Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A Mindless Debate Over U.S. Troops In Afghanistan

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • A Mindless Debate Over U.S. Troops In Afghanistan

    A Mindless Debate Over U.S. Troops In Afghanistan-Anthony Cordesman Jan. 5, 2013

    Fair to say that while we've received dramatic photos of Obama mulling the (not so) difficult choice to violate Pakistani territorial integrity on a 50-50 shot at OBL there's been no considered review of why we must continue spending BILLIONS to put a good face on America's drip-drop seepage from Afghanistan. Now, mind you, I'm all for out-and-out flight. The war has, as executed, proved an abysmal display of mismanaged and waffling strategic priorities amidst wavering professions of best intentions. Cordesman goes further, suggesting-

    "...What really matters, however, is that there are no public U.S. plans that show how the Obama administration will deal with either the civil or military aspects of this transition between now and the end of 2014, or in the years that follow. The few metrics that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the U.S. government have made public only cover past combat performance, and they show there has been no meaningful military progress since the end of 2010. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have never issued a remotely credible report on the progress and impact of the civilian surge or any aspect of the civil aid program. (For a detailed analysis of recent combat reporting, see the text, maps, and charts in "The War in Afghanistan at the End of 2012: The Uncertain Course of the War and Transition.")

    At this point in time, this lack of public and transparent plans and reporting makes it impossible to determine whether there is a real transition plan or a disguised exit strategy. All that is clear is that the United States is likely to spend at least $150 billion more on the war by the end of 2014 and suffer well over a thousand more casualties..."

    We've been poorly-served by this administration's absence of courage for making the case to staying (all in) or leaving (all out). This, in the midst of a huge public debate of fiscal priorities is, IMV, the elephant in the room. Not one dollar more or a single drop of blood has been justified by this administration with any coherence. That the ENORMOUS sums of money and, WORSE, pints of precious American blood are at stake has been neatly and quietly hidden within the noise of a fiscal cliff is criminal. Equally, our congress has completely and thoroughly failed to exercise the oversight responsibilities for which it is charged. Finally our public has chewed the cud of the administered topical opiate pallative and are (again) too dazed and stupified to seek answers to the deeper issues.

    Nobody cares.

    Leaving, in entirety, makes a statement of worth. Our men and women serving an abjectly corrupt regime will no longer heed their bidding. Our money, wasted to line Afghan pockets, shall no longer be within arm's grasp. The afghan government has decisively proven their callous indifference to self-improvement. Should we care more than they?

    I want our troops gone. I want our aid stopped and I want our government disassociated with all that follows. I want our navy offshore and our spec ops forces prepared to cull as required to assure our continued safety. None of that requires our continued engagement with this monstrously wasteful travesty passing for public international diplomacy. If this administration cannot or will not make a coherent case for our continued presence in Afghanistan then we should be immediately gone.

    And good riddance.
    "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

  • #2
    It is remarkable that all opposition to the ongoing war dried up so abruptly. Where is the equivalent to Iraq body count, the protests in the streets, the calls for the politicians to be declared war criminals?
    As you know Steve, I have come to your POV; this pointless and incredibly wasteful war must end and end immediately. The drone strike strategy has proven successful and comparatively extremely cheap. Ground forces out except for select SF missions and rain down hell on whoever is a threat.
    While there would be world wide protests were a republican president to continue this strategy, there are fours years in which it can continue with no public response at all, within the US or without.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

    Leibniz

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
      It is remarkable that all opposition to the ongoing war dried up so abruptly. Where is the equivalent to Iraq body count, the protests in the streets, the calls for the politicians to be declared war criminals?
      As you know Steve, I have come to your POV; this pointless and incredibly wasteful war must end and end immediately. The drone strike strategy has proven successful and comparatively extremely cheap. Ground forces out except for select SF missions and rain down hell on whoever is a threat.
      While there would be world wide protests were a republican president to continue this strategy, there are fours years in which it can continue with no public response at all, within the US or without.
      Iraq was always the 'big' issue for the anti-war movement. While I agree there would be more protest if it were a different administration, this war has never had protest profile. Having spent a fair bit of time around the sort of folk who protest this stuff Afghanistan never really acptured the imagination as a 'bad' war. there are a variety of reasons for that, some relatively sensible & some total shite, but that is my sense of it.

