Open thread: The troops are coming home from Afghanistan

posted at 7:40 pm on June 22, 2011 by Allahpundit

Not all of them, and not right now, but a lot and soon enough. 8 p.m. ET, all across the dial, The One will lay out his withdrawal blueprint. If you’re on pins and needles wondering what he’ll do, let me ease your pain:

President Obama plans to announce Wednesday evening that he will order the withdrawal of 10,000 American troops from Afghanistan this year, and another 20,000 troops, the remainder of the 2009 “surge,” by the end of next summer, according to administration officials and diplomats briefed on the decision.

These troop reductions are both deeper and faster than the recommendations made by Mr. Obama’s military commanders, and they reflect mounting political and economic pressures at home, as the president faces relentless budget pressures and an increasingly restive Congress and American public…

Two administration officials said General Petraeus did not endorse the decision, though both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who is retiring, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reluctantly accepted it. General Petraeus had recommended limiting initial withdrawals and leaving in place as many combat forces as possible for another fighting season, to hold on to fragile gains made in recent fighting.

The Guardian also heard last night that O was about to yank the surge troops over the Pentagon’s objections, with generals pleading with him to give them one more fighting season against the Taliban with full manpower in order to maximize NATO’s leverage at the bargaining table. No dice. How could it have been otherwise? He had all the political cover for a major withdrawal that he could have hoped for here — from the public, from anti-war Democrats, and even from a GOP that seems unsure what its position is anymore on military interventions. I thought last night that he’d do what he always does and piss everyone off by splitting the difference between two rival camps in order to position himself as the cautious pragmatist, but he’s not actually doing that. By ignoring the Pentagon’s wishes and ordering all the surge troops out by next summer, he should make doves pretty happy. And rest assured, conditions on the ground won’t dictate the pace of this withdrawal: The timing here is obviously designed to give him a big talking point ahead of the election about bringing the boys home, so they’ll most assuredly be home by next summer.

All that said, he’s still going to frame this as a “cautious pragmatist” decision; the pragmatism will lie in the fact that roughly 70,000 troops will remain in country once the surge troops are out, a number that won’t be enough to support a robust counterinsurgency campaign but will be enough for him to convince voters that he’s not rashly pulling the plug on the entire mission. Expect three basic points tonight: We killed Osama, we’ve taken some of the Taliban’s territory and killed plenty of their men, and we’re continuing the process of training Afghanistan’s military. Ergo, we can afford to withdraw. (There’ll also be a super-keen NATO summit next year, just to prove we’re keeping our eye on the ball.) Don’t expect much on Pakistan, I’d imagine. No doubt there’ll be lip service paid to how important our “partnership” is, but there’s been too much news lately about their treachery for even modestly informed voters to take that seriously. In case he does end up blowing some diplomatic smoke up America’s butt about our good friends in Islamabad, take two minutes before tuning in to read this. That’s a wider, brighter window into the sort of entrenched cretinism we’re dealing with here than anything O will say tonight.

Exit question: How will top Republicans respond? Their criticism of The One on Libya tempts me to think they’ll grudgingly support him on this, but I don’t think that’s true. If Petraeus had blessed this scale of withdrawal, that’d be one thing, but defying the Pentagon’s judgment leaves Obama plenty exposed to attacks. Boehner hinted at that earlier, in fact, and just within the past few hours Byron York reported that a new group of conservative hawks is forming to pressure the newly ambivalent GOP into supporting interventionism. From a political standpoint, it’s only logical that Republican candidates will look for something to criticize here, but they can read those polls on Afghanistan too. Expect a day or two of complaining, and then back to the economy they go.

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Above all, we are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home. Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America’s greatest resource – our people. We must unleash innovation that creates new jobs and industry, while living within our means. We must rebuild our infrastructure and find new and clean sources of energy. And most of all, after a decade of passionate debate, we must recapture the common purpose that we shared at the beginning of this time of war. For our nation draws strength from our differences, and when our union is strong no hill is too steep and no horizon is beyond our reach.

America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.

In case no one else has cited this passage, I post it.

ObaMao is h*llbent on having a central command government. And he has abolutely no idea what it means “to live within our means.”

onlineanalyst on June 22, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Of course, huge challenges remain. This is the beginning — but not the end — of our effort to wind down this war.
*******************************************************

WTH and WTF!!

And…HUH!!

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 9:47 PM

The Daily Beast.

ProudPalinFan on June 22, 2011 at 9:44 PM

LOL! Now that creates an image. Megatoon and Daily Beast. Soup and sandwich. Shot and a beer. Love and marriage.

predator on June 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM

I will admit,listening to this speech,

all I wanna do,is puke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM

It’s just the surge troops….a surge planned under Bush.

Their will still be the same amount of troops in Afganistan as their were when Obama was sworn in.

