Afghanistan Popular ???

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by gunner1zeus, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    Unidentified pentagon spokesman:
    The white House thought the Afghan War. " Would be more popular and easier" and isn't close to making a Bush like commitment.

    Ambassador Karl Eikenberry:
    Implement an integrated civil/military plan that meshes protection of the population with successful development efforts.

    neighboring Pakistan is being used as safe haven for taliban fighters. The central Pakistan Govt has issued a cease fire against the taliban in certain border regions and has even ceded control to the taliban in isolated areas.
    The central Gov will not permit stationing of US troops within its borders yet still receives military and non military aid from the US.

    When our troops are deployed they should have the equipment and support they require to win.

    speaking of WMDs Pakistan posses nuclear weapons.
     
  2. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    gunner, your post has me a little confused. Is there a question here, or are you just posting some facts and opinions to stir up debate? The statements you provide give good evidence of the difficulties of the situation over there, but it gave me the impression you were rambling on with sound bites and talking points.

    I guess my bottom line is: what is your question? Is it "Is the Afghanistan conflict popular? Does it deserve to be? Should we withdraw?" or all of the above?

    Happy to provide you my thoughts on the situation, I just need a good vector to start with...
     
  3. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    One issue, and I know many hate when politics are brought in, and...this is not a reflection of my thoughts of the Afghan conflict (War on Terror) but....why is the media silent over any of the conflicts now? They don't even give Cindy Shehan two minutes coverage anymore, and she has been shadowing the President, but...nada, zip, zero interest in the illegal war for oil now? :confused:
     
  4. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Maximus, please remember that the media is also a BUSINESS, with a bottom line. They have to generate attention and excitement in order to generate interest in their product, which leads to advertising dollars.

    With the economy, health care debate, and the latest exploits of the Gosselin family and OctoMom, Iraq and Afghanistan just aren't as "exciting and interesting". Why follow the wars when the ratings aren't there for them, especially when ratings = advertising dollars?

    Good example. Why doesn't the media report every day on the number of Americans dieing on our roads? Literally hundreds if not thousands die in traffic accidents each day, but you don't see the headlines about this tragedy. It just doesn't sell....
     
  5. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    BULLET;
    you asked if I had a question or was just throwing out bits to start a debate. YES on both counts.
    question 1 How can this conflict be won when the commander in chief wants the "more popular and easier war" I assume he means more popular and easier than Iraq. no conflict is easier or popular when the ordnance is incoming. Do you think this conflict will be fought on a limited basis (ie) not enough troops, equipment or POA.
    question 2 Do I think we should be fighting Yes if we commit to a full scale confrontation with all means at our disposal. No if it is to be a limited engagement where we fight the enemy on their terms such as allowing them to operate from safe bases in Pakistan. side-note several of these safe bases have been destroyed by predator drowns owned and operated by the CIA.
    I started this thread just to see what the feelings and opinions of you folks are on this conflict as this will be the next theater of action we may see our kids deployed. pardon me if I ramble:cool:
     
  6. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    OK, the questions are a little clearer to me now. (Remember, I was in the AF and flew in the back seat. I usually needed lots of cartoons, large print, and single syllable words to understand something. :shake:) as to your questions....

    AS I see Afghanistan, it isn't a matter of winning this war the "popular or easier" way. The only way we will win this war is through the SMARTER way. Let's face facts. There is absolutely no way the Taliban and Al Queda can match us militarily. And both sides know it. Sure they can engage us in small troop tactics, indirect attacks and suicide bombings. But in the end, they can not win this war strategically if it is up to military engagements alone. They understand that they have to make this an unpopular war to our public, who can call for our withdrawal if they just bloody our noses a couple of times. They understand that images on CNN and Al Jezeera can do more to guarantee their victory than any suicide bomber ever could.

    They also can win the PR war if we just start sending in massive amounts of troops for continuous rotations, to the point where it becomes too much of a burden for both our military and the American public. Do we get the support our troops need? Certainly. But sending in 2 Corps worth of ground troops and 5 wings worth of airpower is just a little overkill, and won't have the backing of the American public. It would make it easier over there for a while, but it wouldn't be SMARTER strategically. This is a PR war, plain and simple. We need to keep it that: plain and simple.

