GOP freshman: Bring the troops home

posted at 6:58 pm on November 30, 2009 by Allahpundit

I thought of writing about Michael Moore’s cri de coeur instead, just to give you something to beat up on in the comments, but (a) Moore hasn’t been relevant for five years and (b) his screed clunks along with so many anti-war cliches that it reads more like an attempt to start a drinking game than a serious argument. The “graveyard of empires” is mentioned, as is MLK, as is the war-is-a-racket-to-scam-the-poor meme, and on and on; the only things missing are a reference to the “brutal Afghan winter” and the realization that Obama’s “landslide victory” was built in part on promises to win the war in Afghanistan, not abandon it. But then, that’s all part of Moore’s schtick. He’s forever being betrayed by the Democrats (his open letters to Obama always have a treacly Sullivan-esque “don’t break my heart” tone to them), even on matters where they’ve explicitly campaigned against his position. If you care enough to read it, follow the link.

I’d rather talk about Jason Chaffetz. This is now the third prominent conservative voice in two weeks to call for getting out of Afghanistan because Obama won’t “fight to win” or some variation thereof. Fred Thompson led the charge, and then Glenn Beck chimed in with his free advice to vets about how maybe they shouldn’t reenlist. Now here comes Chaffetz advising Obama to “go big or go home” by defining the mission specifically and relaxing the rules of engagement — before proceeding to this:

Mr. President, it is time to bring our troops home.

If our mission in Afghanistan is simply to protect the populace and build the nation, then I believe the time has come to bring our troops home.

We have successfully rooted out Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. Fewer than 100 Al-Qaeda operatives are operating in Afghanistan according to Retired General James L. Jones’ assessment of the situation. “I don’t foresee the return of the Taliban,” he said in an October 4 Associated Press report. Jones, who is President Obama’s National Security Advisor, continued: “Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling. The al Qaeda presence is very diminished. The maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.”

Mr. President, we all recognize that we will still have to fight Al-Qaeda around the globe. So let’s bring home the tens of thousands who have fought so valiantly to protect America.

Let’s instead use the best human and electronic surveillance available to allow our special forces to target and kill those who actually threaten us.

I don’t know where to begin. For starters, if he thinks it’s time to go home, why even preface this with the “go big” option? That smacks of CYA, as if he’s afraid to fully commit to his pullout position and is trying to fob off some of the blame for it onto The One because he won’t “fight hard enough” or whatever. If you want out, say so; I have few kind things to say about Ron Paul, but at least when he wants to quit, he doesn’t try to pretend it’s because Obama’s too soft. As for the specifics, where else around the world does he think we need a significant troop presence to fight Al Qaeda? Does the Chaffetz plan call for an invasion of Yemen or Somalia or something? (Bonus irony: While he’s busy demanding that we free up tens of thousands of troops to fight AQ around the globe, he insists that we can handle AQ in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a small number of hunter-killer teams).

As for his dismissal of the threat still posed by AQ in that region, I’ll let lefty Fred Kaplan — who’s also ambivalent about the war, but not prepared to deceive himself about the consequences of withdrawal — handle it:

As with confronting most messes in life, the initial impulse is to flee. But if we simply pulled out, it’s a near-certain bet that the Taliban would march into Kabul, and most other Afghan towns they’d care to, in a matter of weeks. True, the Taliban are not the same as al-Qaida, but there’s little doubt that they would provide sanctuary and alliance (as they did after the Soviets were ousted), and this would strengthen al-Qaida in its struggle against Pakistan, the United States, and others.

One might dispute the significance of this, at least for its direct danger to the United States. Al-Qaida, after all, can plan attacks on U.S. territory from other sanctuaries, even from apartments in Western cities. But it’s naive to claim that leaving Afghanistan would have no broader effect.

Another problem with withdrawing is that it would signal, correctly or not, a huge victory for anti-American forces generally. If we left Afghanistan to the Taliban (and, by extension, al-Qaida), especially after such a prolonged commitment (at least rhetorically), what other embattled people would trust the United States (or the other putative allies in this war) to come in and protect them from insurgents? None, and they could hardly be blamed.

Beyond all that, after reading Chaffetz and listening to Thompson and Beck, I’m still not sure what it would mean to “go big” or “fight to win.” Those phrases are tossed around a lot as catch-all reasons to be skeptical of Obama, but rarely are they precisely defined. Assume he surprises us all tomorrow night by giving McChrystal the full complement of 40,000 troops that he requested. Good enough? Kaplan notes that a counterinsurgency strategy in line with the Army field manual would require 400,000 troops. Is that the new conservative position, and if so, are we prepared to support a draft to realize it? Also, how specifically should we relax the rules of engagement? The One, to his credit, continued Bush’s policy of drone attacks on AQ leaders even though the risk of collateral damage is high; he doesn’t seem strikingly more squeamish about civilian casualties than Dubya was, and yet conservative support for the war in Afghanistan was rock solid until this year. And yet the ROEs come up a lot in righty critiques of the war, even though none of the chief strategic challenges of Afghanistan — the government is weak and corrupt, the Taliban is hard to find and pin down, and we lack enough boots on the ground for a robust clear-and-hold counterinsurgency strategy — would seem to change dramatically by relaxing them. But then, my military ignorance got me in trouble last week so I may well be stepping in it again. How am I wrong here?


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What if the idoit liberals in congress refuse to fund the whole “surge”? If anyone thinks this is going to be a slam-dunk, our poor troops have two strikes against them already—1) lack of all out support by this nation as a whole, and two, a “leader” that doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing.

I just hope Petraeus and McCrystal have the proper support on the ground with a ROE that says “the gloves are off”. Specifically, go in to this thing full-trottle to let Afghanistanis and the Paks know we mean business, and no prisoners will be taken off the field of battle for a playground court trial in NY.

Rovin on November 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Win what?

