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Roosveltrepub
02 Jul 10,, 19:52
The Associated Press: GOP chairman: Afghan 'war of Obama's choosing' (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iJfKyF4dmzX9mGbFD8GBKIjs1rWwD9GN2DSG0)

So the Chairman of the Republican party believes war in Afganistan was optional? I suppose those 911 attackers really trained in Iraq. If He survives this how do you justify supporting a party with him as the the Chairman?

Roosveltrepub
02 Jul 10,, 19:52
The pisser is he was speaking to the base...any boos? I live in Ct if I had known he was here and had said that crap I'd of been picketing.

gunnut
02 Jul 10,, 20:14
Michael Steele is way too liberal to be a republican.

But then again, the republicans today are more like democrat lite.

Roosveltrepub
02 Jul 10,, 20:28
He is the Chairman of the Republican party till he isn't what he says comes from the lips of the titular head of the party. Can you imagine if Terry McAuliffe had said Afganistan was an optional war? Epix threads would of ensued.

highsea
07 Jul 10,, 18:56
It was Obama's decision to launch the counterinsurgency (something he was completely opposed to in Iraq).

When the Taliban were driven out of Kandahar, there were 410 US soldiers in Afghanistan. As a result of that light footprint, Afghans see the defeat of the Taliban as an Afghan victory (rightfully so).

The decision to turn Afghanistan into a nation building excercise is Obama's decision. Now many Afghans look at us as occupiers, and whether or not the Iraq strategy will carry over to Afghanistan is still highly uncertain.

Roosveltrepub
07 Jul 10,, 19:09
It was Obama's decision to launch the counterinsurgency (something he was completely opposed to in Iraq).

When the Taliban were driven out of Kandahar, there were 410 US soldiers in Afghanistan. As a result of that light footprint, Afghans see the defeat of the Taliban as an Afghan victory (rightfully so).

The decision to turn Afghanistan into a nation building excercise is Obama's decision. Now many Afghans look at us as occupiers, and whether or not the Iraq strategy will carry over to Afghanistan is still highly uncertain.

If that isn't a complete comdemnation of Republican Leadership in the war I don't think I've ever read one. The Afgan army? I'd love to hear what others here have to say about that organizations readiness in Jan 2009. So, you are saying fighting Al Queda and the Taliban was an optional war????????? What, we should of just left them alone to go back to business as usual pre 9/11. It's like saying the intial invasion of afganistan was an option. I can't believe Bluesman thinks people like me are the problem ....

Officer of Engineers
07 Jul 10,, 19:22
The Afgan army? I'd love to hear what others here have to say about that organizations readiness in Jan 2009.More than strong enough to kill the Taliban and Al Qaeda - if we let them fight the war that they know how to fight - every man, woman, child, dog dies.

gunnut
07 Jul 10,, 19:23
If that isn't a complete comdemnation of Republican Leadership in the war I don't think I've ever read one. The Afgan army? I'd love to hear what others here have to say about that organizations readiness in Jan 2009. So, you are saying fighting Al Queda and the Taliban was an optional war????????? What, we should of just left them alone to go back to business as usual pre 9/11. It's like saying the intial invasion of afganistan was an option. I can't believe Bluesman thinks people like me are the problem ....

I would say Bluesman thinks republicans like Michael Steele are the problem, along with people like you. :))

dalem
07 Jul 10,, 19:30
Steele's an idiot and a terrible RNC chairman. He's been saying and doing stupid things in that position since he was elected to it.

-dale

highsea
07 Jul 10,, 20:02
If that isn't a complete comdemnation of Republican Leadership in the war I don't think I've ever read one.Um, Obama's a democrat.


The Afgan army? I'd love to hear what others here have to say about that organizations readiness in Jan 2009.There are plenty of posts here on that subject.

Mine was not one of those.

So, you are saying fighting Al Queda and the Taliban was an optional war????????? What, we should of just left them alone to go back to business as usual pre 9/11.Not what I said. The Bush administration gave the Taliban the option of giving up OBL, which they declined.

We responded by sending in SpecOps who organized Afghan forces to overthrow the Taliban. In December of 2001, when the Taliban were defeated and driven out of their main city of Kandahar, we had 410 soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Taliban were defeated with Afghan forces supported by US SpecOps and air power. Al Qaida was on the run, but we screwed up in letting OBL get away into Pakistan.

The war was over- all that was left was the hunt for OBL and those Taliban like Mullah Omar that didn't defect to the winning side. A lot of them did defect, and are now part of the Afghan government.

We stayed in Afghanistan to keep pressure on Al Qaida and the Taliban in Pakistan. The fragmented nature of Afghan militias meant that they couldn't really hold the Taliban away completely, so it simmered at a low level for the following years. But that didn't pose a threat to the US then, and it doesn't today.

The decision to ramp up US presence and turn it into a nation building excercise came from Obama.

It's like saying the intial invasion of afganistan was an option.It was an option, which we chose not to exercise. Instead we chose to use local militias. What that shows is that we had paid attention to the Russian lesson in Afghanistan, and didn't want to repeat their mistakes.

I can't believe Bluesman thinks people like me are the problem ....I don't speak for Bluesman.

troung
10 Jul 10,, 01:19
Bill Kristol Must Resign
by Ann Coulter
07/07/2010
Bill Kristol Must Resign - HUMAN EVENTS (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37950)

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele was absolutely right. Afghanistan is Obama's war and, judging by other recent Democratic ventures in military affairs, isn't likely to turn out well.

It has been idiotically claimed that Steele's statement about Afghanistan being Obama's war is "inaccurate" -- as if Steele is unaware Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after 9/11. (No one can forget that -- even liberals pretended to support that war for three whole weeks.)

Yes, Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after 9/11. Within the first few months we had toppled the Taliban, killed or captured hundreds of al-Qaida fighters and arranged for democratic elections, resulting in an American-friendly government.


Then Bush declared success and turned his attention to Iraq, leaving minimal troops behind in Afghanistan to prevent Osama bin Laden from regrouping, swat down al-Qaida fighters and gather intelligence.

Having some vague concept of America's national interest -- unlike liberals -- the Bush administration could see that a country of illiterate peasants living in caves ruled by "warlords" was not a primo target for "nation-building."

By contrast, Iraq had a young, educated, pro-Western populace that was ideal for regime change.

If Saddam Hussein had been a peach, it would still be a major victory in the war on terrorism to have a Muslim Israel in that part of the globe, and it sure wasn't going to be Afghanistan (literacy rate, 19 percent; life expectancy, 44 years; working toilets, 7).

