Fred Thompson: “The war in Afghanistan has been lost”

posted at 4:51 pm on November 19, 2009 by Allahpundit

Ace makes a good point in distinguishing this from Reid’s infamous declaration that the war was lost in Iraq: Dingy Harry was aiming at withdrawal, which would have assured the outcome he had in mind, while Fred’s trying to pressure Obama into committing to the war and proving him wrong. Even so, this is a rotten thing to say when troops are in the field, with morale already sagging. But don’t take my word for it. Take Fred Thompson’s:

HANNITY: The biggest battle we have is this war on terror, this battle in Iraq. We have a really deep divide in the country. Senator Reid the war is lost. We still have to finish the job there. Where do you stand in general on the war on terror and, more specifically, in Iraq, and on the divide surrounding Iraq?

THOMPSON: Well, let’s talk about Senator Reid for a moment. Right before I came over here, I was sitting outside, getting a bite to eat, before we did our interview. A young woman [former Army captain] came up and asked if she could sit down and talk to me a minute… I asked her what she thought about this. She said, “How in the world can anyone, any one of our leaders, declare war, declare that the war has been lost when we’ve got troops in the field? My friends are over there in the field. I know what they think about this.”

And, of course, it’s just like all other Americans think. The very idea that they would do this and undercut our efforts over there is unprecedented. And it’s not only unprecedented; it’s awful politics.

Awful politics indeed. That blockquote comes courtesy of Vets for Freedom founder Pete Hegseth, who proceeds to lay Thompson out for his double standard and for jumping the gun:

President Obama may not be many people’s preferred commander in chief, but he is our commander in chief. He still may commit sufficient resources to Afghanistan, and it’s almost certain that his generals will support additional troop levels. Our warriors will take the fight to the enemy, and hopefully turn the tide in Afghanistan.

The war is not lost, but it could be lost; especially if our political leaders, and political commentators, start making statements like this. There may be a point at which the war in Afghanistan is no longer worth pursuing, but it’s certainly not before the president announces his decision on troop levels and our top-tier generals are given a chance to execute a counterinsurgency strategy.

I assume Fred said this now rather than later precisely because Obama hasn’t made his decision yet; if the GOP’s going to pressure him on troop levels, there’s no logic in waiting until after he’s given the orders. But let’s say the gambit fails and The One ends up giving McChrystal only 25,000 of the 40,000 troops he asked for. What are soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, some of whom are undoubtedly Thompson fans, supposed to do with his declaration of defeat then? McChrystal will be trying to rally them to believe that they can do the job even though they’re shorthanded — and meanwhile here’s a leading conservative telling them that they can’t, that they’re fighting for a lost cause. Terrific.

Update: Commenters are arguing that if we’re only going to fight at half-strength, to “lose with honor,” then we’re better off bringing everyone home and saving some American lives. That’s a noble sentiment — I’m sure I’ve said it before myself — but the hard, cold fact of the matter is that bringing them home isn’t an option that’s being considered. McChrystal’s either going to get the troops he wants or some fraction thereof, and he’ll have to try to secure the country with what he’s got. Which way do righties want to play it going forward? Trying to win with the resources available or sporadically telling the troops who’ll have to fight the rest of this war under tough conditions that they’re destined to lose?


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we had one poster who was upset with Fred, then challenged me as to if I had a link to his message.

right2bright on November 19, 2009 at 6:24 PM

If you mean me, I’m not upset with Fred. I basically agree with you, (and him), but hadn’t noticed the link to the audio.

FloatingRock on November 19, 2009 at 6:37 PM

I’ve been reluctant to state much in the way of opinion on this. President Johnson sent what, 500,000 of us to Vietnam and didn’t have the balls to pull the trigger and do it right.

War is ugly bloody business and liberals have no stomach for it. At least modern ones. There are no Trumans these days.

Bozo is busy doing useless photo ops in asia while everything he should be doing is going to hell in handbasket.

The President needs to change the ROE, send in the required resources and flatten our enemies once and for all.

But alas, I just read there will be no decision until after Thanksgiving.

dogsoldier on November 19, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Afghanistan IS NOT LOST!

America IS LOST!

Griz on November 19, 2009 at 6:40 PM

how about “President Obama is a loser” instead of “the war is lost”

very stupid comment by Fred Thompson. He just made Newt look smart.

Chris_Balsz on November 19, 2009 at 6:44 PM

It’s not so much about this particular decision, it’s about his entire philosophy. Obama makes choices based on politics not on strategy and so long as he does he will never make the right decision.

