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US Ambassador opposes troop increase in Afghanistan

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,134
37
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He does not want American troops dying for a corrupt government. I couldn't agree more.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8356094.stm

US envoy opposed to Afghan surge

The US ambassador in Kabul has written to the White House to oppose sending thousands more troops to Afghanistan.

In a leaked cable, Karl Eikenberry said President Karzai's government should first prove it would tackle corruption.

The message arrived amid intense debate over strategy, with President Obama yet to make a decision on troop numbers.

The dramatic intervention puts the ambassador - a former military commander in Afghanistan - at odds with generals seeking reinforcements.

On Wednesday, President Obama held his eighth meeting to discuss the question of whether to send tens of thousands more troops to confront the Taliban.

Mr Eikenberry sent the secret cable in the past week, according to US media reports.

Expressing concern about corruption in Afghanistan, he said it was "not a good idea" to send substantially more soldiers, the BBC has been told.

The diplomatic dispatch appears to be a dramatic and last-minute intervention by the ambassador, says BBC Washington correspondent Adam Brookes.

It comes right at the end of weeks of White House deliberation over how to proceed in Afghanistan, and appears to put the ambassador at odds with the US Army, whose generals favour reinforcing and intensifying America's campaign.

The US currently has some 68,000 troops in Afghanistan, among a coalition force of more than 100,000.

Military chief 'fuming'

Officials say the Obama administration considered several options at Wednesday's meeting, including:

• Deploying another 40,000 troops, the option pushed for by the top US military commander in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal

• Sending an additional 30,000 soldiers - a plan said to be favoured by Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm Mike Mullen

• Sending about 20,000 extra troops

• A fourth option added in the past week involves sending 10,000 to 15,000 more soldiers, according to US media reports

In weighing up the options, Mr Obama is also preoccupied with how long it would take to see results and be able to withdraw, officials said.

Gen McChrystal was said to be fuming about Mr Eikenberry's intervention.


But a statement issued by the White House after Wednesday afternoon's strategy meeting appeared to reflect some of the envoy's concerns.

"The president believes we need to make clear to the Afghan government that our commitment is not open ended," it said.

"After years of substantial investments by the American people, governance in Afghanistan must improve in a reasonable period of time."

Kabul hits back

The Obama administration is also known to have concerns about the reliability of the government of President Karzai, who was last week declared winner of August's widely criticised presidential election.

Speaking on a visit to the Philippines, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration had raised the issues of corruption and poor governance with President Karzai.

"I think the corruption issue really goes to the heart of whether the people of Afghanistan feel that the government is on their side, is working for them," she told reporters.

A spokesman for President Karzai insisted the Afghan administration was "serious" about tackling corruption.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Kabul says many Afghans are lukewarm about the prospect of extra troops and want to know what they would actually do.

They believe security has worsened as more troops have been sent to the country.

Afghan officials insist the training of local security forces needs to be the priority - so that their troops can lead the fight against the insurgents. Western military advisers are sceptical that this can be achieved soon, our correspondent says.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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Given that Eicenberry has been in Afghanistan for a very long time, and has had a major role as architect of past and totally failed Afghan policy, I am clueless why anyone in the world would pay attention to a word Eicenberry utters.

The other point to make is that he was silent when GWB&co was busily neglecting Afghanistan and in general screwing up everything, now that GWB is out of power, he has the unmitigated gall to make showy noises self proclaiming himself the only smart guy on the team. What is Eichenberry afraid of, maybe he is worried that Obama might actually improve somethings thereby making Eichenberry look as bad as he already is.
 

OCGuy

Lifer
Jul 12, 2000
27,220
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Time to bring 95% of the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Leaving strike squads who can act quickly on intel, in both Afgh. and Pakistan, is all we need. There is no such thing as "victory" in Afghanistan. The Russians learned this the hard way.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,333
4,032
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Time to bring 95% of the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq. Leaving strike squads who can act quickly on intel, in both Afgh. and Pakistan, is all we need. There is no such thing as "victory" in Afghanistan. The Russians learned this the hard way.
We aren't the Russians. Our latest crop of generals believe we can do nation building. The Powell doctrine is dead. Can do has returned to the military. They are confident in their capacities and the lessons they have learned.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
460
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I think one little ambassador is going to get a pro-mo-tion!