End it

jake-the-goose on November 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Gosh, we need dorian gray here. Us poor stupid cookie-cutter civilians have no hope of understanding all the complexity.

misterpeasea on November 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

powerpro:

So, America is no more than our president? If Obama is a loser, then we have lost. We might as well disband our entire military then and shut down the Pentagon. After all, we have one of those pesky elections every 4 years and you just can not be sure who wins, so why bother even trying to defend the country when chances are the wrong man might end up in the Oval Office.

What should you say? That you are an American who wants victory even when a Democrat is in the White House.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

If the answer is “more troops,” where are they coming from?

Allahpundit on November 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM

The next abrupt rise in unemployment.

Not that I really have much of a position on Afghanistan anyway. Staying there for years and years and years didn’t seem like the plan when we went there. I seem to remember the President that began this war abhorring nation building, he also called for a humble foreign policy, which turned out to be a crock of sh!t anyway so go figure. Fast forward to the Republican primaries of 2007, the weekly standard types that basically wrote Rudy’s foreign policy papers called for things like permanent nation building squads like he did in Foreign Affairs for his candidate essay. Those weekly standard types are pretty much the guys who put out these puffed out chest, empty sloganeering talking points. So I would have to guess that “fight to win” means, stay forever, never even think of leaving, and bash anyone who might oppose it as defeatist, hope to expand it to Iran, Pakistan, and then like dominos other countries will radicalize and they’ll get their war of civilizations that they want. So there’s your two choices the overpolitical UN loving Obama “strategy” or nationbuilding cheered on by psychopaths. Frankly if I had any position it would be “get the hell out of there” because either party will screw it up, and most likely they will destroy the economy to the point that they won’t take care of the troops that went there when they come back. If we would have fought to win from the start we would have never got sidetracked in Iraq. The sum of idiotic leadership from Bush and now Obama (congress as well) spell much larger trouble for this country overall than just Afghanistan.

LevStrauss on November 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Circa 2049:

Just about ten twenty thirty forty years ago I set out on Obama’s Afghanistan road,
Seekin’ my fame and glory, lookin’ to turn the POS mullah’s hemorrhoid into a pot of gold.
Well, things got bad, and things got worse, I guess you will know the tune.
Oh ! lord, stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.

Flew in yet again on a big plane, I hope I’ll be in one piece flyin out when I go.
I was yet again just passin’ through, must now be yet another 5 10 15 20 tours or more.
Running out of time and patience [
“Not to complain but whatever the hell happened to my youth?!”], looks like they took still more of my friends.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.

The Hope and Change man in the White House said yet again I was on my way.
Somewhere I lost his connection, he ran out of words to say.
I came into Kabul, yet another one year stand, looks like the plans fell through yet again
Oh ! lord, stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.

Mmmm…
If I only had a woman [“Hey Jack, do you remember what a woman is?”], for evry Obama tour Ive done.
And evry time Ive had to fight while cheered on by CINO’s Obama and his many successors sat back home oblivious to Islam and power drunk.
You know, Id like to catch the next plane back to where Im from.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.
Oh ! lord, Im stuck in Obama’s Afghanistan yet again.

- CCR Soldier Boy

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 7:48 PM

canopfor on November 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Well they could contribute more troops to NATO.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 7:48 PM

MB4:

You just want to end the war because the Afghanis are Muslims and therefor beyond all hope as far as you are concerned. I like you and I think your heart is in the right place, but I have to disagree on this one.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM

If the answer is “more troops,” where are they coming from?

Allahpundit on November 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Well, if al-Qaeda is also their enemy, then Europe.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM

LevStrauss:

You can stabilize Afghanistan without turning it into Switzerland.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Allah, I’m a combat veteran from Vietnam…. I’ve not taken the time to read all the posts here. My opinion will be met with derision, for sure, but it’s from experience. You send out what it takes to crush the enemy with all the equipment our troops need, you abolish the rules of engagement and you follow Sun Tzu and Von Clausewitz in their philosophy of crushing the enemy and controlling the populace so they don’t wish to fight. To treat war as a criminal act is naive and left wing.

MNDavenotPC on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Do you really think Obama WANTS to win this war–or could, even if he wanted to?

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 7:39 PM

No I don’t think Obama wants to win and that is what is deteriorating our confidence and resolve. A leader would never let things get this bad but I see it fits his agenda.

fourdeucer on November 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

we made a commitment to the women and children of Afghanistan. if we leave them to the Taliban they will be brutalized for going to school
these people never mention it

ginaswo on November 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Destroy the enemy works for me.

Blake on November 30, 2009 at 7:52 PM

We pull out — then nuke the place.

Which is never going to happen, under either a Democrat or a Republican. Why even suggest it? I’m asking for a real solution here.

If the answer is “more troops,” where are they coming from?

Allahpundit on November 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Well, I can tell you one think with certitude – They ain’t commin’ from a draft!

The American people would not stand for it, certainly not to Islamic Nation Build in POS Afghanistan, trying to win Hearts and Minds & Unicorns and Flowers.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 7:52 PM

You can stabilize Afghanistan without turning it into Switzerland.

Yeah. Besides which I don’t think a ban on minarets would go down too well with Hamid Karzai’s base.

aengus on November 30, 2009 at 7:53 PM

and you follow Sun Tzu and Von Clausewitz …

MNDavenotPC on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Pick one, you really can’t follow both. The NVA followed Sun Tzu the US followed Clausewitz.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

fourdeucer on November 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Without capable leadership and will, failure is guaranteed. Afghanistan looks more and more like I Corps in 1969 or II Corps or the Delta in 1968

( places you don’t wanna go to or be in )

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

aengus:

This is true.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

If the answer is “more troops,” where are they coming from?

Allahpundit on November 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM

How far the Mighty have fallen: I remember when Bush ’41 deployed over 500,000 boots on the ground in Desert Storm.

Thanks for gutting the military, BJ. Hope the hedonism was worth it.

/shaking head

Wanderlust on November 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

Okay, I do believe the purpose is to destroy the enemy. But, if the our government does not give our troops the support they need and saddle them with these bizarre ROE, leading to their unnecessary deaths, is it fair to the troops to keep them there? Obviously, the real solution is to send more troops and get rid of the restrictions.

