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Thread: The War

  1. #16
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    Bold words, S-2. Are you gonna stop arming Pakistan with high tech weaponry, also?

  2. #17

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    Blademaster Reply

    "Bold words, S-2."

    They reflect my personal perspective. I won't be starting nor stopping anything.

    Have you implored the Indian government to carry on the fight against the taliban or is this a struggle in Afghanistan which you prefer fought by India down to the last American?
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    Bold words, S-2. Are you gonna stop arming Pakistan with high tech weaponry, also?
    Extreme words, hence unlikely to happen unless extreme events happen. Cutting of military aid and trade is implicit in cutting of aid and trade. That is quite possible under present circumstances. Cutting off all relations is not.

  4. #19

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    Cactus Reply

    "Extreme words, hence unlikely to happen unless extreme events happen."

    It's all in the question of what you consider extreme. For myself, I've viewed sanctuary as extreme. The excuses have exhausted themselves. Left uncloaked, I've long acknowledged the GoP's (or more accurately the P.A./ISI's) interest in maintaining the afghan taliban government as a force d'etre.

    The Pakistani government has done so successfully at the cost of too many of my brother and sister soldiers and marines. I've witnessed little remorse among their citizens and zero acknowledgement that, in so doing, they've created their own Pakistani infection. Both are ignoble among their citizens but a call to action by my government when the unstated policy of their country.

    America with-holds formal relations with the DPRK for good reason. We do so, frankly, with Cuba for less. Far less. I have no problem imagining such with Pakistan. The consequences we might bear as a nation for such would be little less than already. The benefits far greater in my view.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
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  5. #20
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    India faces a lose-lose situation whatever happens in A'stan: If the Talibs come back to power, Jihad International gets a shot in the arm and it means trouble for India. If the Talibs lose and when Americans go away, the Paks will redirect all those unemployed Talibs into India (esp Jammu&Kashmir) and it still means trouble for India.

    Like Maj DCL once stated here, whatever happens "... they will keep coming and we will keep killing them". India can only make minor tactical gains - and suffer minor losses - with what happens in A'stan. It is an delusion to think otherwise.

    I have said this previously and will say it again: India could have gotten a lot more good for itself and the world if it had invested the same time and energy of last 9 years into Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, or even Myannmar, that it has wasted in A'stan. But good karma is good karma, whether a life is saved in Nepal or in A'stan, I guess... still, it is a very human feeling to expect some good in this world and this life itself.

  6. #21

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    Cactus Reply

    "...it [India} has wasted in A'stan."

    Then for the cost of $1B plus in Indian aid money and the lives of a small sum of your citizens you can understand my sense of waste regarding Afghanistan. I frankly think any afghan taliban government will keep Al Qaeda on a tight leash or deny them access altogether. I can't be certain about Karzai. That said, whether taliban or otherwise, the ideological cat is out of the bag in that region and Pakistan (foremost) is the center of their interest.

    Movement of Al Qaeda and the possible acquisition of a nuclear weapon or materials is our abiding interest. Beyond that, Afghanistan and Pakistan are two feuding cousins tied at the wrist with one hand and holding weapons with the other. As for J&K, little has changed whether we've been engaged with Pakistan or not. Why? Clearly we've either failed to attempt making any issue of such on India's behalf or our words have fallen empty. Full circle back to my contention that two presidents and their administrations haven't had a clue how to leverage our relationship to America's best interest...or anybody else for that matter.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
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  7. #22
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    Three or four years ago I might have argued against withdrawal on moral issues about committments and obligations, not the least of which would have been that which we owe our own dead from 9/11 henceforth...not anymore. There comes a time to put mother's picture to the wall. We did not get UBL when he might have been ours to get, during the brilliant, revenge-driven and largely improvised initial operation that culminated in his unfortunate escape from Tora Bora...and since then we have managed to play with different generals and different tactical priorities. To do it right, if anybody is visionary enough to understand what "right" is, will take years and years, as Petreaus implies, and the impetus that 9/11 provided just isn't there...certainly not in the White House. Sometimes you end up fighting for so long you forget what it is you're fighting about.