      I've been on the same page as S2 for a while now. it has been clear for some time that the US screwed the poocj in Afghanistan & doesn't have a plan that is going to change that. Unfortunately politicians are so afraid of being attacked with opportunistic slogans that they find it easier to allow bad policy to continue. Sadly the price for that bad policy will be in blood & treasure.
      sigpic

      Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
        It is remarkable that all opposition to the ongoing war dried up so abruptly. Where is the equivalent to Iraq body count, the protests in the streets, the calls for the politicians to be declared war criminals?
        Dems are at the switch so it's ignorable to all the lefty cowards and liars in the media and the populace.

        -dale

        Comment


        • #5
          The government of Afghanistan is nothing more than a mafia. The goal is get richer and nothing else. They do not care about the US, they do not care about Afghanistan, they don't even care about Islam. They are selfish and lazy and they fully intend to exploit the US aid and Afghanistan as much as possible. They are acting with their own personal interests in mind not those of Afghanistan as a whole. Afghanistan ranks 174 from 176 in Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index right down there with not only North Korea but Somalia as well. Afghanistan is one of the most fragmented country's in the history of the world the only ones that even come close are places like Somalia. The whole Afghan government is simply so badly broken that it cannot be fixed. Another testament to the failure of nation building just like Iraq.

          Which brings me to my next point. Iraq unlike Afghanistan (which was harboring Osama Bin Laden and his AQ goons) never did a damn thing to us but we invaded for the oil and Dubya's ego. Here is what the results of the Iraq War are

          - Saddam Hussein's secular and militaristic government was destroyed which was the only thing keeping AQ and the Iranians in check.
          - The US spends hundreds of billions of USD trying to build a new government which turns out to be pretty corrupt.
          - The sunnis and shi'ites resume their age old war to decide who will get train their next generation of terrorrists (whoever wins we lose)
          - Almost 5,000 soldiers are KIA and another 30,000 WIA in a failed attempt to create a puppet state.
          - Iran and sunni jihadist groups dispite being bitter enemies are now much stronger because of the Iraq War.

          So as we see nation building is a failure and both Afghanistan and Iraq are testaments to this. In the future I pray that our country learns from all of this and never again attempts a long term occupation of a muslim nation. If attacked in the future I think we should go in, destroy the threat completely and then pull out and not rebuild and if things become a problem again we repeat the process as many times as needed. This saves a shit load of money and lives.

          Comment


          • #6
            dale,

            Dems are at the switch so it's ignorable to all the lefty cowards and liars in the media and the populace.
            right, because there were huge afghanistan protests when Bush was around.

            by the way, Code Pink just went to Afghanistan and did the whole 'drones war criminals innocent babies dead' thing, so it's not as if that portion of the reflexively anti-war left's ever disappeared.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              also, while i realize that this decision of whether to stay or leave Afghanistan is in the hands of the Administration, i have to ask: where are the public resignations from senior defense/state leadership?

              one implication of the idea that the only reason why we're in Afghanistan is political cover for the Administration is that our military and diplomatic leadership is implictly in this too.
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Astralis Reply

                "i have to ask: where are the public resignations from senior defense/state leadership? "

                Please elaborate. Do you wish for Panetta and Clinton to resign over Afghanistan? They're out the door at this point. Seems further evidence that our Dept. of State and DoD are firmly in the steady hands of B.O.

                I sense, despite protests to the contrary, an attempt at deflection. This is Obama's responsibility and has been since January, 2009. I'd been calling for our departure since early 2008. While the war's failure stems through two presidents and, now, three administrations, providing clear guidance right now is nowhere to be found. Cordesman is correct that neither U.S.AID nor State have been held accountable by this administration for their abject failure. Obama has a drone strategy (if strategy can be ascribed at all) and nothing else.

                I won't, however, resort to a partisan bashing of the president. While he has failed to lead others from both sides of the aisle have failed to critique.
                "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

                Comment


                • #9
                  What is even more criminal is leaders outside US that consent to this madness.We went there because a NATO member was attacked.Said NATO member now wants to bug out,with little to show(but that's beside the point).No reason for the rest of us to do anything but keep our men safe for a real fight.
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by astralis View Post
                    also, while i realize that this decision of whether to stay or leave Afghanistan is in the hands of the Administration, i have to ask: where are the public resignations from senior defense/state leadership?

                    one implication of the idea that the only reason why we're in Afghanistan is political cover for the Administration is that our military and diplomatic leadership is implictly in this too.
                    damned if we do and damned if we don't. think you hit the nail when you said many considered far left here( I am not but am here) always suported the war in afganstan and were furius it was denied resources till it became an untenable situation. I imagine most critical would be critical no matter what the policy or situation because of who is making it. I think it is worth noting he is also being hammered by his opposition forthe drawdown and Romney if anything was less commited to getting out based on his third debate statements.