LeeSeneca on June 22, 2011 at 9:44 PM

..which was not enough to accomplish the mission.
In fact..the troop amounts Obama sent were not enough to begin with…he chose the middle road.
Now that progress is being made…he is implementing the slow bleed of surrender.

I am sure a peace treaty with the Taliban will be the ticket….they have proven to be so successful so far.

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM

No. You said that. The other night. That the military was upholding Obama’s illegal orders, via Libya.

You also stated Obama was going to implement martial law and those same limp-spined military officers would go along with it.

catmman on June 22, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Are you stalking me?

His Libya orders are illegal. As to “implement martial law” it was more along the lines of *if* in response to another comment.

Do you also stalk Sarah Palin? Are you the one who moved in next door to her for a while?

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 9:49 PM

I like Rand Paul’s proposal. Remove the majority of the troops patrolling the streets and leave basic security to the Afghans. It’s their responsibility to take care of their own country. Leave only a 5-10K elite forces group to monitor things and keep things under control. But bring back the bulk of our military. Our mission is done there and they deserve a rest and a grand welcome back.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 9:49 PM

Serious question- Are the troops he’s pulling combat/front or rear/support?
 
I really doubt it will be an appropriate mix of say 1:3 or whatever the true number might be, but has anyone heard details?
 
$5 says it’s 85+% support. Hey, what could possibly go wrong?

rogerb on June 22, 2011 at 9:50 PM

We do know that peace cannot come to a land that has known so much war without a political settlement. So as we strengthen the Afghan government and Security Forces,

America will join initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban.
=================================

Dealing/Talking with the Enemy,isn’t it
great to be in Liberal Logic!!

Well,ya know,there just another Political Group,
that must be heard,like Hamas,Hezbollah,Muslim
Brotherhood,and ad nausem!!

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 9:51 PM

We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place. We will not police its streets or patrol its mountains indefinitely. That is the responsibility of the Afghan government, which must step up its ability to protect its people; and move from an economy shaped by war to one that can sustain a lasting peace.
*****************************

So,after America and its Allies Bug Out,does Obama really believe that the Afhan people are going to stop Jihadys,
planning and arming in the mountain tops,without US AIR
POWER DEATH FROM ABOVE to sheriff the areas!

Obama is soooooooooooo niave and out of touch!

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 9:54 PM

America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.

In case no one else has cited this passage, I post it.

ObaMao is h*llbent on having a central command government. And he has abolutely no idea what it means “to live within our means.”

onlineanalyst on June 22, 2011 at 9:46 PM

…by spending us into massive debt and taxing the sh!t out of the few working Americans…..

….we are not stupid Obama….you will still be spending billions in Afghanistan…it just won’t have anything to do with winning the war.

…and yes…our expenditures on entitlements that you refuse to address dwarf the spending in Afghanistan.

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Bottom Progressive Line:

WAR ON TERROR IS OVER!

Even tho,the Jihadys have been
in a Holy War,with WORLD DOMINATION AS THE
END GOAL!!

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Good point!..:)

Dire Straits on June 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Hey Straits…looks like a great day for Obama to surrender to the jihadist……

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 9:56 PM

When Obama was sworn in there were about 46,000 American troops in worthless Islamic Afcrapistan. That is what Bush had there. There are now about 100,000 under Obama. If he does reduce the number to about 70,000, he will still have about 50% more than Bush had there. Bush was like JFK. Obama is like LBJ.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Bring em home boys! Those idiots aren’t worth it. They do not want your Jeffersonian Democracy.

They hate us now and will hate us later. Declare victory for getting our mission, “Osama”, and come on home!

Don’t forget to cut the endless US citizen tax flow to the foreign governments. Done, over, no mo money fo u.

livermush on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Af-sandbox-istan is a waste of time, money, blood and resources. 5 seconds after we leave – whether it be tomorrow or 500 years from now- and the place will return to a 4th world sewer..that is assuming is rises from that level now- 10 years into our effort.

Alden Pyle on June 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM

…and yes…our expenditures on entitlements that you refuse to address dwarf the spending in Afghanistan.

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Baxter Greene:Heres the Transcript,that i have his lines posted from!:)
================

Full Speech: Obama on Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal (Transcript)
June 22 2011
Page#1
*********

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/transcript-obama-afghanistan-troop-withdrawal-full-speech/story?id=13906420

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Good point!..:)

Dire Straits on June 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM
Hey Straits…looks like a great day for Obama to surrender to the jihadist……

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Baxter Greene:Nailed it,and it better be used in the 2012 Election,like a Political Hammer!:)

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Bring em home boys! Those idiots aren’t worth it. They do not want your Jeffersonian Democracy.

They hate us now and will hate us later. Declare victory for getting our mission, “Osama”, and come on home!