  8. #23
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    Wanna take away my game? Bastards

    S2 Sir, perhaps it might be the time to cut the losses and mind your business elsewhere.But this sh!t certainly ain't over yet.Here comes the revolution in the Islamic world.AQ no longer exists and OBL,Zawahiri&friends are simply irelevant as individuals.But the ideals and the AQ franchise lives on.Btw,you guys start to establish a pattern.You're doing great 1 year,2 maximum; reasonably well for another 3-4;anything beyond and you fail.Sun Tzu was a smart dead Chinese when he said that wars must be kept short and it certainly applies to you.But you either start to develop a stomach for continuous wars on the frontier,like the Romans and Byzantines of the old did,or every raghead and the ones using them as proxies will exhaust your nation's strength by assymetric means.Or make you less relevant on the world stage by threatening you with a long war.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  9. #24

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    Mihais Reply

    "Wanna take away my game? Bastards

    S2 Sir, perhaps it might be the time to cut the losses and mind your business elsewhere.But this sh!t certainly ain't over yet.Here comes the revolution in the Islamic world."


    Heed my words, young man. Keep your sword sharp and your counsel close. You defend the gates of the Danube.

    Secondly, avoid needlessly inflammatory verbiage. "Raghead" doesn't cut it. That goes farther to fueling any such "revolution" than anything I've heretofore suggested.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  10. #25
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    Point taken.But it may just be my poor English(yep,I know I'm a hypocrite).

    Now seriously,with or without dangerous movements in the Islamic world,world politics will change radically after you(and the lil' midgets following you ) pull back.For a start NATO will become next to worthless.Your position in the ME will be shaken with consequences on the world economy.Certainly more will happen,but that's another topic and to be honest I didn't heard anything from your academics and strategists.Just call the retreat from A-stan and damn the consequences looks to me like the recipe for failure.It may be to painful to foresee those consequences,but that's close to intelectual cowardice on the part of those individuals.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by S-2 View Post
    ... you can understand my sense of waste regarding Afghanistan.
    Absolutely. And I don't need to keep it in comparison with any country to agree with you.

  12. #27

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    Mihais Reply

    "...with or without dangerous movements in the Islamic world,world politics will change radically after you(and the lil' midgets following you ) pull back..."

    I disagree. Our departure was and remains inevitable. This is smply a case of whether you wish to attach some meaningless prose like "peace with honor" to it. We've effectively left Iraq and, strategically, there've been no catastrophic consequences.

    The strategic consequences of our departure from Afghanistan point solely to Al Qaeda and a possible collapse of Pakistan. Al Qaeda, from my perspective, will not leave our radar screens by our departure nor can any case be made that we battle them in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan's issues are intractable. We don't need to be in Afghanistan to have a meaningless relationship with Pakistan. My concern with Pakistan remains their nuclear arsenal and the potential willingness of some there to possibly share that largesse or the materials behind such along with Al Qaeda's sanctuaries inside FATAville. Neither can be dealt with effectively from Afghanistan under current conditions. I don't expect those conditions to change.

    "For a start NATO will become next to worthless."

    For a start, that's unproven by Afghanistan but may, in any case, still be a valid point. Simply, Afghanistan is not NATO's litmus test.

    "Your position in the ME will be shaken with consequences on the world economy."

    Nah. Iraq or a war in Iran? Maybe. Afghanistan? No way.

    "Just call the retreat from A-stan and damn the consequences looks to me like the recipe for failure"

    I've not "damned" the consequences by retreating from Afghanistan. I've outlined my views of what's in our interest and "Afghanistan" isn't it. It's a sandy place with big bumps. Meanwhile I've also not stuck my head in the ground like an ostrich and ignored the evidence suggesting failure already and an absence of viable solutions. Everything we've heretofore seen has been some tweaked variations on the same tired themes of nation-building-few more troops, a couple roads, less-restrictive ROEs, more restrictive ROEs, less intrusive presence, more pervasive presence etc.

    My views are an equal to Afghanistan-ancient, time-honored, blunt and out-of-fashion. We've been used at every turn while becoming a kinder, gentler, policeforce and none of it has worked worth a damn. Nine years of failed evidence lies before your and my feet. That pathway hasn't been the product of my feeble imagination but, instead, the product of the finest strategic thinkers our world can muster.

    They missed by a country mile.

    If it smells like sh!t, looks like sh!t and...,guess what? Yup. Sh!t.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  13. #28
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    S-2,

    We've effectively left Iraq and, strategically, there've been no catastrophic consequences.
    there was a difference leaving in 2010 and say, in 2006.

    i don't think our adventure in afghanistan should be open-ended-- it's ultimately a strategic dead-end. for the moment, i think the resources we need to expend for making extraction considerably less painful is worth it. we'll see.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  14. #29

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    Astralis Reply

    "there was a difference leaving in 2010 and say, in 2006."