I’m not a military strategist and I’ve never been to Afghanistan so I don’t know what the right choice is. But I do know that what’s best and what’s politically expedient rarely line up.

Kronos on November 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Bozo tells the troops they make a good photo op:

“You guys make a pretty good photo op,” the president said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/19/AR2009111900904_pf.html

dogsoldier on November 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

how about “President Obama is a loser” instead of “the war is lost”

very stupid comment by Fred Thompson. He just made Newt look smart.

Chris_Balsz on November 19, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Listen to the audio, then report back to us.

fogw on November 19, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Saying Obama is ‘losing’ the war is like saying Tyson ‘lost’ his match in Belfast when he was a no-show. Obama is a no-show. He’s not fighting the war, he’s trying to ‘organize’ it. When the only tool you have is a hammer, all your problems start looking like your thumb.

starboardhelm on November 19, 2009 at 6:56 PM

That’s right, Fred; The war our Forefathers fought has been lost.

Cybergeezer on November 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM

I’m sorry, but Afghanistan was lost as of 12:01pm, January 20, 2009.

I am really sorry for those of you who did not see this coming, as Obama said rather specifically that victory in Afghanistan was not what he was after.

I really don’t know how much plainer the Surrenderer-in-Cheif could have put it, and why so many seem to have missed it.

Dave R. on November 19, 2009 at 6:59 PM

I still love Fred! As an Army officer who fully expects to go (willingly) to afghanistan (after 2 deployments to Iraq)… my opinion is that if you are going to fight, then fight to win. Otherwise don’t bother. Nobody wants to die in a useless war.. that is why Reid’s comments were so damaging to me personally (I head them while in Iraq). soldiers are there to serve, to make a difference. 99% of the time, we are only ones who really see what a difference we make in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Soldiers are willing to put their lives on the line for this country. We don’t want guaranteed success, we don’t want guaranteed safety… What we want are the RESOURCES to win… and the WILL to win.

BadBrad on November 19, 2009 at 7:05 PM

I’m not a fan of conservatives being called “Righties.” It connotes disparagement in my view.

Edouard on November 19, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Why is anyone still linking to Ace, aka Gingrich with an eye patch?

abobo on November 19, 2009 at 7:25 PM

You certainly couln’t tell from Allahpundits torturing of Fred’s statement, but Fred is exactly right.

With Obamy in charge, Afghanistan is lost.

There is zero chance of success with him as president. Zero.

It’s over for now. We need to get out and save our hero’s lives until the Republicans can overthrow the criminals in the White House.

If need be, we can then go back and pulverize the Taliban criminals who will have arisen because of the White House criminals.

notagool on November 19, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Wow… what was Fred Thompson thinking ? Most of what he says IS TRUE (except for the war is already lost part).. but you dont say this aloud when there are troops still remaining and fighting every day in one of the most desolate corners of the world..

He could have very easily said “commit to the war OR get out now”.. instead of declaring that the war is lost.

I dont want to spend time splitting hair analyzing the differences between Reid and Thompson’s statements.. you never say stuff like this in public – he could have written a private letter to Obama.

What Thompson did was clearly wrong – if he thinks that he could somehow goad Obama into taking control, he is fooling himself – either he is certain that Obama’s heart is not into winning this war or he isnt.

This is a sad day. could be a turning point.

nagee76 on November 19, 2009 at 7:28 PM

If Barry is unwilling to fight, isn’t it better to bring our troops home than create a bogus Nixonesque exit strategy that drags this out and claims more lives?

Fred is only saying what I believe many of our soldiers know in their guts.

Barry’s dithering will turn this into another Vietnam.

PA Guy on November 19, 2009 at 7:28 PM

For want of a Messiah our media was lost.
For want of our media our healthcare was lost.
For want of our healthcare our freedom was lost.
For want of our freedom the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a Messiah.

faraway on November 19, 2009 at 7:31 PM

As a former Army officer (under Clinton) I would like us to just kill bad guys over there rather than try and hold territory. I would like to see Spec Ops troops over there play wack-a-mole for a few years. Kill a few thousand of these bozos and see what’s up. If we try to nation build we’ll spend billions and end up with Jurassic Park. There’s a reason why Afghanistan’s neighbors have never bothered to invade, it’s worthless dirt.

Mojave Mark on November 19, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Which way do righties want to play it going forward? Trying to win with the resources available or sporadically telling the troops who’ll have to fight the rest of this war under tough conditions that they’re destined to lose?