Don’t forget to cut the endless US citizen tax flow to the foreign governments. Done, over, no mo money fo u.

livermush on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

This.

When Obama was sworn in there were about 46,000 American troops in worthless Islamic Afcrapistan. That is what Bush had there. There are now about 100,000 under Obama. If he does reduce the number to about 70,000, he will still have about 50% more than Bush had there. Bush was like JFK. Obama is like LBJ.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 9:58 PM

And this.

+1 to each of you.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:01 PM

9/11 was just a “mass murder” according to Obama.

faraway on June 22, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Hey Straits…looks like a great day for Obama to surrender to the jihadist……

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 9:56 PM

I hear you!..Trying to win his nutroot base back!..:)

Dire Straits on June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

And this.

+1 to each of you.

You didn’t understand me, the GOP should bring them all home asap by defunding it if neccessary. Lybia and Iraq too.

+2 to you.

livermush on June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Baxter Greene:Nailed it,and it better be used in the 2012 Election,like a Political Hammer!:)

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Good point!..I agree fully..:)

Dire Straits on June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Missed the speech… in the car, listening to LA Laker talk radio… More important…

How many more days until we vote out PBHO and TOTUS?

Khun Joe on June 22, 2011 at 10:05 PM

My fellow Americans, this has been a difficult decade for our country. We have learned anew the profound cost of war — a cost that has been paid by the nearly 4500 Americans who have given their lives in Iraq, and the over 1500 who have done so in Afghanistan – men and women who will not live to enjoy the freedom that they defended. Thousands more have been wounded. Some have lost limbs on the field of battle, and others still battle the demons that have followed them home.

Yet tonight, we take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding. Fewer of our sons and daughters are serving in harm’s way….

How many of those lives were lost and bodies maimed under ObaMao’s watch? The media were strangely silent over these facts.

The “tide of war is receding”??? Tell that to the folks experiencing kinetic action in Libya, which you have yet to justify to us, ObaMao.

Spit. You self-righteous prig.

onlineanalyst on June 22, 2011 at 10:06 PM

I hear you!..Trying to win his nutroot base back!..:)

Dire Straits on June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Yeap. He’s trying to guarantee turnout amongst those clowns. He knows they won’t vote for the other side, but he greatly fears them staying home in droves.

predator on June 22, 2011 at 10:07 PM

It’s quite clear to all but the hopeless hawks that anything short of complete subjugation and colonization (the way our ancestors built America) is going to turn the cr@phole known as Afghanistan into anything remotely resembling a civilized society.

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 22, 2011 at 10:07 PM

The practicality and wisdom of fighting for Islamic Great Societies is what is not sound at all. In fact, it is utter madness.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 9:09 PM

If that’s what you can truly generalize our efforts around the globe since the end of WWII to be, then I guess your comment might make sense to you.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Of course, huge challenges remain. This is the beginning – but not the end – of our effort to wind down this war. We will have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we have made, while we drawdown our forces and transition responsibility for security to the Afghan government. And next May, in Chicago, we will host a summit with our NATO allies and partners to shape the next phase of this transition.

Chicago? The center of the civilized world, eh?

onlineanalyst on June 22, 2011 at 10:12 PM

All you freaking people trying to sound like “intelligent patriots”, who can advocate nothing less than bringing all of the troops home are worse than the loony progressives. They at least have a reason that coincides with their ideology.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

All you freaking people trying to sound like “intelligent patriots”, who can advocate nothing less than bringing all of the troops home are worse than the loony progressives. They at least have a reason that coincides with their ideology.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Fiscal conservatives realize that we as a nation can’t afford to continue paying for the mission (or lack thereof) at hand. It’s very consistent with conservative ideology.

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2011 at 10:21 PM

And next May, in Chicago, we will host a summit with our NATO allies and partners to shape the next phase of this transition.

Chicago? The center of the civilized world, eh?

onlineanalyst on June 22, 2011 at 10:12 PM

….and the first hundred people in the door will get a free white flag.

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 10:21 PM

If that’s what you can truly generalize our efforts around the globe since the end of WWII to be, then I guess your comment might make sense to you.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

This is beneath you. The subject is Islamic Great Society Nation Building in general and Afcrapistan in particular, not say, some of the things that Reagan did.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM

Next May, Obama will have no NATO allies.

Who can trust him?

Roy Rogers on June 22, 2011 at 10:27 PM

All you freaking people trying to sound like “intelligent patriots”, who can advocate nothing less than bringing all of the troops home are worse than the loony progressives. They at least have a reason that coincides with their ideology.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

hawkdriver:Amen Hawk,this latest speech,just emboldened
the Jihadys and their Supporters:)

canopfor on June 22, 2011 at 10:29 PM

I hear you!..Trying to win his nutroot base back!..:)

Dire Straits on June 22, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Obama: Afghanistan is our central front in our battle against terrorism…..
………….losing is not an option:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZRspJg1VYA

……but if retreat will help me win votes in 2012…..then retreat will be the new mission.