Amazing that Afghanistan was the "necessary war" when Democrats were out of power, but in a few months becomes the "unnecessary war" when Democrats are in power, huh? Screw it, we should just pull out completely. No way in hell we win this war when the party in power considers the USA to be the Great Satan, we're just wasting lives. Since we also can't guard the borders we'll just hunker down and wonder why they hate us, and point out that 3,000 dead in a single orchestrated terrorist attack is no big deal because more people die every year in traffic accidents.

Got to admit, he did bring change . . .
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
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He does not want American troops dying for a corrupt government.
-snip-
They are not there for a "corrupt" government, they are there to prevent AQ/Taliban from reconstituting to the point of being able to launch terrorists attacks on the Western world.

If supporting that governement is necessary to achieve that objective, then so be it.

Seems odd for many to have just now realized the faults of that government, or somehow suddenly the uber inportance of that.

Fern
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
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They are not there for a "corrupt" government, they are there to prevent AQ/Taliban from reconstituting to the point of being able to launch terrorists attacks on the Western world.

If supporting that governement is necessary to achieve that objective, then so be it.

Seems odd for many to have just now realized the faults of that government, or somehow suddenly the uber inportance of that.

Fern
But if we stay there and support a corrupt government, and help keep it in power, then we only fuel the fire causing the terrorism in the first place.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
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They are not there for a "corrupt" government, they are there to prevent AQ/Taliban from reconstituting to the point of being able to launch terrorists attacks on the Western world.

If supporting that governement is necessary to achieve that objective, then so be it.

Seems odd for many to have just now realized the faults of that government, or somehow suddenly the uber inportance of that.

Fern
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Its still impossible for us to get our arms around the fact that Eicenberry has suddenly realized the Afghan government is totally corrupt. What planet has he been hiding in and what Ostrich holes has been sticking his head in since 2003?

He has been in Afghanistan at least that long, its been long past time for him to protest, and why does he undercut McChrytal now?

Eichenberry deserves the promotion of being fired and elevated to a private citizen.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
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They are not there for a "corrupt" government, they are there to prevent AQ/Taliban from reconstituting to the point of being able to launch terrorists attacks on the Western world.

If supporting that governement is necessary to achieve that objective, then so be it.

Seems odd for many to have just now realized the faults of that government, or somehow suddenly the uber inportance of that.

Fern
But if we stay there and support a corrupt government, and help keep it in power, then we only fuel the fire causing the terrorism in the first place.
IDK about that. We weren't supporting any corrupt government in Afg when the AQ/Taliban plotted the 9-11 attacks.

I don't see the whole as quite as simple as either (1) we abandon Afg to the terrorists, or (2) do nation-building on the back of a corrupt government.

My point was that our objective in Afg is preventing the rebuilding of AQ/Taliban. The ambassador seems to think our primary mission is otherwise - support the Afg gov.

What should be done about that government is subject to differing opinions. But, IMO, whatever is done with it must be developed with the primary purpose of supporting our goal (against AQ/Taliban). Afg has never had a 'real' government (even though this one is democratically elected - maybe), and to suddenly find that this is a new problem is silly. There are ways to deal with it and still achieve our goals I believe.

I think most of this fuss now from Democrats, who earlier supported the war in Afg and a surge, is an effort to placate their anti-war brethren on the far left. I see many from the left now concerned that Obama may be more hawkish than they hoped. A "we can't fight terrorism there until their government is pure" is a way to win an argument before it starts. Cuz it ain't gonna be a 1st world-type government anytime soon.