AP, i guess you have become a fan of straw men attacks after watching Obama too much..

This is not a palace that we are trying to paint with two people instead of twenty. We are talking about people’s lives.

You may want to listen to David Kilcullen, counterinsurgency expert who advised Petraeus over the Iraq surge.. NO HALF MEASURES

Money Quote:
As an analogy, you have a building on fire, and it’s got a bunch of firemen inside. There are not enough firemen to put it out. You have to send in more or you have to leave. It is not appropriate to stand outside pontificating about not taking lightly the responsibility of sending firemen into harm’s way.

Either put in enough firemen to put the fire out or get out of the house. That is my analogy of where we are. Either of those approaches could potentially work.

AP, it is your turn now.

nagee76 on November 19, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Which way do righties want to play it going forward?

Good to know you’ve dispensed with the pretense.

spmat on November 19, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Which way do righties want to play it going forward? Trying to win with the resources available or sporadically telling the troops who’ll have to fight the rest of this war under tough conditions that they’re destined to lose?

C. Boost the military until a nation with 1/10th our population and 1/1000th our GDP has no chance to oppose a political settlement. Kill them into giving up.

Chris_Balsz on November 19, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Thompson isn’t a sitting Senator. So this isn’t close to what Reid did on the floor of the Senate.

fossten on November 19, 2009 at 8:11 PM

The message may have been delivered inapproprietly, but I agree with Fred Thompson in the sense that our soldiers don’t stand a chance of victory with Barry in charge- he’s not interested in protecting their safety by allowing them to be strengthened and then taking the gloves off and letting them fight and win this war. Barry wants to be “thoughtful” and “fair”.

I can’t begin to imagine the anguish of parents, spouses, etc., of our military; It disgusts me that our President has so little respect for our VOLUNTEER forces.

anniekc on November 19, 2009 at 8:19 PM

If obama decides to throw in the kitchen sink and let the military run the war with the only stated political goal being total victory, I’m for staying in. Anything less, bring ‘em home. But that’s a big IF. Sort of like saying if we had some eggs we could have ham and eggs, if we had some ham. With Obama we got nothing but a busted flush.

MikeA on November 19, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Did anybody here him say “It doesn’t have to be this way, but this is the way it is” before slamming Obama for not committing to victory?

I wish he hadn’t said it this way, but I can’t argue with his logic. Obama is not leading us to victory.

Oh, and recognize the sarcasm. “Take your time.”

That’s gonna leave a mark.

cs89 on November 19, 2009 at 9:00 PM

He had his chance and couldn’t put in the effort. STFU.

ronsfi on November 19, 2009 at 9:05 PM

You do one of two things: You go in full force and you destroy your enemies and you kill Muslim Nazi terrorists and you save your people and you don’t worry about world opinion and you don’t worry about anything else — or you pack up and completely get out. There’s no “half way” about it because these are Muslim nations and the Ayatollahs, Imman’s, Mullah’s and the people over there hate us even more than their leaders do. You have a screw lose if you think you’re gonna make them allies.

apacalyps on November 19, 2009 at 9:56 PM

Soviet lessons from Afghanistan

Bill Blizzard on November 19, 2009 at 9:56 PM

The article above proves many here haven’t a clue about Afghanistan.

Bill Blizzard on November 19, 2009 at 10:01 PM

I’m sorry, but Afghanistan was lost as of 12:01pm, January 20, 2009.
Dave R. on November 19, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Actually it was lost as of October 7, 2001.

Bill Blizzard on November 19, 2009 at 10:19 PM

The article above proves many here haven’t a clue about Afghanistan.

Bill Blizzard on November 19, 2009 at 10:01 PM
I’m sorry, but Afghanistan was lost as of 12:01pm, January 20, 2009.
Dave R. on November 19, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Actually it was lost as of October 7, 2001.

Bill Blizzard on November 19, 2009 at 10:19 PM

The war’s not lost. And we’re not the Russians.

hawkdriver on November 19, 2009 at 10:57 PM

Liberals can’t be trusted. Of course we all knew Obama was lying about the war.

The youth of the country did not.

scotash on November 19, 2009 at 11:23 PM

Fred Thompson: The Afghan War “Has Been Lost”

I have read the context this was laid out in and it still is an irresponsible thing to say while we have Soldiers on the front lines.

It does not rise to the level of the majority leader of the Senate stating this on the floor but is wrong just the same.

