :
"The goal was to disrupt and, preferably, eliminate an enemy. Bring bin Laden to justice!]"

The idea of bringing bin laden to justice is a good idea and all but you have to use sound judgement and ask yourself is it worth hundreds of thousands of lives, billions of dollars and will it even accomplish our goal? Is terrorism going to go away forever once bin laden is gone? absolutly not. Bin laden is like a weed. Cut him down and a new one will sprout up tomorrow just like him. You can't fight an ideaology with a military. Apples and oranges. Complete waste of life, money, time EVERYTHING.
Quote :
"So, what, if the war in Afghanistan had resulted in exactly one fewer deaths 9/11, it would have been OK, but as soon as it went one over it ceased to be worthwhile?
"
It was never worth while, but at that point it became impossible to even credibly argue it being worth while. All of the hijackers died in the attacks btw.

Quote :
"Are you shocked that troops are dying in a war zone? seriously?
Not having enough troops is negative progress. The flip side of that, not even the Soviet army succeeded in Afghanistan, although with different motives.
"

Troops don't belong in a warzone unless there is an enemy to fight the presents a powerful, clear, and immidiate danger.

Its not like Afghanistan was ever the exclosive al qaeda is location anyway.

Quote :
"
I think we're pretty successful considering what could have happened if we did not respond.

Can you imagine how America would be like if we had IED's striking at random roads while people are driving them?
"

Wow. This kind of shit is just flat out retarded. If we did nothing, America would probably be SAFER than it is now.

9/17/2009 12:49:22 PM

phried
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alright, this is just retarded and no one is this stupid. whose alias is this?

9/17/2009 12:53:39 PM

mambagrl
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Actually, leave America or go to Switzerland. The rest of the world is THIS stupid.

9/18/2009 1:55:43 PM

Mr. Joshua
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Yeah, like those stupid NATO countries.

9/18/2009 3:41:32 PM

mambagrl
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Switzerland aint in NATO, nice try though.

9/19/2009 2:21:54 AM

BEU
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This war will take Decades, not years. They just dont want to tell everyone that.

9/19/2009 10:38:56 AM

Mr. Joshua
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^^ Hahaha, no shit. I assume that's why you singled it out. Of course, citing the neutrality of a historically neutral nation that never deploys it's military is an idiotic yardstick to use when arguing that a specific troop deployment is unjust.

9/19/2009 6:09:23 PM

hooksaw
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McChrystal: More forces or 'mission failure'
Top U.S. commander for Afghan war calls next the 12 months decisive
updated 12:38 a.m. ET, Mon., Sept . 21, 2009


Quote :
"WASHINGTON - The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict 'will likely result in failure,' according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says emphatically: 'Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.'

His assessment was sent to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Aug. 30 and is now being reviewed by President Obama and his national security team."


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32946768/ns/world_news-washington_post

Quote :
"1. Barack Obama has clearly stated that Afghanistan is the 'central front' in the War on Terror overseas contingency operation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cug26zopm8c

2. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [and now General McChrystal], has clearly stated that more troops and more time in Afghanistan will be necessary.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/world/asia/16mullen.html

3. The Democrats in Congress have hemmed and hawed--as usual--and have decided, I think, to resist a troop increase.

Dems signal resistance to Afghan troop increase
(AP) – Sep 5, 2009


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iqyaFh_efr-brDq0rMLF1hkop0tgD9AH1B580"


How will these opposing viewpoints be reconciled successfully?

[Edited on September 21, 2009 at 6:58 AM. Reason : .]

9/21/2009 6:57:22 AM

mambagrl
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I made a long post. Are you going to debate points or sit in here and talk trash all day?

9/21/2009 7:27:07 PM

WillemJoel
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^^they won't be. can't he just move unilaterally?

i mean, historically, it's permissible, right?

9/21/2009 10:40:24 PM

HUR
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Weimar Republic anyone

9/22/2009 11:33:59 AM

hooksaw
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^^ To what historical move are you referring?

