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Robert Gates book

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Posted

Taliban didn't attack us. We should just make peace and GTFO

 

Afghanistan is a classic example of mission creep.

 

We went in to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and expel the al-Qaeda network.

Somewhere along the way it turned into supporting a corrupt government and nation building.

If the US wanted to directly confront the source of al-Qaeda's power, they needed look no further than Saudi Arabia. The country where the vast majority of 9/11 bombers and funding originated.

It is like having a gangrenous leg (Saudi Arabia) and cutting off your big toe (Afghanistan) in hopes of curing the issue.

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Posted

Taliban didn't attack us. We should just make peace and GTFO

 

They provided a safe haven, and assistance for those who did.  And then refused to turn them over.  That is the same as an attack.

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Posted

IMO, we should keep a force of 5-10 thousand there for the foreseeable future in order to forestall any possibility of the Taliban regaining power.  Give them plenty of Airpower and a well fortified base of operations.  But allow the Afghan government to run all other aspects of the country.  If they can keep a relatively stable government for 20-30 years, they might actually have a shot at making it as a country.

 

The region's history strongly indicates Afghanistan will not be tamed by an invading empire.

Even if it were possible to recreate Afghanistan in our own image, the US should be asking itself one question: Is it worth the cost?

The risk of investing those same funds here at home would be considerably less and the rewards significantly greater.

Invest in modernizing our country's crumbling infrastructure and those dollars will move from one American to another countless times, stimulating our industrial base and reducing unemployment.

Waste funds in Afghanistan and those trillions of tax payer dollars will most likely to fall into the hands of some corrupt government official or tribal leader feathering their own nest or buying arms to kill more American soldiers.

It is interesting to me that many of the same politicians who support drastic cuts in unemployment and educational benefits, all in the name of "fiscal responsibility", don't hesitate for a second to support pouring billions into unstable, unproductive, fiefdoms filled with individuals who would rather kill us, than thank us for our efforts.

Even now, our military does not control much of Afghanistan.  There is little reason to believe another 30-50 years of troops and resources will magically result in successful nation building.

 

Nation building in Afghanistan is nothing more than mission creep and mission creep leads to mission failure.

Eventually, our politicians will be forced to accept that Afghanistan is a futile effort. We are wasting countless American lives and resources in a losing battle to prop up a notoriously corrupt government.  Just like in South Vietnam.

 

Hopefully, it won't take 50 years for the American people to figure that out.

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Posted

Actually its not.

 

The conflict in the Philippines started with the Spanish American war in 1898 and didn't completely end until 15 June 1913. 

 

And US troops stayed in the Philippines until the 1990's (with a slight interruption during WWII).

Shouldn't have used the term "conflict" when discussing the War in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is our longest War.

The Moro Rebellion in the Southern Philippines ran from 1899 to 1913, it wasn't a war, but it was yet another protracted conflict with Muslims.

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Posted

Shouldn't have used the term "conflict" when discussing the War in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is our longest War.

The Moro Rebellion in the Southern Philippines ran from 1899 to 1913, it wasn't a war, but it was yet another protracted conflict with Muslims.

 

The war in the Southern Philippines was very similar to the present circumstances in Afghanistan, far more so than a declared war such as WWII or WWI. 

 

Its more similar in style of combat (small unit fighting against a insurgent force), in number of troops involved, and in casualty numbers.  

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I do want to say though irt the original topic,while I like Gates I think its inappropriate for him to release this book at this time.  He should have waited until president Obama was out of office.    Its not going to change how the administration deals with Afghanistan, and it is going to add to the rancor that is US politics today.  He should have waited until after the 2016 presidential elections. 

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Posted

DDII that was a nasty awful piece of Imperialism on our part which is why you never hear about it.

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Posted

They provided a safe haven, and assistance for those who did.  And then refused to turn them over.  That is the same as an attack.

 

By that logic did Pakistan attack us too?  Provided Osama a nice safe home for years, and US intelligence was scared to tell anyone in Pakistan of the strike that killed him ahead of time because they thought someone would tip him off

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Posted

I prefer to pull all troops out of foreign countries.

 

We have the ability to see what is going on all around the globe at all times, and the ability to get there in a hurry if needed.

 

We need to take care of America's problems before trying to solve the Worlds.

 

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Posted

By that logic did Pakistan attack us too?  Provided Osama a nice safe home for years, and US intelligence was scared to tell anyone in Pakistan of the strike that killed him ahead of time because they thought someone would tip him off

 

 

Its unlikely that the head of the Pakistan government knew Osama was in Pakistan, although I have no doubt that elements of the ISI did know.  They wouldn't tell the leader of Pakistan, in part for plausible deniability in and part because they don't trust him. 

 

Pakistan did help us quite a bit in the Afghan conflict, but they do have a lot of leaks. 

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Posted

DDII that was a nasty awful piece of Imperialism on our part which is why you never hear about it.

 

 

I agree.  We got the Filipinos to help us against Spain with the promise that we would grant them their independence.  Forgot to tell them that we would wait 40 years though. 

 

We did make it right eventually, which is why we have a strong relationship with the Philippines, and they are perhaps our strongest ally in the region. 

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