There is much to debate about going forward in Afghanistan but we still have to see what Obama is going to do even if it is taking him way to long.

To declare the war lost and assume Obama is not going to do what is necessary to win helps no one.

If Thompson disagrees like I do with how Obama is handling
the “good war” that he said he had a smarter plan to win then Bush did, than state that and why.

Declaring the war lost only feeds the left with talking points and pretty much “assumes” what Obama is going to do without the facts.

Not a good move but certainly does not reach the level of stupidity that liberal pundits reached in the hate fest against Bush combined with their calls for retreat in Iraq everyday that proved to be so wrong.

Baxter Greene on November 19, 2009 at 11:25 PM

Smell the coffee!
The “0″ and his slugs have condemned the USA,
to death by a 1000 cuts… How else to explain 10 months of daily snafus culminating now with a bully pulpit being constructed for KSM and Islam’s jihadis?! BHO cares not a wit how many Americans die in the ME, Asia, SA, or in the homeland – the more the merrier a crisis he and his handlers will manipulate!

Thompson is simply cutting to the chase and stating the obvious viz the Afghan theater. The ball has now been slammed into B.Hussein’s court, again! Obama’s facilitating the enemy is not a winning strategy for the USA. His political methodology is to continue to augment our downward spiral in all sectors, as we have witnessed daily. The communistas have gotten a lot of bang for their bling.

Reveille~~~

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on November 20, 2009 at 12:03 AM

but the hard, cold fact of the matter is that bringing them home isn’t an option that’s being considered.

Your cold hard facts have a way of blowing up like water balloons. The Achilles heel of “community organizers” is their deep desire to be beloved. They are susceptible to public pressure because they have been taught all their lives that Good Government doesn’t draw protests–therefore, the very existence of protest proved their GOP opponents were scum. It rattles them to see people protest THEM.

Chris_Balsz on November 20, 2009 at 12:59 AM

The article above proves many here haven’t a clue about Afghanistan.

Bill Blizzard on November 19, 2009 at 10:01 PM

except that Moscow did not give a damn how Afghanistan was raped by Kabul, so long as Kabul was loyal to Moscow. That is why they started the war. Even apart from the religious element, the example of the Central Asian states for 100 years was in front of the Afghans. We do not mind if Kabul is fairly independent, as long as it won’t tolerate folks who blow up NYC.

Chris_Balsz on November 20, 2009 at 1:04 AM

Fred is publicly as he can putting the onus where it belongs, on the President.

Obama is in a no win situation with the war in Afghanistan or the war on terror for that matter, he prosecutes it and the left bashes him and he loses his base, he loses for whatever reason and the independents and the right will hound him.

His only possible saving grace might be a media that lets him slide to be reelected another day and Fred is as publicly as possible, pinning the tail on the donkey.

As we all should, unless we want him to get a pass.

Speakup on November 20, 2009 at 2:08 AM

http://www.veteranoutrage.com

I told you obama would betray the us soldiers
I told you the democrats would surrender within 12 months
(i actually thought 18) but there beating my estimates on how fast all democrats like to surrender

I told you obama and the democrats would start to JAIL american veterans and let loose the islamic terrorists..

But nooooo
you morons still elected these creeps, these liberal criminals.. these vermin into office

and they are publicly betraying our nations, our soldiers and all of us to the islamic terrorists.

veteranoutrage on November 20, 2009 at 2:12 AM

Obama’s first and native religion is Islam. He has never denounced it, more over he has made every effort to be accepted and embraced by Islam and its people. Ignorant of the realities of the situation in Afgahnistan, he had hoped to do a surge like was done in Iraq then turn the whole problem over the the Afganistan government. Well a surge will not and did not work there and the Afghanistan government has fallen with a corrupted election. Obama now finds himself in the same position as Hasan, who he is trying to prevent from being found guilty of terroism. Perhaps he sees the attack as indirectly against him as commander and chief of the militatry forces; forces that are fighting against Muslims. Until he can end the war in Afghanistan and free the muslims held as prisoners from that war, he knows he cannot be accepted as a leader they will respect or more important to him; admire.

He may be delaying making a decision because he knows that if he esculates the war he will lose that acceptance of the Isamic world, becoming an outcast from the religion he accepted as a child. He is a narcissist and that is part of of his self immage. If he delays, does nothing for as long as possible, the decision will be made for him, or the situation will become one that he can make the decision he wants and needs to make. Either way his narcissist image he holds of himself will be able to find blame for the failure in others, such as he finds at this time in the situation of the difficult election of an Afghanistan government and its ability to do what he needs it to do.