The latest:

Obama vs. McChrystal: How to Fight the War...or Why?
September 22, 2009


Quote :
"President Obama’s public skepticism of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops for Afghanistan has been portrayed as everything from Hamlet-like equivocation to downright undermining of the commander he chose -- in fact, firing his predecessor, General David McKiernan -- to run the war."


http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2009/09/obama-vs-mcchrystal-how-to-fight-the-waror-why.html

Watch:

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=8634416

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerindex?id=8634376

9/22/2009 11:45:49 AM

mambagrl
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Quote :
"A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released on September 15 indicated that 39 percent of Americans favor the war in Afghanistan, with 58 percent opposed to the mission.

Support is down from 53 percent in April, marking the lowest level since the start of the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
"


come on out of there

9/22/2009 7:55:09 PM

hooksaw
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^ So, the majority should rule?

Military growing impatient with Obama on Afghanistan

Quote :
"In Kabul, some members of McChrystal's staff said they don't understand why Obama called Afghanistan a 'war of necessity' but still hasn't given them the resources they need to turn things around quickly.

Three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy Newspapers that the McChrystal they know would resign before he would stand behind a faltering policy that he thought would endanger his forces or the strategy.

'Yes, he'll be a good soldier, but he will only go so far,' a senior official in Kabul said. 'He'll hold his ground. He's not going to bend to political pressure.'

On Thursday, Gates danced around the question of when the administration would be ready to receive McChrystal's request, which was completed in late August. 'We're working through the process by which we want that submitted,' he said."


http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/1240772.html

9/23/2009 8:29:30 AM

WillemJoel
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^^so, regular civilians ought to have the say, rather than military generals on the ground there?

Oh, ok.



[Edited on September 23, 2009 at 8:59 AM. Reason : dasdfasda]

9/23/2009 8:56:11 AM

Mr. Joshua
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Quote :
"I made a long post. Are you going to debate points or sit in here and talk trash all day?"


If only you'd made some valid "points" that we could debate.

Quote :
"Both wars were a result of 9/11 and the "war on terror"."


The US butted heads with Iraq for over a decade prior to the war, bombing and deploying troops several times after the Gulf War. The US supported a policy of regime change there since 1998 when Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law after it was passed by congress. For you to act like they weren't on the radar prior to 9/11 is disingenuous at best.

Quote :
"Lumping together all the deaths as lives lost trying to prevent future attacks is very legit."


No, it's not "legit" at all, it's just you trying to rationalize an ignorant claim that you made in the OP. We might as well lump together the casualties from the Korean War and the Vietnam War while we're at it.

Quote :
"It is, the taliban has resurged and now they are requesting more troops. If people are still dying that means its getting worse."


I agree. If we leave the violence will stop immediately. The afghans are a peace loving people with no internal divisions. See the History of Afghanistan 1989-2001.

Quote :
"You can't fight an ideaology with a military. Apples and oranges."


Not counting fascism and communism, I guess. Regardless I don't think you understand how to use the expression "apples and oranges" correctly. Or spell.

Quote :
"Troops don't belong in a warzone unless there is an enemy to fight the presents a powerful, clear, and immidiate danger."


Didn't you just say that the Taliban has resurged and it's getting worse? How is that not a clear and immediate danger?

Quote :
"Its not like Afghanistan was ever the exclosive al qaeda is location anyway."


Redmond, Washington isn't the "exclosive" location of Microsoft employees.

Quote :
"If we did nothing, America would probably be SAFER than it is now."


Yes, I'm sure al Qaeda would have disbanded and gone on to form a traveling dance troupe knowing that they'd punked the Great Satan that one time.

9/23/2009 1:15:10 PM

not dnl
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i really really hope obama does not get suckered in by the war hawks on this one. aka lyndon johnson'ed

9/25/2009 4:33:06 AM

TreeTwista10
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watching 60 Minutes right now...the new commander McChrystal or something like that seems like he really has his shit together...emphasizing less killing enemies, and more winning over the Afghani people...pretty interesting

Quote :
"In the average organization, when you ask for something, they pull out a calendar...in a good organization, they look at their watch"

9/27/2009 7:25:51 PM

TaterSalad
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^ I was watching that too, and I loved that quote

Sounds like he has a good plan together. Hopefully he will be successful in his attempt to win the respect of the people.

