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Thread: 30,000 more troops set to go to Afghanistan

  1. #31
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    ^^Oh noes, we don't actually budget for war. It doesn't go onto any how do we pay for it list or anything. Clearly the way to wage a couple of wars is to cut taxes doncha know? But definitely DON'T include was costs in the budget.

    I guess I'm a little confused here. This is exactly what Obama said he'd do. We are not trying to establish democracy in Afghanistan. He was pretty clear on that. This administration is not trying to take over the world and make it over into the US' image (seems like I've heard something like that before).

    I did think the line of his speech was about NATO and highlighting the worldwide contribution to this action.
    That's the thing, if the US isn't there to install its form of democracy, then why the need for additional troops and extended deployments? To train the Afghani troops? Am I to believe that after EIGHT FREAKING years, they still cannot learn the basics of patrolling, infantry tactics, etc. etc.? Stuff that takes only 14 weeks for an American recruit off the street to learn before being sent to the world's hotspots?

    Unbelievable.

  2. #32
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    That was because the US supplied the other side with weapons.
    They weren't winning even before that
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  3. #33
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celeb_2006 View Post
    That's the thing, if the US isn't there to install its form of democracy, then why the need for additional troops and extended deployments? To train the Afghani troops? Am I to believe that after EIGHT FREAKING years, they still cannot learn the basics of patrolling, infantry tactics, etc. etc.? Stuff that takes only 14 weeks for an American recruit off the street to learn before being sent to the world's hotspots?

    Unbelievable.
    I think we're still there because the last administration totally ignored Afghantistan in favor of Iraq. If we left now, we leave the country in even worse shape under the Taliban than we found it. If Al Qaeda and the Taliban are emboldening each other, we've left a huge mess. At the current troop levels, the Taliban seems to be kicking the crap out of us. At the outset (before Iraq), the Taliban had mostly been removed from power, but we didn't do the work then to train the non-Taliban Afghan forces, which allowed the Taliban to quickly regain power and now with the support of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are so entertwined now that the stated goal of weakening (hopefully eradicating) Al Qaeda has to include removing the Taliban and training the Afghans to keep them out of power. That's not western style democracy it's their government, without Al Qaeda supported Taliban.

    The US invasion of Iraq and all of the lies to justify that has totally warped foreign policy. Would we have cared about the Taliban if 9-11 hadn't happened? Probably not.
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  4. #34
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    ^^Oh noes, we don't actually budget for war. It doesn't go onto any how do we pay for it list or anything. Clearly the way to wage a couple of wars is to cut taxes doncha know? But definitely DON'T include was costs in the budget.

    I guess I'm a little confused here. This is exactly what Obama said he'd do. We are not trying to establish democracy in Afghanistan. He was pretty clear on that. This administration is not trying to take over the world and make it over into the US' image (seems like I've heard something like that before).

    I did think the line of his speech was about NATO and highlighting the worldwide contribution to this action.
    Thank you. Anyone that is 'shocked' and 'surprised' that Obama's sending more troops into Afghanistan wasn't paying attention during the campaign. The war in Afghanistan wasn't coming to a quick end under President Obama, President McCain or President Clinton, which they ALL made clear during their campaigns.

    And people seem to think that telling Afghanistan and Iraq that their security forces have to be trained to take over is the same thing as spreading democracy or nation building, which it isn't.

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  6. #36
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Increasing the troops is the right thing to do, and Obama is right for making that decision. It will cost him on the left, but he said he would do this, if they had been listening, they wouldn't be so upset.

    I've seen many comments at various sites today that say that this means Obama suddenly 'owns' the war. He already increased troop strength significantly earlier this year, which would have been the 'ownership'. But that’s nonsense. He owned the war when he became Commander in Chief and didn’t end it, as would have been well within his power. With few exceptions, most Americans demanded military action against the Taliban, and it has been America’s war ever since.

    But what exactly is the purpose of the escalation? There was no sense of it in the speech, no sense of mission. Obama never once attempted to define (or even re-define) what he wanted for an outcome.

    That’s no way to fight a war. Under these circumstances, it would be better to start the evacuation now, rather than have any more troops killed by the Taliban for a country they’ll soon be running again anyway.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    I think we're still there because the last administration totally ignored Afghantistan in favor of Iraq. If we left now, we leave the country in even worse shape under the Taliban than we found it. If Al Qaeda and the Taliban are emboldening each other, we've left a huge mess. At the current troop levels, the Taliban seems to be kicking the crap out of us. At the outset (before Iraq), the Taliban had mostly been removed from power, but we didn't do the work then to train the non-Taliban Afghan forces, which allowed the Taliban to quickly regain power and now with the support of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are so entertwined now that the stated goal of weakening (hopefully eradicating) Al Qaeda has to include removing the Taliban and training the Afghans to keep them out of power. That's not western style democracy it's their government, without Al Qaeda supported Taliban.

    The US invasion of Iraq and all of the lies to justify that has totally warped foreign policy. Would we have cared about the Taliban if 9-11 hadn't happened? Probably not.
    True but again there's no way to ensure that even if we had done the job 'properly,' that things wouldn't have gone awry. Afghanistan is a different concept than other countries. With its clans and ever shifting loyalties and alliances, allies today become enemies tomorrow. The US can't be there forever, we either accept that we cannot defeat every single qaeda/taliban fighter, and get out, or be stuck in a never ending nightmare.