Franklyn on November 20, 2009 at 3:39 AM

What? Winning the Nobel prize for accomplishing SQUAT isn’t enough?

Obowma making a decision on adding troops to his idea of the “good war”?

When does Obowma trot out the “war for oil” phrase?

scumbag.

dthorny on November 20, 2009 at 7:40 AM

This problem started well before our current Presidency. It started with Political Correctness and the lack of fortitude and will in the American People. I feel strongly that the best solution for Afghanstan is one that will leave tens of thousands of Afghans dead. I’m talking house to house sweeps for weapons, restricted movement throughout the country, forcing the public to swear allegiance to one side or the other, and wiping out villages and towns that sided the wrong way. Essentially doing it the old fashion way that our grandfathers understood. Our media would never allow that to happen and our politicians don’t have the stomach for the publicity storm. Yes, our current President embodies all that’s wrong with modern liberal thinking, but keep in mind that Bush also tried to fight a politically correct war in Iraq while allowing afghanistan to sit on the back burner. It wasn’t until the war was almost lost in Iraq that Bush realized the error of this approach and permitted the surge to occur. What’s frightening is that Obama is aware of the problem and simply doesn’t care. He doesn’t want to make a decision on this because as soon as he does it becomes his war. What he doesn’t realize is that it became his war as soon as he aspired to be president. Thompson can lay the blame at Obama’s feet, but there’s plenty more blame that can be spread around.

MichiganMatt on November 20, 2009 at 8:37 AM

“Even so, this is a rotten thing painful truth to say accept when troops are in the field,…”

SKYFOX on November 20, 2009 at 9:41 AM

But nooooo
you morons still elected these creeps, these liberal criminals.. these vermin into office
veteranoutrage on November 20, 2009 at 2:12 AM

I don’t think you’ll find a large number of Bozo voters here, brother.

dogsoldier on November 20, 2009 at 10:18 AM

This problem started well before our current Presidency. It started with Political Correctness and the lack of fortitude and will in the American People. I feel strongly that the best solution for Afghanstan is one that will leave tens of thousands of Afghans dead.

Right. There was never any question that Third Army could only operate in 1945 Germany to the extent the German people accepted them. Armed opposition to NATO forces PAYS OFF. As long as that’s true, there’s not any point waiting for Afghans to throw their love behind infidel foriegners whose stated dream is to be able to leave Afghanistan forever.

Chris_Balsz on November 20, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Love teh Fred.

Good man.

LtE126 on November 20, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Allahpundit,

You fail to have followed Fred Thompson’s discussions all along this month to measure what Fred Thompson has been saying. You not only missed listening to Fred Thompson’s daily radio show, but ignored references to it that I posted @ HotAir.com.

1. Obama’s rhetoric during his potus campaign matched his address to his troops as their Commander in Chief. Afghanistan is a war of necessity.

2. Is “win” still in Obama’s vocabulary?
Obama subsequently stated that he was not interested in “winning”.

3. Obama must determine to either commit to the advice from Gen. McChrystal, or pull out; but not leave the troops hanging.

4. Given Obama’s record to date, not simply Obama’s failure to commit support for our troops, but his overt strengthening and unification of all political international and domestic forces directed against our national defense: Obama has lost his war of necessity in Afghanistan.

Allahpundit,
No one is surprised that you’d wait for an opportunity to twist a point Fred has made in order to discredit him. As I wrote to you specifically by name yesterday, Jerry Thompson GRACIOUSLY referenced on their radio broadcast “our very good friend from Politico, Carl Cameron” that you share in common with them. Yes, that very whole cloth fabricator mantel hand-me-down Cameron whom YOU protected, “He’s from Politico, after all,” from producing his “unnamed source” [himself] that kept feeding misinformation regarding the Thompson campaign.

Don’t twist Thompson’s assessment into anti-American sabotage. Thompson sees that given ALL that Obama has endorsed and all that Obama has sabotaged to date, the very real situation is that Obama has by choice pushed America beyond the point from which Obama will permit America to successfully rebound within Afghanistan to achieve the goals that OBAMA defined as our reason for being in Afghanistan.