9/27/2009 8:38:55 PM

mambagrl
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Quote :
"^^so, regular civilians ought to have the say, rather than military generals on the ground there?

Oh, ok."

on strategics? no

on justification? yes

Military is working for the people and can't just do what it wants to do if its not in the best interest of the people.

Quote :
"The US butted heads with Iraq for over a decade prior to the war, bombing and deploying troops several times after the Gulf War. The US supported a policy of regime change there since 1998 when Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law after it was passed by congress. For you to act like they weren't on the radar prior to 9/11 is disingenuous at best.
"

but its fair to say that 9/11 got us "over the hump" in will power needed to invade Iraq. Also, occupying Iraq permanantly was never in the plan.

Quote :
"No, it's not "legit" at all, it's just you trying to rationalize an ignorant claim that you made in the OP. We might as well lump together the casualties from the Korean War and the Vietnam War while we're at it.
"

That would also be legit--lumping together all of those casualties as lives lost fighting the spread of communism. Thanks for the great analogy.
Quote :
"I agree. If we leave the violence will stop immediately. The afghans are a peace loving people with no internal divisions. See the History of Afghanistan 1989-2001."

So what is the goal? how do you think you will build a stable government in a country that has never known about democracy? how will the violence ever stop? it won't. It will just blood on our hands or blood not on our hands.

Quote :
"Didn't you just say that the Taliban has resurged and it's getting worse? How is that not a clear and immediate danger?"

The taliban was never a threat to us. We didn't like them because they allowed/aided alQ leadership to operate in their country. None of the terrorists were members of the taliban and all of the pilots were trained in the us. all of the attacks took place on us soil. none of the terrorists were even from afghanistan.

The taliban is a threat to the US forces occupying Afghanistan but if we weren't there then it wouldn't be a threat now would it? As long as you occupy a country there will be someone there to fight you. The basic idea of occupation creates insurgency in itself.

9/30/2009 1:57:59 PM

mambagrl
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i hope you people are happy...

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/04/afghanistan.troops.killed/index.html

everyday more blood

10/4/2009 10:55:50 AM

theDuke866
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I haven't read this thread

and even aside from why it's important to succeed in afghanistan for the sake of afghanistan...

and why if we had cooperative regimes in iraq and afghanistan, it would afford us more leverage over iran...

has anyone considered that we're fighting the Taliban, and that they don't exist strictly in Afghanistan (and that we don't fight them strictly in Afghanistan, for that matter)? Does anyone really want a nuclear Pakistan with militant, extremist Muslim control?

10/4/2009 2:44:53 PM

mambagrl
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Quote :
"if if if if if if"

but all I see is the death tolls rising. We spend all this money and blood "preventing a possible disaster" when the war itself is the worst real disaster.

Quote :
" for the sake of afghanistan...
"

do you honestly see a thriving future for afghanistan with democracy and no american presence?

Quote :
"it would afford us more leverage over iran..."

we don't need to manufacture leverage over iran. Can't you see this agressive philosophy is exactly why the peaceful nation Iran is preparing to defend itself?
Quote :
" Pakistan with militant, extremist Muslim control?"

Pakistan is completely secular. Nice try though.

10/4/2009 3:11:56 PM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"Pakistan is completely secular. Nice try though.
"


I typed "taliban pakistan" into Google. These are a few of the results from the first page:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,556302,00.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30361451/

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/world/asia/18terror.html


and here's a good one:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1893370,00.html

and then linked from the bottom of that article:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1887969,00.html




http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8216062.stm

10/4/2009 3:28:58 PM

mambagrl
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You have to understand the region though. Google won't quite do that for you. The Northern portions of Pakistan are tribal, extremely rural and the Pakistani government doesn't have much reach there at all. They somewhat ignore the Taliban's existance there but its not like nuclear weapons are growing on trees all over Pakistan either. They are all securely stored in regions of the nation that are completely controled by the government. These tribalesque factions of militants have no chance of "taking over the nation overnight". Any mention of that is simply another example of a common occurance: American media fear mongering to sell a story.