    I agree. In my calculus, Iraq was the more important task and was treated as such by the Bush Administration. I don't know if a zero-sum calculation was necessary but it appears that Afghanistan received short-shrift in resources between 2002-2007.

    That said, I'm unconvinced that, had those resources been available, they'd been put to good effect. There was certainly a window of opportunity in my mind coinciding with that period but that perceived window doesn't necessarily lead to the desired outcome. It's still a function of proper allocation of available resources and we can't revisit that past to make any useful determination.

    "...it's ultimately a strategic dead-end. for the moment, i think the resources we need to expend for making extraction considerably less painful is worth it. we'll see."

    If "...ultimately a strategic dead-end..." then I wonder how you define "...less painful..."? Forgive me but Afghanistan equates to the financial definition of sunk costs. Only prospective costs are relevant.

    Astralis, all of this boils down to the question of whether a functioning government can be left in place able to assert internal control over the entirety of Afghanistan and withstand the onslaught awaiting our departure from the combined forces of the afghan taliban and the ISI? Unable to accomplish the former means competing internal fiefdoms and a further weakening of the central government for what comes from the east. It also increases the chances from that threat of each fiefdom's vulnerability. Defeat in detail, as it were.

    Even if internal control can be asserted over the entirety of Afghanistan, while affording more cohesion in the face of the taliban/ISI threat, it doesn't absolutely assure success. Problematic might be charitable.

    That's assuming we make a diligent, good-faith effort that's better practiced going forward prior to our departure. That's unproven by past experience too.

    Here's my gambit-accelerate our departure. Allocate monies to expedite the removal of our troops. Allocate resources to assure our residual abilities to detect and attack our true enemies when and wherever they appear. Accelerate the decision processes and sharpen the thinking of an afghan government forced to create new regional alliances with Iran, Russia and India as a bulwark against their external threat. Don't discourage this but, conversely, encourage it.

    It's a good thing in my view. Regional powers with the greatest to lose have for too long piggy-backed on our efforts at little nat'l cost to themselves and at marginally beneficial results to us. Russia worried about drugs? Iran worried about shia suppression/domination? India worried about strategic depth? They've a key role to play that heretofore hasn't been necessary by our presence.

    That should change.
    Last edited by S2; 10 Dec 10, at 11:07.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
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  15. #30
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    S-2,

    I agree. In my calculus, Iraq was the more important task and was treated as such by the Bush Administration. I don't know if a zero-sum calculation was necessary but it appears that Afghanistan received short-shrift in resources between 2002-2007.
    i primarily meant perception-wise. the US leaving under fire with an under-trained IA, a resurgent al-sadr and large portions of the country under AQ dominance is rather different than the US leaving under a modicum of peace, with a relatively well-off IA, with sadr semi-marginalized or at least less likely to use force as an option.

    we -had- the opportunity to leave like this in 2004 or 2005. we just had to do what we're doing NOW with the ANA then... but we effectively sat around and screwed off until the insurgents rebuilt in late 2006 and 2007.

    Forgive me but Afghanistan equates to the financial definition of sunk costs. Only prospective costs are relevant.
    i was addressing prospective costs. note that i'm not saying "we should stay and finish the job because we've already been there for nine years."

    instead, what i'm saying is that i think the prospective costs for fighting it out two more years and building up the ANA will be a better option, for now, than getting out ASAP (which wouldn't be for at least 6-12 months anyway, just to move everything we've got out).

    Astralis, all of this boils down to the question of whether a functioning government can be left in place able to assert internal control over the entirety of Afghanistan and withstand the onslaught awaiting our departure from the combined forces of the afghan taliban and the ISI?
    we might not get the government part right but we can get the military part right. like i said in the other thread, our goals re: afghanistan are not all -that- high, we just need to make sure the whole place doesn't come apart when we do get out. as long as a military and the military bureaucracy is there, by dint of organization, force, and money they will be a controlling force. the military, if nothing else, can act as a nationalizing institution in face of the internal fiefdoms. we saw some of this in iraq.

    as it is, your gamble pretty much acknowledges that afghanistan is going to break down into those fiefdoms, and have the surrounding nations deal with the mess as they see fit. well, perhaps...but how does that differ from what we were doing re: afghanistan prior to 9/11/2001?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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