While you’re at it, if you can muster the maturity, give Michael Savage’s Afghanistan assessment a THOUGHTFUL reflection rather than your knee-jerk auto-reflex.

maverick muse on November 20, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Even so, this is a rotten thing to say when troops are in the field, with morale already sagging.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Fred Thompson’s:

Given Obama’s sad performance

the war in Afghanistan is lost. It didn’t have to be. And it doesn’t have to be. But clearly, that’s the way it is [now].–Thompson

Draw that literal line in the sand, because literal push has come to shove. Don’t push and shove your troops into sitting duck harm’s way position with their hands tied behind their backs. Either you fight to win, or you get out.

I’d take Fred Thompson’s word over Allahpundit’s ANY time.

maverick muse on November 20, 2009 at 12:20 PM

I have been in the George Will camp on this issue for about 2 years now. We can take a 18 year old highschool senior and turn him into a surgeon in 8 years. We haven’t been able to train a police force in the same time in Afghanistan. At least Iraq was strategic becuase of oil, and it was basically modern. The surge in Iraq worked because it was troop increases focused on Baghdad and the provicial capitals, and designed to keep the political leaders safe. The problem in Afghanistan is that the political leadership is only viewed as leadership by the US, not the Afghan people. Karzai would get kidnapped and beheaded were he ever to step foot out of Kabul, he does not control his country. We are in Afghanistan becuase we wanted to take down the Talban and bomb Al-Quada because we were pissed and for strategic reasons. Do any of you actually believe that controlling Afghanistan is a necessary prerequisite for crashing another plane in a building. Are you sure that something like that couldn’t simply be planned in say Hamburg, or even Miami, or say Italy Texas??? What does “VICTORY” look like in Afghanistan? Oh and by the way whats it worth in lives and dollars? Is it when they have a modern liberal democracy to the tune of a trillion dollars? When there is no longer a single pissed off jihadist? Jihad is an idea that motivates people to destruction, you can’t kill ideas.

snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Regarding “a rotten thing to say,” face down Allahpundit’s derogatory statements during the primaries that ridiculed Fred Thompson’s age.

Allahpundit wanted a young potus, and got one.

maverick muse on November 20, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Update: Commenters are arguing that if we’re only going to fight at half-strength, to “lose with honor,” then we’re better off bringing everyone home and saving some American lives. That’s a noble sentiment — I’m sure I’ve said it before myself — but the hard, cold fact of the matter is that bringing them home isn’t an option that’s being considered.

Dont be so sure that leaving is not an option being considered. Staying in Afghanistan forever is the only thing that won’t be considered. For everyone who wants to stay and fight the fight to the bitter end, what is it worth to you as a tax payer? Would you accept say a 2% increase in income tax? How about a 10%. If the generals come back and say it should take 5 more years is that too long? How about 10 years? If we lose 1000 more soldiers is that acceptable? What are your limits, at what point does the cost of all this outweigh the benefits? And please explain what these benefits will be.

snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 12:34 PM

I think we’ve lost the big picture here. Before we invaded, Afghanistan was the major terrorists training center. If we leave, it will revert back to that state, the world will be plunged into increased terrorist activity and we’ll lose whatever remaining influence we have in the mid-east.

docdave on November 20, 2009 at 1:06 PM

At least Iraq was strategic becuase of oil, and it was basically modern. –snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Yes, Iraq was and is a literate and educated society that during Hussein’s rule was as secular as could be.

Iraq was a strategic point between nuclear Pakistan that shares the insurmountable terrain with Afghanistan, and IRAN. To deal with al Qaeda AND nuclear Islam, the US needed a military base within Islam; and Iraq would serve that purpose.

And to motivate support to attack Hussein, the unconfirmed agreement for American popular appeal was that the US military campaign in Iraq would be financially recompensed via the liberated Iraq government’s oil profits. That rumor staved off the leery anticipation against invasion due to the extraordinary expense to tax payers.

The astute warning that Michael Savage reminds Americans to consider regards Bush’s Iraqi shift of political power that has genocidal results.
1. The forgotten Iraqi Christian population, tolerated for 2000 years, has been annihilated since Bush’s invasion of Iraq.
2. A new monopoly of power unites the single most populous Muslim sect that Iraq shares in common with Iran, strengthening rather than weakening the Iranian theocratic radical influence over Iraq.

McChrystal’s report from Afghanistan stipulates basic matters that no other US official report dared to address because though factual, these matters are neither politically correct nor exuded Bush’s “HOPE” for mutual respect.

According to McChrystal’s report, EVERYTHING that America does and decides in Afghanistan creates a seismic (not hairline) shift in power that by nature alienates every existing power as every tribal member and leader experiences a loss in stature from what they have been, destabilized, literally experiencing the negative effects of redistribution.