[Edited on October 4, 2009 at 3:54 PM. Reason : pakistan doesn' control the north, they dont try to,they could if they wanted to. no threat to them]

10/4/2009 3:53:14 PM

Solinari
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Didn't Pakistan's secret intelligence force create or at least nurture the Taliban?

10/4/2009 4:00:45 PM

theDuke866
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^^Oh no, I'm fully aware that the many parts of the country are very much the "wild west", a sort of no-man's land. I agree with the majority of your last post, and even that there is little or no danger of the Taliban "taking over the nation overnight", but that isn't what I was arguing to begin with. I'm saying that, among other reasons to stay in Afghanistan, there is the stabilization of Pakistan angle to consider, which I think is a very legitimate, viable point.

My overall point was that we are essentially fighting Al-Queda organizations and the Taliban. If you think that we should just leave them all alone, that's a seperate argument. If we're going to be fighting them, then pulling out of Afghanistan is a foolish proposition.


^ They nurtured them in the Taliban's early days. Now it's more of a blind-eye and/or appeasement/compromise relationship.

[Edited on October 4, 2009 at 4:08 PM. Reason : ]

10/4/2009 4:04:30 PM

Solinari
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We should definitely pull out of Afghanistan. We have no obligation to them whatsoever. They hit us first. We do have an obligation to rebuild Iraq, though.

10/4/2009 4:09:22 PM

theDuke866
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Absolutely, regarding the latter.

Regarding the former, it has little to do with obligation. I'm more concerned with self-interest.

10/4/2009 7:35:11 PM

sglazier
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Whoops, signed in under my roommate.

[Edited on October 5, 2009 at 12:30 PM. Reason : See above]

10/5/2009 12:28:50 PM

Hawthorne
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As stated by Just War Theory: when a citizen becomes a soldier, he gains the right to kill while at the same time his right to live is revoked. Civilians, who by there very nature are non-combatants, do no give up their right to live. To logically extend upon this matter - if we do not properly employ soldiers because we fear they will be killed, and in doing so civilians die, we are preventing the military from being an effective tool of our society. From "Army Professionalism, the Military Ethic, and Officership in the 21st Century:"


"The trust in operational commanders’
ability to accomplish missions prudently and competently,
irrespective of the number of American casualties, must be
restored, and immediately so. Without that, few officers
aware of the profession’s need to maintain its own unique
ethic will seek command. Ultimately there will be no
profession, only an obedient military bureaucracy with no
autonomy, one which responds in an unthinking and
uncritical manner to the requests and directives of civilian
leaders. We doubt the military effectiveness of such a
bureaucracy."


I bring this up because I'm tired of people bitching and moaning about soldiers dying in Iraq. Not because I don't care about them - quite the opposite. I bitch because when your only concern is a body count and not the accomplishment of the mission, the mission naturally deteriorates until it can't be accomplished. We were so terrified of people dying in Kosovo that we decided that we'd do everything with high-altitude bombing. In the end all we did was destroy a bunch of dummies, and quite possibly killed people who might have lived, had we accepted that fact that PEOPLE IN THE MILITARY GET KILLED. What a novel, shocking concept. By the way, we're still in Kosovo, for those of you who have let that one get buried in the news. Funny how Americans don't pay attention to any conflict that doesn't make page one of the newspaper. BLUF - we can't do our job if smother us in your 'concern' over our fallen comrades, and in the end, that makes their sacrifice all for nothing.

Now, onto a SEPARATE topic - the war itself. It has been consistently shown that successful counter-insurgencies require time and investment, both cultural and monetary. Americans lack the ability to think of anything in the long-run; when they don't see immediate results, they automatically assume failure. The war's taking a long time. I got it. You're tired of it. Got it. I hear your words, and they speak to me. Drive on, Turbo.