To the extent any gov corruption aids Aq/Taliban, it must be stamped out (in accordance with our goal). But if they hand bribes to each other for business and other transactions, I don't care. That stuff is common in many places, and IMO irrelevent to our goal. Hell, let people here scream about vote fixing when we still have some arguing about our own election process (Bush v Kerry, ACORN etc)

Fern
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,134
37
91
They are not there for a "corrupt" government, they are there to prevent AQ/Taliban from reconstituting to the point of being able to launch terrorists attacks on the Western world.

If supporting that governement is necessary to achieve that objective, then so be it.

Seems odd for many to have just now realized the faults of that government, or somehow suddenly the uber inportance of that.

Fern
Ummm...we're nation-building now. We are subsidizing the Afghan Army. If the Karzai government continues to be corrupt, it will undermine our objectives and ultimately defeat them.
 

Ozoned

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2004
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/11/official-obama-does-not-a_n_354784.html

Obama: "Give me an exit plan"

Not a bad call, IMO. I'd rather he just get out of there, but this is refreshing. Question is, if there isn't a logical, doable, exit plan, will he then get us out of there?
If I were Obama, I would take advantage of the current political bickering going on in our press. I would let it play out until I hear a lot of chatter about the Taliban/Al-quada in Pakistan preparing a plan of returning to Afghanistan when the US pulls out, and then I would announce that The US is going to pull out, and then, instead, I would suck as many as I could into one big ass womping trap and destroy them. Of course, there could be up to 400,000 of them in Pakistan (By the Talibans account) and it would take quite a bit of time to set it all up.

My point is, You never know what is going on behind the scenes, and you never will.

One thing I do know is that Obama will not do anything, on purpose, that will makes himself look bad.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
460
126
They are not there for a "corrupt" government, they are there to prevent AQ/Taliban from reconstituting to the point of being able to launch terrorists attacks on the Western world.

If supporting that governement is necessary to achieve that objective, then so be it.

Seems odd for many to have just now realized the faults of that government, or somehow suddenly the uber inportance of that.

Fern
You, madam, are unusually wise and clear-thinking.
 

theflyingpig

Banned
Mar 9, 2008
5,616
18
0
Afghanistan is a hopeless mess. There is nothing to be gained by staying. It is a fact that this country does not have the will to win this war. The military is paid to win wars, so of course, they will never suggest a withdrawal. Therefore it lies on the civilian administration to give the order. Does Obama have the balls to get us out of that shithole?
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
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Ummm...we're nation-building now. We are subsidizing the Afghan Army. If the Karzai government continues to be corrupt, it will undermine our objectives and ultimately defeat them.
Are we nation building?

Or are we training their troops to take more responsibility against the AQ/Taliban?

I'm not sure we're involved in full-scale nation building, or anything to the extent that took place in Iraq. If some modest level of nation building is necessary to meet our objective there - fine. Persoanlly, I don't think 'real' nation building is appropriate in Afg.

I addressed corruption above; to the extent their corruption supports the AQ/Taliban it must be stopped. E.g., taking bribes from/and allowing AQ/Taliban owned poppy fields to make more money thereby funding their (AQ/Taliban) activities must be stopped. That's consistent with our goal.

Like I said, if it's just run-of-the-mill bribes and vote fixing efforts I don't care, nor do I think it relevant to our objective of surpressing the AQ/taliban. We have Congresspersons with stacks of cash in their freezer and ACORN voter activites etc. To people freaking over (general or unspecified) "corruption" I say "pot meet kettle" and who are we to throw the 1st stone. Nope, IMO those complaints/concerns are merely a subterfuge to achieve anti-war goals.

I'm not arguing we support corruption, but rather accepting that some level is likely unavoidable and suggesting we limit our concerns to where it's relevent to our objective.

I do not buy into the simplistic premise that (any) corruption there will defeat us in our objective (so we must withdraw in defeat now).

Fern
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
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IDK about that. We weren't supporting any corrupt government in Afg when the AQ/Taliban plotted the 9-11 attacks.
That's irrelevant though. The reasons stated for the 9/11 attacks were not bound by what was going on in Afghanistan. Nor is the hatred toward our country by Muslims.

I don't see the whole as quite as simple as either (1) we abandon Afg to the terrorists, or (2) do nation-building on the back of a corrupt government.