But Iraq also was a state sponsor of terrorism; was attempting to build nuclear weapons (according to endless bipartisan investigations in this country and in Britain -- thanks, liberals!); nurtured and gave refuge to Islamic terrorists -- including the 1993 World Trade Center bombers; was led by a mass murderer who had used weapons of mass destruction; paid bonuses to the families of suicide bombers; had vast oil reserves; and is situated at the heart of a critical region.

Having absolutely no interest in America's national security, the entire Democratic Party (save Joe Lieberman) wailed about the war in Iraq for five years, pretending they really wanted to go great-guns in Afghanistan. What the heck: They had already voted for the war in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 when they would have been hanged as traitors had they objected.

The obsession with Afghanistan was pure rhetoric. Democrats have no interest in fighting any war that would serve America's interests. (They're too jammed with their wars against Evangelicals, Wal-Mart, the Pledge of Allegiance, SUVs and the middle class.) Absent Iraq, they'd have been bad-mouthing Afghanistan, too.

So for the entire course of the magnificently successful war in Iraq, all we heard from these useless Democrats was that Iraq was a "war of choice," while Afghanistan -- the good war! -- was a "war of necessity." "Bush took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan!" "He got distracted by war in Iraq!" "WHERE'S OSAMA?" and -- my favorite -- "Iraq didn't attack us on 9/11!"

Of course, neither did Afghanistan. But Democrats were in a lather and couldn't be bothered with the facts.

The above complaints about Iraq come -- nearly verbatim -- from speeches and press conferences by Obama, Joe Biden, and Obama's national security advisers Susan Rice and Richard Clarke. Also, the entire gutless Democratic Party. Some liberals began including them in their wedding vows.

(By the way, Democrats: WHERE'S OSAMA?)

Obama hasn't ramped up the war in Afghanistan based on a careful calculation of America's strategic objectives. He did it because he was trapped by his own rhetorical game of bashing the Iraq war while pretending to be a hawk on Afghanistan.

At this point, Afghanistan is every bit as much Obama's war as Vietnam was Lyndon Johnson's war. True, President Kennedy was the first to send troops to Vietnam. We had 16,000 troops in Vietnam when JFK was assassinated. Within four years, LBJ had sent 400,000 troops there.

In the entire seven-year course of the Afghanistan war under Bush, from October 2001 to January 2009, 625 American soldiers were killed. In 18 short months, Obama has nearly doubled that number to 1,124 Americans killed.

Republicans used to think seriously about deploying the military. President Eisenhower sent aid to South Vietnam, but said he could not "conceive of a greater tragedy" for America than getting heavily involved there.

As Michael Steele correctly noted, every great power that's tried to stage an all-out war in Afghanistan has gotten its ass handed to it. Everyone knows it's not worth the trouble and resources to take a nation of rocks and brigands.

Based on Obama's rules of engagement for our troops in Afghanistan, we're apparently not even fighting a war. The greatest fighting force in the world is building vocational schools and distributing cheese crackers to children.

There's even talk of giving soldiers medals for NOT shooting people, which I gather will be awarded posthumously. Naomi Campbell is rougher with her assistants than our troops are allowed to be with Taliban fighters.

But now I hear it is the official policy of the Republican Party to be for all wars, irrespective of our national interest.

What if Obama decides to invade England because he's still ticked off about that Churchill bust? Can Michael Steele and I object to that? Or would that demoralize the troops?

Our troops are the most magnificent in the world, but they're not the ones setting military policy. The president is -- and he's basing his war strategy on the chants of Moveon.org cretins.

Nonetheless, Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney have demanded that Steele resign as head of the RNC for saying Afghanistan is now Obama's war -- and a badly thought-out one at that. (Didn't liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war?)

I thought the irreducible requirements of Republicanism were being for life, small government and a strong national defense, but I guess permanent war is on the platter now, too.

Of course, if Kristol is writing the rules for being a Republican, we're all going to have to get on board for amnesty and a "National Greatness Project," too other Kristol ideas for the Republican Party. Also, John McCain. Kristol was an early backer of McCain for president -- and look how great that turned out!

Inasmuch as demanding resignations is another new Republican position, here's mine: Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney must resign immediately.

Ann Coulter is Legal Affairs Correspondent for HUMAN EVENTS and author of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Slander," ""How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)," "Godless," "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans" and most recently, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and their Assault on America.

bonehead
10 Jul 10,, 19:16
It is so sad seeing the fall of the greatest country on earth. Simply because we have too many Democrats, too many Republicans, too many special interests, and too many illegals, but not nearly enough true AMERICANS.

Dreadnought
10 Jul 10,, 20:30
It is so sad seeing the fall of the greatest country on earth. Simply because we have too many Democrats, too many Republicans, too many special interests, and too many illegals, but not nearly enough true AMERICANS.

Nah, theres plenty of them around.:biggrin:

Were not falling just experiencing a different shift in policy. When the next President is elected his/her policy will differ as well.;)

JAD_333
10 Jul 10,, 21:56
RR:

Steele was talking about the war as it is being conducted now.

Didn't Obama revamp the strategy radically? Sure he did. Otherwise, why would the media have a made a big deal last year out of Biden disagreeing with him?

It's Obama's war now.

JAD_333
10 Jul 10,, 22:11
It is so sad seeing the fall of the greatest country on earth. Simply because we have too many Democrats, too many Republicans, too many special interests, and too many illegals, but not nearly enough true AMERICANS.

I respect your perspective, but you should not assert it as a fact, since the fact has not been established. I see only a dip in the fortunes of a nation, which even the greatest experience.

The cure for you is to get to know those Dems and Republicans because most of them are damn good Americans. Don't succumb to the Sputnik syndrome. Ponder the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, the dark period going into WWII. Our progress is always been marked by ups and downs. It can't be otherwise. Never underestimate the American people.

Be positive.:)

Shek
11 Jul 10,, 00:06
It was Obama's decision to launch the counterinsurgency (something he was completely opposed to in Iraq).

When the Taliban were driven out of Kandahar, there were 410 US soldiers in Afghanistan. As a result of that light footprint, Afghans see the defeat of the Taliban as an Afghan victory (rightfully so).

The decision to turn Afghanistan into a nation building excercise is Obama's decision. Now many Afghans look at us as occupiers, and whether or not the Iraq strategy will carry over to Afghanistan is still highly uncertain.