So, why aren’t we lobbying and pushing for that instead of whether they should come home or not?

Blake on November 30, 2009 at 7:56 PM

you follow Sun Tzu

MNDavenotPC on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.
- Sun Tzu

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

janos:

We could have won in Vietnam. We were close. But in the end, we defeated ourselves.

I don’t want to see that happen again. Especially when you consider the fact that our losses in Afghanistan in all the time we have been there pale in comparison to some bad days in Vietnam.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Assume for a second, that someone waved a magic wand and all the Taliban and all of AQ vanished from Afghanistan. If we won absolutly, what would we then have? There is a reason that the rest of the nations in the region have never congured Afghanistan. There is nothing there they want. Besides heroin, can anyone here name the next three items that the world depends on Afghanistan for?

We needed to kill AQ, and we still do, wherever and wherever they can be found. But it woulde be more logical to build a nation on the moon than in the crappy place called Afghanistan.

MikeA on November 30, 2009 at 7:58 PM

You can stabilize Afghanistan without turning it into Switzerland.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

This is another problem. Words like “stabilize Afghanistan” seem rather vague to me. Afghanistan is not some homogeneous region, its a very decentralized state. I see an attempt to stabilize as the equivalent of whack a mole, you pop one it ends up somewhere else, and all the regional and tribal leaders don’t have any allegiance to us, not to mention the corruption. And then once we reach whatever could be considered stable, just how long will it stay that way. Then you also have this strange Pakistan problem, in which I don’t trust Pakistan one bit, the ISI will play both sides of the fence as they have done for the past thirty years with the US and Jihadis. Half of the guys they are supposed to arrest are probably on the Kashmir border staring at India at their behest.

LevStrauss on November 30, 2009 at 7:59 PM

LevStrauss:

You can stabilize Afghanistan without turning it into Switzerland.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Really? How would you go about that?

Cody1991 on November 30, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Oh, and tell that freshman to shut his friggin mouth. When this country starts takin’ advice from Dobie Gillis—-we’re doomed.

Rovin on November 30, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:39 PM

No. Reagan pulled out of Lebanon in 83-84 because there was no way to win and the only result of keeping the Marines there was getting them killed. We just left–for the second time ( 1958 was the first )

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

The point is that all the terrorists learned from that incident is that you can blow up hundreds of Marines and we leave. I know why he did it, but in the end, it did not gain us anything, including peace.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 8:00 PM

we made a commitment to the women and children of Afghanistan. if we leave them to the Taliban they will be brutalized for going to school
these people never mention it

ginaswo on November 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Most Afghan women and children who are brutalized are brutalized by their own male family members.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:00 PM

Most Afghan women and children who are brutalized are brutalized by their own male family members.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:00 PM

You pay attention, dont you?

faol on November 30, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Winning Plan!

Evac,all men,those that plan to stay out of the fight,women
and children.Then,bring the full horror,and weight of the
US Military from the Kabul through to the Puck is Stan bor
der,with Special Operations into regions of Puck is Stan,
and have Satellite’s hunting,with infra-red,any heat sign
aures,and its toast!!

Or,(I kid),vapourize the mountains,it’ll seal the caves,and
have the mountain tops into a big glass table top,and have
another tourist attraction,in which Afghanistan needs for
tourist dollars!!

canopfor on November 30, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Just a few of the ridiculous changes to the ROE:

-The ANA, which is widely thought of as corrupt and in some cases sympathetic to the Taliban, has to go along on raids and patrols.

-If an Apache spots a guy walking away from a road carrying digging equipment at 2 am he can’t fire on him – you have to actually spot the guy sticking the IED in the ground.

-If you come across a guy with an AK you can’t fire on him until he actually raises his weapon towards you, and if there are civilians present you can’t fire at all. You either have to withdraw or get shot.

-I don’t believe we’re allowed to go on night raids anymore either, which kind of destroys the technological advantage and the element of surprise.

I understand that a COIN model hinges on convincing the civilian populace to support you, and that a fine line must be walked between earning that trust and unnecessarily putting our guys at risk. But in my opinion we’ve swung the pendulum way too far and are forcing them to fight with one hand tied behind their back.

BadgerHawk on November 30, 2009 at 8:03 PM

It’s not a question of whether we should be there.
It’s not a question of whether we can win.
It’s not a question of whether it’s the right thing to do.

The plain facts are that with the Moron in charge, there is ZERO change of winning. And hundreds or thousands of heroes will die in vain.

Chaffetz is exactly right. Get the troops out now.

When the criminal in the White House is booted out on his ass, we can go back in and do what needs to be done.

notagool on November 30, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Who’s ‘we’? The American military and ARVN defeated the enemy forces in South Vietnam. The American government negotiated a withdrawl that took over four years. More than half the American dead & wounded came during that excruciatingly long withdrawl.

The American government may have lost in Vietnam, but the military didn’t.

Now, in Af-Pak the troop levels needed to Sorta Win aren’t available and Obama is in charge for the next 3 years, so we should get out fast

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 8:04 PM

We could have won in Vietnam. We were close. But in the end, we defeated ourselves.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Indochina is devoid of decisive military objectives and the allocation of more than token US armed forces in Indochina would be a serious diversion of limited US capabilities.
- Joint Chiefs of Staff, 26 May 1954

The United States intervened in the Vietnam War on behalf of a weak and incompetent ally, and it pursued a conventional military victory against a wily, elusive, and extraordinarily determined opponent who shifted to ultimately decisive conventional military operations only after inevitable American political exhaustion undermined potentially decisive US military responses. Even had the United States attained a conclusive military decision, its cost would have exceeded any possible benefit. Vietnam was then, and remains today, a strategic backwater. The United States could not have prevented the forcible reunification of Vietnam under communist auspices at a morally, materially, and strategically acceptable price.
- The US Army War College Quarterly, Winter 1996-97

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
- George Santayana

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:05 PM

powerpro:

So, America is no more than our president? If Obama is a loser, then we have lost. We might as well disband our entire military then and shut down the Pentagon. After all, we have one of those pesky elections every 4 years and you just can not be sure who wins, so why bother even trying to defend the country when chances are the wrong man might end up in the Oval Office.