    Yes, Pakistan is a problem. We had them nearly down and out at the beginning, but having a safe haven allowed them to re-group, recruit, and re-plan their next steps. The question is: what can we do about it? Invade Pakistan? A nuclear armed country with a weak government and a strongly religious populace that would like no better excuse to revolt and seize power than having foreign troops on their soil? And if we do come out and say we would strongly support Pakistan if they just fight our dirty little war for us; well, they have this neighbor who is also their historical enemy, and who also happens to have THE BOMB as well, called India who might not like it if we are suddenly on a buddy-buddy basis with Pakistan. They see us all googly-eyed and pickin' out curtains and things with their "friends" on their western border, and the next thing you know the next time you call an IT support line the guy on the other end of the line may not be so "happy to help you". :smile:

    No, Afghanistan is a conundrum that will be a tough nut to crack. We could just "kill them all, and let Allah sort them out", but don't we advertise ourselves as the guys in the white hats on the world stage? I don't remember the Lone Ranger shooting ALL the townsfolk.

    Ultimately, we could win EVERY tactical engagement and lose strategically if we don't act SMARTLY. Remember that little thing called the Tet Offensive?
    Let's not Worry so much about killing more bad guys than we are about winning the war.

    That is how wars get lost....
     
  7. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    Sorry Bullet but I completely disagree and tend to agree with this article.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/p...-Bush-is-not-war-at-all-8119694-53506047.html

    Remember the anti-war movement? Not too long ago, the Democratic party's most loyal voters passionately opposed the war in Iraq. Democratic presidential candidates argued over who would withdraw American troops the quickest. Netroots activists regularly denounced President George W. Bush, and sometimes the U.S. military ("General Betray Us"). Cindy Sheehan, the woman whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, became a heroine when she led protests at Bush's Texas ranch.

    That was then. Now, even though the United States still has roughly 130,000 troops in Iraq, and is quickly escalating the war in Afghanistan -- 68,000 troops there by the end of this year, and possibly more in 2010 -- anti-war voices on the Left have fallen silent.

    No group was more angrily opposed to the war in Iraq than the netroots activists clustered around the left-wing Web site DailyKos. It's an influential site, one of the biggest on the Web, and in the Bush years many of its devotees took an active role in raising money and campaigning for anti-war candidates.

    In 2006, DailyKos held its first annual convention, called YearlyKos, in Las Vegas. Amid the slightly discordant surroundings of the Riviera Hotel casino, the webby activists spent hours discussing and planning strategies not only to defeat Republicans but also to pressure Democrats to oppose the war more forcefully. The gathering attracted lots of mainstream press attention; Internet activism was the hot new thing.

    Fast forward to last weekend, when YearlyKos, renamed Netroots Nation, held its convention in Pittsburgh. The meeting didn't draw much coverage, but the views of those who attended are still, as they were in 2006, a pretty good snapshot of the left wing of the Democratic party.

    The news that emerged is that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have virtually fallen off the liberal radar screen. Kossacks (as fans of DailyKos like to call themselves) who were consumed by the Iraq war when George W. Bush was president are now, with Barack Obama in the White House, not so consumed, either with Iraq or with Obama's escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan. In fact, they barely seem to care.

    As part of a straw poll done at the convention, the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg presented participants with a list of policy priorities like health care and the environment. He asked people to list the two priorities they believed "progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most." The winner, by far, was "passing comprehensive health care reform." In second place was enacting "green energy policies that address environmental concerns."

    And what about "working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan"? It was way down the list, in eighth place.

    Perhaps more tellingly, Greenberg asked activists to name the issue that "you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently." The winner, again, was health care reform. Next came "working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections." Then came a bunch of other issues. At the very bottom -- last place, named by just one percent of participants -- came working to end U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It's an extraordinary change in the mindset of the left. I attended the first YearlyKos convention, and have kept up with later ones, and it's safe to say that for many self-styled "progressives," the war in Iraq was the animating cause of their activism. They hated the war, and they hated George W. Bush for starting it. Or maybe they hated the war because George W. Bush started it. Either way, it was war, war, war.

    Now, not so much.

    Cindy Sheehan is learning that. She's still protesting the war, and on Monday she announced plans to demonstrate at Martha's Vineyard, where President Obama will be vacationing.

    "We as a movement need to continue calling for an immediate end to the occupations [in Iraq and Afghanistan] even when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office," Sheehan said in a statement. "There is still no Noble Cause no matter how we examine the policies."

    Give her credit for consistency, if nothing else. But her days are over. The people who most fervently supported her have moved on.