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 10:29 PM

All you freaking people trying to sound like “intelligent patriots”, who can advocate nothing less than bringing all of the troops home are worse than the loony progressives. They at least have a reason that coincides with their ideology.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

To the extent that conservatives want to “bring all the troops home from everywhere” it is being caused by those who want to keep American troops in such worthless places like AfCRAPistan spending and dying for Muslims.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 10:31 PM

I see Jane Fonda is regaining her former popularity.

Connie on June 22, 2011 at 10:31 PM

I see Jane Fonda is regaining her former popularity.

Connie on June 22, 2011 at 10:31 PM

I doubt that Jane Fonda has any big problem with America spending Blood and Treasure on Muslims.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Next May, Obama will have no NATO allies.

Who can trust him?

Roy Rogers on June 22, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Unfortunately, the 45% or so of our citizens who pay no taxes and/or receive more benefits from the government than they pay in.

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 10:36 PM

All you freaking people trying to sound like “intelligent patriots”, who can advocate nothing less than bringing all of the troops home are worse than the loony progressives. They at least have a reason that coincides with their ideology.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:14 PM

1)No matter what we do, the Middle East will always be a piece of crap until they ditch Islam (which won’t happen in our lifetime)

2)We don’t have the money to continue fighting a missionless fight.

3)It’s unfair to our soldiers to put them in harms way for a situation that has absolutely no benefit to the United States.

4)If we leave tomorrow or if we leave in 100 years, the middle east will still suck.

5)We got Bin Laden.

6)Our troops would be better used protecting our Southern border which is actually in our national self interest.

7)The Afghans are living like welfare queens off of our money while we are doing all the dirty work for them.

8)We are getting ourselves stuck in the same Afghanistan quagmire the Soviets did. That country is hopeless.

9)Democracy is incompatible with Islam. Try as we might, we won’t be able to remake the ME in the image of New England.

10)Our founding fathers warned us about getting caught up in willy-nilly interventions abroad. It puts undo stress on a nation.

Trust me, we have our reasons.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Michelle Bachmann: “On Afghanistan, I firmly believe that we are [at] a point where we’ve got ot stay the course, and we’ve got to finish the job. Reports coming out of Helmand right now are positive. David Petraeus, who wrote the book on counterinsurgency and on the surge strategy, blah, blah, blah …”

Goodnight Robert Strange McNamara … … I mean Michelle Strange Bachmann.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM

MeatHeadinCA on June 22, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Sorry, what I heard was blah, blah, blah, if you don’t think in terms of fiscal conservatism you’re not a conservative, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Whatever.

Hot Air has turned into a sounding board for the cowardly middle. They don’t have a gut to fight for even unborn babies in their own country, how could you expect them to stand against those who would try to kill us abroad.

I’ll tell you what though. My friends and I have given blood and we’ve given each other in this war. People I know have given their lives for you. So, to now just cavalierly say, “Oh crap let’s just bring em home because this is so hard”, is a slap in the face. Next time, if you’re not serious, if you’re not devoted enough to see it through till the end, even after those who know told you it was going to be a long hall; do us a favor and tell us. It would have been nice to know we shouldn’t have bothered in the first place.

Next time I hear someone rationalize that the very purpose, the very existence of Conservatism is merely to promote fiscal responsibility I will “literally” blow a gasket.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM

I see the Paulbots are out tonight.

flackcatcher on June 22, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Trust me, we have our reasons.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Trust me, I’m sure I know. The left is scared on the inside that they’d actually be called some day to do the fighting, and the middle is afraid they’ll have to pay for it.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:46 PM

7)The Afghans are living like welfare queens off of our money while we are doing all the dirty work for them.

Trust me, we have our reasons.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Any one of the 10 reasons you listed should be enough for anyone who cares for America.

As to your #7, I read somewhere that 97% of Afcrapistan’s GDP is from American/NATO money, so really super-duper WELFARE QUEENS on our grandkid’s dime, borrowed from the nice Chinese or counterfeited by Helicopter Ben.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Next time I hear someone rationalize that the very purpose, the very existence of Conservatism is merely to promote fiscal responsibility I will “literally” blow a gasket.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM

The purpose of conservatism is to protect the life (which starts at conception), liberty, and private property of Americans. Intervening in foreign country’s does none of that.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Trust me, I’m sure I know. The left is scared on the inside that they’d actually be called some day to do the fighting, and the middle is afraid they’ll have to pay for it.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:46 PM

I’ll add an eleventh reason.