What an absurd non sequitur.

Of course Obama isn’t America. But Obama is the Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces. He is the decision maker. He made it sound during his campaign and early on this year that he was truly committed to getting the job done.

We the people can see by his actions that was all a farce.

My response is that, if we’re not going to give it our best and our all, if we have a president who wants to politicize this war even further and refuse to provide the support required to win, then I don’t want our troops to sit in the middle of a shooting gallery for no reason.

What should you say? That you are an American who wants victory even when a Democrat is in the White House.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Good Lord Almighty. Do you have reading comprehension issues?

That’s exactly what I said earlier except I left off the fact that he’s a democrat. I want him to WANT to win and to do what’s necessary. We need to win this…but Obama DOESN’T WANT TO.

The fact that he doesn’t want this is what makes his actions abominable, NOT THE FACT THAT HE’S A DEMOCRAT.

powerpro on November 30, 2009 at 8:05 PM

Most Afghan women and children who are brutalized are brutalized by their own male family members.

Yeah because the Taliban are recruited from ordinary Pashtun men.

aengus on November 30, 2009 at 8:06 PM

There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited.
- Sun Tzu

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Here is the rest of the quote:

“A speedy victory is the main object in war. If this is long in coming, weapons are blunted and morale depressed. If troops are attacking cities, their strength will be exhausted. When the army engages in protracted campaigns, the resources of the state will fall short. When your weapons are dulled and ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and treasure spent, the chieftains of the neighboring states will take advantage of your crisis to act. In that case, no man, however wise, will be able to avert the disastrous consequences that ensue. Thus, while we have heard of stupid haste in war, we have not yet seen a clever operation that was prolonged. for there has never been a protracted war which benefited a country. Therefore, those unable to understand the evils inherent in employing troops are equally unable to understand the advantageous ways of doing so. ”

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/artofwar.html

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:06 PM

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 8:00 PM

In some places, ‘peace’ is not possible. Lebanon in the 80s was one of those places; Afgan now is another. The British found that out after WWI; we should know it by now

Armies fight to win, not to achieve ‘peace’

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 8:07 PM

If the answer is “more troops,” where are they coming from?

Allahpundit on November 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Well, I can tell you one think with certitude – They ain’t commin’ from a draft!

The American people would not stand for it, certainly not to Islamic Nation Build in POS Afghanistan, trying to win Hearts and Minds & Unicorns and Flowers.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 7:52 PM

The military would also reject the idea.

BadgerHawk on November 30, 2009 at 8:07 PM

It is not Obama’s job to craft the specific ROEs – it is his job to supply the central message, the theme. To give the troops and their commanders a sense of confidence, to tell them that he will do his best to get them what they need, but in return that he expects them to bring home a victory. To put the Taliban on notice that we are gunning for them, and to state, believably, that the Afghan people can trust us to stay the course and be their partners.

If I were a company commander over their right now (as some of my friends are, or will be), I could not, in good conscience, tell a bunch of village elders to put their trust in us and turn in the local Taliban, because I don’t think that Obama is in it to win it. He needs to look tough for a while, to justify his campaign rhetoric, but he is naturally anti-war and so is a lot of his party.

Nobody wants to be the last man to die for a hopeless cause.

holdfast on November 30, 2009 at 8:07 PM

( places you don’t wanna go to or be in )

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 7:55 PM

I went to Khe Sahn in early Mar. 1968 and was never south of Dong Ha for 13 months, I try not to think about it but it is times like this that make it difficult. And to be clear I have no idea what it would take to win or how winning is to be defined but I know how it feels to have people think we lost.

fourdeucer on November 30, 2009 at 8:09 PM

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:05 PM

When you’re good, you’re good…..

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 8:10 PM

If I had any inkling that Obowa actually wanted to win this war, I’d disagree.

SouthernGent on November 30, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Where are the troops coming from?

You want to win this long war? Then:

Recruit more troops and use War Bonds to pay for the troops.

Otherwise we are just playing games….

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:11 PM

If I had any inkling that Obowa actually wanted to win this war, I’d disagree.

SouthernGent on November 30, 2009 at 8:11 PM

I don’t think he wants to lose it.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:11 PM

But again: I’m asking for specifics here. Give me numbers or specific rules of engagement that would qualify as “fighting to win.”

Not being afraid to use the word “victory” would be a good place to start. If you’re unwilling to mention victory, how willing are you to actually fight for it?

xblade on November 30, 2009 at 8:12 PM

If he uses the phrase “exit strategy,” or dwells on the subject, then you’ll know you’re probably looking at a one-term president. In other words, file under “Jimmy Carter,” not “Abe Lincoln.”

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:16 PM

I understand that a COIN model hinges on convincing the civilian populace to support you, and that a fine line must be walked between earning that trust and unnecessarily putting our guys at risk. But in my opinion we’ve swung the pendulum way too far and are forcing them to fight with one hand tied behind their back.

BadgerHawk on November 30, 2009 at 8:03 PM

General McChrystal has staked his entire reputation, not to mention the lives of our men and women in the field, on a counter insurgency strategy that almost exclusively focuses on population protection. His statement that ‘success would be defined by the Afghans’ harkens back to the Malayan Emergency and General Templer’s contention that ‘the answer lies not in pouring more troops into the jungle, but in the hearts and minds of the people’. The problem is, the insurgents in Malaya were different than the Afghan insurgency. Theirs was a political ideology. The ‘insurgents’ in Afghanistan are hardly an alienated element within the society there. They represent the true doctrine of Islam and, arguably, the hearts and minds of the Afghans in that regard. Success for them is measured in infidels and apostates killed. Yes; they are a mix to be sure with some not much more committed than are common thieves and drug runners but even that number is ideologically tied to Islam.
- John Bernard (1st Sgt. USMC, retired)

Finally there is Vietnam; the hearts and minds campaign there was an abysmal failure while the chase and kill campaigns were largely successful. This is probably our first literal attempt at a counter insurgency and one of our greatest political disasters. Is the General really taking from the McNamara/Johnson playbook and attempting to ‘right history’?
- John Bernard (1st Sgt. USMC, retired)

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM

fourdeucer on November 30, 2009 at 8:09 PM

13 months was a Marine tour, and Khe Sahn……..