My point was that our objective in Afg is preventing the rebuilding of AQ/Taliban. The ambassador seems to think our primary mission is otherwise - support the Afg gov. What should be done about that government is subject to differing opinions. But, IMO, whatever is done with it must be developed with the primary purpose of supporting our goal (against AQ/Taliban). Afg has never had a 'real' government (even though this one is democratically elected - maybe), and to suddenly find that this is a new problem is silly. There are ways to deal with it and still achieve our goals I believe.

I think most of this fuss now from Democrats, who earlier supported the war in Afg and a surge, is an effort to placate their anti-war brethren on the far left. I see many from the left now concerned that Obama may be more hawkish than they hoped. A "we can't fight terrorism there until their government is pure" is a way to win an argument before it starts. Cuz it ain't gonna be a 1st world-type government anytime soon.

To the extent any gov corruption aids Aq/Taliban, it must be stamped out (in accordance with our goal). But if they hand bribes to each other for business and other transactions, I don't care. That stuff is common in many places, and IMO irrelevent to our goal. Hell, let people here scream about vote fixing when we still have some arguing about our own election process (Bush v Kerry, ACORN etc)
And how do you expect people to view us as we forcefully back a corrupt government? As hypocrites? Imperialists?

We are not going to "win" the "war on terror" by eliminating people. We can only win by eliminating ideas. You can't do that with force. And we certainly cannot do that by acting like hypocrites. If the only hatred toward us is without merit, that we should be attacked because we are wealthy and free, then we need not worry. But the hatred toward us fueled by our unfair and sometimes brutal acts overseas is of the greatest dangers to ourselves. So if we want to eliminate, or at least greatly decrease, the hatred toward us, it is not those overseas we need to fight, but ourselves here at home. We need to change our foreign policy, and doing so is not only a benefit to those overseas, but a benefit to us at home as well.
 

heyheybooboo

Diamond Member
Jun 29, 2007
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They are not there for a "corrupt" government, they are there to prevent AQ/Taliban from reconstituting to the point of being able to launch terrorists attacks on the Western world.

If supporting that governement is necessary to achieve that objective, then so be it.

Seems odd for many to have just now realized the faults of that government, or somehow suddenly the uber inportance of that.

Fern

According to the Congressional Research Service, contractors in 2009 accounted for 48 percent of the DOD work force in Iraq and 57 percent in Afghanistan. And the Pentagon is not the only government agency deploying contractors; the State Department and USAID make extensive use of them as well.

This is where I'm starting to waiver, Fern.

We don't know the depth of the full 'back-story' though I suspect there is significant 'Mission Creep' that is hardly related to the suppression of AQ.

I don't know what ""57% of the DOD work force in Afghanistan"" represents in financial or manpower terms --- and that's probably a good thing. I imagine most of us would go ballistic if we found out.

I also don't know what Uncle Sugar would have to contract-out if we upped force strength 40k in Afghanistan but I think it certainly needs to be part of the debate --- not only within the USA but with our fair-weather allies.

I appreciate the efforts of our allies in Afghanistan - they are a big part of our force structure BUT what I really want to know is how much of the US troop escalation covers the removal of troops by other countries?

I think we all need to know that, too, so that it can be part of the debate.


I know he may be a bit 'progressive' in his thinking for some folks but the above quote comes from a Tom Friedman op-ed. I generally appreciate his clarity of thought and vision ---- certainly gives us all a little food for thought.

Here's the article: Best allies money can buy

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Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
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-snip-
And how do you expect people to view us as we forcefully back a corrupt government? As hypocrites? Imperialists?
While I'll take exception, or disagree with your inclusion of the word "forcefully" in that sentence, I'll ignore it and answer your question by saying I think they should view us a pragmatists.

In Iraq, we broke it so we had to fix it. That's not the case with Afg. We went there to punish those who attacked us and prevent it from happening again. We don't owe them a "good governement", or anything else for that matter. We owe ourselves whatever level of decent functioning government it takes to meet our objectives. The rest is their's to work on as they see fit.