11)Neoconservative intervention is a left wing ideology developed by Woodrow Wilson. The idea that we can use American troops as pawns to “promote democracy around the world” and “rebuild nations” is progressive BS.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM

The purpose of conservatism is to protect the life (which starts at conception), liberty, and private property of Americans. Intervening in foreign country’s does none of that.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Did you have to dismiss a decade and a half of terrorist attacks, to include 9-11, to come to that summation of our situation?

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Please. Trying to convince me that I’m more patriotic by being a coward doesn’t carry much weight with me.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM

how could you expect them to stand against those who would try to kill us abroad.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Our border with Mexico is basically wide open and our troops are where? Along our southern border? No … … in AfCRAPistan fighting for Muslims who hate America except for the money they can get from it, with Imam Petraeus calling their filthy evil book the “HOLY QUR’AN”. Like a drunk looking for his keys in the wrong place because someone [now Obama in campaign mode] shined a light there. Obama Thimblerig.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 10:55 PM

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 10:55 PM

You have not offered a single comment on this thread that I would categorize above sophomoric. I tried to read this last one and gave up after you called Gen Petraeus an Imam. I mean really? Would you expect the content to get better, after?

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Please. Trying to convince me that I’m more patriotic by being a coward doesn’t carry much weight with me.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Calling those with whom you disagree – cowards, is really beneath you. Nelsen made many good points and if you can’t knock them down, just say so. No one is blaming you personally for the waste of Blood and Treasure Charley Foxtrot in AfCRAPistan.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:00 PM

I tried to read this last one and gave up after you called Gen Petraeus an Imam. I mean really? Would you expect the content to get better, after?

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:58 PM

He called the Koran, filthiest book in the world, the “HOLY QU’RAN”. That earns him the nick Imam in my book. He also blames Israel for the ‘problems’ in the Middle east so guess what other nick than earns him?

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Is Petraeus an Islamic Tool?

Here’s a plan Gen. Petraeus should be able to get behind: A new battle strategy, maybe a Kilcullen special, for him to join forces with Iran to once and for all nuke Israel and its genocidal apartment houses out of existence. That, according to his own lights, is sure to keep American troops safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heck, it would win the war — or at least the jihad.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Iraqi Parliament Accuses US of Stealing $17 Billion

More evidence (not) that the Iraq “surge” was an epic success, ready for fabulous replication throughout the Islamic world.

First, Iraq’s clerics are saying US forces mission will be “haram” after 2011; now, Iraq’s parliament is accusing “US institutions” of stealing $17 billion.

(Please, pretty please, can our troops remain in Iraq forever?)

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Hal, Nelson and whoever else, this is where I will probably always have to part ways with you in ideology. On other nights, on other threads, you can be great sources of conservative viewpoints. I will tell you though that I do not at all understand how you think you can turn your back on a world that either needs our help or aims to kill us. Both would require the attention of a rational society.

And to no isolationist commenter in particular, but to all of you in general, I’ll part ways with you on this last thought. Where many of you talk a good game about bringing the troops home to defend the Southern Border, I fear the most vocal of you would be the “last” to actually volunteer and put your own life on the line to do it. I have an equal fear that when you got your wish to have your entire military do nothing but defend the Southern Border, you would be the “first” ones to complain about how much it cost to do it.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM

You have not offered a single comment on this thread that I would categorize above sophomoric.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:58 PM

LOL. None of my OER’s ever had that word on them. But then you know how inflated they usually are. Everybody is in the top 10%.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:16 PM

I’ll tell you what though. My friends and I have given blood and we’ve given each other in this war. People I know have given their lives for you. So, to now just cavalierly say, “Oh crap let’s just bring em home because this is so hard”, is a slap in the face. Next time, if you’re not serious, if you’re not devoted enough to see it through till the end, even after those who know told you it was going to be a long hall; do us a favor and tell us. It would have been nice to know we shouldn’t have bothered in the first place.

Next time I hear someone rationalize that the very purpose, the very existence of Conservatism is merely to promote fiscal responsibility I will “literally” blow a gasket.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Hawk, you could not have said it better. Once this nation decides, whether right or wrong or something in between, to put the blood and flesh of its good and strong and courageous into combat, we should finish the job as victors, not as pencil-pushing, visor-wearing bookkeepers looking to cut our financial losses. The men and women who put themselves in harms way and their families in a place none of us would like to be, deserve not just our thanks but our commitment to absolute and total victory, whatever the cost. To do otherwise is an insult to every brother and sister maimed or dead in our name.

If, for some reason, we made a mistake going into AF-PAK at the beginning, so be it. Get our people out and turn the whole damn place into glass, so at least our fallen, whom we sent there in good faith, would not have given it all for nothing.

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 11:23 PM

You can be a reasonable man, Hawkdriver.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/03/28/quotes-of-the-day-308/comment-page-3/#comment-3419850

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Is Petraeus an Islamic Tool?