Bush 43 made the call on COIN and nation building. Bush 43 set the glidepath to a larger deployment thanks to the Rumsfeldian notion of doing it on the cheap in the early years - Obama simply made the decision that Bush would have (minus setting a summer 2011 deadline for ending the surge) made in terms of doubling down if Bush had had another 1+ in office.

JAD_333
11 Jul 10,, 06:58
Bush 43 made the call on COIN and nation building. Bush 43 set the glidepath to a larger deployment thanks to the Rumsfeldian notion of doing it on the cheap in the early years - Obama simply made the decision that Bush would have (minus setting a summer 2011 deadline for ending the surge) made in terms of doubling down if Bush had had another 1+ in office.

But Obama made the decision. Whether Bush would have or not is conjecture. He might well have done it Biden's way. At least, I don't see him being happy with the current ROE.

S2
11 Jul 10,, 08:13
Bush missed our window of opportunity between 2002-2006. Obama missed our chance to pull out in 2009. Nothing we can't do to Al Qaeda from Afghanistan that can't be done by a counter-terror task force anchored offshore in the Indian ocean.

All the rest is pissin' in the wind. What doesn't dry on us is dribbling down a drain.

Shek
11 Jul 10,, 12:56
But Obama made the decision. Whether Bush would have or not is conjecture. He might well have done it Biden's way. At least, I don't see him being happy with the current ROE.

True, it would be conjecture, but given that he went all in for Iraq, and then took all brigades as they then became available post-Iraq surge and sent them to Afghanistan, the overwhelming Vegas odds would have been on an Afghanistan "surge."

As to the ROE, I'd disagree there. McChrystal had a PR problem, both externally and internally. Petraeus tightened up the ROE in Iraq during the surge, and they exponentially increased the number of airstrikes and artillery fired. He made sure to communicate to troops and commanders not just what you couldn't do, but also what you could do. Based on the RS article and some recent WaPo articles, it sounds like McChrystal had agreement on the principles of his ROE shift, but then nervous Nelly subordinate commands have further restricted matters as opposed to then opening up the floodgates within the ROE. That's a communication/incentive problem that can be fixed by leadership.

Bottomline, since I strayed off of topic, he might have some issues with the execution of the ROE, but that would have been private, and he would have supported his generals in public just like he always did. Additionally, the fact that SecDef Gates was involved would have made Bush 43 step back some as well.

Roosveltrepub
11 Jul 10,, 15:39
We pulled out in 2009 and we would of returned to the status quo of 2000. The goverment was in retreat with us there. The Taliban ran a shadow goverment in much of the country. Troung if Warlords were running the place why are we fighting the Taliban? Could they maybe be connected??? We would of been lobbing cruise missiles at training camps with in a few years....once again. We cannot leave a Taliban that is allied with Al Queda in control of large parts of the country and not expect a repeat of past problems.

Shek
11 Jul 10,, 18:19
We pulled out in 2009 and we would of returned to the status quo of 2000. The goverment was in retreat with us there. The Taliban ran a shadow goverment in much of the country. Troung if Warlords were running the place why are we fighting the Taliban? Could they maybe be connected??? We would of been lobbing cruise missiles at training camps with in a few years....once again. We cannot leave a Taliban that is allied with Al Queda in control of large parts of the country and not expect a repeat of past problems.

It wouldn't return to the status quo ante bellum. We'd still have a huge CIA/SF footprint (huge relative to their capabilities, not # of people) with all the social network contacts that we've built in the past decade. There'd be direct action activities along with much better intel for the JDAM (vice Tomahawk) strikes.

Roosveltrepub
11 Jul 10,, 21:14
It wouldn't return to the status quo ante bellum. We'd still have a huge CIA/SF footprint (huge relative to their capabilities, not # of people) with all the social network contacts that we've built in the past decade. There'd be direct action activities along with much better intel for the JDAM (vice Tomahawk) strikes.

Still, the idea of ceding control of the countryside to a Taliban allied with Al Queda seems unacceptable. We have more of a strategic interest in Afganistan than we ever had engaging in Iraq. I'd agree with the idea of leaving if those in control wouldn't likely just allow more plots like the 911 attacks to occur.

Officer of Engineers
11 Jul 10,, 21:17
Still, the idea of ceding control of the countryside to a Taliban allied with Al Queda seems unacceptable.What makes you so sure the Taliban is going to win?

troung
11 Jul 10,, 22:29
We pulled out in 2009 and we would of returned to the status quo of 2000. The goverment was in retreat with us there. The Taliban ran a shadow goverment in much of the country. Troung if Warlords were running the place why are we fighting the Taliban? Could they maybe be connected??? We would of been lobbing cruise missiles at training camps with in a few years....once again.

Other then a joke article by Ann Coulter (not meant to be such on her part) I haven't posted anything, yet.


We cannot leave a Taliban that is allied with Al Queda in control of large parts of the country and not expect a repeat of past problems.

I cannot see Tajiks/Uzbeks/Hazaras caring about the Taliban hiding behind Pasthun women and kids, giving out awards for not shooting, showing respect for two timing tribal chiefs, or really caring about building up village wells in the south. Keep Pakistan out of there (actually placing crippling sanctions on the government and all of their people if they do anything) and send some money, ditch Karzai, and then keep the media away and who knows it might turn out fine for us.

Who really gives a shit if some Pasthuns get burned alive, raped, robbed or shot; if it saves us money and keeps us safe at night?


The Afgan army? I'd love to hear what others here have to say about that organizations readiness in Jan 2009.

Far from NATO standard but might be one of the best trained collections of "Afghans" since Durrani romped around.

Officer of Engineers
12 Jul 10,, 02:38
I am actually dismayed about all of this. We are in a FAR BETTER POSITION when the Soviets left. We've armed the populace and we've SIDED WITH THE BIGGEST FACTION. The only thing we have NOT DONE is to unleashed them. We have the biggest and baddest warlords on our side and they are itching to get to their enemies.

The thing is ... and this is what is left unsaid ... and Pakistan is now only coming to terms with this ... both sides are waiting for NATO to leave ... for the inevitable blood bath ... and China, the US, Russia, and India has chosen sides ... and it ain't the one Pakistan is counting on.

troung
12 Jul 10,, 03:14
We are in a FAR BETTER POSITION when the Soviets left.

x2 - For those that don't know; we have factions who were opposed to the USSR inside the ANA and face a far smaller opposition then the Soviets did.


We have the biggest and baddest warlords on our side and they are itching to get to their enemies.