McChrystal stipulates that Muslim mountain tribal customs will NEVER change to suit anyone outside the tribe. So whether Bush or Obama, you can lead the Muslim fundamentalist to water of “improvement” or change, but you can’t make him drink it and expect to get what you want in return. Ever. You can educate and extend “enlightenment” friendship and even confidence, but only as a fool if you expect mutual reciprocation of complete respect for you and your “corrupt” ways from a fundamentalist society.

Obama charged McChrystal with the duty to surmise the US Military position in Afghanistan and determine how to militarily maintain control of the region. Meanwhile, Obama is WAITING for decisive solutions to appear magically like the stalk to heaven from the beans he traded for his mom’s cow.

maverick muse on November 20, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Given the deceit from our Feds, go figure that al Qaeda was in Pakistan all along in that mountainous border with Afghanistan.

No one wants to confront nuclear Pakistan to deliver al Qaeda for prosecution.

maverick muse on November 20, 2009 at 1:14 PM

If we leave, it will revert back to that state, the world will be plunged into increased terrorist activity and we’ll lose whatever remaining influence we have in the mid-east.

This is total bullshit. Its wack-a-mole over there, if we start kicking their asses in afghanistan, they simply move to pakistan. I don’t know about you but I would rather have al-quaeda in 700AD afghanistan than nuclear armed pakistan. The thing that this point of view misses is that pre 911 we never did anything to disrupt al-quada, and a return to that is not what is being advocated. All I want to do is reduce our troop presence to a few thousand special ops coordinating drone attacks and targeted assinations on al-quada whenever they meet. Lets fight in afghanistan the way we fight them in pakistan. The problem with the current senario is that we don’t really fight that much with all the troops we have. They are just forced to go on patrols where the eventually walk by an ied that is detinated by someone with a cell phone. Al-quada is mobile, if we deploy more troops they just lay low. If we begin to pull out, perhaps the turtle will come out of its shell.

PS please dont pretend we need tens of thousands of troops to produce intelligence, its not true.

snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 1:17 PM

If we leave, it will revert back to that state, the world will be plunged into increased terrorist activity and we’ll lose whatever remaining influence we have in the mid-east.

So do we stay forever to prevent this??? Or use Special ops, cia, drones, spies etc to wage an almost guerrila war against them?

snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 1:19 PM

So do we stay forever to prevent this??? Or use Special ops, cia, drones, spies etc to wage an almost guerrila war against them?

snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 1:19 PM

So what’s wrong with winning like we did in Iraq? Isn’t that McCrystals plan if he can get the extra troops?

Never expected to see so much defeatist attitude at HA.

docdave on November 20, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Even so, this is a rotten thing to say when troops are in the field, with morale already sagging.

I really doubt that very many of the troops have lower morale because they are worried that they might not get to spend every other year for the next twenty years in the Mullah’s hemorrhoid called Afghanistan. And that’s even never minding the ROE that have been in place for the last few months.

MB4 on November 20, 2009 at 2:26 PM

Trying to win with the resources available or sporadically telling the troops who’ll have to fight the rest of this war under tough conditions that they’re destined to lose?

Win what?

MB4 on November 20, 2009 at 2:29 PM

McChrystal’s either going to get the troops he wants or some fraction thereof, and he’ll have to try to secure the country with what he’s got.

Fixating on the number of American troops in Afghanistan is missing the forest for the trees as doing so shuts one’s eyes to what is much more important – strategy and ROE.

MB4 on November 20, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Thompson shouldn’t have said the war is lost. He should have said, like Michael Yon, that we are losing. If we don’t turn it around in the next year, it will be over before the next election.

JackOfClubs on November 20, 2009 at 3:39 PM

So what’s wrong with winning like we did in Iraq? Isn’t that McCrystals plan if he can get the extra troops?

Never expected to see so much defeatist attitude at HA.

Iraq was a modern secular nation under saddam, all we needed to do was remove saddam and place a new authority at the head of government. Afghanistan is in 700 AD, no water, no power, no literacy, not secular, and tribal. We only needed to change the apparatus of government in Iraq, we are trying to change a civilization in Afghanistan. We are trying to change who these people fundamentally are which is a devout, ignorant, bass-ackwards society oh and many are very content to stay that way. Many of the rural Pashtuns what nothing to do with modernity. They don’t want their wives exposing their hair, or their daughters reading Twilight or taking birth control. All of this modernization and progress we are trying to give is destroying the life they know and so they resist. Iraq was nothing like this. Iraqis had tv and satellite dishes. they know the modern world and were a part of it under saddam. The jihadist in Iraq were foreigners trying to change Iraq, thats why the Iraqis sided with us to help kick out foreign jihadist. The jihadist in Afghanistan are Pashtuns (even if their technically Pakistani) the Afghans are not going to ultimately side with the foreigners (us) to kick out their own.