We are not going to "win" the "war on terror" by eliminating people. We can only win by eliminating ideas. You can't do that with force. And we certainly cannot do that by acting like hypocrites. If the only hatred toward us is without merit, that we should be attacked because we are wealthy and free, then we need not worry. But the hatred toward us fueled by our unfair and sometimes brutal acts overseas is of the greatest dangers to ourselves. So if we want to eliminate, or at least greatly decrease, the hatred toward us, it is not those overseas we need to fight, but ourselves here at home. We need to change our foreign policy, and doing so is not only a benefit to those overseas, but a benefit to us at home as well.
We seem to have two areas of substantial difference of opinion here:

1) I don't equate the Karzi government with that of the USA. Yet I get the impression that you do. In Iraq many felt that gov was a puppet we installed. I didn't really buy into that personally, but can understand how some got that impression. So, contary to Afg, I can see how bad/brutal acts of the Iraq reflected directly on us. But not Afganistan.

To be clear, I do not think our government should support the Karzi gov in corruption or bad/brutal acts. And to the extent that there's a (false) impression we do, it should be combatted by better communication efforts etc.

2) Eliminating ideas? If anything is a definition of 'impossible' well that's got to be at the top of the list. And I get the impression that you think we need to change ourselves to please these people. I'm not interested in conforming to the morals/ways/philosophies of these people.

Nope, I'm not willing to submit to them in some sort of effort or hope to placate them. We weren't there for longest time before 9-11, I don't think we'd be there now if not for 9-11. So, I'm totally unsympathetic to any Afgani who's now angry with us because we're over there. Don't want nothin, don't start nothin.

To the extent we make ourselves look good (according to our standards) without compromising our principals and it doesn't adversely effect our goal - I'm fine with that.

I've already said I don't support nation building over there, neither do I support a big winning "hearts and minds" thingy. That's as costly, as troublesome, as doubtful and as difficult as nation building, IMO. I say that because in this discussion here, I see some of you equating the concepts (nation building = creating good Afg government = winning hearts and minds etc). It's all getting bundled up into one big huge massive undo-able thing. I prefer much more modest efforts in obtaining our goal.

Fern
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
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While I'll take exception, or disagree with your inclusion of the word "forcefully" in that sentence, I'll ignore it and answer your question by saying I think they should view us a pragmatists.
Well, no offense, but it doesn't matter what you think. You have to put yourself in their shoes, and see how they would think.

In Iraq, we broke it so we had to fix it. That's not the case with Afg. We went there to punish those who attacked us and prevent it from happening again. We don't owe them a "good governement", or anything else for that matter. We owe ourselves whatever level of decent functioning government it takes to meet our objectives. The rest is their's to work on as they see fit.
Again, you're not putting yourself in their shoes. And that last sentence is really a contradictory statement. We constantly state that we help spread freedom and democracy, and we only look like hypocrites in backing yet another corrupt regime.

We seem to have two areas of substantial difference of opinion here:

1) I don't equate the Karzi government with that of the USA. Yet I get the impression that you do. In Iraq many felt that gov was a puppet we installed. I didn't really buy into that personally, but can understand how some got that impression. So, contary to Afg, I can see how bad/brutal acts of the Iraq reflected directly on us. But not Afganistan.

To be clear, I do not think our government should support the Karzi gov in corruption or bad/brutal acts. And to the extent that there's a (false) impression we do, it should be combatted by better communication efforts etc.
Well, looking back at what I said, let me be more clear. We have committed unjust and brutal acts well before we invaded Iraq, and before the 9-11 attacks. And thus, we give merit to the reasons "they" have for attacking us.


2) Eliminating ideas? If anything is a definition of 'impossible' well that's got to be at the top of the list.
It was a figure of speech, and appropriate in the context in which I said it.