Totally agree; can't see morale being very high in building up Pasthun villages and cow-towing to two timing Pasthun tribal chiefs; but unleashed to break the back of Pasthun power once and for all in Afghanistan with foreign help is a different thing. No power points, no ethnic studies, no foreign snake oil COIN salesmen; just 13th century COIN.


The only thing we have NOT DONE is to unleashed them.

Being the good guys the option is removed from the table without any real discussion on it.

Officer of Engineers
12 Jul 10,, 05:04
Being the good guys the option is removed from the table without any real discussion on it.Like I said, both sides are waiting for NATO to leave ... but NATO, like Moscow before, is not leaving without stacking the odds.

Mihais
12 Jul 10,, 10:05
Devil's advocate reporting.
For how long will NATO support logistically the ANA?2 years,maybe 3-4.How long it takes for another crisis to occur,that will shift our priorities elsewhere.
ANA may be the best ''trained'' Afghan force in decades.But how long will it take the warlords to turn against each other?
Breaking Pashtun power/inflicting a genocide/ethnic cleansing means marching S in strength with heavy weapons.A light force will achieve nothing against an equally equipped force defending their homes.The ANA is not the Pakistani Army in Balochistan or Swat.I doubt the ANA will control the roads the way we do.The Soviets ultimately failed in this matter and it cost them the campaign.Even with Western intel &SF support they're not likely to manage it.Also,air lift is not their forte and it won't be this century.
And if they don't kill the Pashtun the first time,we're back where we were in 2000.I'm afraid we managed to waste perfectly good blood,time&money.Next time we should send the press to jail for 3 months followed a 10 minutes/battery fire mission/village.Artillery should start justifying its existence.:biggrin:
The real disease is in us.We forgot what war is.No doubt that I'll be considered by some the nadir of their civilization for saying that.

S2
12 Jul 10,, 10:57
"The real disease is in us.We forgot what war is.No doubt that I'll be considered by some the nadir of their civilization for saying that."

Thousand points of light and a kinder, gentler hand with all the attendant rot. We seek to redeem our enemies and coddle fickle allies. Too late to reverse matters, IMV, but the bureaucratic momentum has a self-sustaining quality that promotes a life of its own once let loose on an unsuspecting world. There's a power-point COIN industry of self-annointed experts and theorists that must be fed. Billions of dollars worth of programs are at stake and PhDs must justify their expense on our latest, greatest social reclamation project.

"...Artillery should start justifying its existence..."

Never fired more efficiently with less. No telling what my beloved tubes would accomplished if unleashed to our full potential. Infantry generals run this war. Shame on them for forgetting the principles of cold steel and fiery guns...

Officer of Engineers
12 Jul 10,, 13:20
For how long will NATO support logistically the ANA?2 years,maybe 3-4.How long it takes for another crisis to occur,that will shift our priorities elsewhere.Two other powers are involved. China and Russia. Neither wants nor will tolerate another Taliban Afghanistan.

astralis
12 Jul 10,, 13:42
S-2,


Infantry generals run this war. Shame on them for forgetting the principles of cold steel and fiery guns...


it's not them that ultimately dictate how the war is run-- it's the people, ultimately, as you've pointed out in the past.

you can't run a world war 2 style campaign, let alone a genghis khan style campaign, without a desire for blood. people were not only okay with japanese civilians getting incinerated, but cheered the bombers on.

so you have to work with what you got, to paraphrase the broken-clock rumsfeld.

in any case, afghanistan is but one part of the larger campaign, and while it's fully possible to turn THAT place into a sea of blood if we so wished, i'm not sure if it'll have the effect you want on the global level.

Officer of Engineers
12 Jul 10,, 13:55
it's not them that ultimately dictate how the war is run-- it's the people, ultimately, as you've pointed out in the past.We had that once just right after 11 Sept. I fully expected the US to tac nuke Tora Bora.

astralis
12 Jul 10,, 15:36
col yu,


We had that once just right after 11 Sept. I fully expected the US to tac nuke Tora Bora.

you know, i've asked a lot of people why that didn't happen, and no one really ever had a good response. as far as i can see, the only reason why was because our senior leadership didn't think it was necessary. they'd just seen a few hundred snake-eaters collapse the taliban in less than two-three months. they were right... up until late 2005.

S2
12 Jul 10,, 18:39
"it's not them [infantry generals] that ultimately dictate how the war is run-- it's the people, ultimately, as you've pointed out in the past."

You're cramping my desire to disparage on behalf of BRANCH considerations. No fun.

"you can't run a world war 2 style campaign, let alone a genghis khan style campaign, without a desire for blood. people were not only okay with japanese civilians getting incinerated, but cheered the bombers on."

We could and should have pursued a far more aggressive between 2002-2006, particularly PRIOR to our intervention in Iraq. We took our sweet time inserting the 10th Mountain Div based on the perceived luxury bought by our presumed but illusory success. We settled THEN for a political settlement via the Bonn Accords without establishing the military pre-conditions for a successful political transition. We allied and aligned with local interests not possessing the requisite technical acumen nor political gravitus to mobilize the afghan citizenry.

Done to accomodate Euro inclusion and to convince ourselves of moral superiority, we put the cart before the horse. Afghanistan clearly should have been a colonial-styled occupation under American aegis absent the subsequently-evolved convoluted lines of authority. A goat screw.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda but the real story is we were as ill-prepared to implement a vision of governance other than a feeling, incremental, creeping, bureaucratism that's since evolved and taken a life of its own.

"...so you have to work with what you got, to paraphrase the broken-clock rumsfeld."

See above. State and DoD weren't working with much. Nobody had a clue how to accomplish our desires.

"...in any case, afghanistan is but one part of the larger campaign, and while it's fully possible to turn THAT place into a sea of blood if we so wished, i'm not sure if it'll have the effect you want on the global level."

<RANT ON>

I'm a neo-conservative imbued with a Huntingtonian vision of the future. I carry no illusions that our western trajectory intersects with neither Islam, growing Sino-imperialism nor revanchist neo-imperialist Russian oligarchic ambitions. All three are proven enemies to our interests. Each requires a separate tack but should never be mistaken for alliances. Managed, perhaps. Cooperation in a shared vision? No way.

That said, laying waste to certain entities in America's interests doesn't disturb me in the least. We could have pursued a far more punative policy initially in Afghanistan that would have better prepared the ground while eliminating the expenditure of many billions of dollars which have proved to have been ill-considered, hasty, feel-good band-aids to the endemic and unsolvable local culture. And saved many American and allied lives.