Here’s a plan Gen. Petraeus should be able to get behind: A new battle strategy, maybe a Kilcullen special, for him to join forces with Iran to once and for all nuke Israel and its genocidal apartment houses out of existence. That, according to his own lights, is sure to keep American troops safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Heck, it would win the war — or at least the jihad.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Seriously dude? Going after Patraeus is too far. I agree with you that we shouldn’t be in the Middle East but I won’t criticize the generals (or troops). It’s the politicians, who sit comfortably in DC far away from the soldiers they put in harms way, that are to blame.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 11:32 PM

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Interesting debate you have going on in this thread.
I think we should start pulling the troops back. AQ and the Taliban have been handed enormous losses. If the plan is to stay longer then I think we should institute a limited draft to ease the burden on our guys and gals — bump end strength 10-20% for the duration. Over a ten year period many have deployed 8 or more times, put on stop loss, etc. Most have not complained but imo it is wrong for the country to stand by and say “well they volunteered…”.

but… if we are going to pull out over the next three years this is what I want to see:

Personally I’m more for a president who declares a doctrine that states “we know that Iran and Syria actively support terrorism. We get very limited assistance from allies in this region and we have lost too many of our American troops in the process. From here forward Iran and Syria are on notice that if we get hit with a terrorist event we will target Damascus and Tehran in retaliation.”

Bradky on June 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Once this nation decides, whether right or wrong or something in between, to put the blood and flesh of its good and strong and courageous into combat, we should finish the job as victors, not as pencil-pushing, visor-wearing bookkeepers looking to cut our financial losses. T

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 11:23 PM

If we are going to go all in as you describe all Americans should be participating in the effort. We have asked far too much of too few good people in this effort. In WW2 you had celebs and older people volunteering to go. Now just a lot of armchair quarterbacks content in the knowledge they won’t have to.

Bradky on June 22, 2011 at 11:41 PM

Seriously dude? Going after Patraeus is too far. I agree with you that we shouldn’t be in the Middle East but I won’t criticize the generals (or troops). It’s the politicians, who sit comfortably in DC far away from the soldiers they put in harms way, that are to blame.

Nelsen on June 22, 2011 at 11:32 PM

Nope. It is also very much Petraeus. The list is a mile long.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:41 PM

No Fire Support; No Glasses; More ‘Chai’; No Warrior Friendly Change!

For those who held out hope that the ROE was going to undergo a ‘positive transformation’ under General Petraeus, you will be disappointed. This is the point where I am suppose to say; ‘I told you so’.

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM

…it’s only logical that Republican candidates will look for something to criticize here, but they can read those polls on Afghanistan too.

Yep. Time to start winding down.

jaime on June 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM

“This morning I got a note from Andy Bostom, a good friend with a passion for the welfare of our troops, with what is now the official release of the good General’s assessment of the ROE and his intent. From the story: “Going several steps better, General Petraeus has reportedly expanded the ban on air strikes and artillery fire to all types of buildings, tree-lined areas and hillsides where it is difficult to distinguish who is on the ground.” The fact is, not only has he deemed the ROE as proper, he has deemed it not tight enough.”

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:50 PM

You can be a reasonable man, Hawkdriver.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/03/28/quotes-of-the-day-308/comment-page-3/#comment-3419850

HalJordan on June 22, 2011 at 11:29 PM

That statement to MB4 was at the very end of a year of very heavy combat. It was at the very end of a year in a mission where we killed more than 400 enemy fighters, in just my small detachment alone. The very end of a year where I personally ordered teenage soldiers to kill men from the back of my helicopter. It was only days after losing a young Afghani Commando who was my friend, to an IED after making months of comments on Hot Air about how the changing of the ROE was so devastating because of that exact threat. It was in the middle of watching the ROE change to suit the enemy more than us. If you look before that comment, you can find many more where I argued with MB4 about the importance of the war and you can find many comments after.

Your assertion that I was only reasonable then after a year of that kind of commitment, for imagining this president was letting the war slip away is astounding. Astounding in that you can ignore everything else I said except that one comment.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 11:54 PM

If we are going to go all in as you describe all Americans should be participating in the effort. We have asked far too much of too few good people in this effort. In WW2 you had celebs and older people volunteering to go. Now just a lot of armchair quarterbacks content in the knowledge they won’t have to.

Bradky on June 22, 2011 at 11:41 PM

With respect, you have missed my point. That we have asked so much of these fine people, who have given so much, we should not now give up on their mission due to cost considerations, which most of us are quite willing to underwrite in the cause of complete victory.