And I get the impression that you think we need to change ourselves to please these people. I'm not interested in conforming to the morals/ways/philosophies of these people.
We don't need to. We do not need to conform to their way of life and their ideals, and that isn't what they would require of us. What is in their interest, and in our own, is that we act in a just manner overseas. That we have respect for human life outside our own border, just as we do within. And when there are skirmishes in other regions of the world, we aught to consider allowing those who reside in those regions to provide the necessary justice. We need to stop throwing our weight around, we need to stop acting like a bully.

And this is not just in their interest, but our interest as well. We spend lots of money overseas, almost $1 trillion per year. And we put American citizens' lives in danger when we act unjust overseas, and their reaction is to come here and act in an unjust manner out of revenge.

Nope, I'm not willing to submit to them in some sort of effort or hope to placate them. We weren't there for longest time before 9-11, I don't think we'd be there now if not for 9-11. So, I'm totally unsympathetic to any Afgani who's now angry with us because we're over there. Don't want nothin, don't start nothin.
Oh, please. Now you're just being ridiculous. We've been "over there" for many decades. So, your last statement is actually quite ironic, and if you can see them saying that to you, perhaps you could understand where some of them are coming from.

To the extent we make ourselves look good (according to our standards) without compromising our principals and it doesn't adversely effect our goal - I'm fine with that.
Well, good, because that's all we really have to do.

I've already said I don't support nation building over there, neither do I support a big winning "hearts and minds" thingy. That's as costly, as troublesome, as doubtful and as difficult as nation building, IMO. I say that because in this discussion here, I see some of you equating the concepts (nation building = creating good Afg government = winning hearts and minds etc). It's all getting bundled up into one big huge massive undo-able thing. I prefer much more modest efforts in obtaining our goal.
If our goal is to stop terrorist attacks on our soil, and I hope that is the case, then in the long run, there's only one way to achieve that goal.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
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Please do not be absurd, of course we are nation building in Afghanistan.

Gulf war one was an example of not nation building, we got in, softened up Iraq with bombing, then put troops on the ground, that caused an almost immediate Iraqi surrender. And original mission accomplished, the limited objective of Saddam leaving Kuwait was accomplished. AND THEN WE IMMEDIATELY GOT OUT, the most important part.

In Iraq Gulf War 2, it took just a week for ground troops to reach Baghdad, The Iraqi Government of Saddam fell, yet we are still there today. WHY would we still be there if we were not Nation building?

In Afghanistan it took longer, but we quickly chased all of the Taliban and Al-Quida out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan soon after the trap at Tora Bora leaked to permit that enemy exile from Afghanistan. Yet five plus years later we are still in Afghanistan, and why would that be if we were not nation building!
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
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This is where I'm starting to waiver, Fern.

We don't know the depth of the full 'back-story' though I suspect there is significant 'Mission Creep' that is hardly related to the suppression of AQ.

I don't know what ""57% of the DOD work force in Afghanistan"" represents in financial or manpower terms --- and that's probably a good thing. I imagine most of us would go ballistic if we found out.
-snip-
Wow, that doesn't sound good.

I went and hunted up the report by the Congressional Research Service. According to the report the DoD doesn't specify what the contractors do, but we know they are in linguistics, transportation, logistics and construction.

The number Friedman's quoting is the peak (at least on that chart in the report). The vast majority of contrators (70% or more) are local Afganis.

I really don't want to see nation building. There's never ever been a nation there before, what gives somebody the damn fool idea that we can build one there now?

For some reason, which is inexplicable to me, some people have become magically convinced that we can't stamp out terrorism in Afganistan without nation building. If there was some (persuasive) memo explaining why, I didn't get it.

I don't know what all the Afganis were hired for, but I'm willing to give the military the benefit of the doubt (but not Washington politicians). If the military wants to spread a little money around, fine. I don't see anywhere in the report where money is specifically addressed, I did notice $12.5 M discussed, but that's peanuts by today's standard.

I don't pretend to personally know if more troops are required. And I'm not sure why Obama chose McChrystal, or what mission they've agreed upon. I do hope it's not nation building and think Obama ought to give the general what he thinks he needs.