Some of the fire bases in Afghan have a Khe Sahn potential, and no American Marine or soldier should ever go through that again. All those dead for no purpose other than honor.

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM

The enemy is fighting for a belief, call it fundamentalist Islam if you will. We have abandoned our beliefs and are fighting for what? That really is what Obama should be telling the nation tomorrow night. He should be building a reason to fight. A fundamental reason. A national religous reason, if you will. That is what Lincoln did.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:21 PM

All those dead for no purpose other than honor.

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Honor has always been why Marines fight. That use to be enough purpose for them.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:23 PM

MB4:

You just want to end the war because the Afghanis are Muslims and therefor beyond all hope as far as you are concerned.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 7:49 PM

Well that is an oversimplification (among Muslims, Afghans are among the worst of the worst) but a good part of it. I also don’t want more of our troops dying trying to build Obama’s and McCrystal’s “Bridge on the River Kwai”.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:24 PM

13 months was a Marine tour, and Khe Sahn……..Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Fortunate for me the tet offensive was winding down and yes, we the marines were there until the army came in and relieved us of Khe Sahn.

fourdeucer on November 30, 2009 at 8:24 PM

The enemy is fighting for a belief, call it fundamentalist Islam if you will. We have abandoned our beliefs and are fighting for what? That really is what Obama should be telling the nation tomorrow night. He should be building a reason to fight. A fundamental reason. A national religous reason, if you will. That is what Lincoln did.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:21 PM

We both know that he is not going to do that. Even Bush with all his blathering about “Islam is the Religion of Peace” never did that.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Lebanon, Somalia, etc.

So many examples of the U.S. playing the part of paper tiger with its tail tucked between its legs as it ran when some of our own get killed. Radical Islam has been at war with us for 30+ years (using the taking of our embassy in Iran as a declaration of war) and it took thousands of our own people getting killed on our shores to finally get us into the fight but how quickly we tire of that fight it seems. It’s shameful.

Let’s add another example shall we by withdrawing from Afghanistan. What’s the worst that can happen when we embolden these bastards with our weakness and lack of will to carry on a fight to its finish, to VICTORY! Remember that word? When was the last time we could honestly use it I wonder? WWII perhaps? It’s not like they’ll go so far as to crash planes in our buildings or anything…… oh wait, they have and they’ll do it again or worse if we let them, if we give them their victory and snatch defeat from the jaws of the victory I know in my heart our troops are capable of giving us if we let them.

But I get the feeling we wont.

Damn.

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

We both know that he is not going to do that. Even Bush with all his blathering about “Islam is the Religion of Peace” never did that.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Then, until we find a leader that will, there really isn’t much hope in the short term.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

Allah, Kurt Russell ROE in the movie Soldier:

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to kill them all, sir.”

Tom

marinetbryant on November 30, 2009 at 8:29 PM

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

Grenada was the last time if you don’t count the Gulf War and GHW Bush’s premature halting of the war.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:30 PM

As long as we have been engaged in Afghanistan the more I am convinced that it is a mission of checking Pakistan. Gordon Brown called on Pakistan today to basically, “belt up and get with the business” of rooting out Osama bin Laden and his gang. Not a fan of Gordon Brown, but he did call out the Paks.

And that’s where the problem lies. It’s Pakistan, an unstable, nuclear armed country. Afghanistan is an armpit, and it will be one for the next few centuries. The only reason to be there is to contain Pakistan or to help Pakistan contain itself.

The whole discussion about “winning in Afghanistan” is rather pointless. It’s only important in a strategic sense. Pakistan is a friggin’ basket case with plenty of weapons.

Maybe our potus, Zippie, who loves to pronounce the pathetic country, “pohkie-stan,” can perform some miracles with his oratory. It worked on the Germans for a while.

As for our involvement, we’re stuck. This isn’t a war we can win. It’s a mission of keeping check on the Paks, a miserable country we have paid off and from whom received nothing.

Cody1991 on November 30, 2009 at 8:31 PM

Grenada was the last time if you don’t count the Gulf War and GHW Bush’s premature halting of the war.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:30 PM

I don’t consider Gulf War I to be a true victory as the job was left incomplete. It’d be like the Allied armies during WWII fighting just short of Berlin, calling it good and turning around and going home.

Removing part of a cancer is no cure and it’s certainly not advisable to fight wars in a similar fashion.

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Grenada was the last time if you don’t count the Gulf War and GHW Bush’s premature halting of the war.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:30 PM

GHW did not prematurely halt anything, the UN and Congress did.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 8:35 PM

We both know that he is not going to do that. Even Bush with all his blathering about “Islam is the Religion of Peace” never did that.

MB4 on November 30, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Bush was also heard to use the phrase Islamic extremism, Islamic terrorists, etc, he was not afraid to name the enemy. He also was willing to go after the terrorists where they live.

I voted for McCain largely because I thought he would make a good CinC. I took a lot of crap from conservatives for supporting him, but this is why. That is why I was so put out with Beck when he said we were better off with Obama than McCain.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 8:39 PM

GHW did not prematurely halt anything, the UN and Congress did.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 8:35 PM

The buck stops at the CINC. He could have had funds if he pressed for them. There are ways.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 8:40 PM

canopfor on November 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

A guy I know in Afghanistan says ISAF stands for

==I See Americans Fighting==

Janos Hunyadi on November 30, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Janos Hunyadi: No kidding!!:)

http://www.isaf.nato.int/

canopfor on November 30, 2009 at 8:48 PM

canopfor on November 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM
Well they could contribute more troops to NATO.

bnelson44 on November 30, 2009 at 7:48 PM

bnelson44:NATO should be more involved,and less picky about
when to fight,it was originally designed to help
any ally that needed Military help!!