We're over-exposed and under-resourced despite vast expenditures. That should tell you that adequate resourcing is beyond our desire (and means) with no guarantee of a return in any case.

The correct solution remains to immediately effect a full pull-out, anchor a counter-terror taskforce offshore to strike when and where we deem necessary and cease all aid to both Afghanistan and Pakistan. That we can accomplish. The message is, meanwhile, clear to both nations-cut your best deals with others at risk of incurring our further wrath or clean up your houses sufficient that our aid is meaningful and not enabling a dysfunctional govenance over a delusional and ill-managed society.

BILLIONS, astralis. NINE years later of BILLIONS. Not to mention the sacrifices by the superb troops of our allies and ourselves. Nada accomplished in the way of "nationbuilding". A first-class goatscrew shared equally by two administrations and their equally weak-spined political cronies elsewhere.

<RANT OFF>

astralis
12 Jul 10,, 23:03
S-2,


You're cramping my desire to disparage on behalf of BRANCH considerations. No fun.

we airmen take a decidedly...higher view than all you groundpounders and gun bunnies :biggrin:


We could and should have pursued a far more aggressive between 2002-2006,

between 2002 and 2005, there was no need. the taliban were flat on their backs and for the most part were either lying low or had run away to pakistan. it was having an incompetent fool of a karzai running around that allowed things to get to the way it is today.

i agree that taking control of the reins entirely would have produced a far better result, but that's not the same as needing an aggressive policy.


I'm a neo-conservative imbued with a Huntingtonian vision of the future.

i'm not, by god. if huntington was right, we shouldn't even bother working with cultures not our own- it'd not only be futile, it'd be akin to shooting ourselves in the foot.

anyway, i'm not sure how you're BOTH a neo-conservative and a huntingtonian; the neo-conservative argument is that democracy is not limited to one culture and will lead to democratic peace and amity, whereas the huntingtonian argues that culture plays a far more important role than any political ideology.

of course, huntingtonians seem to have an acute sense of blindness towards "shintoist japan" and "confucian" taiwan. had huntington been born a generation before, he'd have railed against the dictatorial culture of the germans, i mean huns.


Cooperation in a shared vision? No way.

the US goal is overall cooperation with areas of competition.


We could have pursued a far more punative policy initially in Afghanistan that would have better prepared the ground while eliminating the expenditure of many billions of dollars which have proved to have been ill-considered, hasty, feel-good band-aids to the endemic and unsolvable local culture. And saved many American and allied lives.

like the good colonel said, we're in a far better position than the soviets, whom "took off the gloves" a good deal more than we did. looking at it from a cold eye, i see that while we've spent billions and lost thousands of lives, against the national power we and our allies hold, it's a drop in the bucket-- considerably less, even, than the imperialist wars of the late 1800s, which was the former definition of cheap war.

and we've overthrown two governments that played around with terror, replacing one with a relatively friendly government and the other with an ineffectual but marginally friendly government. pakistan now at least is split and playing underhanded games, rather than overtly doing it. most importantly, we've done it in a way where we've prevented blowback, and are in a position where islamic extremists are far less than a threat than they were in 2001.

hell, we're in a position where islamic communities will self-police and rat on their fellows, as we saw in the case of the nigerian bomber, the fort dix case, and in afghanistan/iraq, where they fight against the ostensible "brothers".

i doubt that we get this under a punitive policy. while punitive force works wonders against the state-financed terrorist and hostile states, it's presumably less effective against nebulous organizations and the self-doctrinated terrorist.

S2
13 Jul 10,, 07:44
"...between 2002 and 2005, there was no need. the taliban were flat on their backs and for the most part were either lying low or had run away to pakistan. it was having an incompetent fool of a karzai running around that allowed things to get to the way it is today."

I'd argue otherwise. In that time-frame we had EVERY need. First responsibility upon seizing the objective is to consolidate the gain. We failed. Karzai was a symptom-not an underlying cause. You don't gain victory by simply issuing press statements declaring such.

We took our eye off the ball and had no coherant plan to achieve our objective.

"...i agree that taking control of the reins entirely would have produced a far better result, but that's not the same as needing an aggressive policy."

Then you'd agree we DIDN'T take control of the reins and, instead, allowed the pony to run amuck. What you'd perhaps call "firm" I'd call "aggressive". Certainly we didn't ASSERT.

"anyway, i'm not sure how you're BOTH a neo-conservative and a huntingtonian; the neo-conservative argument is that democracy is not limited to one culture and will lead to democratic peace and amity, whereas the huntingtonian argues that culture plays a far more important role than any political ideology."

I held great hopes for such a democratic transformation in 2002-2004. I still believe democracy offers mankind its greatest and, perhaps, last hope. Still, Huntington's views of immutable cultural forces at work in other societies-perhaps less evolved than our own bears greater consideration than pat dismissal.

We weren't prepared to coherantly implement democratic transformation. In point of fact such transformation is likely, implemented properly, requiring of revolutionary management with none of the buzz-words commonly associated with democracy immediately obvious. Nonetheless, that draconian implementation is a likely prerequisite where paradigm change is seeked. Iraq is a perfect example of imperfect results leading to an ill-defined future that's a result of an initially hesitant and tentative approach.

"...of course, huntingtonians seem to have an acute sense of blindness towards "shintoist japan" and "confucian" taiwan. had huntington been born a generation before, he'd have railed against the dictatorial culture of the germans, i mean huns."

Elaborate please.

"the US goal is overall cooperation with areas of competition."

Flawed and surrenders our advantage of proven leadership operating within a proven system of governance emulated by many others globally today.

China and Russia remain retarded societies. One evolving from the ashes of a thoroughly debunked governmental administrative system. The other an amalgamated mish-mash of ideas from the former two sewn haphazardly and without an underlying ideological foundation worthy of mention-a facade. Both of the latter two disguise oligarchies that have yet to prove internally successful much less worthy of export.

Care to name those nations who've emulated the latter two?

Why should we seek cooperation while acknowledging an intrinsically competitive realm? I suggest such a path will assist the eventual raising forth of competition with our future enemies in EVERY area.

"...we're in a far better position than the soviets, whom "took off the gloves" a good deal more than we did."

Comparing ANYTHING we do with the Soviets is a poor point of departure. The reasons of space, time, and objective alone are sufficient to render such a comparison moot.

"...i see that while we've spent billions and lost thousands of lives, against the national power we and our allies hold, it's a drop in the bucket--"

Whatever else it is, and you're dismissive both of the squandered wealth and lives, it's also a failure as currently constituted. Thus a "sunk cost". Read the economic definition of such.

