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Thread: 2017 American Political Scene

  1. #2146
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    No Ambassador in Kabul - or South Korea for that matter. While I am sure the acting Charges d'Affairs can fulfill the roles it is somewhat remiss surely to not have your own accredited appointed representative to explain your view before taking action. Nor this even a undersecretary of State for the region appointed yet... You Foreign Office is a hollowed out shell and Tillerson largely sidelined according to rumour.
    Tillerson has not been sidelined. However, are you seriously arguing that Trump should let A-stan fester and spiral even more out of control (the ANA and Afghan Police are losing and suffered 16,000 casualties last year) becuase the Senate Dems are blocking nominations with a deliberate slow roll?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Tillerson has not been sidelined. However, are you seriously arguing that Trump should let A-stan fester and spiral even more out of control (the ANA and Afghan Police are losing and suffered 16,000 casualties last year) becuase the Senate Dems are blocking nominations with a deliberate slow roll?
    zraver Sir, I merely suggest that the so called new approach (or however you want to dress it up for the press) is not entirely 'comprehensive'. Perhaps it should be? Cart before horse comes to mind. Nor did I ever believe in the Afghan 'mission'. It cannot be won militarily; history has proved it. If we are willing to give a Cold War deployment to Afghanistan - a mission without time limit at all fine we may wear them down but even then the tribes will be tribal and fight among themselves. Some will have leaders of 'moderate' islamic beliefs and others be more 'radical'. Perhaps we should send the Priests? Or the Buddhist monks? "Hearts and minds" needs to go deeper maybe? Souls and minds?

    There are two solutions in my view - apart from the unended commitment; Get the Indians in on a UN deal (or not). They would love it and kill the buggers in numbers. Pile in an overload and set the Taliban back for some years and then get out and let the UN monitor the border. Otherwise it is lose all the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    zraver Sir, I merely suggest that the so called new approach (or however you want to dress it up for the press) is not entirely 'comprehensive'. Perhaps it should be? Cart before horse comes to mind. Nor did I ever believe in the Afghan 'mission'. It cannot be won militarily; history has proved it. If we are willing to give a Cold War deployment to Afghanistan - a mission without time limit at all fine we may wear them down but even then the tribes will be tribal and fight among themselves. Some will have leaders of 'moderate' islamic beliefs and others be more 'radical'. Perhaps we should send the Priests? Or the Buddhist monks? "Hearts and minds" needs to go deeper maybe? Souls and minds?
    When it comes to appointments, he can only move as fast as the Senate will allow. The Senate even used pro forma sessions during its summer recess to block recess appointments. Also the idea that Afghanistan is where Empires go to die is a myth historically. Persia (into modern times in fact) had a large part of A-stan, so did the Macedonians, Mongols, Tamurlane and the British kept them in check more or less by playing tribal politics. They lost some, but won a lot as well. Modern failures in A-stan reflect modern reluctance to really go at them hammer and tongs, not some innate ability of the Afghans to resist.

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    So your 'solution' is "hammer and tongs"? What did the surge achieve?

    I repeat the old British FCO anecdote that I think I said here long ago: "When we (the British) went into Afghanistan we asked the Greeks, they said "Don't bother, it's un - managable". When the Muscovites went in they asked Colonel Blimp of British Imperial days and he said the same as the Greeks, when you lot went in you asked the Muscovites who told you the same advice as the old Greek. Each time 'new technology' or 'professional army' or some such was going to solve tribal problems... all were useless. The tribes are tribes - yes you can broker a peace between them but not impose a 'solution' on any.
    Last edited by snapper; Today at 04:53.

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