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Afghanistan and Gen. McChrystal's predicament
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5773

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that Will's commentary is surprising from a true conservative. Rarely do I agree with Will, but I think that he's spot on in this commentary. The Afghanistan war is a huge mistake, and I felt that way when the Bush/Cheney administration eagerly pursued it and the foolish "War on Terror" after 9/11. During the 2008 campaign, when Obama highlighted the war in Afghanistan and championed a greater involvement if elected, it was one of those things I felt he was very wrong about.

I can only hope that many conservatives and liberals alike see our quagmire in Afghanistan, as the mistake it was, and still is. The sooner we exit the better.
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windoggie



Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 2384

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swchandler wrote:
The sooner we exit the better.

A big 10-4 on that one, good buddy.

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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3334

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish we could leave before the next guy gets wounded but as Colin Powell noted
" If you break it you bought it"
The Afghans had a despicable government who violated their rights and fought against heroin.They stupidly took Al Quadas money so we killed most of their leadership and put the country in the hands of the warlords and heroin dealers, a crowd nearly as despicable. We blew up their homes and destroyed the basic minimal infrastructure, then we left to carry out Cheney and Rumsfeld personal vendetta against Hussein, and trashed what little the Iraqis had as well.
Bush finally wised up, dumped Rumsfeld and took Cheney out of power too late to save either country.
Our guys are now paying the price for President Cheneys poor leadership.
I don't know the answer but at least I understand a glimmer of the problem.
Walking away is not going to work out well for the US or the Afghans
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3512
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we just be honest here? The place is a shithole, the US has no business being there and cant win. There is nothing to "win". We may be able to contain with a "Petreaus" surge, but its not the same dynamic as Iraq, so even that is suspect, so lets just leave , OK? like today.
Boggsman
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5143

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Boggsy, but I am closer to keycocker here. The ties between the Taliban and the military in Pakistan, and the overall role of heroin trade as an alternative economy make it very hard to walk away. I was initially wrong in opposing the war in Afghanistan because it turned out there was a direct tie between the government and Bin Laden. That said, the question is what we do now. Nation building might work if you could create an alternative economy to growing poppies. But with the Afghan puppets in power stealing nearly half the money, it can't possibly work. All the youth in Afghanistan have never seen their country without an occupying force, and all of those under 14 have no memory of any other occupier other than US and UN troops. We are the focus of all current resentment--including that of their corrupt government.

But the issue here began with McChrystal, who would not speak truth to power, had the instincts of a liar and a thief, and was completely two-faced. He told the press that things were going well--when they clearly were not. I doubt that he told Obama or the chain of command frankly what the problems were in managing a political battle with military tools. I repeat, we're better off with him gone.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3512
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im not convinced that we are good at "nation building". I agree with your points, except the US committment, it seems like a band aid at best.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5773

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"If you break it you bought it."

There's certain degree of truth to the statement, but the real question is whether something broken can be fixed. Frankly, I don't think it's really possible. Given enough time, money and death maybe some temporary improvements can be realized some decades into the future, but are we up for that? Deep in the heart of things is a medieval culture steeped deeply in religion. As a result, our chances of bringing them into the modern world by quickly changing their society and economy is a virtual impossibility.

Now, I'm not saying that we should just turn and simply leave, but the military war side of our involvement needs to end very quickly. After ravaging their country with war, we have a certain responsibility to restore critical infrastructure to a reasonable level, if the Afghans will allow it. But it's really up to them. Needless to say though, the idea that there can be a "win" in the picture is a pipe dream. Unfortunately, it's very sad, but we have to be honest about things.
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jpbassking



Joined: 19 May 1998
Posts: 2362
Location: Leo

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swchandler wrote:
Now, I'm not saying that we should just turn and simply leave, but the military war side of our involvement needs to end very quickly. After ravaging their country with war, we have a certain responsibility to restore critical infrastructure to a reasonable level, if the Afghans will allow it. .. .


True that SW however, as long as there are foreign contractors in country doing rebuilding there will need to be a military there to protect them.

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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5773

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I didn't fully clarify my earlier comments. There's a big difference between military offense and defense, and my intent was ending the offensive aspect quickly. Naturally, a defensive military position would be needed to reasonably protect folks involved in the restoration of critical infrastructure. However, again, it's up to the Afghans to support the effort, to include their commitment to police and curtail subversive elements. I'm thinking that even the most nationalistic Afghans could appreciate a restoration of critical infrastructure. If that ultimately proves to be the wrong decision, we simply leave, and Afghans are left to their fate. I think the old saying goes "you can lead a horse to water, but you can make them drink".
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3334

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The water needs to look good to the horse, not just the horseman. If we got them to plant carrots, and bought all the carrots and sold them cheap somewhere else they would start planting carrots on their own.
We subsidize a zillion dollars worth of farm produce in the US for this reason, which annoys me a little because it often doesn't work. In Af. a lot less money could go a long way. The price of one tank and support could turn around the whole economy of a region.
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