"...and we've overthrown two governments that played around with terror, replacing one with a relatively friendly government and the other with an ineffectual but marginally friendly government."

Both are ineffectual and separated only by the degree of such. Their friendship, such as it is (highly debatable), shouldn't be misconstrued as an end-goal. My nation needs friends of dubious worth about as much as a hole in the head. What we do need is responsible governance that can reflect the will of both nations' citizenry. Where that occurs, American interests are generally but invariably both promoted and protected. That outcome is still highly doubtful in one and an utter sham in the other.

"hell, we're in a position where islamic communities will self-police and rat on their fellows, as we saw in the case of the nigerian bomber, the fort dix case, and in afghanistan/iraq, where they fight against the ostensible "brothers"."

In America, perhaps. That's to our credit such is considered acceptable among our muslim citizens. Our values have shaped the intellectual battlefield among those citizens. Yet our values have also proved impossible to prevent the raising forth of home-grown enemies in our midst. Still, that's the feel-good story.

Putting aside a Nigerian father who had the good sense to alert American authorities to his son's potential threat, you'd be foolish to think that the great mass of "moderate muslims" world-wide are anything but passive fence-sitters at BEST. Too many communities are prepared to permit forces of extremism to reside safely within-Europe, America even, and for certain within the middle-east.

Blame it on Israel if you wish or any other ostensible beef, but it's a fact that too many will applaud ogres like Saddam, Ahmadinejad or OBL for sticking a thumb in America's eye. Spend as much time reading the thoughts of muslims as I and you'll gain an appreciation for the ill-grounded near incoherant hatred those citizens of even our ostensible allies possess for America. Thus, a "clash of civilizations".

"i doubt that we get this under a punitive policy."

You presume failure in Iraq and Afghanistan under policies other than those chosen by us. In so doing you project those views now as relevant under any condition.

"...while punitive force works wonders against the state-financed terrorist and hostile states, it's presumably less effective against nebulous organizations and the self-doctrinated terrorist."

Whose presumption? I doubt you clearly understand my past ambitions for Afghanistan beyond presuming some Genghis Khanian cauterized landscape. The range of possibilities existing between our chosen path and that extreme were myriad and, more importantly, unimplemented. What's known, in my view, is our present course has provided a quality of muddled policy incoherance that's generated a crystalized definition of failure for Afghanistan.

Now? I've firmly believed and said so here since 2007 that we should LEAVE-both our money and men (women). We're way late reaching into our bag for the Mattis/Petraeus superhero duo and I fear those two excellent gentlemen may well dash their reputations on the shoals of firmly-embedded institutional ineptitude reaching far beyond their appointed purview.

Good luck to them. They'll need it and my hat will be tipped to both if able to achieve some modicum of their previous Iraqi success.

Iraq IS a modest success relative to its past and its peers. That nearly despite ourselves but for a ninth inning relief pitcher whom punched out the opposition with the bases loaded. Whether it remains so is highly questionable because the game is tied and we're in extra-innings. Further, our team is leaving the field and being replaced by some little leaguers well-versed in using bats and balls as weapons but hardly conversant with the language of modern political advice and consent.

Roosveltrepub
13 Jul 10,, 20:11
What makes you so sure the Taliban is going to win?

to believe otherwise would be to believe we are hurting the Karzai goverment's ability to wage war. Look at how bad things had gotten by the end of 2008

S2
13 Jul 10,, 20:33
"...to believe otherwise would be to believe we are hurting the Karzai goverment's ability to wage war."

While I'm no fan of our policies in this war, the fact remains (at least by any poll measuring relative popularity) the taliban have no traction among the vast majorities of those polled. They are a provenly poor alternative and can only expect rule from the barrel of a weapon. They possess no popular consent. So while it's a commonly popular maxim that a government is losing an insurgency if not winning, the fact is that there are two competing governments at play here and neither is providing compelling proof of any so-called victory.

Both are equally undeserving in that regard and are recognized as such by the afghan populace. Karzai's government, however, can offer some hope of someday re-inventing itself into a governing entity that might manage Afghanistan's future reasonably. The taliban's past track-record offers nothing of the kind.

Most likely NATO's eventual departure will signal civil war. Most afghan leaders are comfortable in that realm of consistent contest for power. The losers, as always, shall again be the afghan people.

astralis
13 Jul 10,, 22:38
S-2,


I'd argue otherwise. In that time-frame we had EVERY need. First responsibility upon seizing the objective is to consolidate the gain. We failed. Karzai was a symptom-not an underlying cause. You don't gain victory by simply issuing press statements declaring such.


consolidating the gain meant good governance, which neither we nor the afghans provided. good governance, however, does not necessarily indicate a need for democratic governance. we could have relatively good governance by afghan cultural norms and be just fine. an afghan chiang kai-shek (the taiwan version), perhaps. strict, centralized, pliable to american...suggestions.


I still believe democracy offers mankind its greatest and, perhaps, last hope. Still, Huntington's views of immutable cultural forces at work in other societies-perhaps less evolved than our own bears greater consideration than pat dismissal.

We weren't prepared to coherantly implement democratic transformation. In point of fact, such transformation is likely, implemented properly, requiring of revolutionary management with none of the buzz-words commonly associated with democracy immediately obvious. Nonetheless, that draconian implementation is a likely prerequisite where paradigm change is seeked. Iraq is a perfect example of imperfect results leading to an ill-defined future that's a result of an initially hesitant and tentative approach.


i agree with the statement that we weren't prepared to implement democratic transformation. the bush administration profoundly underestimated the necessary prerequisites, and once they got a sense of what was needed, they hastily backed off. as you say, they realized that changing the tribal/religious societies that rule in afghanistan and to a lesser extent, iraq, would entail dramatic amounts of violence and a prolonged US caretaker role, neither of which they were really willing to take.

especially as the advantages of such might not outweigh the costs. you were concerned about thousands of lives and billions of dollars-- well, we'd most likely pay far more if we were to remake societies at the point of the sword. neither would US, let alone international, opinion stomach bombing the iraqis and afghanis into servile submission.