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Whatever happened to MB4?

jaime on June 23, 2011 at 12:03 AM

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM

It is not the cost I am concerned with. It is the fact that if it is deemed important enough to stay the course we need more troop end strength and possibly a limited draft.
that accomplishes two things; (a) when people potentially have skin in the game they may see the light about fighting to win & (b) all Americans should be willing to participate to spread the burden — 8-10 tours over ten years is too much when there are plenty of Americans to help lighten that load

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:05 AM

Astounding in that you can ignore everything else I said except that one comment.

hawkdriver on June 22, 2011 at 11:54 PM

You made the comment, I didn’t, and it sure seemed to sum up your own view of the whole matter at the time, and right before you left when your hands-on knowledge should have been at it’s peak.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Whatever happened to MB4?

jaime on June 23, 2011 at 12:03 AM

Reports of his demise are … … exaggerated.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:09 AM

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:09 AM

something that makes people say hmmmmm!

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:10 AM

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Not everyone who holds your opinion need serve to prove it. Thanks for your comments.

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:12 AM

something that makes people say hmmmmm!

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:10 AM

I saw nothing. I heard nothing. I know nothing. I did not even get up this morning.

OberfeldwebelSchultz on June 23, 2011 at 12:13 AM

Obama: Afghanistan is our central front in our battle against terrorism…..
………….losing is not an option:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZRspJg1VYA

……but if retreat will help me win votes in 2012…..then retreat will be the new mission.

Baxter Greene on June 22, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Baxter Greene:Excellent,there is sooo much material out
there to be used against them,in their very
own words!:)

canopfor on June 23, 2011 at 12:15 AM

You made the comment, I didn’t, and it sure seemed to sum up your own view of the whole matter at the time, and right before you left when your hands-on knowledge should have been at it’s peak.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Did I sound demoralized about IEDs or the war in general?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Reports of his demise are … … exaggerated.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:09 AM

I remember Ed giving him the boot once before, then letting him back on.

I don’t recall seeing MB4 around lately. Of course I haven’t been around as much lately, so that could explain it.

jaime on June 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM

jaime on June 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM

I heard he went on a cross country bus tour to highlight America — last seen on Highway 61 little east of Omaha…

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:19 AM

That we have asked so much of these fine people, who have given so much, we should not now give up on their mission due to cost considerations, which most of us are quite willing to underwrite in the cause of complete victory.

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Who wants to be the last man to die for the politician’s and their political Generals vanity, madness and hubris?

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:19 AM

I’ll tell you what “Hal”. If you are MB4 and you know of conversations we had before that comment and conversations we had after that comment and are going to use that one statement of mine just days after losing a friend to an IED, then you are surely a pitiful soul.

Taking time to link to comments that put that sentiment in context for that time frame would be easy. Doing it for you, I’d consider a waste of my time. I’m sure you saved that comment in a time of my depair for a moment such as this. I hope you took great satifaction from trying to make your debate point and I hope it was worth it to you. Because it cost what little respect I might have ever had for you.

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:24 AM

It is not the cost I am concerned with. It is the fact that if it is deemed important enough to stay the course we need more troop end strength and possibly a limited draft.
that accomplishes two things; (a) when people potentially have skin in the game they may see the light about fighting to win & (b) all Americans should be willing to participate to spread the burden — 8-10 tours over ten years is too much when there are plenty of Americans to help lighten that load

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:05 AM

A draft, are you kidding? Do you know nothing of Vietnam? What it gives you, in the modern era, are a whole lot of guys who will still volunteer, because they actually care about their country, mixed in with countless others who could care less about their country or their mission, and who are pissed off that they were forced to serve, thus dumbing down the entire force. With a completely volunteer military, as we have now, no other military in the world can defeat us, so long as the politicians stay the hell out of the way.

TXUS on June 23, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Did I sound demoralized about IEDs or the war in general?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:15 AM

Well you certainly didn’t exactly sound like a very enthusiastic cheer leader for it in general, to say the least. It’s been 10 years. You tried. You can’t spin Gold from Straw. Victory over Islam does not lay in trying to Great Society Islamic Nation build it. Water seeks it’s own level. Even another 10 years before leaving and it will soon be the same as you found it.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:27 AM

With a completely volunteer military, as we have now, no other military in the world can defeat us, so long as the politicians stay the hell out of the way.

TXUS on June 23, 2011 at 12:25 AM

No I’m not kidding and yes I know a bit about Viet Nam. If it is important enough to go to war congress and the president should have the guts to increase troop levels by 20% and if not enough volunteers come forth then institute the draft. The volunteers that are put on stop loss and serve extra years beyond their commitment.

I hear a lot of platitudes about the troops but don’t see a lot of concern that just maybe we are asking too much of them in this war.

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:30 AM

If you don’t intend to win, don’t go in.

Bomb from afar.

Hard enough to make our enemies need permanent Depends..

profitsbeard on June 23, 2011 at 12:30 AM

With a completely volunteer military, as we have now, no other military in the world can defeat us, so long as the politicians stay the hell out of the way.