                    I completely agree with S2 at this point it is tme to gtfo. Wew get nothng for staying and we can always bmb them if the problem reoccurs wth terror camps and unlike the 90s when we attacked the camps I think it would be absent politics like claims it was a distraction from the real important matters like the real estate inestigatin for half a billion that led to a bj impeachment. Hopefully flks will tell Mcain gramham et all it's time to stop critisizing plans to drawdown


                    The blood and treasure we have spent in Afganistan and Iraq are examples that hopefully will remind us idealogues dont operate in the real world the next time we have some asshats bent on forign adventure and adopting a use the big stick because you have it and imagine folks will be thrilled to have us take up residency for years
                    Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.
                    ~Ronald Reagan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To be blunt, I see no viable reason to directly partake of this bloody/costly charade until 2014.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by S2 View Post
                        ....I want our troops gone. I want our aid stopped and I want our government disassociated with all that follows. I want our navy offshore and our spec ops forces prepared to cull as required to assure our continued safety. None of that requires our continued engagement with this monstrously wasteful travesty passing for public international diplomacy.
                        Steve,

                        With all sincerity, are you sure that your SOFs can do as required with the gamut gone out? Not doubting their might ofcourse.
                        sigpicAnd on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          S2,

                          Please elaborate. Do you wish for Panetta and Clinton to resign over Afghanistan? They're out the door at this point. Seems further evidence that our Dept. of State and DoD are firmly in the steady hands of B.O.

                          I sense, despite protests to the contrary, an attempt at deflection. This is Obama's responsibility and has been since January, 2009. I'd been calling for our departure since early 2008. While the war's failure stems through two presidents and, now, three administrations, providing clear guidance right now is nowhere to be found. Cordesman is correct that neither U.S.AID nor State have been held accountable by this administration for their abject failure. Obama has a drone strategy (if strategy can be ascribed at all) and nothing else.

                          I won't, however, resort to a partisan bashing of the president. While he has failed to lead others from both sides of the aisle have failed to critique.
                          the point is that the Executive is informed by his advisors, the subject-matter experts which execute his foreign policies. after getting recommendations, only then can he formulate guidance/policies.

                          if it's a complete waste of blood and treasure-- and the Executive takes this advice but ignores it-- then the "final" duty of his advisors to the country should be to resign in protest.

                          in fact, the last time afghanistan was debated at the strategy/grand strategy level, the military wanted more troops, with the hope that they'd be given a publicly indeterminate amount of time to use those troops. State sought closer integration with the military as well as a surge of diplomatic personnel. both amount to a 180 from "get the hell out now", and the strategic situation in afghanistan was more or less what it is today: sh*tty situation, incompetent host government, pakistani collusion with the taliban.

                          so the question is, 1.) is this truly a clear failure, 2.) if it is-- has the President been getting this from his political-military experts, 3.) if he HAS gotten this advice, and has chosen to ignore it, where are those resignations?

                          it seems to me that the professional bureaucracy which has been informing the Executive have NOT come to a conclusion that afghanistan is a clear failure, and that it's time to cut our losses. as you said earlier, it seems to me that both the professional bureaucracy, the politicians, and the voters are willing to shoulder the continual loss of blood and treasure, so long as it is not an overwhelming flood, until 2014.
                          Last edited by astralis; 07 Jan 13,, 19:03.
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Quick question for those more in the know about SOF - would we have been able to get Bin Laden had we not been there?

                            The SEALs were deployed from Afghanistan, I believe... Plus I'm guessing a lot of the int wouldn't have been available. Not sure about that - just a guess.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              At this point, it's a complete waste of blood and treasure, IMO.

                              I'd like to see our troops gone, our aid stopped and our government disassociated from theirs.

                              It isn't worth the life of one more American service person to be there, IMO.
                              sigpic"If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
                              If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X