Elaborate please.

huntington's theory was that culture outweighs political ideology.

this doesn't mesh well with the examples of democratic taiwan (sinic-confucian culture, according to huntington), democratic south korea (confucian), or democratic japan (shinto-confucian).

so he would have argued against the democratization of either iraq or afghanistan, as the islamic culture that he outlined (a poor blanket argument IMO) would have been deadset against either. in fact, the neoconservatives at the Weekly Standard would often bring up the cases of Germany and Japan in arguing for the universality of political ideology (democracy) over culture.

they weren't wrong on this, they just vastly underestimated the amount of effort needed to bring this to fruition. in both germany and japan, BOTH countries already had a lot of the prerequisites, albeit weak (rule of law/constitution, civil society, educated people), and both countries had previous experience with a weak form of democracy (the weimar/taisho periods). and it still took billions if not trillions of dollars, a devastated populace that had abjectly surrendered, and hundreds of thousands of occupying troops over decades.


Why should we seek cooperation while acknowledging an intrinsically competitive realm? I suggest such a path will assist the eventual raising forth of competition with our future enemies in EVERY area.

the neo-conservative would argue re: the inherent superiority of the democratic nation, of course. :)

more importantly, unless you have a crystal ball that could accurately predict that we were DEFINITELY going to wage war with them in the future, the costs of seeking cooperation (which does not necessarily mean compromising either our interests or ideals) are low compared to the costs of seeking war. already, china has moved to a worldview that is vested in the US interest of keeping a peaceful international system-- compare that to the views they had in the 50s and 60s.

competition is inherently wasteful if your goal isn't to change their behavior. china and russia do some things we disagree with-- yes, there, competitive aspects are necessary. china and russia do some things we DO agree with-- we encourage that as much as possible, ie cooperation.


Comparing ANYTHING we do with the Soviets is a poor point of departure. The reasons of space, time, and objective alone are sufficient to render such a comparison moot.

perhaps, but one's got to use the historical examples one has on hand. :)


Whatever else it is, and you're dismissive both of the squandered wealth and lives, it's also a failure as currently constituted. Thus a "sunk cost". Read the economic definition of such.

i'd argue otherwise. the point of the exercise is to prevent a major terrorist attack on the US homeland, after all.

perhaps we could have done it for cheaper, but nevertheless, it hasn't been altogether wasted.


Putting aside a Nigerian father who had the good sense to alert American authorities to his son's potential threat, you'd be foolish to think that the great mass of "moderate muslims" world-wide are anything but passive fence-sitters at BEST. Too many communities are prepared to permit forces of extremism to reside safely within-Europe, America even, and for certain within the middle-east.

Blame it on Israel if you wish or any other ostensible beef, but it's a fact that too many will applaud ogres like Saddam, Ahmadinejad or OBL for sticking a thumb in America's eye. Spend as much time reading the thoughts of muslims as I and you'll gain an appreciation for the ill-grounded near incoherant hatred those citizens of even our ostensible allies possess for America. Thus, a "clash of civilizations".


yes, it's a war for global opinion, and it's a war i believe we're winning.

NEWSWEEK: Fareed Zakaria (http://www.fareedzakaria.com/Articles/Entries/2010/2/22_The_Jihad_Against_the_Jihadis.html)


What's known, in my view, is our present course has provided a quality of muddled policy incoherance that's generated a crystalized definition of failure for Afghanistan.

no, failure is a major attack on the US homeland. what we have is a very expensive war, which is another thing altogether.

from your writings before, your idea is to leave afghanistan to its devices and wait for the next big one, whereupon we'll finally have the balls to execute a punitive campaign, where our enemies are smashed flat (correct me if i'm wrong).

but there's absolutely no guarantee-- and to my mind, not even likely-- that such a campaign would result in lowered costs, both to the nation and to the US military. there's absolutely no guarantee that such a state of mind in the US would even be sustained.

and thus such a strategy would be akin to shooting oneself in the foot.

pretty much to execute your policy, you'd need an america that would be far more like that of the mid-19th century british-- able to deal much more indiscriminate violence, a populace that has a desire for the civilizing imperial mission, and an ability to accept casualties and glorify them. (neo-conservatives like max boot would probably want to throw in pith helmets and jodhpurs, too.)

that's not going to happen, so any policy based upon that simply will not work. i have more hope for our strategy as it is now, muddled as it is. however, i certainly believe that thinking through alternatives in case mattis/petraeus can't pull the irons out of the fire in time would be a good idea.

xinhui
13 Jul 10,, 22:53
astralis,


you know what my political stand is, so we are not in a disagreement. However, this type of centralized approach requires a culture and a history to back it. The afghan cultural norms you spoke of is very much (imho) tribe based, hardly a perquisite for a central state.



consolidating the gain meant good governance, which neither we nor the afghans provided. good governance, however, does not necessarily indicate a need for democratic governance. we could have relatively good governance by afghan cultural norms and be just fine. an afghan chiang kai-shek (the taiwan version), perhaps. strict, centralized, pliable to american...suggestions.

astralis
13 Jul 10,, 23:15
andy,


you know what my political stand is, so we are not in a disagreement. However, this type of centralized approach requires a culture and a history to back it. The afghan cultural norms you spoke of is very much (imho) tribe based, hardly a perquisite for a central state.

oh, i agree there. any approach would be to concentrate on a centralist approach where possible, and buy off the tribes where the approach reaches its limits.

in any case, afghanistan was a kingdom throughout the 20th century, and apparently had enough central power to make the place a pretty safe place for travelers throughout that time. lots of hippies traversed afghanistan in the 1970s, for instance, and old pictures of afghanistan showed girls in mini-skirts or beardless men.

the modern history of afghanistan isn't quite as decentralized and tribe-based as people make it out to be. it is NOW, but i'd say that wasn't true in the living memory past. i think with an appropriately strong leader it's possible to create a considerably more centralized, successful state. karzai ain't it.

xinhui
14 Jul 10,, 16:13
or we can corrupt them the everyday citizen with money, not just karzai's first, second, and fifth cousins.

greed is good

S2
14 Jul 10,, 18:10
"...consolidating the gain meant good governance, which neither we nor the afghans provided."

It meant far more than that. It meant eliminating Pakistani sanctuary while the fear of God was in Musharaff's eyes. It meant establishing a compelling U.S. troop presence early while it would grab the attention of the local unconvinced as well as those taliban who hadn't crossed into sanctuary. It meant running OBL to ground.

"...they realized that changing the tribal/religious societies that rule in afghanistan and to a lesser extent, iraq, would entail dramatic amounts of violence and a prolonged US caretaker role, neither of which they were really willing to take."

Nonetheless...here we are today still in both countries...a violent caretaker who's trying to make up lost ground and time.

"we'd most likely pay far more if we were to remake societies at the point of the sword. Neither would US, let alone international, opinion stomach bombing the iraqis and afghanis into servile submission."