    Not too long ago, some observers worried that Barack Obama would come under increasing pressure from the Left to leave both Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, it seems those worries were unfounded. For many liberal activists, opposing the war was really about opposing George W. Bush. When Bush disappeared, so did their anti-war passion.


    Byron York, The Examiner's chief political correspondent, can be contacted at byork@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears on Tuesday and Friday, and his stories and blog posts appears on www.ExaminerPolitics.com ExaminerPolitics.com
     
  8. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    Bullet;
    just a rhetorical question how many conventional bombs say mk82s (sorry 500 pounders I don't know AF nomenclature)would be required to create the Afghan parking center. just conventional bombs, no nukes I'm not a barbarian:wink:
     
  9. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Gunner, nothing would have given me greater pleasure than to help some of those low-lives over there meet their promised 72 virgins. The folks over there now are doing a fantastic job in helping them reach this goal. In fact, I'm good friends with the commander of the squadron involved in the recent tanker truck attacks, and probably know the guys who actually dropped the JDAMs (folks from my old sister squadron in the F-15Es).

    As to how many Mk-82s (you got the nomenclature right) to complete the rural renewal program over there (turning the rubble over there into even smaller rubble?)? Well, we dropped them by the thousands in Vietnam, cratered the place until we almost made the surface of that area look like the moon, and look how far that got us.

    You young men and women on here looking to become the next great generation of officers and leaders, take this lesson to heart. Anyone with the proper training and enough ammunition can achieve victory at the tactical level. To win wars, you have to think strategically--and the key word in that sentence is "think".
     
  10. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Maximus, I agree with the conclusions reached in the article you cite: the left really doesn't care that much anymore now that their guy is the one calling the shots (literally). In fact, I whole heartedly support the conclusion that for most it wasn't so much a hatred of the wars as a hatred of the former President that generated such vocal anymosity.

    But you asked why the media wasn't covering the story, not why the left isn't as vocal in their calls for an end to the conflicts. My answer still holds: there just isn't enough concern from the American public anymore, and therefore it's not newsworthy. The media has to pay for all those fancy satellites, plus the salaries for their bleach blond news anchors are astronomical! (They need those big salaries for all the teeth whitening procedures and "surgical enhancements", which cost them a fortune! :rolleyes:) Why risk losing advertising dollars to Joe America changing the channel to see the latest realty show star train wreck! ("next on MSNBC, we interview The "Real House Wives of New Jersey". Get your popcorn folks, there's gonna be a cat-fight, Soprano-style!" :biggrin:)
     
  11. Emsa

    Emsa Member

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    I think popular is a horrible choice of words in relation to any war but nonetheless its pretty obvious that the war in Afghanistan always had a easily graspable necessity and rightness to it that most people could understand more easily than they could the war in Iraq.

    As to Pakistan, we made a strategic decision a long time ago that we needed Pakistan, this despite the fact that they are themselves pretty much a brutal regime with strong fundamentalist leanings. Its not the first time we have made such a decision, islamic fundamentalists in their war against the soviets in Afghanistan, Iraq in its war against Iran, Iran under the Shah, and for that matter anyone who was fighting communism during the cold war. The decisions we have made around the strategic protection of our country have repeatedly put us in alliances with countries and groups who in other circumstances might have been the people we were at war with. Whether this is a good thing or a bad one is a whole new thread but there is nothing very odd about what we are doing and or turning a blind eye to in Pakistan. And as bullet says what alternative is there, try and fight on a third front this time against a nuclear power.

    I think of myself as pretty left wing in my politics, I questions whether our strategy in Afghanistan was right from the start and I think the decision to invade Iraq was shocking but from where we are what choice do we have but to win, the consequences of loosing are to create a power void in either or both countries that can only be filled by fundamentalism made brave by thier victory. I think many people on the left or at least those I talk to feel the same.

    And on the media I agree 100% fact is we live in a country where Michael Jacksons final resting place matters far more to the majority of the population than how many soldiers died on the same day he did.
     
  12. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    America is still "Right of Center" and the reason the old main stream (state run) media is on the ropes, is because of their blatant partisan hypocritical posture. Most Americans are starting to get more vocal and active, a great thing, the country has been in a fog since the end of WW II (IMVHO) and winning any war with todays mentality (thinking) is impossible.
    I see the policy in Afghanistan as the collective policies of about 10 groups responsible for Obamas Presidency. He's dancing around trying to make everyone happy with collectivism strategy, that will never work. If you doubt this, why was one of his first acts to change the name of the "War on Terror", that was pure partisan politics.

