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#16 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:40 PM

Is there anyone here who believes that we should not have went to Afghanistan in the first place?   I assume most rational people understand why we went in.  So should we have just went in, killed some Al Qaeda members, then turned around and left?    What other choices did we have.   

 

A key point that is often ignored in the debate about Afghanistan is this.  Unlike Iraq,  almost everyone agreed at the time that going into Afghanistan was the right thing to do.  Even Ron Paul agreed sort of.  Because we went in, because almost all of us agreed that going in was the right thing to do, then we should have the national will to keep some forces there until there is some stability. 



#17 cookinwithgas

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:47 PM

Personally I agreed with the idea that we needed to do something in Afghanistan, And really, we have done a decent job weighing our own selfish national interests against those of the Afghan people and have done a LOT to eradicate "the bad guys".

 

But Iraq completely and utterly screwed up the effort and made people realize that nation building still sucks even though that was not our primary goal in Afghanistan. Those feelings have carried over to the detriment of our real work.

 

Places like this that are not really governed yet contain people that threaten our interests are made for drones, cash for intel, and covert ops. Despite being a pansy liberal, these are all things I see as needed at times to balance our nations security with the idea that there are sovereign nations out there we just can;t tell what to do.



#18 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:56 PM

The Afghanistan War has been nothing but a military and financial quagmire for the USA, the longest conflict in our nation's history.  

 

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). 



#19 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:20 PM

Personally I agreed with the idea that we needed to do something in Afghanistan, And really, we have done a decent job weighing our own selfish national interests against those of the Afghan people and have done a LOT to eradicate "the bad guys".

 

But Iraq completely and utterly screwed up the effort and made people realize that nation building still sucks even though that was not our primary goal in Afghanistan. Those feelings have carried over to the detriment of our real work.

 

Places like this that are not really governed yet contain people that threaten our interests are made for drones, cash for intel, and covert ops. Despite being a pansy liberal, these are all things I see as needed at times to balance our nations security with the idea that there are sovereign nations out there we just can;t tell what to do.

 

 

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. 



#20 cookinwithgas

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:26 PM

reasonable but American politics make it unlikely - still the fact we are still there at all kind of amazes me.



#21 GWBNostrils

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:44 PM

Is there anyone here who believes that we should not have went to Afghanistan in the first place?   I assume most rational people understand why we went in.  So should we have just went in, killed some Al Qaeda members, then turned around and left?    What other choices did we have.   

 

A key point that is often ignored in the debate about Afghanistan is this.  Unlike Iraq,  almost everyone agreed at the time that going into Afghanistan was the right thing to do.  Even Ron Paul agreed sort of.  Because we went in, because almost all of us agreed that going in was the right thing to do, then we should have the national will to keep some forces there until there is some stability. 

I was all for Afghanistan. This whole country would have followed Bush to that hell and back, including myself. Of course I was young and enlisted, but I still believe those first 2 years should have been enough. Instead, we ignored that country and I spent half of my Army career in Iraq. 4,000 dead servicemen later and it was all for nothing. We replaced a secular regime and threw our marbles in with religious Shiite wackos running the country. 

 

fug Cheney. fug Bush. fug Hillary and Kerry and every coward who voted us into that mess. I'm sure it made for some great entertainment during shock and awe. 



#22 GWBNostrils

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:45 PM

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. 

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



#23 cookinwithgas

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:03 PM

Unfortunately for the Taliban the US can't declare war on one guy, and lets face it "Taliban" is a scary name associated with some ideas Americans find distasteful, populated by scary looking bearded smelly guys carrying russian rifles.



#24 pstall

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:28 PM

so either we were attacked by the Tally Ban or AlQ or it was an inside job.

 

which was it?



#25 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:31 PM

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.

#26 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:35 PM

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.



#27 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:06 AM

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.



#28 NanuqoftheNorth

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:19 AM

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.

#29 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 07:09 AM

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.  



#30 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:26 AM

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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