NATO is becoming the UN,Ugh!:)

canopfor on November 30, 2009 at 8:52 PM

Agree 100%. Bring the troops home.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 8:56 PM

But again: I’m asking for specifics here. Give me numbers or specific rules of engagement that would qualify as “fighting to win.”

How about these? Locate enemy operatives and kill them. Repeat at every opportunity until there are no more enemy operatives. If an enemy is found in the indigs that are supposed to be on your side, kill him, all his friends and all his family, burn his house and eat his damned dog. Leave the nose wiping to the Red Cross.

MikeA on November 30, 2009 at 9:01 PM

Agree 100%. Bring the troops home.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 8:56 PM

And then what?

What happens after that?

Consequences… they WILL be severe if we just “bring them home”.

Sometime, somewhere, people will DIE because we abandoned our effort there.

Think past your distrust of Obama my fellow conservatives. For the sake of our troops, our countrymen and our nation as a whole.

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Bush was also heard to use the phrase Islamic extremism, Islamic terrorists, etc, he was not afraid to name the enemy. He also was willing to go after the terrorists where they live.

Right. It’s vital that the person in charge is able to understand who the enemy is and is strong enough to say it aloud. I remember Reagan getting slammed for calling out the Evil Empire and yet, that’s what they were.

I voted for McCain largely because I thought he would make a good CinC.

I voted for him because I wanted to try to blunt the disaster of an Obama administration. I thought he might be a good CinC but I wasn’t all that impressed with him otherwise.

I took a lot of crap from conservatives for supporting him, but this is why. That is why I was so put out with Beck when he said we were better off with Obama than McCain.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 8:39 PM

I was put out with Beck for saying that too but at the same time, a part of me understands what he meant. When you have someone who is such a complete disaster as Obama is…with such radical policies, it’s easy to draw strong differences.

When you have someone like McCain who’s supposed to be on your side but who supports or is wishy washy on some pretty important issues, it’s harder to make that distinction. Plus, as a Republican, it would have been harder to run a primary challenge against him in 2012…especially since the GOP was largely asleep for a long time, disenchanted as they were by Republicans who did not adhere to basic tenants like fiscal responsibility.

But with Obama, we can easily draw that sharp contrast…we have very specific, much hated policies to run against and a narcissistic president who wants to be identified with his disastrous ideas. It makes it a lot easier to paint with bold colors, as Reagan called it.

powerpro on November 30, 2009 at 9:05 PM

Think past your distrust of Obama my fellow conservatives. For the sake of our troops, our countrymen and our nation as a whole.

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Sorry, but that is not possible. My distrust of Obama is too deep and based on my firm belief that anything that helps him hurts America. He IS the enemy, and there is no getting around that with words.

MikeA on November 30, 2009 at 9:05 PM

We have to stabilize Af/Pak…but really…what do we have.

What are the rules of enagement?

What are Miranda rules?

What long trials await our soldiers if they give an enemy thug a bruise?

What about the CIA, will they all have to retain counsel for the duration of the war?

And, after all that, what will the troop strength be, or
will Obama pull out anyway in a year?

r keller on November 30, 2009 at 9:07 PM

we made a commitment to the women and children of Afghanistan.

ginaswo on November 30, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Too bad there aren’t Afghan men.

exception on November 30, 2009 at 9:16 PM

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 9:03 PM

I wanted the troops home long before Obama hit the scene. It is a war that won’t be won if we stay there 100 more years. The Russians figured it out after 9 years. We’ve been there 8 years. It’s about time we come to our senses as well and leave.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Never heard of him.

portlandon on November 30, 2009 at 7:07 PM
He’s the gay looking guy in the picture in this thread./J
Never heard of him either.

Itchee Dryback on November 30, 2009 at 7:14 PM

He’s a former football player, is married has several children, IS NOT GAY, to save $ he sleeps in a cot in his office because his children are in school in Utah. He is not a millionare and so has to do something in order to let his children stay in school there. He is a good guy, and I agree with him. I want us to win, but this dope in office takes our soldiers to court for doing what any red blooded American would do when faced with this terrorist, who probably mouthed off. He does not want to win on our side. I’m not sure how he feels about winning on the other side, but I have many doubts about him. How many young men and women died while he dithered, travelled, played golf, had parties, etc., but couldn’t make up his mind.
I think he really wanted to wait until health care passed so he didn’t have his left (marxist, leftist) wing mad at him and maybe hold up health care because of it.

Bambi on November 30, 2009 at 9:55 PM

You’re not getting it. We’ve already lost.

powerpro on November 30, 2009 at 7:43 PM

That’s what they said about Iraq.

“It is a war that won’t be won if we stay there 100 more years.”

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 9:23 PM

That’s what they said about Iraq.

Indeed, that’s been said about every enemy that the USA has taken on. If the Nazi’s, Soviets, British, Japanese can be defeated the taliban and al qaeda certainly can.

I Still can’t get over the defeatism coming from the supposed right. The consequences for losing a war in Af/Pak would be catastrophic for the USA, indeed for civilization. Not just for Obama.

Boxy_Brown on November 30, 2009 at 10:11 PM

He’s a former football player, is married has several children, IS NOT GAY, to save $ he sleeps in a cot in his office because his children are in school in Utah. He is not a millionare and so has to do something in order to let his children stay in school there. He is a good guy. Bambi

He’s a fricking moron.

Boxy_Brown on November 30, 2009 at 10:13 PM

I wanted the troops home long before Obama hit the scene. It is a war that won’t be won if we stay there 100 more years. The Russians figured it out after 9 years. We’ve been there 8 years. It’s about time we come to our senses as well and leave.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Well, then I guess AlQaida picked the right place to sit down roots didn’t they? And what makes you think they won’t come right back in there, after all, it is a lost cause…might as well do what the Soviets did and pack up and go home.