    In summation, we aren't going to win any hearts and minds in either Iraq, or Afghanistan with the strategy this Senator is employing. I say Senator because; show me a successful Commander in Chief and/or Executive that's come from the Senate? They never make a decision, keep it in committee till it blows away, no need for fortitude. Sorry for the rambling post...
     
  13. WBK

    WBK Member

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    I wasn't aware that the media is now state run...not that I'm defending the media, I think it sucks all around, but don't be selective. They all have their own biases, some (MSNBC and FOX) are obvious, some (CNN CNBC) are not. It isn't cool when MSNBC does nothing but sing Obama's praises and it isn't cool when Fox runs a hit piece on him every ten minutes. And as far as the "Senator" thing goes...that's just as lame as when liberals were calling President Bush "Governor". Just my opinions...
     
  14. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    EMSA;
    Be forewarned in politics I view myself to be slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.:eek: So you will probably feel that the views and opinions I express are of a Neanderthal nature. In your post you state "I question whether our strategy in Afghanistan was right from the start." I would like a little clarification do you mean our goals or our method of attaining those goals.

    "enemy of my enemy"(some old guy probably dead now)used that statement to describe the cooperation between 2 or more nations with the only thing in common was/is the same enemy. I think that is the arrangement we should seek with Pakistan. So we do agree on that point!!
     
  15. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Brett Stephens in todays Wall Street Journal has a very telling piece on the cost of failure in Afghanistan. George Will posted an article the other day basically advocating a "pack it in and go home" strategy that I believe is nothing short of disasterous. The bottom line- we have BADLY fumbled in Afghanistan from my perspective, have put in place institutions that are not very well suited to the country- for example pushing a national government that has strongly centralized powers without the tools and resources necessary to effectively implement, then compounding that by short changing the forces available in country and providing far too few resources to the Afghans and essentially ceding the security of large chunks of the country trying to do things on the cheap. (Interesting that in Afghanistan we have tried the multinational approach so beloved of some segments of the population- guess what? It doesn't work. NATO with the notable exception of the Brits and the Canadians has been risk averse to the extreme and have promised big and delivered little- with no expectation that will change.) If it's going to get done- it is once again the US that will have to provide the money; blood; boots on the ground; and equipment to execute. I certainly hope that the President intends to face up to things and tell the public that like it or not we are committed and will have to "Stay the course" for a long time to come (Phrase sound familiar?)

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052970203440104574398442481337048.html
     
  16. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies-civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it,
    First sentence in a Fatwa (binding religious edict)
    issued by bin laden leader of al qaeda.
    al qaeda was part of the taliban ministry of defense.
    enough with history I believe that this is more than enough reason to pursue both taliban and al qaeda till their total destruction is achieved. A well planned mission statement to include the boots down approach stressed by the previous posts would do just that, however how often do politicians allow sound military judgment to cloud their plans. I do not believe the current administration will display the Patience to allow a sound policy to be implemented. The plan I can for see is a new version of shock and awe it will be called flash and bang one unique aspect of this plan will be a predetermined withdraw date regardless if the goals have been met or not. Well that it for commentary on politicians. The US has had a military (well sorta) feet down in Afghanistan since the Russian invasion. It is the CIA special activities division(do I hear boo's) if our ground units had CIA advisers with them it may make the task easier. (now I know I just heard boo's and hisses). I do not mean to make light of the war on terror in Afghanistan but I can't see a way to win it.
    But I'm just a lowly navy cannon cocker the gentleman with the stars on their shoulders will find a way.
     
  17. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    The CIA has been neutralized in the last few weeks, it's now up to a collective consensus to win. In my opinion that's impossible; we should leave now, that's not going to happen and good young American lives will be wasted and that makes me sick.
     
  18. Emsa

    Emsa Member

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    Suitably forewarned :wink:

    I meant the latter, our method of attainin the goals. Pretty much Bruno said a lot of what I was thinking.

    And as to "the enemy of my enemy is my freind" thing, its a great theory but it does all go horribly wrong when that friend becomes your enemy and turns all the money, weapons, training and intellengece you invested in them against you. Lets not forget Osama Bin Laden was the enemy of our enemy once!
     

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