Finally, a little word on violence and war. We live in a world where the only perfection is imperfection. There will always be people, and by extension, countries and cultures, that wish to do harm to others. On the debate as to whether or not 'violence never solves anything,' I merely quote this:


""Anyone who clings to the historically untrue -- and thoroughly immoral -- doctrine that 'violence never settles anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler would referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedom.""


[Edited on October 5, 2009 at 12:36 PM. Reason : s]

10/5/2009 12:31:21 PM

d357r0y3r
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The current situation in Afghanistan is precisely what Bin Laden wanted. 9/11 could have been an isolated incident, where we learned from our mistakes and effectively defended against terrorist attacks in the future. Instead, we sent an army over, which would drain military capacity, taxpayer money, and human lives over many years. For all intents and purposes, the terrorists have won.

10/5/2009 2:43:46 PM

GenghisJohn
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that's a bingo.

10/5/2009 5:53:01 PM

Hawthorne
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I would disagree with that statement, simply because for the longest time we never truely responded to mass attacks such as that with military force. Since Vietnam we have, as a nation, been rather loath to commit ourselves to prolonged engagements. I'm pretty sure an "oh shit" went through quite a few heads when we sauntered on over.

That's not to say they haven't adapted and overcame, or that they simply rolled over. Just that I'm sure us coming over there was not factored in to their original plan.

10/5/2009 6:10:39 PM

JCASHFAN
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since this is becoming the generic Afghanistan thread:

Quote :
"White House angry at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan

According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.

The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.

In an apparent rebuke to the commander, Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, said: "It is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations, civilians and military alike, provide our best advice to the president, candidly but privately."

When asked on CNN about the commander's public lobbying for more troops, Gen Jim Jones, national security adviser, said:

“Ideally, it's better for military advice to come up through the chain of command.”

Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: "I wasn't there so I can't answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views."

An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.""
http://tinyurl.com/y8dtv8m

10/5/2009 6:28:16 PM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"Just that I'm sure us coming over there was not factored in to their original plan.
"


No doubt that some of them have been quite surprised at how things have unfolded. However, pick up the latest edition of Newsweek. There is a section in there on the Taliban, including interviews with several insurgents fighters/leaders. I haven't read much of it yet, but one of them specifically says that September 11, 2001 was an "OH SHIT" moment for him, too. He sent his family to Pakistan, and he kinda went underground and started laying low, because he knew that we would be coming over there to strike back.

10/5/2009 6:35:31 PM

Mr. Joshua
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Quote :
"I'm pretty sure an "oh shit" went through quite a few heads when we sauntered on over."


Bin Laden and co have made it clear that they feel like they played a much larger role in the collapse of the USSR than they actually did and play down other factors. In their minds 9/11 would have been followed by either the US making a weak response and firing some missiles into the desert and ultimately looking like a pussy on the world stage, or would have been followed by a disastrous attempt to conquer Afghanistan that would have been turned into a slow war of attrition against a popular pan-arab insurgency. This hasn't panned out for a number of reasons.

Quote :
"but its fair to say that 9/11 got us "over the hump" in will power needed to invade Iraq. Also, occupying Iraq permanantly was never in the plan."


Removing Saddam and creating a friendly government in Iraq with the option of long term bases in Iraq was always the plan. We would have gotten "over the hump" without 9/11, if there was even a hump to begin with.

Quote :
"That would also be legit--lumping together all of those casualties as lives lost fighting the spread of communism. Thanks for the great analogy."


Exactly my point. You're making a naive, simplistic, and overreaching comparison to rationalize a factual error that you made in the OP.

Quote :
"So what is the goal? how do you think you will build a stable government in a country that has never known about democracy?"


Every democracy on the planet had never known about democracy at some point.

Quote :
"how will the violence ever stop? it won't. It will just blood on our hands or blood not on our hands."


This same argument was used against Iraq not long ago.

Quote :
"We didn't like them because they allowed/aided alQ leadership to operate in their country."