Can any right winger consider themselves both a fiscal con and a nation builder? Why is spending a trillion over 10 years on health care a bad idea, if spending the same in Afghanistan is good? Please? Anyone? And please answer me docdave haw many extra tax dollars are you willing to pay to bring Afghanistan into modernity?

snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Prof. Tom Johnson says the only chance of success the Americans might have would be to adopt on a grand scale Canada’s “model village” approach, such as the one in Deh-e Bagh.

“Our suggestion is basically a simultaneous swarm of 200 Deh-e Baghs,” Johnson, who helped forge Canada’s military approach in Afghanistan, told The Canadian Press.
“It is the only way to make the Taliban irrelevant.”

In a paper published in the November/December issue of the Military Review journal, Thomas and co-author Chris Mason argue Afghans will never support the government of President Hamid Karzai – not only because of the taint of corruption surrounding him.

A Western-style democracy is something Afghans simply won’t accept, they write, because the central government has no religious or dynastic underpinnings.

“The notion that the West can apply it to Afghan society like a coat of paint is simply wishful thinking,” the paper states.

“The Karzai government is illegitimate because it is elected.”

“By misunderstanding the basic nature of the enemy, the United States is fighting the wrong war again, just as we did in Vietnam,” the article states.

The paper argues that Afghanistan districts and geographical boundaries represent the political and economic reach of an area’s leading clan.

International forces need to attach themselves to a leading family to allow their influence to expand and cover the entire district and push the Taliban out, Johnson said.

“Village consensus in Afghanistan is key and the Taliban realize this”

Bill Blizzard on November 20, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Can any right winger consider themselves both a fiscal con and a nation builder? Why is spending a trillion over 10 years on health care a bad idea, if spending the same in Afghanistan is good? Please? Anyone? And please answer me docdave haw many extra tax dollars are you willing to pay to bring Afghanistan into modernity?

snoopicus on November 20, 2009 at 4:33 PM

They attacked the United States, they will do so again if left alone. Your strategy is to rely on Afghans to step forward and finger their native strongmen–AFTER you stand down to a point that the Taliban could hang “collaborators” in daylight and nothing would be done about it; so your strategy is to fail. If there’s something prudent about allowing US cities to burn at the whim of our enemies, I don’t see it.

I have no limit on defense. There is no amount where I would say “We lost, might as well quit stopping them from hitting us.” I don’t think our military situation is as bad off in any way as we were in January 1942. I don’t think you’ve earned the right to whine about the costs. We are choosing not to win a war of self-defense, and nothing good can come of it.

Chris_Balsz on November 20, 2009 at 6:30 PM

If anybody had suggested in 1989 that it would exhaust the United States to send 12 divisions to Central Asia, that fool would have been laughed off the stage.

Chris_Balsz on November 20, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Fred’s comment isn’t even in the same vein. Fred still holds out hope, where is Reid had dispair when he made the comment. The headline to this story may cause alarm in a soldier deployed in Afganistan, but the comments made by Fred would be welcome, and apreciated.

BigRichardSmall on November 20, 2009 at 9:09 PM

Doesn’t matter what his intention is. Hurting you might not be my intention by punching you in the arm, but that doesn’t mean you hurt any less.

amerpundit on November 19, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Check this out:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215111307.htm

July 10 on November 21, 2009 at 2:13 AM

Obama gives Taliban a Happy Thanksgiving by not confronting them with any more troops.

Cybergeezer on November 21, 2009 at 6:36 PM

Chris_Balsz on November 20, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Agreed:
Is Obama assuming that Pakistan or Afghanistan intends to provide security for the United States?

Cybergeezer on November 21, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Get us out – then when we HAVE to go back in (which we will, you know) blow the place to smithereens. There, problem solved.

Alibali on November 22, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Fred’s comments have been so misunderstood by people. He was basically telling the POTUS that he is spineless and with his “dithering” the war is lost. Hopefully, more comments from Fred keepm coming and go after Obama even more so that in 2011 Fred is ready to actually run for POTUS.
http://www.2012-today.blogspot.com

walker_ro on November 25, 2009 at 2:08 PM

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