TXUS on June 23, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Our WWII military was overwhelmingly non-career (many drafted) and they defeated the powerful militarys of both Germany and Japan in less than 4 years. Those were the days.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:30 AM

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:27 AM

And you were against it before Obama was even elected. You never thought we could win and you never wanted us to win. Why do I think that was based mostly on your fear of being wrong? But then, what’s a few dead soldiers here and there when MB4 needs to prove his point.

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:32 AM

TXUS on June 23, 2011 at 12:25 AM

One other observation re Viet Nam. We didn’t lose the war in the first place. Tet was a huge offensive but we came out ahead in reality while the news spun it differently. And Johnson’s rules of engagement made what is happening today seem easy. Nixon knew how to win and the Rolling thunder/Linebacker 2 campaigns brought an end to the war.

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:37 AM

MB4, I would just like to know one thing. Why was it so important to you personnally, for us to lose? Why would you wish that on your own countrymen?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:38 AM

No I’m not kidding and yes I know a bit about Viet Nam. If it is important enough to go to war congress and the president should have the guts to increase troop levels by 20% and if not enough volunteers come forth then institute the draft. The volunteers that are put on stop loss and serve extra years beyond their commitment.

I hear a lot of platitudes about the troops but don’t see a lot of concern that just maybe we are asking too much of them in this war.

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Indochina [includes Vietnam] 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

Rather like bringing your GM car to the dealer/repair shop and being told that they will fix your car in a day for $1,000 and then, well it’s going to be another $1,000 and another day and then, wow are you lucky we are finding all these things to fix otherwise you would be breaking down out in the sticks someplace, but another $2,000 and another couple of days and it will be like new! And then you think, well I have already sunk so much money into this I can’t give up now! And then a month and $10,000 later it’s still just another $1,000 and another day and you finally have had enough and tow the car to the junk yard and just barely restrain yourself from going on an armed rampage at the car dealer.

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

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Our WWII military was overwhelmingly non-career (many drafted) and they defeated the powerful militarys of both Germany and Japan in less than 4 years. Those were the days.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:30 AM

I don’t disagree at all, but I was very specific about the problems with the draft in the modern era, which you conveniently left out, thus I will repeat what I said:

A draft, are you kidding? Do you know nothing of Vietnam? What it gives you, in the modern era, are a whole lot of guys who will still volunteer, because they actually care about their country, mixed in with countless others who could care less about their country or their mission, and who are pissed off that they were forced to serve, thus dumbing down the entire force. With a completely volunteer military, as we have now, no other military in the world can defeat us, so long as the politicians stay the hell out of the way.

TXUS on June 23, 2011 at 12:43 AM

What was your war MB4? What great victories did you command?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:43 AM

MB4, I would just like to know one thing. Why was it so important to you personnally, for us to lose? Why would you wish that on your own countrymen?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Assumes “facts’ not, and never, in evidence. I observe history. I do not make it.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:44 AM

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

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:39 AM

And those who “invent” histories are doomed to never understand it in the first place. Viet Nam was many things, but it was never the abject failure you’ve tried to purport all these years. Again, what is so important to you about painting our military and it’s accomplishments in the worst possible light?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:46 AM

With respect, you have missed my point. That we have asked so much of these fine people, who have given so much, we should not now give up on their mission due to cost considerations, which most of us are quite willing to underwrite in the cause of complete victory.

TXUS on June 22, 2011 at 11:58 PM

That’s the question I want answered? What is victory in Afghanistan? It used to be get Osama. Well, check. Now what?

Nelsen on June 23, 2011 at 12:46 AM

TXUS on June 23, 2011 at 12:43 AM

You know I read your comment again and I’ll have to get a bit prickly now. You characterized a whole lot of people who were drafted and served their country honorably. Lots of people were pissed they got called up when their neighbor got a deferment because pops had enough money to get them in college. Or to fund their extended vacation to Canada, or to pull a Ted Nugent and roll in his filth for a week to ensure the MEP disqualified him.
Yeah I would have been a little pissed too. But your implication that the military was full of malcontents spreads the paint too far in my opinion.

Bradky on June 23, 2011 at 12:47 AM

Assumes “facts’ not, and never, in evidence. I observe history. I do not make it.

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:44 AM

Observe, or read accounts?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:48 AM

MB4, I would just like to know one thing. Why was it so important to you personnally, for us to lose? Why would you wish that on your own countrymen?

hawkdriver on June 23, 2011 at 12:38 AM

If a doctor told you that drinking 2 bottles of Seagrams while speeding down the road while talking on a cell phone and reading a newspaper was a bad idea, would you think he wanted you to die?

HalJordan on June 23, 2011 at 12:48 AM

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