Unfortunately, I think he's playing politics with the request. IMO, that's no way to get the job done. I understand the need for Americans' support. But Americans will support something if it's successful, so give the general what he needs instead of trying to guage what level of troops is political correct or popular ATM.

Lastly, I've gotten the impression that this administration, and those in Washington, have no idea what to do in Afganisatn. They're in disarray and fumbling around. Obama and his advisors have had about 2 years to figure out what they wanna do. (We know during the campaign process they give this issue a lot of study, then about a year has passed since his election.) If anything's been changing, it's not in Afganistan, it's the political landscape here - I'm smelling a boat-load of triangulation going on in DC now.

Link to the CRS Report, Afganistan starts on the bopttom of page 9: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40764.pdf

Fern
 
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Fern

Elite Member
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Sep 30, 2003
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Please do not be absurd, of course we are nation building in Afghanistan.

Gulf war one was an example of not nation building, we got in, softened up Iraq with bombing, then put troops on the ground, that caused an almost immediate Iraqi surrender. And original mission accomplished, the limited objective of Saddam leaving Kuwait was accomplished. AND THEN WE IMMEDIATELY GOT OUT, the most important part.

In Iraq Gulf War 2, it took just a week for ground troops to reach Baghdad, The Iraqi Government of Saddam fell, yet we are still there today. WHY would we still be there if we were not Nation building?
What the heck are you talking about?

Iraq and Afganistan are two seperate matter, quite dissimilar. We all know we're involved in nation building in Iraq, it's been said so in this thread.

In Afghanistan it took longer, but we quickly chased all of the Taliban and Al-Quida out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan soon after the trap at Tora Bora leaked to permit that enemy exile from Afghanistan. Yet five plus years later we are still in Afghanistan, and why would that be if we were not nation building!
IDK, but there are other reasons than nation building. I'm don't know what tactics the military has been pursuing there, the MSM doesn't report on it (I get a NYT paper, they got zip). It might be that we chase AQ/Taliban from one side of Afganistan to other, then back again (or across the beloved patriot border, then back again). Sort of like squeezing a balloon, the air just shifts around. AFAIK, the only way to stop that is a "take, hold then expand" strategy and IDK if they're doing that over there. JoS would probably know.

Fern
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
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I just have to love the Fern Statement of, "For some reason, which is inexplicable to me, some people have become magically convinced that we can't stamp out terrorism in Afganistan without nation building. If there was some (persuasive) memo explaining why, I didn't get it."

In short, Fern is looking for that US written memo explaining it all??????????????????????

Maybe we look for that long lost US VietNam memo explaining how to win.

Or maybe we should look for the long lost Russian written Memo of how they were going to win in Afghanistan. The Russians must have misplaced the memo which would explain why they lost when they realized they misplaced their own memo.

Maybe its time for us all to get a clue, when you destroy the existing government in an invasion, nothing but anarchy is left behind. Then if nothing else, home grown thugs take over, leaving the new government worse than than the old government the invaders removed.

And what we got in Afghanistan by staying and trying to half ass things is actually the worst of all possible alternatives, we got a totally corrupt replacement government, we are still there, and the Afghan people hate us worse than the Taliban who are now back in control.

And what the occupied people think is far more important than the little memo's the occupying army writes, because the Afghan people have to live with the Katrina treatment.

In short, in any military occupation, you go big or stay at home. In terms of half assing things, we did not even commit the resources to half half half ass it, and yet we expected to succeed? McNamara was one one of our smartest DOD's, Rumsfeld was also whip smart, but their arrogance and ego over rode reality.
 

Fern

Elite Member
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Sep 30, 2003
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-snip-
Maybe its time for us all to get a clue, when you destroy the existing government in an invasion, nothing but anarchy is left behind. Then if nothing else, home grown thugs take over, leaving the new government worse than than the old government the invaders removed.
You continue to act as though Afganistan was a real country with a functioning government etc.

We're just not gonna agree about this, to me it's never been anything other than some 'badlands' controlled by various tribes of diverse ethnicity. It's no more a country than Germany was back when inhabited by the barbarians that sacked Rome.

Fern
 

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