    We can't establish our standards of democracy and society there. Many have tried, none have succeeded. And we can't keep fighting the qaeda/taliban boogeymen. They have endless sympathizers that can cross over and fight coalition forces, for years and years.

    If it becomes more dangerous if we leave, that's just the way it has to be.

  8. #38
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I don't get why people keep saying he didn't define the mission. The mission is to keep the Taliban/Al-Queda from regaining ground in Afghanistan & to help train the Afghan security forces so we can turn everything over to them, which is what we're doing with Iraq. Not to mention, work with Pakistan to help protect their nuclear arsenal from the surge of Taliban/Al-Queda sweeping into their country.

    Rachel Maddow mentioned a good point. People are so used to having a president at war (Dubya) lead a cheering section and giving bumper sticker slogans about why we're at war that having Obama give a sobering/adult speech about the war took them by surprise.

  9. #39
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I don't get why people keep saying he didn't define the mission. The mission is to keep the Taliban/Al-Queda from regaining ground in Afghanistan & to help train the Afghan security forces so we can turn everything over to them, which is what we're doing with Iraq. Not to mention, work with Pakistan to help protect their nuclear arsenal from the surge of Taliban/Al-Queda sweeping into their country.

    In my case I'm saying it because that has been the mission for years already- train the Afghans to do it for themselves, and as someone else mentions above, if it hasn't happened in the 8 years we've been there, a couple more years won't make any difference. So what is the actual attainable goal of the mission?

    We are currently propping up an Afghan government that is completely corrupt, and setting the stage for the Talibs to retake the country once foreign military support for the current gov is no longer there.

    It's eerily similar to what we did in Vietnam, propping up the South Vietnamese government (also corrupt), fighting for years, and when we left it collapsed. So as the outcome here is clearly going to be the same, why spill more blood?
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  10. #40
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    It hasn't happened in the last 8 years because the Bush administration didn't do anything about it. It's sometimes hard to remember, but Obama has only been in office for 11+ months.
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  11. #41
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    We ( both US and NATO forces ) have been training Afghan troops regardless of the fact that Bush was/is an asshole. We've also - in the 11 months that Obama been in office - helped Karzai keep power after the laughable 'election' that just took place there.

    Power in Afghanistan is shared between tribal leaders, Taliban forces, warlords and outright criminals. And there's the rub - the coalition troops can keep training forces to police Afghanistan, but when those trained will have incredibly divided loyalties, you're just creating well trained and armed killers for another civil war when we pull out.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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  12. #42
    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    In my case I'm saying it because that has been the mission for years already- train the Afghans to do it for themselves, and as someone else mentions above, if it hasn't happened in the 8 years we've been there, a couple more years won't make any difference. So what is the actual attainable goal of the mission?

    We are currently propping up an Afghan government that is completely corrupt, and setting the stage for the Talibs to retake the country once foreign military support for the current gov is no longer there.

    It's eerily similar to what we did in Vietnam, propping up the South Vietnamese government (also corrupt), fighting for years, and when we left it collapsed. So as the outcome here is clearly going to be the same, why spill more blood?
    Except no one was putting the time, energy or troops into accomplishing that mission. Plus, the mission became about spreading democracy, which is why Karzai ended up in power. That was the problem with Iraq, other than the fact that it was an illegal war, there was no plan, not enough troops and no exit strategy. And, true, we are propping up the corrupt government of Afghanistan. But what else are we suppose to do? If we say that we're going to install a better government then we fall back into what Dubya did when he put Karzai into power and that's nation-building. We're also propping up the government in Iraq, so do you make the comparison to Vietnam there, too?

    And NBC reporter Richard Engel mentioned that while most of the Afghans aren't confident about the surge, what they do want is some form of reconciliation between the Taliban and the government. Which is probably what's going to happen in the end, a Karzai/Taliban government.

    Now, I'm not totally sold on this surge idea, but I can deal with it since there's an exit strategy. But I do think that the timing of the withdrawals are meant to coincide with the 2012 elections. But I've noticed some Hillary voters blasting Obama on this surge decision, but not Hillary. Now, while Obama is the president and the buck stops with him on whether the surge works, some forget that candidate Hillary Clinton wanted to put the focus back on Afghanistan, too. Which means that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in full-support of this decision and was part of the decision process.

    So, how is that Obama gets ALL of the heat, but Hillary doesn't, even though the previous Secretary of States Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice had to take heat for Dubya's decisions on the wars?

  13. #43
    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    So train them some more and tell them approx when we will be leaving so all the while the Taliban can go into hiding, strengthen itself and do who knows what, once we leave. Now thats a scary thought!!!
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    They're doing this because the Taliban is re-gaining some of their old strongholds and the government and security services in that country (Afghan) are not up to scratch. There's a great article about this in the International Herald Tribune today. I think Obama is playing the hand he's been dealt. He's like Johnson dealing with Vietnam, which was handed to him by the death of JFK, who got it from the American policy prior, which was all the result of British and French actions prior to that. It's just not all that simple and to act like it is is....simplistic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupcake View Post
    So train them some more and tell them approx when we will be leaving so all the while the Taliban can go into hiding, strengthen itself and do who knows what, once we leave. Now thats a scary thought!!!
    Considering that it was Al-Queda, not the Taliban, that attacked us on 9/11 how is that a scary thought? The Taliban government gave Al-Queda safe haven, they didn't plan the attacks. And since the majority of the Afghan people don't want the Taliban driven out of the country you aren't going to have a Taliban-free Afghanistan, either while we're there or after we leave.

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