This is just great. Why even bother trying? What is the point? Get some guys killed, get bored, declare defeat and say we will go somewhere else and fight AlQaida? For what? So we can give up there too?

Come on, we have not lost the war, we have not even lost that many people. Good God, all I can say it is a good thing the Emporer of Japan and Hitler are not around today or we would be toast.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 10:15 PM

I Still can’t get over the defeatism coming from the supposed right. The consequences for losing a war in Af/Pak would be catastrophic for the USA, indeed for civilization. Not just for Obama.

Boxy_Brown on November 30, 2009 at 10:11 PM

No kidding.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 10:16 PM

We have lost 857 people in Afghanistan. Compare that to 80,000 in the Battle of the Bulge.

Terrye on November 30, 2009 at 10:25 PM

What good is an army if it’s engaged in mostly making sure their beds are made properly and their gear is squared away? Do we really expect to see a huge amphibious force off in the distance heading our way in some kind of Normandy Invasion scenario? Pretty sure a nuclear round or two would solve that problem.

Most of these guys want a piece of these SOBs and aren’t afraid of what might happen to themselves. Let them fight and kill terrorists. The worst thing is to leave them dangling and play politics so that many get blown away for what might be ultimately nothing.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 30, 2009 at 10:31 PM

MNDavenotPC on November 30, 2009 at 7:50 PM

I’m not a vetern, but you nailed it. This is what I was taught in grade school; you break the will of the people to fight.

Mirimichi on November 30, 2009 at 10:38 PM

I Still can’t get over the defeatism coming from the supposed right. The consequences for losing a war in Af/Pak would be catastrophic for the USA, indeed for civilization. Not just for Obama.

Boxy_Brown on November 30, 2009 at 10:11 PM

x2

It feels like 2006 regarding Iraq only it’s from my own “side” this time.

The Obama Derangement Syndrome, though justified to a point, is entering self destructive mode for many on the Right it seems.

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 10:40 PM

I Still can’t get over the defeatism coming from the supposed right. The consequences for losing a war in Af/Pak would be catastrophic for the USA, indeed for civilization. Not just for Obama.

Boxy_Brown on November 30, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Why because if we leave Afghanistan some muslim fanatic might go on a shooting rampage in Texas? Or blow up a train in Russia? Or blow up the subway in London? Or blow up trains in Spain?

Oh wait all this happened with us in Afghanistan.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 10:46 PM

Obama said he would take care of Afg and put a general in place with a plan to do it.

Now he is balking at his own general’s plans. The general says we need 40,000 troops.

What are Obama’s options? 1. Send the needed troops. 2. Pull out. 3. Try a different course of action with a different general.

What is Obama doing? Nothing. So the real question is ‘Why stay?’

TechieNotTrekkie on November 30, 2009 at 10:57 PM

The current PC environment doesn’t allow for victory or the policies that would assure that the most is being done to protect the lives of our soldiers on the battlefield and off. The war under these conditions is just a pointless destruction of our valuable men and a great waste of money.
.
The rules of engagement don’t allow our soldiers to protect themselves and guarantee no victory.
.
Soldiers like the seals being court martialed for allegedly hitting a vicious terrorists are left out to hang and dry in the wind.
.
Time to call a stop to this losing cause.

FactsofLife on November 30, 2009 at 11:04 PM

Geez! You pour in as much firepower as you have and kill every unfriendly or any who look like an unfriendly. You would be done in a month and then you go around hanging all of the surviving leaders.

That’s the way to win a warn for cryin’ out loud!!!!

Vince on November 30, 2009 at 11:14 PM

Why because if we leave Afghanistan some muslim fanatic might go on a shooting rampage in Texas? Or blow up a train in Russia? Or blow up the subway in London? Or blow up trains in Spain?

Oh wait all this happened with us in Afghanistan.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 10:46 PM

With the islamists claiming to have beaten both superpowers and bin laden basically proven right when he said that America didn’t have the stomach to fight the mujahadeen you would see a re-invigorated islamist resurgence slaughtering their way through the rest of the middle east and into civilization in the hope of establishing a world wide caliphate. It would demonstrate conclusively that the United States is a paper tiger that is too decedent to turn off American idol long enough to mount an effective counterinsurgency against a bunch of lice ridden vermin with RPG’s.

Even if that wasn’t true the idea that we would walk away from the scum that murdered 3000 people on US soil so we can point to the already well established incompetence of Obama is morally reprehensible. Home of the brave? If we walk away from it we will be the home of polarized, selfish spoiled brats who pissed away our birthright because victory was either inconvenient or it might not fit into our immediate, ADHD skewed partisan political agenda.

Boxy_Brown on November 30, 2009 at 11:39 PM

Why because if we leave Afghanistan some muslim fanatic might go on a shooting rampage in Texas? Or blow up a train in Russia? Or blow up the subway in London? Or blow up trains in Spain?

Oh wait all this happened with us in Afghanistan.

angryed on November 30, 2009 at 10:46 PM

At least while we’re there it makes things harder for them to stay alive in country let alone plan attacks around the world. The best defense is a good offense, not waiting for them to plot and possibly carry out another 9/11 in our own country because we didn’t have the stomach to fight them over there.

Why freely give them a base of operations with the added benefit of a home turf where the “Great Satan” was defeated and forced to withdraw?

You do realize that our withdrawal from Lebanon and Somalia only encouraged people like OBL right?

Why so eager to hand the Islamists another victory just to give Obama a defeat?

Yakko77 on November 30, 2009 at 11:40 PM

For those that are sold on cutting and running just remember a couple of things. This is not just a country, but also a people. A very small percentage of them are fighting us, yes. The rest are our allies and people who have benefitted greatly by our being here; such as little girls who may now go to school. These children are who you turn your back to.

I have friends who are ANA commandos that we work with. I have carried them into battle and have on occasion carried their dead away from battle. These men who do this were told by our country that freedoms such as ours are worth fighting and dying for and they believed us. These men are who you turn your back to.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2009 at 11:42 PM

hawkdriver on November 30, 2009 at 11:42 PM

Good to see you post. Hope things are better than OK out your way.