"...bombing...into servile submission...", eh?:rolleyes: The range of possibilities between what we actually effected and that far end of the spectrum, of course, is considerable-and unchosen. Please don't inaccurately try painting me into a corner.

OTOH, please don't forget it was the directed and focused application of considerable fly-boy induced violence by 140 or so special forces types that created the conditions for whatever success we've had.

That cost to our nation, btw, was immeasurably cheap by today's comparison and, further, done with the full endorsement of those hand-wringing allies. Somewhere in-between your caricaturization of my views and your own kinder, gentler but decidedly failed vision once lay the path to resolution. That's forever gone and we should leave.

"...this doesn't mesh well with the examples of democratic taiwan (sinic-confucian culture, according to huntington), democratic south korea (confucian), or democratic japan (shinto-confucian)."

Those societies don't mesh with your views either. Again, measured on a spectrum of cultural change, would you care to suggest whether Japan looks more like New York today or Tokyo Bay when Matthew Perry arrived. We imposed a vision on both S. Korea and Japan that was readily accepted, IMV, and the distance both those societies have travelled since 1945 (or earlier in Japan thanks to baseball:biggrin:) speaks loudly.

"...it still took billions if not trillions of dollars, a devastated populace that had abjectly surrendered, and hundreds of thousands of occupying troops over decades."

First, I beg you to show the "...hundreds of thousands of occupying troops over decades..." on the Japanese islands? Our presence on the main Japanese islands has been minimal and well within the context of the cold war. So too, frankly, S. Korea. Okinawa? O.k. Beyond that you conjure a gross distortion in both decades and numbers.

Second, WRT Germany and Japan our devastation of their nations had little to nothing doing with any goal of reversing cultural affinities but, instead, solely focused upon DEFEATING our foe. One thing at a time. To that end we were, along with the rest of mankind, somewhat interested in creating conditions for our survival over two implacable, immutable foes.

I've got some things to do so I'll stop here for awhile. To be continued...

astralis
14 Jul 10,, 19:08
S-2,

take your time responding, no worries.


It meant far more than that. It meant eliminating Pakistani sanctuary while the fear of God was in Musharaff's eyes. It meant establishing a compelling U.S. troop presence early while it would grab the attention of the local unconvinced as well as those taliban who hadn't crossed into sanctuary. It meant running OBL to ground.


the establishment of a relatively centralized, even somewhat competent afghan state would take care most of the issues above. ie, the state would be able to handle the afghan taliban and AQ infiltration, while AQ and pakistani taliban holing up in pakistan can be, and are being dealt with via hellfires. notice that the taliban are only prospering because there's an incompetent government. take that away, and the taliban can be largely neutralized, sanctuary or not.

of course, i wouldn't mind had we put the screws on pakistan even harder.


Please don't inaccurately try painting me into a corner.

i'm not-- i asked you to correct me if i was wrong. if not bombing into submission, then?


That cost to our nation, btw, was immeasurably cheap by today's comparison and, further, done with the full endorsement of those hand-wringing allies. Somewhere in-between your caricaturization of my views and your own kinder, gentler but decidedly failed vision once lay the path to resolution. That's forever gone and we should leave.

eliminating and scattering the taliban was certainly cheap, but making sure that they stayed out is another thing altogether. raising a centralized state with the appropriate security forces takes manpower, and isn't cheap. the only alternative is to keep our own boots on the ground, and that isn't sustainable over the long-term.


Those societies don't mesh with your views either. Again, measured on a spectrum of cultural change, would you care to suggest whether Japan looks more like New York today or Tokyo Bay when Matthew Perry arrived. We imposed a vision on both S. Korea and Japan that was readily accepted, IMV, and the distance both those societies have travelled since 1945 (or earlier in Japan thanks to baseball) speaks loudly.


i didn't say cultural change was impossible (that's closer to the huntingtonian argument, actually), i said it CAN be done, and it HAS been done-- but only at high cost.

south korea and japan incurred high costs in changing their societies, and the US with them. it required lots of money, lots of blood, lots of time, and most importantly, driving will, whether that was the revolutionaries of the Meiji Era or MacArthur or Sygnman Rhee.

notice that in two of the three cases, these changes were indigenously driven. in the third case, we were dealing with a nation that had abjectly surrendered.


First, I beg you to show the "...hundreds of thousands of occupying troops over decades..." on the Japanese islands? Our presence on the main Japanese islands has been minimal and well within the context of the cold war. So too, frankly, S. Korea. Okinawa? O.k. Beyond that you conjure a gross distortion in both decades and numbers.

i meant the occupations of japan and germany, combined. for the first roughly six-seven years after 1945, there WERE hundreds of thousands of US personnel in japan and germany. the numbers went down to the tens of thousands in the decades thereafter.

certainly their role changed from that of occupiers to alliance partners, but nevertheless, over the next two-three decades US armed forces, government officials, and large infusions of american aid played a huge role in forming the prosperous, moderate democracies that we see today.


Second, WRT Germany and Japan our devastation of their nations had little to nothing doing with any goal of reversing cultural affinities but, instead, solely focused upon DEFEATING our foe. One thing at a time. To that end we were, along with the rest of mankind, somewhat interested in creating conditions for our survival over two implacable, immutable foes.


i agree. but in both cases, the devastation also had the secondary effect of breaking forever their respective public's trust in their former fascist masters, and presenting them with a situation where the US government could dictate to them what to do and how to do it. in short, giving the US the chance to provide greater input on changing their cultures.

absent this type of vast devastation, changing culture/political ideology becomes an exponentially more costly proposition. i believe you see that as well, because IIRC you stated earlier that US withdrawal and any accompanying consequences that followed would hopefully prove to be the impetus for a second, more effective attempt at cleaning up afghanistan, S-2 style.

given that, i simply don't see how following your stated policy recommendations are going to work on a cheaper basis than even the flawed policies we have now.

again, i don't want to mischaracterize your views, so please correct me if i'm wrong.

Freeloader
15 Jul 10,, 20:23
It is so sad seeing the fall of the greatest country on earth. Simply because we have too many Democrats, too many Republicans, too many special interests, and too many illegals, but not nearly enough true AMERICANS.

I agree.

As far as Steele goes - he's head of the GOP because he is black. Why is that important? So Republicans can point to him "Hey, see, we like black people too!" and score brownie points with African Americans. They're traditionally lost the black vote, the Democrats did a great jobs years ago snowballing them that they were the right party for them, and I don't see it changing anytime soon now that a black became president from the Democratic Party.