Are you really trying to downplay the fact that the Taliban had an explicit alliance with al Qaeda and allowed them to operate camps where militants from around the world could gather and train to kill Americans? Thats a bit worse than letting someone park their camper in your driveway.

10/5/2009 7:33:29 PM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"Bin Laden and co "


yeah, this interview was with a former Taliban leader, not an Al-Qaeda member.

10/5/2009 7:35:51 PM

Mr. Joshua
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Dammit. I meant to quote Hawthornes "oh shit" line.

10/5/2009 7:43:38 PM

hooksaw
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This is the bottom line for me concerning the explanation I need from Obama and many other Democrats: During the campaign, Obama and Company mercilessly bludgeoned Bush with Iraq, claiming that Afghanistan--not Iraq--was the "central front" in the War on Terror overseas contingency operation. The Obama campaign and its surrogates incessantly made this point and you know they did.

If Obama's (and others') position concerning Afghanistan has changed, I want to know (1) why, (2) how, and (3) when--at a minimum. Setting all ideological bullshit aside, I don't think this is an unreasonable request.

10/5/2009 8:12:54 PM

lazarus
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This thread was pretty good until it got hacksawed to pieces.

10/5/2009 8:37:18 PM

joe_schmoe
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hey, you're back!

from the dead!

10/6/2009 2:53:42 AM

hooksaw
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Quote :
"This is the bottom line for me concerning the explanation I need from Obama and many other Democrats: During the campaign, Obama and Company mercilessly bludgeoned Bush with Iraq, claiming that Afghanistan--not Iraq--was the "central front" in the War on Terror overseas contingency operation. The Obama campaign and its surrogates incessantly made this point and you know they did.

If Obama's (and others') position concerning Afghanistan has changed, I want to know (1) why, (2) how, and (3) when--at a minimum. Setting all ideological bullshit aside, I don't think this is an unreasonable request."

10/6/2009 4:27:12 PM

hooksaw
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Split Persists Over McChrystal Testimony
October 6, 2009


Quote :
"A key Democratic leader reiterated Tuesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal should appear before Congress soon to testify on the war effort in Afghanistan, one day after the administration again made clear no such appearance was forthcoming."


Quote :
"'I want to hear from the president certainly, but I also want to hear from General McChrystal,' [House Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer said, adding that he had made that desire known to Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

'I continue to believe and recommend that General McChrystal -- at some point in time in the relatively near future, before we make a determination as to what we should do -- testify before the Congress, and brief the Congress. Perhaps in executive session, if that's necessary, but also testify before the Congress.'

By calling for McChrystal to appear before Obama decides on a new policy, Hoyer not only differs from the Pentagon but also from some fellow Democrats on the Hill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said last week that it would be inappropriate for McChrystal to appear at Congressional hearings 'until the president makes up his mind.' The Senate voted Thursday along party lines to defeat a Defense appropriations bill amendment authored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would have forced McChrystal to testify on the Hill by Nov. 15."


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/10/split_persists_over_mcchrystal.html

Why are many Democrats so reluctant to hear General McChrystal's testimony?

10/10/2009 4:33:11 AM

JCASHFAN
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I mentioned this in another thread, but it fits here too . . . the policy that Joe Biden is recommending for Afghanistan is pretty much the exact policy that caused Iraq to descend into chaos between 2003 and 2007. You know, for what that is worth.

10/10/2009 8:54:25 AM

hooksaw
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^ Yep.

Taliban cannot be split from al-Qaeda, Obama warned
11 Oct 2009


Quote :
" President Barack Obama's former chief advisor on Afghanistan has warned that it would be a 'fairy tale' for the US to think it could split the Taliban away from al-Qaeda.

Bruce Riedel, who has advised three presidents and spent 29 years in the CIA, also emphasised the dangers of 'dithering' as Mr Obama conducts a second overhaul of Afghan strategy in only six months.

Just hours after his shock Nobel peace prize award, the president met with his war council in the secure White House Situation Room on Friday and had a 'robust discussion' via video link with Gen Stanley McChrystal in Kabul.