The point several of have made is that if we are only planning on coasting along, with a CIC trying to placate his domestic party faithful, offer hollow platitudes, then our remaining in Afghanistan morphs from tragic to criminal.

We have to prevail. No question about it.

But, taking months and months to try to G-2 your appointed theater commander’s recommendations, to try to sell the public that spending trillions on a stimulus, health care, green jobs and such is far more important than giving our men and women in the field the additional manpower and tools they require, and give them the support they need to get the job done, well, it borders on stupid.

“In it to win it” is a lot more than a slogan.

And if there is no real plan to win it…then why stick around?

The long term consequences of dithering are already being seen in the region. Strong horse and weak horse. Choose which is which. The bad guys seem to have already chosen.

coldwarrior on November 30, 2009 at 11:52 PM

Hawkdriver,
.
How can you tell what percentage support us?
.
In any case, it’s a very noble cause but if we won’t give our men a decent chance to survive and win, we have no right to waste their lives on the most glorious of causes.

FactsofLife on November 30, 2009 at 11:56 PM

As someone that’s in the military, I have NO idea what the objective is in Afghanistan. It’s that same idiotic mentality that all terrorism will stop once Bin Laden is captured/killed. He is nothing but a figurehead.

I think Obama will play a PC war till the end. People will continue to die there and we will achieve squat because we have no objective and Obama has no idea what he’s doing.

TTheoLogan on November 30, 2009 at 11:58 PM

These men who do this were told by our country that freedoms such as ours are worth fighting and dying for and they believed us. These men are who you turn your back to.

hawkdriver on November 30, 2009 at 11:42 PM

But now it’s a POTUS the Right doesn’t like so it’s OK now.

Ugh…. yeah, I’m sick to my stomach too.

Many hear are more concerned about giving Obama a defeat than the victory it will give the Islamists. It’s disgraceful. I’m just as ashamed of my country as I was in 2006 when so many were advocating for defeat but somehow justifying it in their own minds.

Yakko77 on December 1, 2009 at 12:07 AM

Yakko77,
.
Are you purposely ignoring the danger to our innocent troops that are being put in harms way without the proper support and tools to get the job done? Why aren’t you concerned about them?

FactsofLife on December 1, 2009 at 12:13 AM

Yakko77,
.
Are you purposely ignoring the danger to our innocent troops that are being put in harms way without the proper support and tools to get the job done? Why aren’t you concerned about them?

FactsofLife on December 1, 2009 at 12:13 AM

I understand our CinC is incompetent but that doesn’t negate the fact that this fight still needs to be fought.

Again I ask, when/if we abandon Afghanistan… what then?

What are the consequences?

Yakko77 on December 1, 2009 at 12:28 AM

If McChrystal is hellbent on winning hearts and minds over using a more aggressive fighting strategy, then he and Obama are setting our troops up for failure.

The Iraq surge’s success depended on having enough troops to clear, hold, and secure the cooperation of the native populations, freeing up the other warriors to move on aggressively.

The fewer numbers that Obama appears to be promising are coming in far later than were needed months ago when conditions had not deteriorated so much that the Taliban and AlQaeda had a chance to regroup/combine forces. Furthermore, the promised troops will be coming in in dribbles as winter approaches. The Obama approach with all of its unnecessary foot-dragging has been setting us up for failure.

In order to “win over” the Afghanis’ support, because the perceived strong horse is the preferred horse, our troops will have to be free to attack targets without the concern over the collateral damage of the deaths of those providing safe houses. If the villagers know that their protections of jihadist warriors will lead to their own deaths, perhaps they will cooperate with the US and NATO forces to drive out the repressive Taliban and AlQaeda regimes.

I don’t know that the Afghanis care for Taliban rule. From what I have read, they were tossed from one restrictive regime (the Soviets) to another (the Taliban) in the course of their war-torn years.

onlineanalyst on December 1, 2009 at 12:37 AM

I understand our CinC is incompetent but that doesn’t negate the fact that this fight still needs to be fought.

Again I ask, when/if we abandon Afghanistan… what then?

What are the consequences?

Yakko77 on December 1, 2009 at 12:28 AM

Yakko, I am sure we will be engaged in another war soon enough afterward.

What is the objective in afghanistan?

TTheoLogan on December 1, 2009 at 1:21 AM

We pull out — then nuke the place.

Which is never going to happen, under either a Democrat or a Republican. Why even suggest it? I’m asking for a real solution here.

If the answer is “more troops,” where are they coming from?

Allahpundit on November 30, 2009 at 7:15 PM

First off, if you wait for the general public to force you into a victorious strategy, you’re dead meat. You’ll get about as far as New York City and that Freedom Tower or whatever they’re not building at Ground Zero.

A nation of 300 million ought to be able to field more troops than a nation of 30 million.

For one thing, the DoD made lemonade out of lemons and pretended the post-cold-war cutbacks enabled them to be more “elite”. They have not pushed to relax those strict requirements. I personally know three men rejected as medically unfit for military service who enlisted in law enforcement without a problem. Pin in your ankle? Forget it. Braces? No way. Too many tattoos? Not a chance.

If the DoD sought to create an Army of Afghanistan of 500,000 men for a single five-year term, it could be raised in six months. That’s how long it took in 1917 with less than 1/3 our present population.

Then, when they get over there, understand that we’re in a shooting war, of self-defense, and it will best be solved when there’s fewer yahoos in Afghanistan. They have finite population, 30 million total. If 1 third of their military age males are killed, that’s the end of militant Islam as a political force. That proportion finished Nazism and Meiji fascism and it broke the British and French empires. When in doubt, kill. Fire on suspicious assemblies. Shoot first and never apologize. Take surrenders when offered, but don’t beg for one.

If Sri Lanka can do it, so can we.

Chris_Balsz on December 1, 2009 at 2:56 AM

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