His hand-picked commander for Nato forces in Afghanistan explained his request for at least 40,000 more troops to combat Taliban gains. Mr Obama is not expected to authorise the deployment in full."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6293079/Taliban-cannot-be-split-from-al-Qaeda-Obama-warned.html

10/11/2009 7:06:42 AM

hooksaw
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Weapons failed US troops during Afghan firefight (AP) – 1 hour ago

Quote :
"WASHINGTON — In the chaos of an early morning assault on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Erich Phillips' M4 carbine quit firing as militant forces surrounded the base. The machine gun he grabbed after tossing the rifle aside didn't work either.

When the battle in the small village of Wanat ended, nine U.S. soldiers lay dead and 27 more were wounded. A detailed study of the attack by a military historian found that weapons failed repeatedly at a 'critical moment' during the firefight on July 13, 2008, putting the outnumbered American troops at risk of being overrun by nearly 200 insurgents.

Which raises the question: Eight years into the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, do U.S. armed forces have the best guns money can buy?

Despite the military's insistence that they do, a small but vocal number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq has complained that the standard-issue M4 rifles need too much maintenance and jam at the worst possible times."


Quote :
"Complaints about the weapons the troops carry, especially the M4, aren't new. Army officials say that when properly cleaned and maintained, the M4 is a quality weapon that can pump out more than 3,000 rounds before any failures occur.

The M4 is a shorter, lighter version of the M16, which made its debut during the Vietnam war. Roughly 500,000 M4s are in service, making it the rifle troops on the front lines trust with their lives.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a leading critic of the M4, said Thursday the Army needs to move quickly to acquire a combat rifle suited for the extreme conditions U.S. troops are fighting in.

U.S. special operations forces, with their own acquisition budget and the latitude to buy gear the other military branches can't, already are replacing their M4s with a new rifle.

'The M4 has served us well but it's not as good as it needs to be,' Coburn said.

Battlefield surveys show that nearly 90 percent of soldiers are satisfied with their M4s, according to Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, head of the Army office that buys soldier gear. Still, the rifle is continually being improved to make it even more reliable and lethal.

Fuller said he's received no official reports of flawed weapons performance at Wanat. "Until it showed up in the news, I was surprised to hear about all this," he said."


Quote :
"The soldiers said their weapons were meticulously cared for and routinely inspected by commanders. But still the weapons had breakdowns, especially when the rifles were on full automatic, which allows hundreds of bullets to be fired a minute."


http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5habaKq4oZSDERNm8kpfcAlZcgt7AD9B9D7HO0

As a former armorer, I can tell you that soldiers' weapons are never as "meticulously cared for" as they claim. Still, it's an extremely inhospitable environment and this issue needs to be carefully looked at.

10/12/2009 4:43:42 AM

Mr. Joshua
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Why was the XM-8 cancelled? Everything I heard about that project was pretty positive.

10/12/2009 2:05:59 PM

hooksaw
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^ If Wikipedia has it right. . .

Quote :
"Although there were high hopes that the XM8 would become the Army's new standard infantry rifle, the project was put on hold in April 2005, and was formally cancelled on October 31, 2005."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM8_rifle

And there's this from This Week. . .

Quote :
"[Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] And the mission is in serious jeopardy. I think General McChrystal, who is one of our very best, if not the best at this, has said a counterterrorism strategy will not work. The president said to us very clearly, just as you said, George, we will not pull out."


Quote :
"But I think -- I don't know how you put somebody in who was as crackerjack as General McChrystal, who gives the president very solid recommendations, and not take those recommendations if you're not going to pull out.

If you don't want to take the recommendations, then you -- you -- you put your people in such jeopardy, just like the base in Nuristan. We lost eight of our men. We didn't have the ability to defend them, and now the base is closing, and effectively we're -- we're retreating away from it. And so I think the decision has to be made sooner, rather than later."


http://www.abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/Politics/transcript-feinstein-chambliss-mcgovern-keane/Story?id=8794589&page=1

And the clock keeps on ticking, Mr. Obama.

10/12/2009 3:22:19 PM

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